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Hello my loverlies and happy Wednesday! Yes, I’m still missing Italy. You would be too if you’d just started school after several glorious weeks off. So, in order to revisit the land I miss so much, we’re going to use the *coughresearchcough* that my girl Jen found for me (again, I didn’t have time to post it for HPW before I left – sadface).
I’ve been promising to write my Italy post for a long time, and I haven’t. Mostly because I’ve been lazy, but also because I’ve been busy. And because I’ve kinda wanted to keep it mine… if that makes any kind of sense. It’s not that I don’t want to share it with you, because I totally do. An experience like this must be shared. But because a part of me is secretly selfish and I wanted to hold onto it just for a little while longer. I mean, it’s not every day you get to go to Italy with 14 of your family members and stay in a villa, is it?
I was going to try to do this step by step. I had a running journal of everything that we did there, but I stopped updating it by day 7. It became too much of a hassle because we were having too much fun, and they kept making fun of me because I had my nose in my phone, updating on a phone that (at the time) didn’t work beyond playing solitaire (I’m on my parents’ plan, and they didn’t give me the international calling feature until my 2nd week there because the villa didn’t have wifi and we couldn’t use Skype to keep in touch with Monkey the way we’d originally planned).
I’ll try to give some of the highlights, as I remember them.
- The day we arrived, we were all really tired. The flight was about 12 hours from the time we left Houston to the time we landed in Florence and we were ready to sit down, grab something to eat, and break into a bottle of Italian wine (which we did – about 6 cases worth by the time the vacation was over!) But we still had a 2 hour drive from the airport to the villa. We climbed onto the bus we rented and took off. An hour later, we went to a gas station to get something to drink and realized… my sister-in-law’s fiance wasn’t on the bus. Oh. Shit. It took 10 hours to get him on the right train and to the villa. My SIL was scared shitless, but once he finally made it there, they were all smiles and things were good. Now we have a great story to tell, but while it was happening, it was pretty scary.
- When we went to Rome, it was me, PK, his BFF, BFF’s wife, their friend who lives with them, SIL, and SIL’s fiance. I forgot my reservation confirmation at home, so I figured we’d just stay at the hotel BFF was staying at and I’d use their wifi to cancel our reservations. If nothing else, it was only $75, so it wasn’t that big a deal anyway. We stayed at the Hotel California, where there was no hot water, the elevator didn’t work (we were on the 4th floor), there were constant power surges, our a/c didn’t work… crappiest hotel ever. When we left the next day, I realized that the hotel I originally booked was directly across the street. It’s funny now, but at the time I was really mad at myself.
- We took tours of the Vatican, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. I would suggest this to anyone who goes. You skip the lines to get on your own, and you get to learn so much more than you would normally. Our tour guides were college students (one was an Art major & the other was a History & Literature major). The sights literally took my breath away. Everything there is so beautiful already, but add all the history of the area and it is just SO INCREDIBLY AMAZING.
- The villa we stayed in was built in the 1300s. We stayed in the “tower” portion, where the soldiers originally stayed. The ground floor was where the horses were originally kept. The pool was put in around 25 years ago. It now grows olives and grapes, as well as tomatoes and other vegetables needed for food at the house. There was a live-in housekeeper and handyman, who were so incredibly helpful and sweet. They had a little girl who was almost 2 years old who was SO PRECIOUS! Of course, every time I saw her, it made me miss Monkey even more.
- One day, we decided to walk down the hill to this bar to get a drink. The hill scared the crap out of me, because there’s a road on it, and Italian drivers are freaking INSANE. So we’re walking down this road, trying not to die in order to get to this bar we saw on the way into the villa, when PK sees these olives that he just HAS to take a picture of. Of course, he stops us (which in turn stops traffic). Being the artist he is, the picture comes out gorgeous, but
still… we could’ve died because he just HAD to stop and take pictures of the baby olives! (which won’t be ready until September… which is late, but apparently the weather has been just as wonky there as it has been everywhere else)
- On that same trip to the bar, when we finally arrive there, we found out that it was closed. Not just that day, but every day. Why? Because it wasn’t a bar. Or a restaurant. It was a place reserved especially for wedding receptions. But it did have gorgeous scenery. So, for the first time ever, I shall post a picture of PK & me. He’ll probably make me take it down if he finds out I posted a picture with him in it so if you know him… shh. It’s my most favorite picture of us EVER.
- The most our group had there was 16 people. The fewest, 8.
- We managed to finish off 14 cases of beer, 6 cases of wine, and we lost count of how many bottles of Bacardi, vodka, and gin. Our family likes to party it up, that’s for sure.
- We found the MOST AMAZING local pizzeria (photo in my Thursday 13) while we were searching for somewhere to eat. The locals who were eating there all told us in the most broken English ever that we picked everyone’s favorite place to go. ROCK ON! I found it, thank you very much! *bows*
- We had a chef come out to the villa one night to make us dinner and teach us how to prepare a traditional Tuscan meal. He made bread salad, pasta (which I still make, so good!), “young cow” scaloppine, (veal is illegal in Italy), spinach, and pana cotta. I almost licked the plate after every course. Not even lying.
- There was so much more, but I probably can’t share a lot of it with you, since it involves family and they’d either be too embarrassed or kill me if I shared some of the strange things we did/said while there. We’re a… lively bunch, that’s for sure.
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Hello my loverlies and happy Wednesday! Today’s edition of HottiePants Wednesday was supposed to go up while I was in Italy, but I got so busy before I left that I wasn’t able to post the pictures that my girl Jen (HappyTwilighter of Books Make Me Happy) found for me in searching for some Italian hotties. And now that I’m missing Italy as much as I am… We’re gonna head back to Italy and check out the gorgeous Gabriel Garko!
While we were in Italy, our room at the villa had the only room with a TV. And since PK has it in his head that he can’t sleep without a TV on, he searched every single channel (multiple times) until he found a channel with something in English. Fortunately for me, this channel was MTV. This was a double-edged sword, since MTV in Italy showed a LOT of Jersey Shore, which up until that point I’d successfully managed to avoid. This is, of course, beside the point.
MTV in Italy likes American music. A lot. They also like American dance music. A lot. This is good for me when I’m waking up. Not so good for me when I’m trying to get to sleep, because when they put music on like Party Rock Anthem, it gets into my head and makes me wanna shake my bootay. Good thing I was on vacation!
Have a fantastic week, my loverlies! Hope you get off to a good start and shake your bootay on your way to work, school, or wherever your day may take you!