Rome Revisited & Reflections

The Pantheon 2018

“When you see the Pantheon for the first time, your mind caves in.”Anthony Doerr

Late last night as the wind howled and rain deluged outside, I reluctantly finished a book I had been trying to slowly savor like a disappearing dazzling sunset. You know what I am talking about? A book, that is so good, has you so invested, that finishing it feels like the end of a special friendship.

The book, Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr, was a gift from a friend. You will find I have sprinkled through this post some of my Golden Lines from this memoir. Golden Lines is the practice of copying and writing favorite lines, parts or phrases from books you have read in a journal. It is one of my favorite traditions in our home. We first heard of it through classes we took through an online writing company called Bravewriter.

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The Effects of Traveling from a Young Age

The Effects of Traveling from a Young Age – as told by the voice of Rockonliving’s eldest daughter, Kayah (age 16) for her English 101 Class.

Our family trip to Stonehenge, England

            Everyone, at some point in their lives, has to take a history course. One reads and learns of the absolutely horrific events of the Holocaust and the conquests of the Roman Empire, but it is a completely different experience to stand at the entrance of Auschwitz or to see the Forum from the Colosseum.

They become a part of oneself.

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Visiting Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks

The beauty of the United States National Parks

Visiting the National Parks is an experience like no other. Our family has traveled to Europe and stood in awe of history from previous civilizations that date five to six thousand years ago. However, when you visit the National Parks out west you are looking back in history millions, millions, of years ago. It is nature on steroids, geology in motion and a sanctuary from our fast-paced- technology-laden society. In this post, we will share our experience exploring Sequoia National Forest and Yosemite National Park.

COMING SOON! The collaborative and creative juices are flowing here at Rockonliving and we are excited to announce that we are working on creating travel guides for the places we visit with more detailed information. For example, does the Octagonal home below interest you? In our Yosemite Guide, we will provide booking, contact information, pricing and things to consider booking this home in California. These guides will also include feedback and input from all the members of the Rockonliving family! We hope to share our lessons learned and make it easier for you to begin your Adventures! We are excited! The blog with be evolving soon – Stay Tuned!

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Rockonliving Damn Delicious Meal Planning

When we began homeschooling, one key element to our day that wasn’t even a blip on my radar and I totally underestimated was being the cafeteria lady. While this subgroup of humans (homeschoolers) poses a unique challenge to meal planning, this topic is relevant to any one that, well, eats food. So, I guess everyone, right?

If you homeschool, or stay at home with children it can feel like you are in a constant state of food prepping, serving and kitchen clean-up purgatory – hell. Too dramatic? Stay with me…

Ya’ll, this book has revolutionized our kitchen! Meal planning always seemed so overwhelming, daunting, and this book has delicious recipes with easy to follow directions. Have food restrictions? No problem! Like many, we have several family members with various dietary concerns (gluten-free, vegan) and I have found it easy to substitute and modify as needed. It is simple. (my love language.)

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Rockonliving’s Top 10 Essential Travel Items

(Hey Rockonliving friends! Look who has joined the fun? This post is a share from Quinn!)

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I am passionate about travel. I am passionate about new experiences. As a result, I am often on the go and away from the every day life lived in my home. Regardless, if I am traveling for weeks at a time in a foreign country or for just a weekend away, there are 10 items that I travel with always!  The women in my family may have a different top ten, however, as the only dude here, these are my top 10 Essential Travel Items!

  1. My ID. Either a passport or driver’s license. This is probably a pretty obvious one. It’s great to have on you in the event you forget who you are. 😊
  2. Money. I will always carry a credit card and cash. I typically use my credit card as often as I can so I can easily track expenses and also accumulate more miles which supports our future travels. I will also bring a debit card to withdraw money from an ATM. Internationally, you will receive the money in the foreign currency and the exchange rate is often better than at a foreign currency exchange vendor. When traveling, especially to a foreign county, be sure to call your bank and credit card companies and let them know your travel dates. Often with international travel, I will talk with my local bank and try to get a small amount of the foreign currency that I will be heading to. It is good to have usable money in the foreign country before I can make it to an ATM. Not all foreign currency is quickly available at my bank and they may need advanced notice to acquire the funds.
  3. Toiletries. I always have a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, lotion, razor, contacts and glasses.  I actually have a separate small travel toiletries bag that I grab and go. This way I know I always have all the necessities.
  4. Clothes. Duh. Of course. However, I am very selective with my choice of clothes that I travel with. My clothing selection is of course varied based on where I am heading. If I am heading to a hot tropical location or snowboarding, there are 2 criteria that my clothes must meet. First, I plan to layer my clothing. To be honest, I have a narrow comfort margin for temperatures. I don’t like being too hot, and I don’t like being too cold…just call me baby bear. Layers allow me to dial in on the perfect comfort level. Layer up if you are cold or remove layers if you are warm. Second, I love pants, shirts, and jackets with pockets. I am very pragmatic and with pockets, I can carry more items. I have a style of pants that I love so much I bought two of them. I use this style of pants with all travel, especially international, because they have many pockets and some with zippers. These allow me to carry passports, boarding passes, my wallet, at times toiletries, ear buds, and whatever else I need. The pockets with zippers are an extra defense against pick pockets commonly found in foreign countries.  
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Rockonliving Update!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Rockonliving is growing! The collaborative and creative juices are flowing here at Rockonliving and we are excited to announce that we are working on creating travel guides for the places we visit with more detailed information. For example, does the Octagonal home we mentioned in our Yosemite trip interest you? In our Yosemite Guide, we will provide booking, contact information, pricing and things to consider booking this home in California. These guides will also include feedback and input from all the members of the Rockonliving family! You will hear from Quinn, Vickie and our teen/tweens share their input on traveling. From the more practical adult input to perspective of a 10 year-old that wished to do nothing but “buy cheap crap” in Paris! We hope to share our lessons learned and make it easier for you to begin planning your Adventures! We are super excited! The blog is evolving and launching soon – Stay Tuned!