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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back from vacation-Happy Father's Day

We are back from vacation, right on time for Father’s Day. Today, we celebrate and remember our Dads. My daughter and her children will come for dinner to wish my husband Happy Father's Day. My father is not around any more but I will pray for him and thank him for making me who I am, with love, example and support.

My husband and I had a wonderful vacation that took us literally out of our daily routine. We flew to Italy and spent a day in Rome, touring the city and admiring the monuments from the open-top tourist bus: the famous St. Peter's Plaza with a mile long line to enter the cathedral; the very crowded Fountain of Trevis where I didn't throw a penny but ate the best cassata siciliana, an ice cream to die for; the Plaza di Spania, with a thousand steps to go up to a church and the best view of Rome at our feet; the Bocca della Verita that reminded me of the movie Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Churches and monuments greeted us at every corner of Rome.The next day we drove to and boarded the ship we were going to call home for the next ten days.

There is a certain elation in boarding a ship. As you walk the gangway, you purposely throw away stress and trouble and get ready to discover a new world. To start, an officer gave us a plastic card, our passe-partout to open our room, buy drink, sign in and out when going ashore. For ten days we wouldn't need money on the vessel, no dollars, no euros or any other currencies. Relax, show you card, and voila. You will pay later, once the vacation is over and you are on your way out. That's when you will brace yourself, hand your credit card and remember that everything comes at a price, even good vacation.
We met our table companions in the dining room, three couples from Texas, California and England, and introduced ourselves with first names only. Who cared about last names as we daily exchanged notes and fun stories about morning ashore excursions, over delicious and complicated meals, and then rushed to reserve the best seats for the night show.First stop Portofino, a small town slopping over a green mountain down to the Mediterranean Sea, many castles, and an incredible scenery as we sailed to the neighboring Santa Margarita, another lovely medieval town.

Second stop, Monaco, home of Princess Grace. We visited her grave, always covered with flowers, in the cathedral, then toured the palace, casino, and winding narrow streets of the capital, Monte Carlo. We watched the change of the guard, a mini reproduction of the British show at Buchingham Palace and we had the unique experience to witness a fire in the plalace. Yes, a real fire with smoke, police screamimg, and fire trucks that came fifteen minutes later after the fire was doused. See pictures.

I will tell you more about my cruise tomorrow. Today, in addition to celebrating Father’s Day, I remember that my romantic suspense, FRENCH PERIL, will be released this coming Thursday. To celebrate my second book, I’m running a second contest. Just leave a comment on my blog.

Prizes: an onyx ring, adjustable to any finger, from Corfu, Greece. A golden bracelet coated with blue and green enamel from Corsica and a ladybug brooch with red and white rhinestones from Venice, Italy. I will post pictures tomoroow. I am still trying to recover from Jet lag and post- vacation blues.

Here is the blurb of FRENCH PERIL:
What could be more exciting for a young American architect than to live in a French chateau owned by a young count and to work on the restoration of a chapel in the Loire Valley?But when her professor is poisoned because he knew too much about a missing statue, Cheryl's summer job changes into a dangerous treasure hunt and Count François is faced with a difficult choice:Are the statue and his chateau worth endangering the life of the impetuous young woman who's turned his life upside down?

19 comments:

Vicky B said...

Wow, what an incredible trip you must have had. I can't wait to read more about the cruise tomorrow. Welcome back and congratulations on the new release (to be).

Vicky B.

pearl said...

Welcome back! Your trip sounds absolutely wonderful. How fortunate to have experienced this beautiful area.

ellie said...

This cruise and delightful sites certainly have me envying you. My favorite area of the world with so much culture, history and beauty. Loved hearing all about this special time.

anne said...

I am fascinated with this trip and the cruise that visited such interesting locations. What a dream come true. Congratulations on the release.

Regina Carlysle said...

Wow, Mona! What a trip! This sounds like something I'd like to do and the pics are WONDERFUL. I'm sure you'll have mountains of laundry to tackle along with the sense of unreality that hits after a fabulous vacation.

So glad you're home safe and sound, though and just in time for your big RELEASE DAY, too. Big day coming up. Congrats a little early.

Georgie said...

The cruise sounds great. I love cruising and I want to do a European one. Congrats on your new release.

ruth said...

I enjoyed your photos which interest me greatly. I would love to go on a Mediterranean cruise. Congrats on the new release and great to see you back home.

diane said...

What a memorable trip! Pure heaven and so much to see. Congratulations on your new release and enjoy every minute of this great fun.

kimmyl said...

Glad you're back Mona. Hope you had a great and exciting time on your trip. Congrats on your new release.

alissa said...

Impressive trip and what a great cruise. What a romantic and lovely trip. Great memories. Congrats on the new release.

Jean said...

What an exciting trip you must have had. I can't wait to read more about the cruise

Mona Risk said...

Thank you all for your posts. It was a good vacation that gave me the opportunity to forget about working and writing without feeling guilty. My husband and I were chatting and laughing together, just like good old days, instead of each sitting on a computer, our life of lately.

Mona Risk said...
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Helen Scott Taylor said...

Welcome home from your trip. Sounds as though you had a fabulous time. Great photos. I'm so pleased to hear you relaxed and enjoyed the break.

Another lovely cover for your romantic suspense French Peril. I'm lucky enough to have read this book already and can recommend this story to all lovers of RS. This combines a wonderful love story with an exciting tale of murder and intrigue surrounding a religious artifact.

petite said...

Your photos are extremely enticing and what a great trip. Best place for a cruise. Your new release looks absolutely incredible. Congrats.

Mona Risk said...

Hello Helen, imagine we had a British couple at our dinner table. They were doing their 27th cruise!!! Very nice old couple in their eighties and so active. He jogged two miles on the ship track every day. I asked him if he had a daughter or granddaughter named Helen Taylor, because he looks so much like you. Same features. Amazing.

Mona Risk said...

I'm glad you like the pictures, petite. I'll post more tonight.

Molly Daniels said...

Welcome home:) Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and the pics are fantastic!

robynl said...

Oh, I like the turmoil he's put in and the decisions he has to make; bring the book on.