It’s been over a week since Mike and I returned home from our Italian vacation. I can’t believe how quickly time is going by lately. It seems like yesterday that we got engaged on Memorial Day weekend but in reality an entire summer full of fun has gone by and a vacation that we’ve been planning for two years has come to a close! In less than 300 days, (295 days to be exact) we say “I do.” My eyes bug out of my head when I read that — 295 days!!!!!– it’s funny how when times aren’t the best, the days go by at a snails pace and when they’re going great, the days go by in a blink of an eye. Although I wish I could slow it down a little, I’m feeling so excited, happy and most of all thankful that I’m getting to experience some of these special moments in life!
The last time I blogged, we were on a train to Florence so I wanted to share some more photos from the last two cities on our trip! Florence was filled with art (a big artistic wiener to be exact) and LOTS of food and wine! Venice was filled with streets made out of water and rooftop swimming & prosecco. This country is so beautiful, diverse and magical, I hope you all get to experience it one day!
family run hotel in Florence
my main man Guy Fieri in Italy!
old time wedding gowns
outside the Duomo
tasted the grapes and they were delicious!
rainbow in Tuscany!
rose all day. including the car ride back to Florence!
Davidddd, you stud you!
the most delicious balsamic!
having our engagement blessed by Grappa!
inside the Duomo
meat, cheese, wine.
becoming a wine expert
always reppin our phoebs
need this pool in my life more often
starting our tour with cheese, prosciutto and of course wine!
drinks in the street?! I LOVE ITALY!
being a local and drinking from the street
a bar from the 1500’s
The city of Love!
last night in Italy
On our way to Phoebs
Halfway home Phoebs!
Italia- you were the most delicious, gracious and fun hosts ever. Thank you for making our trip more magical than we could’ve even dreamed. Until next time. Ciao!
We’re on the train to Florence which means we’re half way through our trip! Thus far, it’s been more than we had even ever dreamed of! The sun has been shining, the people have been friendly and welcoming, the scenery has been stunning and the food and wine has been unreal.
Our time in Positano was the perfect was to start our trip. We stayed at a fabulous hotel (Covo De Sarcini, highly recommend) right at the bottom of the cliffs on a small beach. It’s a fishing town so the seafood was absolutely mouth watering. I’m picky about fish so it was a shocker when I ordered mussels three times in five days. The food here in general is literally so fresh it’s hard to explain unless you’ve tasted it. I also don’t loveeeee tomatoes typically however they are so juicy and flavorful here I haven’t stopped eating them! We spent a morning at the Pompeii Ruins and it was just fascinating. Then the next day we went on a boat with about 10 other people for the day. It took us along the beautiful Almafi coast, had a few hours on the island of Capri and stopped at different grottos and let us swim around in the Mediterranean Sea. swimming was my favorite, the water is so blue and salty you float easily. We swam into the grottos and got to look up at the natural caves- it was a moment I will never ever forget. The last night we did a wine and cheese tasting. Boy the Italians do not skimp out on their wine pours- but I never complain! 🍷 There was a festival going on right outside our hotel where kids were performing ballet to mostly music from the nutcracker so we watched it from our balcony and enjoyed some music we recognize. Perfect way to end our perfect little Italian beach getaway.
Then we headed to Rome where we fell in love with this city! The history is unmatched and the vibrancy of the city life makes you smile. And of course, the food and wine is like heaven. We toured the Colosseum and got a tour in the underground tunnels where the athletes and animals would be kept before being put on the stage. Walking thru the ruins of the Roman town from 3,000 years ago and to hear about how they lived was just unreal. Yesterday we went to the Vatican and although Pope Francis was holding a mass while we were there, we were somehow not invited. But we did spend four hours going thru all the art, looking up at Michaelangelo’s work of the Sistine Chapel and then ended our time at the Basillica which was nothing like I’ve ever seen. We were lucky as the Holy Door was open, which it only is every 20 years, and it’s said that your sins are washed away as you enter thru. It was a special moment and one that I needed after the many not-so-holy thoughts I had had while touring the Vatican with an especially obnoxious visitor that was in our group and the 10,000 other visitors who bumped and shoved their way thru the museum. Okay, okay, back to the religious part of the day. My favorite part, by far, was simply getting to kneel and say a prayer in this stunning cathedral knowing the Pope had been there just an hour before.
And as beautiful as all the sites and amazing as all the history, I think my favorite memories I’ll take are just the moments Mike and I sat and people watched outside, whether it was at a small ristorante, or The Trevvi Fountain at night, or the small cafe as stopped at to get a glass of wine where we met the best couple and chatted with them for an hour or so. It has been the small moments, the moments together, feeling content and peaceful that I will take away from this trip.
My heart is so filled with gratitude for getting to have this experience. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime and I am trying not to miss out on any of the little moments. So with that, I must get back to staring out the window of this train as we pass thru the mountainside as we head to Florence.
Caio! And lots of love & light,
As I write this, I’m sitting in a small Irish pub after having Oxtail for the first time and waiting for another Guinness as I listen to two young men sing authentic Irish music. Music that reminds me of what my dad would play on Saturday mornings as we made French toast.
Today I’m in Europe. I’m in Ireland. I’m going to Italy tomorrow. I can’t believe this is my life. I can’t believe that the trip that Mike and I have talked about for 3 years has come to fruition. This trip was our end goal of years that won’t go down as the happiest but will go down as the most memorable. THIS was our goal. Traveling together was our goal. Seeing the world together was our goal.
Today we reached our goal. Today our goals were exceeded when we were in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the main priest came over to us as we were quietly taking in the beauty that this church was and said “he wanted us to experience something.” After having us pray in a pew that is 400 years old–out loud to him—he took us to a door that had once been used by the church when murderers were trying to get in. They cut a hole in the door so that they could stick their hands out to shake hands to signify that they were going to try to be peaceful. The door has been preserved but isn’t open to the public. Yet, somehow, “Father Tony” saw us and asked us if he could “do something special for us.” So he took us to the original door and trusted that we put our our hands thru the hole and ask those who we’ve wrong done to, to forgive us. Then, he had Mike go to the other side and he had us reach thru to touch our own hands. We promised to be loyal to each other, to always try to understand each other, to always be faithful, to always honor each other and most importantly, we promised to love each other deeply forever. All in a chapel that is hundreds of years old, with Father Tony, lingering around the corner with excitement.
It may not have been July 22, 2017, but it felt like wedding bells were ringing as I swore to be a good wife to an Irish Father.
Then as a typical Mike and I move, we headed from the beautiful church to the beautiful Guiness factory. It was incredible. HUGE. The history was wow-worthy and the “stouts” were even better.
After we had gotten enough of the Guinness factory, we headed to a small pub (because thank god I had barely eaten all day!). As we arrived, it was relatively quiet but the menu looked authentic and there are Guinness’s on the menu. In. What made it magical was when two young men came with their guitar and violin and began performing traditional Irish music. THIS WAS AMAZING!!!!!!! They played so many great songs but as they began “Wild Rover” and asked if anyone knew it to sing along, I was THRILLED to get scream “this American knows!!!”
What a day! And it was only the layover.
Lots of love & light,
P.S. Yes, I made a custom shirt with Phoebes face on it so she got to come on the trip too. SUE ME