Living Life in the Moment

Living Life in the Moment

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mediterranean Cruise Day 1: Departing Civitavecchia

Welcome to the Mediterranean Cruise Series! As long as the ship's satellite is operational, I intend to post daily throughout the next twelve days. After several fantastic days in Rome, yesterday we began our twelve day cruise throughout the Mediterranean. Our ship, the Pacific Princess departed Civitavecchia, Italy at 6:00 PM local time with a full schedule of ports: Portofino (Italy), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Corsica (France), Sorrento (Italy), Capri (Italy), Messina (Sicily), Valletta (Sicily), Corfu (Greece), Kotor (Montenegro), Split (Croatia), Ravenna (Italy) and Venice (Italy). See map below:
I'm excited about the cruise and hope you can join me and the family as we sail through the Mediterranean! Welcome Cruise Critic members. Finally, I know there are a number of visitors who are friends or relatives of our family, so a special WELCOME to you all!
-Rick Rockhill

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rick's Roadshow: Rome, Italy- Wrap Up

Welcome to the last installment of Rick's Roadshow: Rome, Italy- Wrap Up. Today we left on the cruise, so tomorrow starts the new cruise blog! I hope you can follow us through the Mediterranean. We spent our last day in Rome at The Vatican today. We had a private tour, apart from all the tourists and crowds, which was much more civilized I must admit. I took more photos than I could resize and upload before we left the city for the ship's Embarkation. I'll try to add more of them tomorrow, but here are a few just to show the spendor!

above: entrance into the Vatican Museum

above: one of the many beautiful ceilings in the Vatican

Sidewalk Cafes of Rome
One of the things I especially enjoy about Rome is the wide selection of restaurants. Both John and I enjoy fine dining, and I love Italian food, so Rome is the perfect place for me! In Rome, it seems no matter where you go, you can find a sidewalk cafe or restaurant. Sometimes enclosed, and other times just tables on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, dining al fresco is a way of life in Italy.

above: two sidewalk cafes I saw as we walked to the restaurant where we had reservations. they all look so nice and cozy.
Dinner at Via Veneto, Rome
above: The family assembles for dinner on Sunday night. These two photos were taken from either end of the table, to be sure everyone was in the photo.

above left: Ah, much better, some vino rosso in the glasses at last! above right: the china at Via Veneto was exquisite!

above left: An amazing Caprese Salad, with vine-ripened tomatoes, FRESH buffalo mozzarella and basil olive oil. above right: a starter course of fresh Fettuccine Bolognese...it was the best I've had in Rome yet!

above left: Fresh Mediterranean Sea Bass, and above right: a petite cut of Pistachio-Encrusted Beef Filet. Molto Delicioso!
Well that's all for this mini series of Rick's Roadshow. Next, look for the new Mediterranean Cruise Blog series. We set sail today from Civitavecchia!
Thanks for stopping by.
-Signore Ricardo Rockhill

Rick's Roadshow: Rome, Italy- Day 4

Welcome to Rick's Roadshow: Rome, Italy- Day 4. It was another full day of touring the city, although for this day we hired a private driver to take us all around, with any tour tickets already purchased ahead of time, which saved us time in lines dealing with the crowds of unwashed tourists. We started out quite early, wanting to see as much as possible. We were quite fortunate to have another day of perfect weather, abundant sunshine and no humidity. I'm going to use "creative blogger license" and re-order the photos the way I want to tell he story of yesterday's sight-seeing, so for any family reading this, forgive me for changing the order of what you may recall from the day! Let's start off with our trip to the Trevi Fountain, a prefect example of Baroque architecture in Rome. CLICK ON THE SMALLER PHOTOS TO BIGGIFY THEM!

above: The Trevi Fountain is so incredibly beautiful, with such exquisite detail. The water is natural spring waters from deep below Rome, and is drinkable.
above: a close up of the magnificent Trevi Fountain.
above: Within the Trevi Piazza was the building, I looked up and saw a lovely rooftop garden. click on the photo and check it out. What a great place to drink wine and relax.

above: We stopped by The Pantheon again today, and went inside. Which Angel photo do you prefer?? (er. that was a rhetorical question...)

above: The Pantheon is used today by the RC church, but of course it was originally built at a pagan temple.


above left: the dome ceiling in the Pantheon. Ancient Romans kept a flame burning in the Pantheon for the Gods; the hold in the middle was ventilation. Above right: walking out of the Pantheon, I took this photo looking out onto the Piazza.

above: At the Pantheon Piazza is this lovely building with a fresco of the Virgin Mary. Above right: In the center of the piazza is this obelisk statue. I liked the horse standing in front of it!

above left: the view of the buildings around the Pantheon Piazza.

above: The Palazzo of the (former) King of Italy, long since deposed and exiled

above: Palatine Hill, where several Emperor's had their Palazzos. The open area is the Circus Maximus, where the early Romans held Chariot races and Olympic events. There used to be stadium seating for 300,000 people that surrounded the area, but was destroyed many centuries ago.

above: The office of the Mayor of Rome. This photo above right is a close up of the statue in the center of the photo above left.

above: Giant sculpture in front of the Piazza at the Mayor's office.

above: These are great examples of the detail work on walls and columns in and around Rome.
The Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre )
A highlight of the day was visiting The Colosseum, a iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. Construction began in 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD, it was originally named the Flavian Amphitheatre, and held 50,000 spectators. Admission was free, the owners made money from food and beverages sold during Gladiator performances, among other shows. Amazingly it was used as a theatre for over 500 years, but in the Medieval era it was re purposed for a variety of uses, including residences for religious clergy. Part of the structure gave way to Earthquakes, but today stands as a major tourist attraction.

above: images of the Arc of Constantine, at the entrance to the Colosseum. It is quite beautiful with all kinds of imagery around all sides.

above: the original structure had a series of underground rooms for an entrance and exit system for performers.

above: the structure had facings of travertine marble and other fine materials back in its heyday.

above: With cousin Peg, enjoying the morning in the Colosseum.

above: Images of Capital Hill ruins, it is amazing to think Ancient Romans lived and walked here.
above: some sights in Rome are expected, like this one statue to the left. But this pagan temple on the right seemed so old and out of place among more modern structures in the area.
above left: The Bellini Piazza fountain. Above right: I just liked this photo of palm trees and greenery of Rome.
above: We had lunch at a restaurant on the Appian Way called "Hostaria Antica Roma". I t was built during the Roman Empire and was used as a sepulchral (cemetary or mauseleum). If you look along the walls you may be able to see the individual niches where urns were placed with ashes of human remains. Back in 1724 excavations in the area found this structure and it was stripped of all its valuable components. after many uses, it was eventually turned into a restaurant back in 1982. Despite its morbid history, it is quite a pleasant place to relax over lunch and some wine.

above: what would lunch in Rome be like without some vino rosso? Well that's all for today's post. We're off to Vatican City, where I am sure "Il Papa" is waiting to receive "The Palm Springs Savant" in his private quarters. I'll let you know tomorrow how that goes! For those of you keeping track, this evening our cruise begins! This afternnon we head to Civitavecchia, where the Pacific Princess awaits our arrival!
-Signore Ricardo Rockhill

Disclaimers...

This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients or business colleagues.