Italian dreamin'  

Posted by Rachel in

Ok so now for the Italian honeymoon post - I'll keep it relatively short and spare you allllll the details. =)

After the wedding, we stayed Saturday night at the Dr. Phillips House - one of the houses that make up the Courtyard at Lake Lucerne. It was great and our friends Brandi Michelle and Kirk had even left the wedding early to decorate the room for us which was a perfect addition to the evening. Sunday was SUCH a relaxing day after weeks of NON-stop activity leading up to the wedding, and it was the best decision we made to not book our flights to Italy until Monday morning. We slept in, went to Barnes and Nobles to buy books for the honeymoon, went to lunch at 903 Mills Market (a local Orlando fav spot) and then took a nap by the lake right by 903. We stayed that evening at the Airport Marriott just to be closer to the airport the next morning, which was also a great decision for the ease of Monday morning.

So Monday morning began our travel adventure that didn't end until Tuesday afternoon in Italy. We started with MCO-JFK-Paris CDG-transfer bus-Paris ORLY-Pisa. Then from the Pisa airport, we got on an airport train to the Pisa train station, where we caught a train into Vernazza, the city in the Cinque Terre where we were staying. We stayed the next few days at the Rose Camere Guest House with views of the main street from a private balcony. After checking in though, we didn't have the energy to do much else but eat dinner that night and then head to bed - we were so tired from all the travel!

For the next few days, we explored all the towns in the Cinque Terre - Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. Some days we chose to hike between the towns, sometimes we took the train, and one time we took the ferry, which almost ended with us stranded in one of the other towns with no way to get back to Vernazza for the night! We ended up sprinting (with bags and purchases) about 3/4 of a mile back to Riomaggiore across the romantic Via Del Amore JUST in time to catch the last ferry of the day. We were quite the spectacle and so many of the locals just stared (stupid tourists, I'm sure they were thinking). This incident was only AFTER the time we almost missed the train and had to run across the platforms to make it.

We spent a LOT of time climbing stairs and hiking, as that is really what the whole area is made of. We ate lots of yummy pasta. Nick's favorite meal was probably the seafood pasta dish and we both loved the homemade pesto with fresh pasta. And the best dessert? Hands down: Tiramisu. We explored alleyways, took in beautiful views from clifftops, poked around old cemeteries, ate delicious gelato as many chances as possible and watched amazing sunsets every night. We felt that it was a perfect balance of relaxing and sleeping in mixed with good exploring, and nothing too touristy. We were so sad to leave on Saturday morning, but excited for our next adventure!

We took the train Saturday to Pisa, since we flew out from there early Sunday morning to go to Paris. I'd been to Pisa before, and seen all that it had to offer (which is really only the Leaning Tower...), but Nick hadn't so of course we poked around town a bit.

Then had a delicious Tuscan dinner complete with more homemade pasta before calling it a night at the Michele Guest House. We decided we are OK if we don't ever make it to Pisa again - it's kind of dirty feeling. Sunday morning, our host, Michele himself, made us an early breakfast and then drove us to the airport for no extra charge "because it was our honeymoon."

We flew into a rainy Paris, but embarked on a FULL day of sightseeing nonetheless. First stop: Hotel Lutetia.

With the help of and a "thumbs-up" from our friend Zac who used to live in Paris, we landed a pretty sweet deal on this luxury hotel in a great area of town. Walking distance to the Luxemburg Gardens, across the street from a metro station, and with beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower in the distance, this place was pretty awesome. When we checked in early, our room wasn't yet ready but they just decided to upgrade us to a Junior Suite on the next to last floor with views of the Eiffel Tower instead of making us wait. I'm pretty sure the note on our reservation about it being the last night of our honeymoon helped pull some strings. We set our stuff down in our awesome suite and explored the two closets, sitting room area, bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms, and THREE balconies overlooking the Eiffel before heading out to see the city. I knew in advance that I loved Paris - I went there once in college. But Nick had never been and was skeptical based on some friends' reviews. I was determined to convince him of the awesomeness of the city, and I believe that Paris (I mean, really, the city speaks for itself) convinced him.

We only had about 6 hours, but in that time, we saw the Luxemburg Gardens, the Notre Dame, the outside of the Lourve, Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees, the Eiffel Tower (where we decided it was smart to climb MORE stairs because we are cheap??) and the Sacre Coeur. PACKED day, but worth it. After checking in, we went to our room twice during the day - once to change for dinner, and then again after dinner. The first time, we found a bottle of champagne, pastries and chocolates waiting for us on the coffee table. The next time, our bed was covered with robes in the shape of hearts and rose petals leading to the bathtub that they had filled for us. They really celebrated us well! It helped that we could enjoy all of their goodies while watching the lights of the Eiffel Tower off our balcony.

Monday morning, we woke up to the reality that we had to head home, leaving beautiful Europe behind. But, what an amazing trip it was! People talk about you honeymoon being great for all sorts of reasons, but for us, we really enjoyed not only exploring the location we chose to visit (when can we go back to Europe, please?!), but also just being on our very first vacation together - with no one else there, nothing specific that we HAD to do, no set plans, no responsibilities, and absolutely no email, phone calls, or any other form of communication with the "outside" world. Sweet bliss.

We get to go on honeymoons yearly, right?!?


This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at Wednesday, May 18, 2011 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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