Rehearsal Dinner

Monday night
After wedding ceremony practice, we all carpooled to the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was going to take place. Of course, we all got lost! Haha. However, we were all not surprised since that seemed to be the trend over there. We finally made it to the restaurant at about 8pm, snapped some photos before it got dark, and enjoyed a long, relaxing meal.

Did I tell you how Italians eat? When they go to dinner, it’s an event! They don’t plan to eat real fast, then catch a movie afterwards…no no..the main event is eating. They have small breakfasts, small lunches, and GRAND dinners! (No less than 4 courses at one sitting). AH~MAZING! So..the rehearsal dinner ended at about 2 am! Haha.

Here’s a blurry pic of the bride and her fam bam: 
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It’s crazy to think that I’ve known her family since I was in 3rd grade. Her sister was still a baby! Her parents were also the jewelers who helped Eddie choose my engagement ring and our wedding bands..so we have a special bond with them.

Ok, ready for the food??? [I regretfully didn’t write down the names of the dishes, but hopefully the pictures will do it justice.]

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Course 1: Assorted smoked meats and side salad

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Course 2; Don’t remember what this was called, but my absolute favorite thing on the menu that night!

Course 3

Course 3: Some sort of Pork fried goodness with greens and carmelized onions

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Course 4: chocolate lava cake

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And this is how the night ended…blurry. BFF”s for sure! Lol. [Btw…I didn’t realize it until I looked back at my pictures that in the below (left) photo I was flipping my husband off! Shame on me! So, I couldn’t post that in this space! Ha…which is why I cut if off!]

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Gosh, take me back!

A Day Trip to Siena

Monday

On Monday, after a nice, long rest we escaped from wedding duties and took a day trip to Siena (about 20 minutes away from our villa). It was a cute town that felt nothing like Tuscany. Plus, it was more of a tourist attraction than anything else because the Piazza del Campo was just so neat to see!

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I really appreciated the architectural design of the buildings (sorry for the overkill of pictures). It’s crazy that people see this everyday on their walk to school and/or work. So beautiful!
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Had to snap a photo of Italian Yogurtland! Ha.people sitting piazza2 piazzadelcampoAnd…of course..had to conclude our visit with dessert! Mmmm…gelato!

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Hope you all had a safe Independence Day!!!

~Melinda

Podere Finerri

Today I…wanted to share some photos from our recent adventure into the wonderful land of Italia! First of all, AMAZING food! I gained about 3 lbs just in the 1 week alone that we were there, but oh was it worth it!

And now..the play by play..b/c I think it’ll be fun to reminisce our trip.

Saturday

We departed from LAX on Saturday morning at the crack of dawn (8am) and, for some reason, I kept getting emails from Kayak.com (where we booked from) that our flight moved to 6am instead..so we were in a rush! But, I don’t know..the emails were lies..and the flight hadn’t changed so we were safe after all. Phew! Everything went smoothly going through security and everything so were were just antsy waiting to board and get the trip started.

2 stops and about 3 hrs later..we were FINALLY in route to Florence (FLR) our final destination. I was highly impressed by the quality of Austrian Airlines as every seat had it’s own mini touchscreen with USB dock, and the flight attendants came around every hour serving us free beverages including alcohol. Sweet! Thankfully, my husband swooped up some neck pillow at Target right before we left and it SAVED us! Definitely a must have (at least for me since I discovered I have trouble with long flights)!

Sunday

Arrived to Florence around 3pm. Retrieved our luggage (Woohoo! it wasn’t lost!), got our rental car, got all my printout google maps, and we were set to go! At least I thought we would get away with just our google map printouts and no map or gps. Boy was that our FIRST MISTAKE! The villa, Podere Finerri, was about 2 hours away, but it ended taking us about 6 hrs to get there b/c we got SOOO LOST. Thankfully, we found it before dark, otherwise we were on to plan B (pull over, sleep in the car, and try again in the morning).

After all that time, we finally made it…and even though we pretty much had it with each other by that time…we pulled up to the villa and we forget about it all.

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Does it just take your breath away? I felt like I was staring at a postcard the whole time and it didn’t feel real. Everyone kept saying, “Please never wake me up from this dream!” I really thank God for giving us this opportunity to experience this.

My sleeping beauty…

Today I… Am finally back from vacation! Oh my goodness.. What an adventure! Traveling internationally is no joke! I am going to work hard on editing my pics as fast as possible so I can share with you guys. Prepare to be bombarded with photos!
Until then.. Wanted to share these funny sleeping pics of my babe. These got me through the 7.5 days I was away from her.

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By the way, my husband is the creeper photographer who likes to snap photos of people sleeping. Ha! At first, it was just him.. Now, not gonna lie, I’ve joined in on this weird hobby. 😜

Sprinkle Party (Part 3)

Last one..I promise!

Today I…wanted to share the last of the photos from my daughter’s birthday which seems like ages ago now. (I’ve been lagging on posting them.) What good would it be to just share pictures of the details..and not my family and friends (that’s what REALLY matters!). I want to say grazie (haha, get it, b/c I’m in Italy right now) again to everyone who made my daughter’s birthday possible. You know who you are! I couldn’t have done it without you! *kisses*kisses*

DSC_0370 DSC_0473 DSC_0500 DSC_0507 DSC_0512 DSC_0514 DSC_0526 DSC_0527 DSC_0533 DSC_0539 DSC_0551 DSC_0552 DSC_0553 DSC_0660 DSC_0663 DSC_0674 DSC_0683Special thanks to June Nichole Photography for capturing my daughter’s special day!

 

Today..my BFF is getting married!

Ciao!

Are you super impressed that I’m blogging from Italy right now? (JK, I wrote these before I left..hehe)

Today, I…wanted to give a special “blog” toast to my BFF.

We have been friends since the 3rd grade (crazy, right!) We’ve been through so much together and I’m so glad that we stayed connected after all these years. Even though we are complete opposites, I appreciate everything about you..from your bubbly, crazy personality to the reflective, emotional girl I know you to be. You are an extremely loving person who always has the best intentions at heart. You’re also super creative and I hope you will constantly be passionate about following your passions in your new marriage as well as in life. Although marriage has its ups and downs, I encourage you to constantly invest in it because you won’t regret how happy you’ll be at the end of the day. It’s not everyday people can find the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with, so know you are truly blessed!

I love you dear friend.

IMG_3222Congratulations and welcome to the married club!

~Melinda