When you have been on a three week vacation that includes a visit to friends in Toronto, days in Venice, a cruise through the Eastern Mediterranean and finally 3 days in Barcelona, what can you say.

I spent the afternoon going through the roughly 800 pictures that I shot on the vacation.  Lots of eliminations due to replications and despite the high tech camera, a few out of focus.  I was trying to find the quintessential photo that would represent our vacation.  Not going to happen.  Too many great images.

So instead Pat presented me with the summary of the bills and expenses for the trip.

Should have been an indication when I received an email from a Vice President of VISA thanking me personally for financing his early retirement.

Here are the highlights…

We spent $30 doing our own laundry on the cruise ship.  Now this is a bargain, I once spent $200 in Brussels to have my underwear and shirts cleaned.  So I declare this a good expense.

Pat tried to tell me how much we spent on Refreshments on board the cruise ship, but I passed.

We spent $15 each for a shuttle bus in Mykonos for a distance of 2 km where we could have walked or taken a local $3 ferry.   This was typical for many of our ship sponsored excursions, and the people had the gall to try and get tips after.

I bought a bottle of Lemoncello to commemorate a wonderful meal only to find that despite the special price they offered, I could have bought the same bottle at our local liquor store for less.

For some reason in Dubrovnik, a large glass of beer in a small quaint cafe where we all sat around a small table to have lunch came to $14 Canadian each for Blaine and I.  Granted it was a large glass but, it is not like it was imported from some foreign land by airplane.

I spent 5 euros for a Catalonia flag from some guy on the street in Barcelona in the frenzy of the Sept 11 independence day festival only to have Blaine buy the same flag for 2 euros at a shop on a side street.

We had a taxi driver in Barcelona that drove us from the cruise ship to our hotel that managed to convince us that despite the advertised fare he needed extras to put his kid through college. That was the norm in our experience with taxis and restaurants, there was always a reason why the advertised rate was not what they charged tourists.  I expect that we personally financed many kids to college on this holiday.

Now this may sound like a bummer post, but we actually had a wonderful vacation.  Lots of great memories and, what the hell.  If we did not spend the money, our heirs would only waste it on their trips to Europe.