Labor Day weekend!

We had such a fun and LONG weekend!

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We really enjoy our new home {and town} and everything it has to offer!

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On Saturday morning we decided to skip the farmers market and go tailgating for the first football game of the season instead!

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It was Preston’s first time tailgating!!! {8.30.2014}

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After tailgating we headed to the Williamson Pumpkin Patch to pick up some sweet corn, veggies, and mums for the front porch! We did a little shopping and then headed to Pepperjax Grill for lunch. {philly steak sandwich…um…YUM!}

When we got back home we took a dip in our little blow up pool! …beverages included!

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We relaxed the rest of the evening!

{..and i was able to enjoy looking at my boys in their bro tanks} 🙂

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On Sunday morning I slept in 🙂 and chad cooked us frittatas for breakfast! They were delicious!

We made some homemade apple sauce in the crock pot with apple from Deal orchard.

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It turned out awesome!!!

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We walked to Walmart for some last minute canning supplies. We wanted to can our applesauce, homemade salsa, cucumbers, and sauerkraut!

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It was about a 4 mile walk round trip… And it was SO hot out!! {80 degrees, full sun, no wind!}

..but we were able to see some new additions around our neighborhood!

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When we got home, Chad got to work on making the rest of our goodies to can and freezing our sweet corn.

Preston took a nap.

…and I went to the Mall! 😛

We had bruchetta {with fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden} for dinner!

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It was another great day in the books!

on Monday morning I got up with Preston and I let chad sleep in! I got the house cleaned and then we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast. We lounged around in the morning and eventually took a family nap! 🙂

after our nap we decided to head to Brookside park for awhile.

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It was SUCH a beautiful day!! 70’s and sunny.

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Preston got to go on the swing for the first time!

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He LOVED IT!!!!!

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AND WE LOVED PUSHING HIM!!!

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He went down the slide for the first time!

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He was able to ride all the fun animals…

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surprisingly he did a really good job of balancing on it!

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but don’t worry, chad was right there to catch him when he started to tip!

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He was able to watch his first baseball game with Dad!

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Bentley even got a little lovin’!

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Overall, the park was a blast!!

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After the park we went to enjoy a little Foyo at Orange Leaf!!

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we had such a fun filed day. When we got home we planted my mums for the front porch and continued to enjoy the nice weather.

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..and then just relaxed in our jammies for the rest of the night!

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It was an amazingly fun filled weekend!!!

I’ll leave you with one last cute photo of my Pumpkin!!!

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Until next time… XOXO

Things I’ve learned from being a SAHM

Being a stay at home mom is a hard job. Now that I’ve been a SAHM for 6 months now, I’ve said goodbye to peaceful showers, uninterrupted lunchtimes, sleeping in, ‘sick days’, and running ‘quick’ errands. There is no such thing as a quick errand when u have to pack a diaper bag, feed, change, burp, and load up a baby…. not to mention, lugging around a 22 lb infant! What used to be simple tasks now take at least an hour to complete, if not more! However, I have learned to prioritize. I know that during nap time I can either (A.) take a nap (B.) clean (C.) do laundry (D.) shower (E.) do yard work (F.) play with the dog (G.) write a blog post… And the list goes on!

I don’t get nearly as much time to myself as I  used to. I don’t get to clock out for lunch or at 5pm to spend the rest of the night ‘relaxing’ with my family–my job never ends. I have an infant that is nearly attached to me. When I do go out, I can’t be gone for longer than 2.5 – 3 hours. I never went back to work, therefore, my baby won’t take a bottle.

He’s a boy who needs his Mama.

A boy who does not like to fall asleep anywhere but in his Mama’s arms.

A boy who wants Mama cuddles when he’s teething.

A boy who cries out for his Mama when he’s had a bad dream.

A boy who just LOVES his Mama. 

Being a stay at home Mom is a hard job…but an oh-so-very-rewarding-job!! I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything.

I love reaping the many benefits to staying at home:

I have a boy who needs his Mama.

A boy who does not like to fall asleep anywhere but in his Mama’s arms.

A boy who wants Mama cuddles when he’s teething.

A boy who cries out for his Mama when he has a bad dream.

A boy who just LOVES his Mama. 

See the trend? 😛

I get to be there to experience all of his ‘firsts’. The first time he smiled, the first time he laughed, the first time he rolled over, the first time he pet our dog, the first time he played in the grass, the oh-so-many-firsts every child experiences. I get to be there for him ALL. THE. TIME.

