This is the first time I've managed to get online in two days! The internet on the ship has been spotty and slow, and uploading pictures is just impossible. I don't know if it will get any better soon, but I'll keep trying.
In the meantime, I can at least tell you what we've been up to. The last time I posted was when we left Lisbon, Portugal. The next day we stopped in Cadiz, Spain and had a tour up to Seville. That was a pretty fun day! The bus ride up to Seville took an hour and a half, but Carter fell asleep on the way up and slept for over an hour, so he'd had a good nap by the time we got there. There is a festival going on this week, and the locals dress up in beautiful traditional clothes. There were all these women walking around in the colorful dresses with ruffles at the bottom. It was really interesting! We visited a cathedral, had a nice lunch of local ham, cheese, and fried anchovies, and walked around until the bus left. Carter slept all the way back to the ship, which made it all pretty easy.
That's been one of the surprises about this trip so far, actually. Carter does really well on bus tours! We weren't sure what to expect, but he really enjoys riding on the buses. He sits in my lap and looks out the window, pointing at things he sees and signing "tree" every time he spots one. After about 15 minutes, he settles on my chest and goes to sleep, and will sleep for an hour. That means that on some tours, I've stayed on the bus during brief stops while Doug got off to take pictures. But it's okay. :-)
Carter has hit some new milestones since we've been on vacation. He seems no closer to walking, but he's started pointing in the last few days. As you may recall, that was something I was concerned about, but he just started doing it all of the sudden. Maybe he was waiting until he had something interesting to point at? He still signs "tree", "light", and "want", but will now say "wow" and "bird", both generally accompanied by a point at the thing that's caught his interest. When we walk around cathedrals, he will lean his head back to look up at the high ceilings, point up, and say "wow". It's so cute! "Bird" happened spontaneously. I'm not sure if that's a word Michelle has been working on, or if he just picked it up, but when sea gulls fly around the ship, he'll point and say "bird".
During the night on Tuesday night we passed through the Straight of Gibraltar, which I was sorry to miss. Yesterday (Wednesday) we were in Malaga, a small port city on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. We took a short bus tour in the morning, most of which Carter slept through, and then walked around in the town a bit. We headed back to the boat for Carter's nap, and then spent a good chunk of the afternoon watching him crawl around on the rooftop lawn. He LOVED that, far more than any of the things he'd seen in two days in Spain!
Today is our last sea day, followed by three more port days before our cruise ends in Rome Monday. I'm dreading the end already! Of course, we're going to spend another 5 days in Rome, so it's not like we're going home right away, but still, I don't want this vacation to be over! We've been planning it for so long.
So as I write this, we're all hanging out on the deck, watching the Mediterranean Sea slowly go by, with a glimpse of the coast of Spain about 25 miles away. I'll try to post the pictures eventually!