OUR ROMAN HOLIDAY

1 November 2015

I hadn't decided if I was going to Rome today when I went to sleep last night.  My body was bone weary and though I hated to think of missing the Eternal City, I also remembered how difficult it was to keep up with the group yesterday and knew today was listed as having "lots of walking."  I decided I'd see how I felt in the morning.

In the morning I was slightly nauseated, which might have been from the ship's movement, though it didn't seem that bad, though the wind was howling all night.  But when the first thing Walt said when he woke up was "I'm thinking of skipping Rome," I knew I would stay behind with him.  I think we both needed a day off and, in reality, though I would love to see Rome, it's not like I have never seen thousands of photos and films of it.  If we had to miss any city, this seems a good one to miss.

So this is how we spent our "day in Rome."

First, we watched everyone else board the line of buses for the hour+ ride to the Eternal City (and were secretly glad we were not with them)

We decided to take advantage of a fairly empty ship and check out the laundry facilities.

Char and I put our clothes into the machines and waited for them to be washed.

Then we decided to check out the top deck and maybe have a "little something."

(That's water I'm drinking.  Char has something else).  I finally saw the ship's "infinity pool."

The port of Civitavecchia was beautiful and the weather remains sunny, warm but not hot, and lovely.

A church off in the distance rang the noontime Angelus and we decided to have lunch.

Followed by gelato, of course.

After this strenuous morning it was time for our afternoon naps.  The sun was going down when I woke up.

We watched the crew greeting the travelers when they returned from their own Roman holiday (I noticed they all seem to be dragging!).

So all that was left was to go to dinner.  Linda and Bob had gone on the Rome tour and the first thing she said to me was "You can thank your lucky stars you didn't go today."  She wore a fit bit, so knew they had walked more than 5 miles, got left behind by the tour guide, and had no time to see anything at the Vatican (the only thing I really wanted to see).  So I am happy that we had our own Roman Holiday.

Dinner tonight was the second of our two "special, dress-up dinners."  This was at the Chef's Table and we lucked out.  It was a tasting menu and tonight was the last night of their 3 or 4-night Asian menu, a set menu which is going to need its own special section of this journal  Suffice to say, it was wonderful.  Check it out below.

Now we are headed off to sleep. The frustration is that we have no internet connection, so I don't know when this will be posted.

DINNER OF THE DAY

OK.  This dinner needs its own section.  It was a tasting menu, with each course coming with its own wine pairing (I forgot about my medication restrictions for this one dinner).  We started with an amuse buche of chilled King crab with coconut foam and curry.  It was served with Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, Domaine des Hautes Cottieres (some may be impressed by that but it's all "wine" to me!)  I see "foams" on cooking shows all the time but had never tasted it.  It was pretty tasty, except, being me, I suddenly realized that all my foam had gently floated off my spoon and down the front of my brand new fancy blouse,  Sigh.  This was followed by lobster and chicken shu mai, little dumplings served in lettuce cups in their own steamer basket.  Very tasty.  Served with Brise Marine, Rose, Estandon (again...wine).  Then we had a granita of lemon grass and chili with lychee foam.  Here is where I felt like a knowledgeable chef, because I always hear chef judges talk about layers of flavor and that hint of heat at the end.  That's what this was like.  Cool sherbet, but as you swallow, there was a touch of heat lingering on the back of your tongue (move over, Alex Guernacelli...I'm coming for your job).  The main course was Peking Duck with crispy skin (2 teeny, tiny pieces), wrapped in pancake (like a burrito) with a side pancake and hoisin sauce (to tell you the truth, I've had much better Peking Duck.)  This was paired with Grain d'Azur, Merlot, Mediterranee.  And to top it all off there was an "Asian Trilogy," 3 desserts:  green tea cheesecake, creme brulee, and a chocolate banana spring roll with a delicious sweet sesame sauce.  The creme brulee was the best and to tell you the truth, until just this minute when I was re-reading the menu, I didn't realize there was banana or chocolate in the spring roll!  But it was all very elegant, our wait staff was wonderful and I am stuffed and feeling decidedly out of my league!
 

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