Saturday, February 27, 2010

84 more days...

We do it all for you:
FAN APPRECIATION!

  


Let's hear it for (or more accurately FROM) the fans of our blog,
OPERATION: Poisson Rouge!


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Aunty E, Bound Brook, NJ:

My dear and sweet Aunt Eleanor, and her husband Uncle Bob (that's what I call them) wrote in to the blog this week with some great insight, which I quote:   


  • I told you I don't know how to cut in to the web
  • First, good humor Mike. I am glad that it was clean====== so far (editor: That means that the dirty stuff is going over her head, as it should be.  She is a very pure woman.)
  • Janet I want to enter the Euro contest. My entry is 0.71289. If I win can I come on the cruise???
  • Are all those countries hooked into your Web site? I want a post card to # 3.
  • There has got to be an easier way!
  • Andy You make a good pack rat.  Almost like your sister with her 169 E Mails to answer. It would go faster if I could see.
  • Jan, Mo, Karen, how did the shopping go and did you win big bucks to spend in Europe
  • Mike and Mo, I did not know you were already proficient in sailing. and power sailing. Mo was that YOU. Michael, I recognized you and your look alike. What was his name, the grouper? 
  • Cyn, I do know what arugula is but what is tal===*I don't want to break off to go back to the blog for the spelling.
  • The recipe looked good but how on earth do you get a steak to stand on end???  (editor - You have to cook it at either the equator, or at one of the poles...  I forget which one.)
  • I would print the recipe out but then I would get the whole blog and my printer would go belly up. It really did sound like a meal I could make except for standing the steak on end. Otherwise it sounded good and workable.
She signed off with:
  • "Aunt Eleanor ( and even if he does not work the computer) Uncle Bob.  Oh and Andy for you and Jan it is Eleanor and Bob"

You have to love her.  (No really, it's in the rule book.  If she is your aunt, you have to love her...)

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MJSFCarolineNLOVE, (location unknown)

Of all of the videos that I have ever posted, the most popular has been OPERATION: Poisson Rouge - TITANIC Drawing Scene, which has 5,961 views as I write this (which is more than TWICE as may as our blog has!).  There was only one comment left for the video which reads:

MJSFCarolineNLOVE: All was very good, but the end was stupid!...




Now, if each of you goes and views that video right now, and gives it a 5-star rating, there is no telling how high this could climb!

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Thanks all for this week.  Be sure to click on our sponsor:




Friday, February 26, 2010

85 more days...

Cruising with Cyn
Collection of useless information circuitous to the OPERATION: Poisson Rouge Adventure.

This 6 week installment of Cruising with Cyn, we will be exploring local cuisine from the regions we will be visiting. Ken and I will be preparing a traditional meal from Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Florence, Nice and Toulon. We will be posting the receipe and our review.


Herb-Rubbed Steaks with Olives Provencal
Ingredients
4 6-ounce beef tenderloin steaks (each about 1 inch thick)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 bay leaves (2 finely crushed, 1 whole)
1/2 cup brine-cured olives (such as Kalamata)
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons canned tomato puree


Instructions
• Rub tenderloin steaks with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with crushed bay leaves.
• Place steaks in small glass baking dish in single layer; let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
• Bring small saucepan of water to boil over medium-high heat. Add olives and return water to boil. Drain olives.
• Scrape most of bay leaves off steaks; sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks and saut√© to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plate.
• Add white wine to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add tomato puree, whole bay leaf, and drained olives to skillet.
• Cook until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Return steaks and any accumulated juices to skillet; turn to coat. Cook steaks until just heated through, turning once, about 2 minutes.
• Transfer steaks to platter. Discard bay leaf. Spoon sauce and olives over steaks and serve.

Bon Appetit! Now that we are all stuffed to the gills next week we should take in a movie.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

86 more days...

Rome
According to legend, the city of Rome was founded by twins, Romulus and Remus. Their father was Mars, the god of war, and their mother was a Latin princess. The twins were abandoned on the banks of the Tiber River.  A female wolf found the twins and fed them her own milk. Finally some shepherds rescued the twins and raised them as their own children. After growing up, the boys decided to build a city in the place where they had been born. Each brother decided to rule one part of the city. They each chose a hill from which to rule the new city.  One day Romulus and Remus got into a terrible fight. Remus was angry because his brother got a larger part of the city to rule. Romulus killed Remus in this quarrel. This left Romulus's hilltop, called Palatine, the center of the new city. The city was named Rome after Romulus.


The city of Rome is a 90 minute drive from our second port of Civitavecchia.  Free shuttle buses from the ship to the entrance of the port are available (be sure to note which dock number you are at for the return shuttle to the ship).  Free shuttle buses from the entrance of the port to the train station are also available.  Or you could take in the local sights during your 10 minute/4 block walk to the train station. 
The train ride into Rome is about 75 minutes if you get off at Termini (near the Coliseum) or 45 minutes if you get off at S. Pietro (near St. Peter's and Vatican City).

For 9 Euros you can purchase a BIRG ticket (Biglietto Integrato Regionale Giornaliero).  A BIRG ticket is a regional day pass -- round trip transportation to Rome on a regional train ('R' designated trains) on the Trenitalia train system, and unlimited bus and metro in Rome.

