Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

Well, it's a day off for us here in Canada. July 1, Canada Day. Many people took yesterday off as well and made it a 4-day weekend. Brad and I both worked. Today, I slept in till about 8:00 a.m. and then walked Kaiser and had breakfast (1/2 a grapefruit). I then biked my 21 km (I've put on almost 1600 km so far this year!) in the basement and I also swam for half an hour at noon. Not much planned for this afternoon, perhaps some reading/sunbathing on the deck. Looks it it is going to be sunny and hot here - for a change.

Here are a few more pics from Rome, which will wind up that portion of our trip (then it will be on to the villa!):

View of Rome looking toward the Vittorio Emanuele Monument taken from the area you climb up at the end of the Piazza del Populo.

Trevi Fountain

Shaun throwing is coins into Trevi Fountain. Tradition has it that if you stand with your back to the fountain and throw a coin from your right hand over your left shoulder into the fountain, you will one day return to Rome. Throw in two and you will return to Rome and fall in love, three coins and you will return to Rome, fall in love, and get married.... I think Shaun just threw in one!

The Pantheon (outside)

From inside the Pantheon. It's an amazing space and it boggles the mind that they were able to erect the building and the dome so many millenia ago - a feat that was not repeated for many centuries.

Just a building (a hotel I think) covered in beautiful vines.

Friday night drinks, but in much nicer locale than usual!

Our last supper on our terrace in Rome. And there's a story here. Brad and I went out shopping while the 2 other couples went sightseeing (Brad and I had been to Rome in 1996 and saw most of the important sites during that trip). In any case, we stopped at gourmet food shop, Franchi, and bought what we thought was enough cooked salmon for the two of us for lunch. The nice man cut it off the slab, and wrapped it up for us to take home. Then he gave us the slip for how much we owed....OMG... This rather small piece of salmon came to a whopping 39 euros! I didn't even blink (what we were going to do, say we didn't want it afterall??), but Brad sure did... In the end it turned out that there was enough of it to go around for supper for the 6 of us, and the others graciously agreed to chip in their share, even though we told them - repeatedly - that they didn't have to because it had been our own stupid mistake.... So, along with the costly salmon, we had green beans, potatoes, carrots, and a salad with shortbread cookies and other pasteries for dessert. At least the wine was cheep that night - some of the guys had found a gal at the market who sold wine wholesale (bring your own bottle and she filled it up) at the market across the street, and so most of the wine was one or two euros a bottle!

One last look at dusk of St. Peter's Dome from our balcony... Sigh... Rome is a very beautiful city.

PS: I wanted to add a small blurb about the main restaurant we dined at in Rome. It was called Palatium. I higly recommend it and we had an excellent meal there. It is about a 10 minute walk from the bottom of the Spanish Steps heading toward the Vittorio Emanuele Monument. Turn right onto via Frattina and it is about 5 minutes down the street at No. 94. It is a sleek and modern space with a good buzz and vibe. I am sure that we were the only non-locals in the place. The waitstaff are very friendly (one fellow translated almost the entire menu for us). Mary and I had a tomato and pepper-based pasta dish and some others had fish, I believe. Brad erred on the side of caution (with his delicate stomach), and ordered just the cheese plate, which was very good as well. The restauant specialized in wines and other products (honey, jams, etc.) from Lazio province, of which Rome is a part. We had a great wine with our meal and I bought a bottle to bring home. I will take a photo of the box they put it in and the wine itself in an upcoming post.

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