Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rome to Civitavecchia

This is from Monday - I had hoped to get internet in Portofino today, but no luck. Tomorrow we will be in Monte Carlo so I will post from today and add the photos and video to the past posts...

We awakened at 8:00 this morning after almost 11 hours of sleep. We were so tired. It took us a while to get going, but we did managed to get downstairs for breakfast by 9:30.

They had a beautiful terrace set up with a continental breakfast. They had everything from fresh pastries, yogurt, and even types of Italian meats. We have decided that the Europeans certainly know how to make bread and pastry. Our driver was coming to pick us up at 10:30, so we needed to eat and go check out. The hotel where we were staying was in quite an old building. In fact it had the oldest elevator in Rome, which still works to this day. It is over 100 years old and was like one you’ve seen in an old movie. I wish I’d had time to take a picture, but as we came out our driver was waiting for us. I don’t think she was prepared for the large suitcases, but we managed. She was native to Roma and a fantastic driver. Traffic was still bad this morning, but she maneuvered it like a pro. Since she knew it was our first time in Rome, she took us by the Spanish Steps, and best of all, Vatican City.

It was more than we could have imagined. They also have their own version of a pine tree, which they call an umbrella pine. Evidently this is the tree that produces the pine nuts that they use in pesto. It was an informative trip. She also helped me with our Italian. The drive out was a little longer than we’d though, about 1 ½ hours, but a very pleasant trip. No more trains for Mom, only a private car and driver will do! The port is quite large and had a number of freighters, barges, and other cruise liners docked. She dropped us off right at the embarkation location, so our luggage was whisked off and we were immediately checked in. We had to go through a couple of phases of security, but were on board within minutes. They had a wonderful lunch set up in the Terrace Café. We had an array of items from salad to pizza to gelato. We sat around and watched the water for a while then decided to check out the sun deck. It was the perfect temperature. We decided to sit and relax on one of the lounges. We stayed there sunning ourselves for 1 ½, in which time I managed to get some sun, enough sun for my watch to leave a mark! I am glad we have not signed up for many excursion as I think you will find both of us spending some time out on the sun deck. Plus, we will be able to go into town on our own schedule, for as long as we wish. We went by the fitness center as I feel like I need to work on that after all of these desserts! I think it may be nicer than the one on the QM2. From there we went to the spa to explore and they had mimosa’s for us to enjoy. After the tour, it was time to go to our stateroom.

We have a lovely room with twin beds and an amazing balcony and view. This ship is much smaller, but equally as nice as the QM2. Our luggage was even already here. We had champagne and treats in our room and all sorts of information. I decided to go exploring and left Mom to shut her eyes for a few. I was able to make some dinner reservations at the “special” restaurants, sign up for wifi (very expensive on here and not great), and get tokens so that we can do a little laundry – the glamour of it all! There was a destination briefing for upcoming ports of call at 16:00. I returned to the room, having just missed our butler. Mom had a nice chat with him, his name is Bogdan, but he said just call him “Boogie”. OK. He said that he could have taken care of all of those items for me. Oh well. Next it was the muster drill. We had to go to Deck 5 (we are on 8), and go to the grand dining room with our lifejackets on. Then it was out to the actual lifeboats – made it pretty real. We made it back to the room and it was only a short time before dinner, and once again, I was actually hungry. We decided to go on up at 18:30 since we still needed to unpack. We were seated at a wonderful table by a window with a perfect view. Seated next to us shortly thereafter was a woman travelling by herself. Margaret is from Hawaii and had planned to come on this trip with her sister. Unfortunately her sister had a knee replacement followed by blood clots in the lungs. For those of you who know my Mom, sounds all too familiar. Hard to believe we went through all of that only a year ago. Margaret decided to go on the trip anyway. She was such great company at dinner. And for the part everyone looks forward to…what did we eat tonight? Mom started with the steamed dumplings with light sauce followed by cauliflower soup and I had the goat cheese and apple tart tatine followed by beef consume. We both had the Boston bibb lettuce with Stilton cheese and walnuts and for the entrée Veal Medallions Oscar (crab meat and hollandaise), on top of polenta. It was wonderful. To end our meal we chose the chocolate tart with passion fruit ice cream along with some coffee and I had peppermint tea. By this point we had already left the dock with very little fanfare. The three of us went out and listened to the sounds of the onboard quartet. They played until about 21:15, and it was time to go back and unpack. The unpacking went well. I went up to the library to post what I could of my blog came back and unpacked myself. We had planned on doing a little laundry, but we missed out on the hours of the launderette. We are all showered and ready for tomorrow! We have already ordered our breakfast which is being delivered at 9:00. They have a mile run at 7:30 am, we’ll see if I make that one. Any doubters? I think the plan for tomorrow is to take it easy, work on a tan, and go in to Portofino on our own. Didn’t realize how late it had gotten, now 12:30 and time to go to sleep.

1 comment:

S Knell said...

Sounds like the fun continues! It is great to get these updates...When I'm on the computer reading this, I tell David, (TRUDY.....I'm talking about MY David)that I'm going to "run over to Europe" for a few minutes..be right back!!!
Thank you so much for sharing everything with us here at home!

Love you both!