At Metro Stations there are ticket barriers where you have to insert your ticket to enter the Metro System -- this is monitoring to see if your ticket is valid for you to enter the system.  (This is different than validating your ticket.) Turnstyles are for exiting the Metro. 


Be sure to write your name and birthdate on the back of your ticket.  Remember to validate your ticket prior to getting on the train in Civitavecchia. You only need to validate your ticket once, at the start of your travels. It is good until midnight.   Here is a ticket validation box:

Ticket Inspectors will charge a hefty fine for those caught with a unvalidated ticket (51 Euros which tourists will have to pay on the spot and they don't mind following you to the closest ATM.). Inspectors check trains, metro, and buses.  (Not a good way to remember your day in Rome.) 

Some Helpful Italian Words
due = two
Biglietto = ticket 
Binario = Track or platform (very important, abbreviated 'bin')
Partenze = departure
Orario = scheduled time of departure
Ora.Eff = projected time of departure (the train is running late if you see this)
Prossimo Fermata = next stop
Uscita = exit
Latto Destro = right
Latto Siniotro = left
Libero? = free? (as in 'is this seat free?')
Occupato? = taken? (as in 'is this seat occupied?')
Per Favore = please
Grazie = thank you
Buongiorno - Good day
Buonasera - Good evening/afternoon - it is customary to use one of these greetings when entering small shops
Arrivederci - Goodbye
Scusi - Excuse me
Parla inglese? - Do you speak English?
Non parlo italiano - I don't speak Italian

and the ever important:
Dov'è il bagno? - Where's the bathroom

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SPECIAL REPORT

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

CINDY!!!

WE LOVE YOU!!!

87 more days...

What to wear on a cruise...what to pack...what to bring...

DECISIONS....DECISIONS!!!!

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So I'm making my lists on what to wear and bring on the cruise. I've even set aside a portion of my closet where I have begun to put together my "cruise collection". There are bathing suits and evening clothes and touring outfits, shoes and pajamas...just to name a few of the items. I also have an assortment of toiletry items and accessories, must have essentials, reading material and creature comforts....and yet I feel as though I've just begun to gather the necessary stuff I'll need on our home away from home on Voyager of the Seas....I'm beginning to panic!.....is this happening to you?





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Only 87 more days!!!....Aaahhhh!!!!

Cruise along and enjoy!.....^_~

Karen

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

88 more days...

And now, for a little...
Cruise Humor!


The passengers aboard Voyager of the Seas saw a bearded man on a small island shouting and desperately waving his hands. "Who is it?", one passenger asks the captain. The cruise ship captain replied, "I've no idea. But every year when we pass, he goes nuts."



A musician who joined an orchestra on a Voyager of the Seas was having difficulty keeping time with the rest of the band. Finally, the captain said, "Either you learn to keep time or I'll throw you overboard. . . . It's up to you, sync or swim."


A panhandler was caught trying to sneak aboard Voyager of the Seas as it was about to embark on a three-day trip to the Mediterranean.  He was caught by the Purser who threw him off the ship telling him, ... Beggars can't be cruisers.


88 more days!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

89 more days...

The Finance Report:
Slowing down...

The $US continued its ascent but at a slightly slower rate.  Nana's bid remains closest to the actual exchange rate (0.73 vs 0.7397 euro / $US), but the race between Nana and Mo just got a little more interesting.  This could be a nail-biter, folks! 



CONTEST UPDATE:
Nana is still in the lead!

The winner of our contest (Grand Prize = 1 euro!) will be the one with the closest guess on May 21st, 2010. 
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THE WEB REPORT:
50 Countries!

20 years ago, to think that you could cobble up some silly thoughts, hang them up for anyone to look at, and end up with thousands of visitors from 50 countries...  It was inconceivable.  Even 10 years ago.  Look at us now.  I think that we made a mark.


free counters

What must they think?
We can only wonder, unless of course they take the time to write and request a free postcard!

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FREE Postcards!
What a segway...  Our offer remains open to anyone in the world who wants to receive a FREE postcard from the cast of Operation: Poisson Rouge during our European adventure.  Please click on the 'contact me' button below, and make your request.  There are 4 more postcards requests available, each to be filled free of charge!

Postcard #2 - #5: Still available

(Offer void to family, friends, and friends of family and friends...)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

90 more days...



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Today is the annual shopping/gambling trip with the girls!

We will be shopping 'til we drop
at Franklin Mills Mall.

Mo, Nana and I will be shopping for cruise wear
and other bargains.

We will then proceed to PARX for some slot playing.

Unfortunately, Cindy will not be joining us this year
as she is still recovering from her surgery
and getting stronger for the cruise in May.
We miss you Cy
n...get well soon!!!

Lauren will be joining us this year
as she is now officially legal to gamble!

Nana will be sure to give Lauren a few tips
on proper slot machine operation.



Pop-Pop is the designated chauffeur and bag carrier

THANKS POP-POP!

90 more (shopping) days!!!



Cruise along and enjoy!.....^_~

Karen