Stopover in Split

We left Barcelona and headed to Croatia.  I was beyond excited to explore the country partially because I am 25% Croatian, or rather Yugoslavian.  Helen, my Grandmother, was full Croatian/Yugoslavian and extremely proud of this fact.  And as an extra special bonus my friend from middle school, Jessica, was joining us for the next 2 weeks.  I was elated, surprised, and proud of Jessica for coming to visit us on our round-the-world tour.  Some things about Jess.  She is a mom to Callie and Leroy, two unbelievably cute kids.



















Wife to Jimmy.



















She is a devoted mother and wife and does a ton for her family.  In 2014 she decided to say “yes” to things that came her way in order to have a little more balance.  When I discovered this plan I started asking her to do a lot of things out of her comfort zone.

“Jess you want to go to a Pink concert in LA on a school night?”
“Jess, stay for one more drink.”

I pretty much exploited the decision she made to say “yes” to life.  It was exciting.  Jess became pregnant with her 3rd child right after our wedding in May.  There was no way that I thought she would come visit us on our adventure.  I didn’t even ask this time thinking it would be unfair to put her in a situation where she would have to say no in the year of yes.  But back in September I received an email from her.  In it she asked,  ”Where are you going to be in October? ” We didn’t entirely have our plans ironed out for October but Peter and I were open.  After going back and forth we decided on Croatia and… (I will explain how our plans transpired and changed in my next post as its a pretty special story) Egypt!  Within a couple weeks Jess, 5 months pregnant, booked her flight.  I was ecstatic!

Below is a picture of us at our 8th grade graduation 24 years go (I just aged myself).  Jess is the stunning red head.  I am the brace face on the far left.  Second picture is from my wedding in May.  Have we aged?  Do we still got it? Am I sporting a mullet perm in the first picture?


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Split was just a jump off point for the other cities we would be visiting in Croatia.  We rented an AirBnb for a couple nights.  Peter and I arrived really late the first night, probably a little before midnight, but the host, Anna, arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport and cheerfully greeted us upon our arrival.   That was one thing that I instantly noticed, how absolutely nice and pleasant the Croatians were.  Anna greeted us with all smiles and energetic positive energy, despite the late hour.  She even had a bottle of red wine for us.  And the place was perfect. After our Barcelona AirBnb experience, we were happy for a rental win.

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The next day Jess was arriving on a marathon flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles to Frankfurt to Split.  She opted for the hour bus-ride instead of a taxi and a 15 minute walk to our flat. Let me mention again that she is pregnant.  What a trooper. We didn’t know exactly know what time to expect her because Jess didn’t have a way of contacting us once she landed, but I did a rough estimate around the time I guessed she would be around and took a walk outside.  Within 5 minutes I saw my friend walking up the street toward me with her luggage in tow.  I’m such a sap. The image of seeing my friend as I write this brings tears to me eyes.  This moment started a truly wonderful trip for all of us.  An adventure that I am truly grateful for.

After doing some catching up we grabbed an early dinner at a top rated sea view restaurant which was also highly recommended by our host, Dvor.  The food was great and our waiter even better.  The people and service everywhere we went in Croatia was top notch.  I couldn’t help to think that my Grandmother would have loved to have known about my positive experience in her homeland.  I told everyone that would listen that my Grandmother was Croatian.  On cue everyone would say that’s where I got my good looks from.  See what I mean? Charming people.

After dinner we took a walk around the city which is centered around Diocletian’s Palace.  The Palace dates back to the 3rd century and it now host bars, restaurants, shops, and narrow maze like passageways to explore and get lost in.







During our walking tour we were on the lookout for the statue of Gregory of Nin to rub his big toe.  Gregory of Nin was an influential bishop from the 10th century.  He challenged the Catholic church by insisting that masses be done in the local language instead of Latin.  He was viewed as patriotic and a protector of Croatia.  It is believed if you rub his big tow on his statue in Split your wish will come true.  There is a full on belief in in the superstition.  People have claimed that they got pregnant, or married, or received fortune from rubbing the toe.  As we were looking Peter and I learned that Jess has an eagle eye.  The statue was under some sort of construction, but she spotted the toe despite this.  At night, in the pitch black. This eagle eye continued and was clutch for the rest of the trip.  Do pregnant women have some sort of super human eye sight? Will our wishes come true?  Will french fries have fewer calories?

















After our walk we settled on a restaurant, Pikulece, to grab a glass of wine for us and water for Jess and the baby.








After our wine we went home, Facetimed Jimmy to verify Jess’s safety, and called it a somewhat early evening.  We had a ferry to catch in the morning to Hvar.  Amazingly Jess was showing no sign of jet lag or a single complaint about her marathon trip.  Aren’t pregnant women in a perpetual state of jet lag? I think Jess is super human and she never told anyone, but Peter and I figured it out and were constantly impressed by her strength.

The next morning we rose bright and early to catch our ferry to Hvar.

It was a bit of a trek to the harbor with our luggage.  Probably about 15 minutes.  We got to the ferry well ahead of time to avoid any stress and because Peter runs a tight ship.  Pun intended.  He leaves room for error, traffic, long lines, coup d’etats.  I think this has been exasperated after our Drama in Genoa, for those that remember the train fiasco.  This time I proved him right because I realized I had forgot my yoga mat back about 95% of the way to the ferry terminal. He is the best and jogged all the way back to retrieve it which proved to be unsuccessful as the host had already locked up the flat and left.  It was around this time that he was gone that Jess and I realized there was no ferry heading to Hvar anytime soon.  When Peter returned he put two and two together and figured out it was the return ferry to Split that was early and the ferry to Hvar wouldn’t leave for another 4 hours. He juggles a ton. Working, putting all our travel logistics together and trying to figure out what I’m doing half the time. Through all that, this was one of the first times he mixed up the schedule. He took full responsibility, was apologetic and we quickly settled into the idea of seeing more of Split.

We stored our luggage.  Had some coffee.  Jess shopped for family and friends.  Peter coordinated with the host to pick-up the yoga mat and walked all the way back to the flat for the second time.  He is the absolute best. The time went by rather quickly.  We got to our ferry and had an easy trip to the Island of Hvar.

On the boat there was some important instructions on the back of the seats.  We had a laugh about the #1 safety rule.  What do you think they are talking about? Warm clothes and drugs? Its made even more funny by the fact that its the only instruction written in full capital letters: DON’T FORGET.



Sidenote: Present time is four months later.  I know, I know.  I am way behind.  But just yesterday I posted a picture from our trip to Jess’s FaceBook letting her know I was thinking about her and wondering when this baby is coming.  A few hours later I received a cryptic email from her mom, Donna.  ”I think your positive vibes are working…more later”  Since then radio silence so I think a baby is on the way! Talk about being in touch with my friend.  Pretty awesome.
















Up next the beautiful island of Hvar.

Thanks so much for being a part of our travels! You know what I especially love? Your comments.

J Fotheringham

  • Peter

    I basically just assumed that your wish came true after all the French Fries consumed in Croatia and Egypt.

  • Rosemary Hodges

    Wow, that was really fun. And what a beautiful tribute to Jessica. Plus Peter is all the Adventure Heros rolled into one. And one more thing, I felt your grandmother looking over my shoulder and reading this blog along with me.