Thursday, December 28, 2017

Italian Babymoon 2016: Venice


Venice.  This was the final stop on the Italian Babymoon.  We flew in to Rome, and flew out of Venice.  I really liked the way we planned this.  We didn't have to circle back to Rome to catch a flight, which was awesome!  We decided to go to Venice because it is kind of one of those places you just have to see.  It was cool, but not my favorite part of Italy.  It feels completely different compared to the other areas we visited.  Also, everything is way more expensive.  So just be prepared to pay a lot more for the same stuff you had in Florence.  However, we did have a lovely time.
Water taxi, canal boat, or walking over many little bridges is how you get around.  Porter and I road the water taxi around a bunch to see the sights.  It's a great way to get a lay of the land.


There is one large canal the taxis go around called The Grand Canal, then countless little canals that the little boats go through.  It was crazy to think that people would walk out their front door and get on a boat to go about their business back in the day.

Porter on board the water taxi.

Venice was likened unto a decaying Disneyland for adult.  Which I totally get.  There are countless meandering streets, alleyways, restaurants and shops to explore.  There really isn't much for kids.  It is extremely romantic at night.  During the day it was so hot and humid.  But once the sun set, all the lights come on, it's gorgeous.  I loved eating by the canals after dusk.


If you go to Venice, you must do a gondola ride after dark.  Yes, it's ridiculously expensive, but it's also one of those once in a lifetime experiences that is totally worth it.  It was my favorite thing we did in Venice.


Our cute little gondolier was fantastic.  He knew so much about the city.




Rialto Bridge



I felt so pregnant! 

We stayed at at the Royal San Marco Hotel.  It was a great location.  Small room and a bit tired, but we were out and about so much that it didn't really matter. 




The second coolest thing we did was breakfast in St. Marks Square.  We ate at The Florian.  They had this fantastic band playing during breakfast.  It was quite magical.  The food was delicious as well. 



Saint Mark's Basillica was beautiful.


We left Italy in quite high spirits feeling very full, very relaxed, and very ready to have this baby!


Friday, December 8, 2017

Italian Babymoon 2016: Florence

You Guys!  It's been a hot minute hasn't it?   So life with a baby is crazy, which is normal I think.  I completely abandoned my blog.  And middle saga no less.  I still have 2 posts to go on the Babymoon.  Never mind that the baby bump in this first picture is now almost a toddler, but I digress.  I have so many more posts to share of our travels and life.  So let's get to it.  

Florence was our 3rd stop in Italy.  I was so excited to see the sculptures, and eat the gelato.  However, when we got to our hotel room, I was in love.  Our bed was gorgeous, and the best thing was the fact that they had air conditioning!!!  I just wanted to lay in the nice cool bed and sleep.  The bump was looking quite on point, so I had to snap a picture of the bump and the room.  We stayed at Art Atelier

When Porter was finally able to rouse me from my lovely nap we jumped up to head out the door.  However, Porter jumped a little too much and his phone went flying.


Our very first stop in Florence was to the Apple store to get his screen fixed.  But after that we walked around and took in the sights. 

The Duomo


Florence Cathedral


The Medici Chapel 





Outside of where the David statue is, there is an exact replica.  The statue was originally supposed to be outside, but to keep it out of the elements it was moved inside and this one was set up in it's place.  


There are statues all over of the city!


Piazza della Signoria


Uffizi Gallery
Gallery full of Renaissance Masterpieces!


The Ponte Vecchio



 Believe it or not, I was sick of Italian food by the time we got to Florence.  I could only eat pasta and pizza because of the baby.  So when I saw a Hard Rock Cafe I pretty much ran inside and ordered the biggest plate of Nachos the had.  Mommy and baby were both happy. 


The next morning we went into a ton of museums, my favorite being the Uffzi Gallery.  I LOVE Venus Rising.  It's one of my all time favorite paintings.  


Florence was quick stop for us as we jumped on a high speed train to Venice.  I would definitely go back to Florence to wander amidst the grand statues with my ice cold gelato. 


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Italian Babymoon 2016: Tuscany

Tuscany, where to begin.  This was our favorite part of the Italy trip.  Trip Tip: When going to Tuscany rent a car and make sure that it is a manual and that it is somewhat sporty.  It is very hilly area and the "well maintained roads" are very scary, gravel/washboard, one lane, death traps.  I was happy and relieved to have a travel buddy who was confident driving as I would have just curled up and cried.  

We stayed at a quaint Agritourismo near Castellina in Chianti.  This little video is the tour of out private apartment in a rustic Italian Farmhouse.  Click here to see the property on AirBnB ;). 



Something we love about staying in our own apartment is that we can cook ourselves.  We went to a local grocer.  Grabbed some items and made our own breakfasts.  It was perfect.

Porter cooking on the custom kitchen that was built into a large wardrobe.



Breakfast on our patio.

We went to an organic farm that let us sample all of their products.  It was amazing!!!  Tenuta Casanova is the name of the farm.  If you are ever in this area, do yourself a favor and go here.  


The red rooster is the symbol for the Chianti wine that the region is known for.


The gorgeous vineyards. 



This is the balsamic vinegar cellar.  Real balsamic is the best thing ever.  


Our tasting menu.





Balsamic on ice cream?  Yep, the most delicious topping ever.  This balsamic reduction was the same age as me, 30 years old.




The drive back to our agritourismo.  It looks like Happy Valley from Mickey and the Beanstalk.


In Castellina in Chianti there is a covered walkway that is full of little shops and restaurants, it opened up to this little area full of flowers.  One of my favorite parts of Italy was the meandering streets that would open up to little piazzas or a flower oasis like this. 


There was a small keep in the middle of the village.



This little village had delicious food!


Something Porter and I have a hard time doing on vacation is relaxing.  Tuscany is a perfect place to slow down, smell the flowers, and swim in the pool.  Our agritourismo had it's own pool, and once I got over the crisp water, I was in heaven.




I loved my maternity swimsuit.  I actually felt cute, which at 7 months preggo, is a huge feat.


I was a human submarine!!!





Sunset after fantastic dinner out.


We used one of our days to visit a small hilltop fort town of Volterra.  This town was right on top of the hill and you could see everything from the vantage point.  We used the Rick Steve's walking guide to tour the city.  It was really interesting and a fun way to spend the afternoon.









The baby needed gelato, who was I to stand in the way?


There was also an old Roman theatre on the other side of the city. 



Cheers Tuscany, you were our favorite part of Italy.  We will definitely be back for a longer stay.