Wow has the year flown by. Life became super busy about mid-year, and my blog unfortunately fell out of the loop. No worries, I’ll stay up to date from now on. Maybe I’ll even be good and start writing content ahead of time and scheduling them out (ha! I’m funny).
Check out my next blog post about some of the amazing changes happening. For today though, I want to reminisce about my adventures in France & Italy earlier this year–June 2016.
My sister graduated from her masters program in Interior Design (round of applause), and what better place to learn about interior design and art than in Florence, Italy? I visited Florence two years ago for my honeymoon and fell in-love not only with the city, but the people, the country, and (of course) the food. So I was doubly excited to return to the country where I left a piece of my heart. And even added bonus that we decided to include a two day layover in Paris–because…why not, right?
First stop: Paris, France
I was quite surprised how much I actually enjoyed Paris, especially with the little amount of time we had to see the city. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough days allocated to visit the other beautiful cities, but we made the most out of the single full day we had. But believe you me, I will be returning to France. Hopefully semi-fluent in French. So, first thing on the agenda: food.
My hubby always gets so upset at my answer to what do you want to see. My answer? I don’t care. Because it’s not the places that are important, but the food. And the company. Right? Lol. So I pay tribute to Paris’ fantastic cuisine by posting food pics first. The left: scrum-dili-umptious macaroons. The middle: chicken and mushroom pot pie. The last: a gold-flecked dessert. NOM!
We also participated in a tour that took us to the Louvre, a river boat cruise down the Siene river, the Eiffel tower, and then Notre Dame di Paris. We saw this one statue at the Louvre that just made us chuckle (top left pic). We captioned it When your fitbit tells you that you hit your step goal. Which I think is pretty accurate 😉 Top left and bottom right is my other beautiful sister (not the one graduating) that was able to make it out to the celebration <3. We visited one of Paris’ Love Locks bridges and the Arc de Triomphe.
And at night? This is actually one thing I really wanted to go visit: The Moulin Rouge.
For privacy and risqué reasons, we weren’t allowed to take pics of the actual show, but it was definitely fun. And we received dinner and two free champagne bottles–which me and the above beauty finished on our own. Nom! And additional desserts found their way to our table, compliments to our great waiter.
I think we also fit a nap in the middle of the day and a couple hours to settle down at this wonderful park next to the Louvre and soak in some sun and quiet. Not too bad for a single day’s visit to Paris, right? We had my Gram with us, and boy she threw a fit by the end of the day because we walked everywhere. The walk back to our hotel was filled with chuckles on our end and grumbles from Gram. But she held up like a champ though we were all sore by the day’s end.
Second stop: Italia
And then the reunion between these two besties. There’s something beautiful about bestie soulmates, and these two are definitely that. First stop in Italy? Pizza. I’ve missed Italy’s golden and crispy crust with its simple yet delectable toppings. Down below, a tomato, mozzarella, and basil pizza. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
Let me get the food pictures going because…it’s food. And Italians know how to enjoy their meals. At every meal, we had appetizers, first plates, second plates, sides, desserts, drinks, and digestivos (either an espresso or limoncello shot). And unlike my honeymoon where my hubby and I were able to walk and walk and walk, we had to tame down the distance because of our family. So…I gained weight this time. But happily so. heehee.
There was this risotto in Venezia that just…gah. It was so creamy (top left picture). And the risotto perfectly cooked. I couldn’t find a comparable risotto anywhere else–and I tried several times only to my disappointment. They were all delicious, but that one Venezia risotto…buys plane ticket to eat risotto. I’ll be back. 🙂
If you ever have a chance to visit Rome, check out Babington’s Tea House (last and second to last row left pictures) near the Spanish Steps. This is one of the oldest, if not the oldest tea house in Italy. It was established in the late 1800s by two women: an Englishwoman and Italian woman, and has stood the test of time. Their teas are delicious, and their high tea meal accompaniment:
And the key to a good cannoli? They fill it right when you order it. This guarantees a crispy shell with the sweet filling in the middle.
Can I just be back there already?
From Florence to Venice to Tuscany wine region to the Amalfi coast to Rome, we toured the country. One thing I regret not being able to fit this go around was Northern Italy. Another trip 🙂
It poured during our Venice tour. And I mean soaking. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying this beautiful city–the winding cobblestone streets, the gondola boats skimming along the rain-rippled water, the many many passageways nestled between buildings.
One of our nights in Florence was open so we decided to book a wine-tasting dinner in the Tuscany region. I’ve never been so content to just sit around and look out at the rolling hills and of course sip on wine and eat. Eat a lot! Our host was so kind and welcoming. True Italian hospitality.
And of course, a little bit of fun with the father-in-law 😉
If I could live anywhere in Italy for a long period of time, it would be Florence. If I needed to reconnect with my heart and soul, it would be anywhere in the Amalfi coast. The landscape here is absolutely breathtaking, and the water just sparkles as if there were a million diamonds on its surface. We spent a few days here but I wish I could’ve spent a month to just sit, drink wine, and write. And can you blame me?
Ci vediamo un’ altra volta, Italia.