Learning to Jump

I have officially decided on a name for my horse. Actually I decided about three weeks ago, but I’ve been a bit behind on the blog.

Ozymandias.

His nickname will be Ozzy. I’ll go into detail about my inspiration for this name in another post. Right now I want to give you guys a quick update on my baby’s progress.

He is doing phenomenal! I’ve attached a video of him learning how to jump. He is getting the hang of it and now consistently jumping small cross rails. I do not plan on jumping him often or increasing the height any time soon as he is still young. You may notice the first time over the cross rail in the video he merely canters over it, but the second time around he really jumps. I apologize as the video is a bit small. I recommend making it full screen.

Newport Polo and The Great Gatsby

On August 4th the Scottish polo team came to Newport, RI to take part in the international polo series. Hundreds of people came out to the polo grounds at Glen Farm to watch the game.

With my friend Helena’s work benefits, we were granted access to the VIP pavilion. A gorgeous spread of food, shrimp cocktail, grilled vegetable and meats, awaited us as well as a generous selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. Unaware of the food and cocktails, we brought boxed lunches from Fatilli’s, a cafe nearby. Before the game even began, we worked our way through most of our sandwiches, pasta salad, and were onto our delicious fresh baked cookies.

Scotland won! The crowd went wild! Scotland is always a favorite. The players ran their lap around the field, giving high fives, and retired the horses to the paddocks. The immense crowds made their way onto the green field with their frisbees and footballs, tossing them around until the sun went down and the Lobster Bake began. My friends and I spent the next 25 minutes watching people sit down with plates of massive, meaty lobster. With no tickets to the bake, we schemed and plotted to determine the best course of action for free lobster only to decide it wasn’t worth it and we’d get more food in Newport.

After a quick change in Helena’s apartment, basically me changing out of my silk top to a beach cover up that is completely backless, we headed over to Malt. Malt is a new restaurant and bar in Newport discovered by Helena. We sipped on Mint Juleps and ate duck spring rolls. Heavenly.

Needing even more food, Minxy offered to treat us to a pizza at The Fifth Element, a bar across the street that was the venue for the band we planned on seeing. The chosen pizza was a special with smoked salmon, crust baked with red chili flakes, arugula, and some deliciously spicy cheese.

The band opened up around ten and was wonderful!! The Little Kitten headed back to the apartment early as she had a WILD time the previous night, and Minxy soon followed her after a few songs. Helena and I were left dancing to fun folk/blues music until the band closed up. We met some charming tall, blonde and handsome sailors visiting for a few days and danced the night away with them.

The next morning we went to a showing of The Great Gatsby, the 1974 version with Robert Redford, and a tour of Rosecliff where some scenes were filmed.

Yet another wonderful weekend in Newport.

Orvieto, Italia

July 28, 2012

Our last full day in Italy, the bus took us from Assisi to Orvieto for a few hour stop for some exploring and lunch before landing in Rome for a final dinner and goodbye. Today was also the hottest day reaching up into the high 90s with a sun that baked you alive if you lingered from the shade too long.

All of the old Tuscany and Umbria cities are situated on hills, easier to defend. Orvieto takes that to an extreme. It is on the top of a hill so high and so steep we were required to take a funicular,  or cable car, to the top. And from that funicular, a bus to take us even high to the Piazza del Duomo where the gorgeous gothic cathedral and San Brizio Chapel stand for all those daring enough to try the steep climb.

From the cathedral we made our way through the city to a restaurant for a lunch of wild boar and carbonara pasta. Absolutely delicious! Being a bit worn out from the traveling and the heat, we took our time wandering the back streets of Orvieto, exploring the more residential areas. Jasmine plants grew 9 feet tall, wrapping themselves around gutters and clinging to the stone of buildings.

Our last dinner in Rome was one of the best. Delicious food with incredible music and endless wine. Arrivederci!

Assisi, Italia

July 27, 2012

From Ravenna we drove through Umbria to the hilltop town of Assisi, well known for Saint Francis of Assisi, St. Clare’s Church and St. Francis’ Basilica. The bus left us as the base of the walled city and we made our way up the steep streets, past the basilica, to our hotel, a nunnery turned inn with rooms designed for a life of poverty. However, no complaints as the hotel was perfectly situated in the center of the city with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

After a few minutes to freshen, we met up with a local guide who took us to the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi. The basilica is actually two churches, a lower and an upper with a crypt in the very bowels of the basilica. The lower church is darker, with a lower ribbed ceiling covered in frescoes while the upper church has a high ceiling, more frescoes and an exorbitant amount of natural light.

File:Assisi Altare Basilica inferiore.jpg

Basilica of St. Francis – Lower church via Wikipedia

File:Assisis Basilica superiore.jpg

Basilica of St. Francis – Upper church via Wikipedia

We followed our guide through the streets of the historic city to St. Clare’s Church. Along the way shops selling St. Francis wares, blessed items, Pinocchio dolls, and jewelry caught my eye. The streets were crowded with tourists, nuns and monks, and pilgrims.

Arriving at the Church of St. Clare, the church was quite lovely, but the miracle of this building is the crypt which is home to the body of Saint Clare. She was apparently found untouched by decay. They encased her in wood and wax and placed her on display. Until I see her body and touch her flesh, the miracle is complete bogus in my eyes, but interesting nonetheless.

We headed back to the hotel for a delicious meal for our tour group. More fantastic pasta dishes! After dinner my family and a few other people from our tour made our way up to the rooftop terrace of our hotel for some spectacular views and delicious wine. We remained until the sky grew dark and sleep drew us to our beds.