Are there days I don’t know what ‘silence’ means? yes.

Are there days I count down the time until my Hubby is home? yes.

Are there days I go shopping  (with my babe in tow) just to get out of the house? yes.

Have I become an awesome multi-tasker? yes. (cut veggies, tickle baby. dust wine rack, make silly face. fold laundry, change dirty dipe. shampoo hair, play peek-a-boo with the shower door. you get the point.)

Are there days I regret choosing to stay home? NO.

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Preston and I have gotten SO great at tackling everyday! We have our daily routines. I think our routines keep us both sane. 🙂 We have playtime, nap time, we take walks, go to the gym, play with the dog, go to the farmers market, get groceries…speaking of getting groceries, I can’t even remember that last time I drove to the grocery store. I have the luxury of walking to the grocery store, it makes life so much easier loading Preston {and the groceries} into the stroller, rather than having to worry about loading and unloading the car!

I look forward to every day with my boy! …even though some days–cocktail hour can’t come soon enough! 😛

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{{{We really just need a shout-out to all Mom’s in general. It’s the hardest MOST REWARDING job. ever.}}}

The Infamous Hospital Bag: what to pack.

I did so much research on the perfect items to take to the hospital when you go into labor. Since this was my first baby, I had no idea what was a necessity and what was just going to take up space. I asked my new Mommy friends, Facebook friends, and other blogging friends. I’ve made a list of the most common items.

*I have provided what I packed and what I actually needed & used*

Packing List

For Mom:

Robe

Slippers {ones that you will be comfortable throwing away when you leave the hospital. Hospital floors=yuck.}

Flip Flops {for the shower} The shower was very clean so I didn’t use my flip flops – plus they made me take a bath to soak before I showered. I figured since I already sat down in the tub, there was no point in going to grab my flip flops for when I showered.

Granny Panties {that’s right, high rise, full bottomed underwear–not only are they there to accommodate the huge diaper pads you will be wearing, but to provide comfort if you should have to have an emergency c-section.}

Yoga Pants {preferably, black}

A couple shirts with a zipper down the front or buttons. {for breastfeeding Mama’s)

Nursing Bra & Tank

Toiletries {shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor, lotion, deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste}

Hairdryer

Hair Bands

Chapstick / Vaseline

Warm socks {a must!! my feet were so cold during and after labor. It was nice to wear them when all I had was a hospital gown on.}

Phone & Charger

Camera

iPad

Extension cord for your phone charger {it seemed like my phone was constantly on the charger and I could never reach it.}

Breast pump {just in case}

For Dad:

Sweatpants

Sweatshirt

Toiletries

Pillow & Blanket {the hospital provided these}

Laptop

Change for the vending machines {the snacks we packed sufficed. The hospital food was offered to my husband as well. $7 for all he could eat}

Snacks

For Baby:

(2) white onesies

(2) sleep sacks / sleepers {the hospital provided outfits for while he was there.}

(1) outfit for going home

nail clippers {I wish I would have packed an emery board instead. I hate clipping my babe’s nails–filing them is so much easier!}

a hat

(2) receiving blankets

Carseat with a cover. {we actually forgot ours in the rush to get to the hospital. My parents stopped by our house to grab it!}

A thick blanket to place over your baby’s lap in the carseat.

*The hospital should provide diapers, wipes, pacifiers, nipple cream, etc.*

Note: our hospital didn’t provide pacifiers because they don’t want you to use them. Our son didn’t take a paci until he was a little older — but it was nice to have on hand.

Honestly, the hospital does a nice job of providing the necessities! If you forget something it won’t be the end of the world. I stayed in my hospital gown for most of the time anyway!!

Good luck! 🙂

2 month update – preston

I can’t believe our little peanut is 2.5 months old already. It’s crazy! It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital.

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2 months!

