La Dolce Vita!

colosseum

No Wine Wednesday today. Instead, in anticipation of all the lovely Italian wines we’ll be drinking on our upcoming holiday, I give you a preview of our next vacation. For those of you who don’t know, this time next week, we’ll be getting lost on the streets of Rome while trying to fight the jet lag that usually accompanies those of us who rarely manage to get any sleep on planes!

We found out a while ago that the Husband was going to have to do a little traveling for work, and that that travel would include the port of Naples, Italy. As the trip started to firm up, I totally invited myself along, ha! And since this year is our 10th (!!!) anniversary, we decided to make a real trip out of it and add a few extra days in Rome to sight-see and enjoy the romance of bella Italia. Since we only got his finalized travel dates about a month ago, I am nowhere near as prepared as I feel like I should be for international travel. The other trips we’ve taken have been the results of months of planning, however this one has been set up pretty much on the fly. But I am excited! Nevermind, that I haven’t entirely figured out enough of the language to ensure I’m eating great food and not totally getting ripped off— hey, there’s still a week— at least everything else seems to be falling into place. Plane tickets have been bought. Hotels are booked. Tours have been planned. Yay!

So, for those interested, here’s a brief look at our itinerary for the trip:

June 20th- arrive in Rome. We’ll be keeping it light after the red-eye flight with a visit to a museum (Capitoline?) and perhaps a church (Santa Pressede?)

June 21st- A day in ancient Rome with visits to the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Palatine Hill.

June 22nd- Visiting the catacombs of the Via Appia and the Baths of Caracalla

June 23rd- A day trip out of town to Tivoli. The plan is to visit Hadrian’s Villa. And a nighttime stroll by the Trevi Fountain.

June 24th- Travel to Naples. This will be first time I’ve ever been on a “fast” train. The plan after arrival is to hit up the Archaeological Museum with its collection of antiquities from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

June 25th through June 29th- The Husband will be working, so I’ll be exploring a few churches and the city on my own.

June 30th- The Husband may have to work, but I’m hoping he doesn’t so we can get away for a short day trip to the Amalfi Coast.

July 1st- Visiting Herculaneum and Pompeii.

July 2nd- Returning to Rome via the train. We plan to visit the Pantheon in the afternoon, along with the Spanish Steps, and the Cappuchin Crypt.

July 3rd- Vatican Day! Even for a reformed Catholic like myself, this is exciting. We have early morning tickets to the museums and an afternoon tour to St. Peter’s crypt.

July 4th- Time to come home. I’m sure we’ll be exhausted, but it’s always nice to get home after a vacation. Plus– it’s the husband’s birthday! So we’ll get back to our town just in time for dinner and fireworks. Then it’ll be an early bedtime, I’m sure!

There are a few other museums and churches that are on the “if we have time to see them” list, so we’ll play it by ear. After our return, I’ll probably have lots of trip reports and pictures to share. So I’ll apologize in advance for all of those posts, ha!

Fun Finds Friday!

Ok, so I’ve needed to post about this product since my birthday. And that was only what? 6 months ago?! Nothing like a little procrastination in my life…

This is the Kuhn Rikon Spill Stopper. Now, I’ve raved about the Kuhn Rikon knives before, and if you haven’t gotten any of those yet, you simply must get some soon! And add this little guy to your shopping list while you’re at it. The Spill Stopper comes in two sizes for different-sized pots and in multiple colors. It’s very easy to use: simply place it over a pot of boiling water, like you would a lid, and watch it work it’s magic. We’ve all had those starchy spillovers while making potatoes or pasta on the stovetop, but these prevent the pot from ever boiling over. The stopper collects the foam and keeps it from seeping down the sides of the pot. It’s genius I tell you!! (At least for people like me who are notorious for overfilling their pots of boiling water.) Just remember to use potholders when removing it after whatever you are boiling has finished cooking. These guys do get hot! They are made of silicone and dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Here’s a (horrible) pic of one of mine in action-

kuhn rikon spill stopperThe small stopovers retail for $25 and the large ones are $30. They are available from Sur La Table, Amazon.com, and the Food Network store. These would make a great gift for the chef in your life who needs a fun new “gadget.”

Happy Friday!