Birthday Weekend

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Saturday my husband and I celebrated our birthdays.
Yes, we have the same birthday.
I turned 24 while Jacob headed into his mid-20s.
Like we had planned, we kept it low-key. We both agreed to we wanted to relax on our birthdays and not make a big deal out of it this year.
There's always next year right?
It is never worth it to be stressed on your birthday! And trying to plan something would have been exactly that, stressful.
So we sipped champagne all evening (well, I sipped champagne. It's not exactly the hubby's drink of choice) and enjoyed a delicious meal.

I am lucky enough to have married an amazing chief who cooked up lobster tails and steak for dinner, along with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. Not to mention the yummy dynamite shrimp cocktail appetizer we savored before dinner.

We enjoyed birthday cards and gifts from family, who even though we are far away still sent us lots of love and warm wishes!
Sometimes it's the simple evenings that are the most enjoyable, and Saturday night was proof of that  :)
My only regret: No birthday pictures!
So here's to turning another year older and wiser.
23 was the best year of my life so far, but I'm excited to see what 24 has in store.

2 Weeks of Travels Part III: Heading South

Monday, August 15, 2011

After a few days in Tuscany we were ready to start heading down to the southern part of Italy.

Cinque Terre

We decided to set aside a day and head out to Cinque Terre, which was absolutely gorgeous. It is on the coast of the Italian Riviera, and is composed of five different villages. You can take a train, boat, or walk to each village. We didn't stop in each village because we didn't have enough time, but we took a boat ride which allowed us to at least see parts of all the cities.

I would love to visit Cinque Terre again next summer, and maybe spend a few days there. 


This past year Jake's parents hosted a foreign exchange student from Naples named Alberto. We were lucky enough to stay with Alberto and his family while we were in Naples, and really enjoyed a true Italian experience. Although Naples isn't the cleanest city, I enjoyed it and was really glad I had a local to show me around.


After Naples we headed south to Calabria, a town on the Italian peninsula. Alberto's family has a home there, and invited us to stay with them. This part of the trip wasn't about site-seeing though. After learning that Jacob's parents had just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary Alberto's family planned a celebration in which Michael and Teresa renewed their vows. The ceremony took place on the beach, and everyone wore white for the occasion.

We had a wonderful time traveling, and I can't wait until we get to dash off on another vacation. 

2 Weeks of Travels Part II: Tuscany

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We spent a couple of days in Tuscany, and stayed in a wonderful apartment/hotel in the center of Florence. Having Florence as a home base was nice because the other towns we visited weren't too far away. If I were to visit Tuscany again though I would definitely try and stay in a smaller town and truly experience the feel of the region. 


I really enjoyed Florence, but it felt as though it was filled with more Americans than actual Italians. It was definitely worth seeing, and was one of my favorite parts of our Tuscany journey.


The day after we arrived in Florence we drove out to San Gimignano which is a neat little city in Tuscany. The drive to get there was absolutely breathtaking, and we passed numerous vineyards that I wouldn't mind stopping at if given the chance. We really didn't get to spend much time in San Gimignano. Jake's parents had many places they wanted to see, so we couldn't spend too much time in one place.


Next we headed out to Sienna, which is another Tuscan town. It was very pretty, but we didn't get to spend much time there.


We couldn't forget to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa right??

Tuscany was a fun experience, but I don't think it's at the top of my list of places I want to hurry back to. I definitely wouldn't mind visiting again and spending more time there though.