Preston has been changing so much. Everyday he is more interactive than the last. Lately he has been smiling, giggling, and talking up a storm! (Takes after his Mama!) He always seems to be the most happy in the mornings! It’s so fun getting him out of his crib and changing his diaper because he can’t stop grinning the whole time. 🙂

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At his 2 month appointment on April 22nd, he was 12 lbs 13 oz (59% percentile) and 22 inches long (22% percentile). When the doctor went to take off his diaper, I warned her that he might pee on her and she said she was only going to have it open for a minute. As soon as she opened his diaper, he peed on her! It was pretty funny!! She said in the last 25 years she’s only been peed on twice! haha!!! That’s my boy!! 🙂 She told us that Preston had entered his ‘stranger phase’ because as soon as she stepped up to him and I stepped back, he started crying. She told me to come back over and as soon as I did, he was smiling like crazy!! He’s a Mama’s boy for sure!! 😛

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Our little pumpkin has been sleeping through the night since he was 7 weeks old. Ironically, that was also the first night we put him in his crib in the nursery. I think we all sleep better since his move into the nursery. After I feed him at 8:00pm he will fall asleep and we usually end up taking him into his nursery about 8:30 or 9:00pm. He sleeps until 7:00am and I usually just find him laying in his crib sucking his thumb–no crying necessary! 😛 I think our boy takes after me and loves his sleep. He is such a laid back baby.

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first night in the nursery – 7 weeks old

We rarely hear him cry. Well, until recently.

He’s started the teething process and I feel so helpless when he’s crying from the pain. A cold binky and some numbing gel seems to help. I think sucking his thumb is a good way for him to ease the pain himself. He did have a fever the other day–infant tylenol was a lifesaver (and so was my Mom for giving him the rectal thermometer). I swear 5 minutes after we gave it to him, he was his happy self again! The last two nights he has gotten up at 4am from the pain. I will get up with him, feed him, rock him, and put him back to bed. It’s so nice that he can put himself to sleep. I will lay him in his crib while he’s awake and he will sooth himself to sleep–no crying necessary! All it takes is a little thumb sucking. 🙂

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The last two weeks my hubby has been on a business trip. I have never been so happy to live close to home! Preston and I have been staying with my parents while chad is away. It’s been so great having them around to help out with Preston. (Shout out to all you single mother’s out there! I don’t know how you do it!!)

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Preston seems to enjoy looking at the ceiling fan, ‘talking’, dancing around the house, standing on his legs, taking baths, and when I sing ‘Wrecking Ball’ to him. (don’t judge me. I was singing it one day and he kept giggling so I couldn’t help but continue to sing it to him!! haha 😉 )

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standing! (with Dad’s help)

after bath time!

after bath time!

Preston is such a little wiggle bean!! I think he gets his Dad’s RLS… 😉 …which makes things a little difficult when I’m changing his dipe!! haha! But it works out great when he’s sitting in his new infant seat–every time he moves the seat bounces and he loves it!

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It so crazy how quickly he’s changing and how fast he’s growing!!

Thank goodness for all the pictures I take 🙂 Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess!! 🙂

Montepulciano, Italy {Italian Honeymoon: under the Tuscan sun}

Italian Honeymoon: Part Five – Montepulciano, Tuscany

We took a train from Vernazza to La Spezia and then another train from La Spezia to Chiusi (Tuscany). Once we arrived in Chiusi we needed took a bus to  Montepulciano. Hopping on the bus was the easy part. There was a bus stop right outside the train station. However, once we got on the bus, we had no idea how far we needed to go. After a long and winding ride, we finally decided it was probably time to get off the bus. We ended up getting off a few stops early and had to walk uphill to our B&B. The walk really wasn’t that bad, carrying out backpacks is what seemed to make it most difficult–that and watching out for dodging traffic.

Montlepulicano, Italy

We stayed at Locanda San Francesco in a king size suite with a panoramic view on Valdichiana for 225 euros per night. It’s a small and quaint place with only 4 rooms available. It is run by a sweet lady named Cinzia. She was so wonderful. She would make reservations, book taxi’s, and help you with any questions.

There is also a restaurant and bar on the lower level. So, naturally, upon arrival we were invited in for a glass of complementary wine and cheese. It was such a warm welcome. It was so perfect!

Montepulciano, Tuscany
Montepulciano, Tuscany – View from Locanda San Francesco

It was WELL worth every penny!

Locanda San Francesco

This is a picture from our suite. As you can see, my cute hubby peaking his head out from the ‘loft’ area at the top of the stairs.

Our upstairs loft at Locanda San Francesco. (Montepulciano, Italy)
Our upstairs loft at Locanda San Francesco. (Montepulciano, Italy)

This was the restaurant / bar area at Locanda San Francesco

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The “window seat” in our room.

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After we got all settled in we decided to head out and check out the town. It worked out really nice because Locanda San Francesco was centrally located within the city walls and was a short walk to everything!

Montepulciano, Tuscany

The views were amazing! We had a blast.

