Archive | September, 2012

14 days and counting

30 Sep

I can hardly believe we’ll be on a plane in 14 days starting the dream of a life time! It seems funny now that a few months ago I was so stressed out with trying to figure out not only the arrangements and logistics, but making sure they were perfect. I know, I know, it sounds a little maniacal (I get that from my sister) but hey, again, it’s the trip of a lifetime. So far. The good, no great news is once we found the perfect apartment and booked it, I started emailing questions, receiving answers and a wonderful bond was created with Apartments Florence. The person (not sure if I should use names) who I now consider part of the family lifted so many burdens I find I can actually breathe again. Pesky little details, questions on booking tours, things that we need in the apartment upon arrival – no problem. Done. “Normale”! I love this company. The pictures of the apartment are from their website and if you ever go there or need a recommendation on where to stay they are great and easy to work with.

Here’s a great little aside: I am a big fan of House Hunter’s International. I love to learn about other countries, culture, real estate, etc. So imagine my joy when they did an episode in Florence! How cool. It was about a young woman from the South who went to Italy, met and fell in love with an Italian man and subsequently moved there. Sigh. So romantic. I happened to mention to my friend at A.F. that I was doing a blog on the trip and wanted to get permission to use their photos. She told me someone who worked there was a blogger as well and sent me her link. Yep! It was the woman from House Hunters International. So now we may get to meet a TV star if we play our cards right! Small world!

Okay, so in the past week we have been a) trying not to panic, b) making lists, c) making lists of the lists, and d) trying to remember if we’ve forgotten to put anything on this lists. How do you make sure you have everything you could possibly need and yet travel light? I am a chronic over packer as it is. I can easily go away for 3 days and take 2 huge suitcases. Luckily I have decided that since this a not a driving trip and I may actually have to carry luggage, my goal is one small suitcase, a day pack, and one small purse. I’ll let you know how that works out for me!

Another thing is preparing all the iGadgets and other electronics. Must have music for the flights, reading material, videos to watch. Once we land we will be videoing, taking pictures and recording everything for posterity. Okay, we’ll be recording it for us but we will share! So we’re making playlists, downloading ebooks, watching everyone else’s video’s (getting confused with conflicting information) and trying to squeeze in time to learn Italian from our language software. A couple of friends have even loaned us guide and phrase books.

I would please ask that any of you who are travelers and have any tips, suggestions, or ideas for us overseas newbies, they would be absolutely appreciated! Don’t be shy!!

I am actually looking forward to the flights. Right! Because I won’t be able to do anything except sit and relax! Okay, back to my lists!

19 days and counting

23 Sep

As our excitement builds, we keep discovering more about the area and local treats in store for us. Wonderful markets abound with an abundance of produce, meats, sauces, and other choices sure to delight. For a couple who moved to a small town in a desert state from San Francisco our taste buds and salivary glands are going nuts! We stumbled up this wonderful video and watched with slack jaws and the memories of fine dining in years of old. Could it be? New delicacies await us? Here’s a video we found by “yaimaisland” on

Hungry? Oh my goodness. That’s one of the reasons we rented an apartment – with a kitchen of course, so we could buy the local food and play with recipes, spices, flavors, textures, and pure deliciousness! A picture of this fabulous kitchen follows. You can only imagine how much we are looking forward to this adventure.


Our apartment (For 11 days)

17 Sep

Our apartment (For 11 days)

Heaven, we’re in heaven….

27 days and counting….

17 Sep

I’m really excited! I have never blogged before (Yes, duh, you can see that!) so bear with me with fonts, SEO, thank you whoever gave me advice, and I will try to add photos of interest.But this is really a journal for me, of our first trip to Europe and Italy has been a dream of mine forever. And hey, you don’t have to read it.

But, if you are, here’s the latest:

Our friends can’t go with us! So we are really going to be be “extra virgin” in Italia! But that’s ok, stuff happens and we love them dearly.
Today is our 7 year anniversary so we’re going to have the honeymoon we never had! How romantic is that? Well, if we can stop eating when we get there!.

Our flights are booked! We fly from here to O’Hare (Chicago), then to Zurich, and finally to Florence. It’s a 17 hour trip including layovers. Not bad! And coming back we fly from Florence, to Frankfurt, to San Francisco (we used to live there & are hoping some family will come visit on that (short) layover, and then home. (Only 19 hours – pretty good for a rookie! We have hotels booked going and coming at our local airport so we will have time to chill.

Did I tell you about our apartment? Oh, la, la! Ooops! I mean Fantastico! I am going to try to post a couple of pictures of it just to make you drool. People tell us they are jealous and we don’t want them to be – we want them to come with us and stay somewhere else close by and we’ll have a great time. Our goal is to meet at least two other families in Italia and stay in touch.

We’re also trying to learn some Italian. It’s pretty funny. We bought Rosetta Stone. Then hubby somehow got bamboozled in buying the Pimsleur approach. Both are awesome, but different and we are confusing ourselves with great abandon. Hopefully we won’t get arrested!

So we have booked most everything and I’m happy to say we’ve been able to do it without credit. So now I’m going to try and post some pictures of our apartment and not embarrass myself too much. You know what? I won’t. You’re a very forgiving audience and are just happy to share this journey with us – 27 days! Whoohoo! (Spell check is killing me!) :  )

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