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There were so many shops! We ended up shopping the whole day. Everything was so cheap, too! Not because it was cheaply made, but because it was all made in Montepulciano. We made many purchases. I ended up buying a few scarves, perfect for fall! And of course, we bought new leather shoes!! I got two pairs of boots and Chad got a pair of everyday shoes.

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Chad and I each bought a new hat. These weren’t the ones we bought, but we had SO MUCH FUN trying them on. 🙂

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After our long day of shopping we headed back to Locanda San Francesco for a wine flight and a cheese platter. The best discovery we made, peccorino cheese dipped in honey. They served that everywhere in Montepulciano. Oh my goodness, it was delicious! Who would have thought?

Our Wine Flight at Locanda San Francesco in Montepulciano, Italy.
Our Wine Flight at Locanda San Francesco in Montepulciano, Italy.

We loved the wine so much we ended up buying and entire case and having it shipped back to The States!!

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This was one of my favorite wines!

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After cocktail hour we headed to a restaurant {Osteria del Conte} that had wine and gluten free options!

We had to make reservations earlier in the day to assure our seats. 🙂

Chad

We were so happy we could scream!!

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On our second day, we had breakfast with another awesome view. Breakfast was compliments of our B&B.

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After breakfast we headed to a winery for a tour and wine tasting.

{Cinzia made the reservations for our wine tasting / tour AND called to reserve a taxi for us.}

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We had a delicious lunch with an amazing view at Ristorante II Poliziano.

You can’t see from this picture, but shortly after this picture was taken they moved us up on the balcony…it was gorgeous!

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{Peccorino cheese with honey and salmon!}

Montepulciano, Italy

{Veal Kabobs with salad.}

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Drinking in style on the streets of Montepulciano with our wedding Koozies!

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I had to get my picture in front of this building that was featured in Twilight: New Moon.

Montepulciano, Italy

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Montepulciano, Italy

We had so much fun and enjoyed our stay SO much we decided to stay an extra night because one night wasn’t enough!! I’m so glad that we did.

We were sad to say our goodbyes!

Montepulciano was BY FAR my favorite place!!

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Adios Montepulciano.

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Locanda San Francesca was a Trip Advisor winner.

This was one of the places we found via Trip Advisor and not through a Rick Steves Travel book.

We highly recommend Locanda San Francesco in Montepulciano, Italy.
We highly recommend Locanda San Francesco in Montepulciano, Italy.

Next Stop: Rome, Italy.

Cinque Terre {Italian Honeymoon}

Italian Honeymoon: Part Four –  Cinque Terre

After we left Florence we headed to the Cinque Terre by train, of course.

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Not many people know about the Cinque Terre, but it has become very popular in recent years. Cinque means 5 in Italian, and is made up of 5 tiny villages on the coast. The villages from north to south are: MonterossoVernazzaCornigliaManarola, and Riomaggiore. The five villages are all linked by a walking trail high above the coast overlooking the Adriatic sea. I’ve heard it’s absolutely GORGEOUS. You can hike the trail in about 5 hours if you go at a leisurely pace. The trail was actually closed when we were visiting, so we weren’t able to walk from each town, but we did utilize the train system–which made it a very short trip from town to town.

The towns are very rustic and the only way to get into the area is by train.

In addition to the beautiful hikes, there are beaches, snorkeling, boat rides, etc. You basically choose a town to stay in as your home base, and can either hike or take a train to the other towns.

We decided to stay in Monterosso the first night in the Cinque Terre and Vernazza the second night because by the time we had booked, there was only one night available at each B&B. It fills up very quickly during ‘tourist season’.

It was raining upon our arrival to Monterosso. Once we got off the train we had a short {10 minute} walk to our hotel, La Colonnia.  We were greeted with complementary lemonade upon arrival.

La Colonnia was 165 euros a night and we had a double bed with a terrace. It was so nice to be able to relax on the terrace for cocktail hour before we headed out on the town. {my beverage of choice: wine, of course} & {Chad’s beverage of choice: limoncello!}

La Colonnia

After a few cocktails, we decided to stop at a wine bar for another drink before dinner. 🙂 Luckily, the wine bar was located close to our B&B, so it was a short walk. It stopped raining as soon as we got there!

We decided to talk a walk around the cute village.

Monterosso, Cinque Terre
Monterosso, Cinque Terre

It was breathtaking in when the sun went down.

Monterosso

Monterosso sure set the bar high. We loved it there.

The next day we headed to Vernazza. When we got there it was crowded and most of the village was under construction–but it was beautiful!

Vernazza, Italy (Cinque Terre)
Vernazza, Italy (Cinque Terre)

We finally got to our B&B to check in and it was very sketchy. We stayed at Tonino Basso which was 120 euros a night for a double room, private bathroom, and air conditioning. Alessandra was the lady who ran the B&B and she was never around and we couldn’t ever find her if we needed to.

Needless to say, shortly after checking in, we headed straight for a day trip to Manarola.

Manarola, Cinque Terre

Manarola was amazing.

Manarola

Everyone was so friendly and even offered to take our pictures 🙂

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After walking around the village we decided to check out a ‘hidden’ restaurant {Dal Billy Trattoria} on the top of a mountain, which had amazing views.

It was well worth the walk up there.

Manarola, Cinque Terre

{Can you believe this was our view from our table?!}

Manarola, Cinque Terre

The food was delicious and we got the best seat in the house!!

We started with a seafood sampler platter: Norwegian fish with potatoes, anchovies with salt {my first experience, and not a bad one}, anchovies with lemon, tuna with cabbage, white fish with mayo, small cabbage with fish, octopus with red sauce, crab pockets, mashed chickpea dumplings, herring with beans and cherry tomatoes, dumplings with pesto, and white fish with cabbage! Needless today, we were full before our entrees even came out. 🙂

Manarola

we each had a pasta dish for lunch {they had gluten free!}

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and ended with homemade limoncello for dessert!

After lunch, we walked back down the mountain to where all the cute little shops were at. We stopped at one place that had handmade pottery! We ended up getting 2 coffee mugs and 2 shooters to bring back to the states with us! We love them and will cherish them forever!

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After a few hours of shopping we decided to stop for some gelato before heading to Monterosso for the evening {since we loved it so much, especially at night!}.

Adios Manarola!

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Back in Monterosso.

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We spent the evening in Moterosso and had another delicious seafood / pasta dinner! It was well worth the wait.

Monterosso

Monterosso

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The next morning we got up early to catch a train from La Spezia to head to our next destination: Montepulicano, Tuscany.

Cinque Terre

Florence, Italy {Italian Honeymoon}

Italian Honeymoon: Part Three – Florence

We traveled from Castelrotto to Bolzano by bus and from there we took a train down to Florence (Firenze).

For us, Florence was a place that we needed to visit while we were in Italy, however, it’s a place we will most likey, never visit again.

This is the reason, it was crowded and there were tourists everywhere!!

I’d recommend getting reservations in advance to avoid huge lines and excessive wait times (you can purchase tickets and reserve a time online). Even with a reservation we still found ourselves waiting for quite some time.

::HOWEVER::

If you are into art, as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a must. Florence is home to both the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Museum. The Accademia holds Michelangelo’s David sculpture, and the Uffizi has countless works of art by Rafael, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Giotto, etc… {basically all the ninja turtle artists}

Some of the more famous pieces are Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Springtime (La Primavera).

The whole time we were in Florence it felt like we were living in a piece of art.

Florence, Italy

The architecture was phenomenal!!

Florence, Italy

It was a photographers dream!

Florence, Italy

I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

Florence, Italy

The city seemed alive, even at night! Glowing, and magnificent.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence also has the Duomo Cathedral, which I definitely recommend climbing.

The inside of the Duomo:

Duomo

The gelato in Florence is also excellent.

Gelato in Florence

Gianinnos was my favorite place to eat!!

Florence, Italy

 They had a gluten free menu, so I couldn’t help but order two different entrees! 🙂

Gluten Free Ravioli:

Gluten Free Ravioli

AND Gluten Free Pizza:

Gluten Free Pizza

The service was great and the food was delicious!! I would highly recommend it!

However, there are so many cute little restuarants in the area around the duomo. you really can’t go wrong!!

Make sure to save room for some Gelato though!!

We went to Trattoria Za-Za for lunch. It was such a fun atmosphere!

Trattoria Za-Za

These were in the bathroom guarding the toilet paper…it made me laugh!

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..and of course, some more guarding the toilets…haha!

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Pisa is a great side trip from Florence (20 min train ride). Most people just stop briefly in Pisa to snap a picture at the leaning tower, and move on. We didn’t have time to stop by Pisa. I would have loved to, though. Maybe someday! 🙂

Florence, Italy

Until we meet again, Ciao!

Next Stop: Cinque Terre