Since our lives have been substantially more low-key lately, and our days have been filled with the same activities of mostly staying home, I thought that it would be fun to start sharing some of our “this week’s highlights” from years past. May and June are typically European travel months for us, but since we can’t be abroad in person, in spirit is really the next best thing. I hope that my reflections of travels past will transport us all somewhere a bit more magical!
May 9, 2017 / today’s blog post: Ciao Firenze
I arrived in Italy today. Yesterday Ryan drove me up to LAX (he will be joining me in a few weeks after some of his work wraps up), where I flew British Airways to London, and then onto Milan. I luckily arrived in the afternoon, which gave me plenty of time to pass through customs, catch a bus to the train station, and then catch my train down to Florence with enough time to check into my apartment and still head out for a walk. The moment that I stepped out into the city, my heart skipped a beat, my soul was lifted, and I truly felt at home.
May 10, 2017 / inspired by today: Istituto Il David
The only thing missing is my sweet hubby. But other than that, everything feels right with the world. I woke up in my beautiful apartment in Tuscany, and aside from Ryan, there is nothing more that I could ask for. And although I would have been perfectly content to just wander the city this morning (especially after a very average night’s sleep) (thanks to that pesky jet-lag), I jumped right into my Italian classes at Istituto Il David. But really, it was perfect. I’m studying Italian in my most favorite city, what could be better?
May 11, 2017
I haven’t taken very many pictures yet, but it’s not because I haven’t been seeing the most beautiful things, or eating the most delicious foods. It’s really because I have been choosing to just be in the moment. And for me, just living in the moment is the greatest gift that you can give to yourself when you travel. After another wonderful (and mentally challenging I might add) day at school, I treated myself to a sunset walk along the Arno River with a cup of my favorite Nougatine Gelato from Venchi. Life is good.
May 12, 2017 / today’s blog post: Life in Florence
The city was a little bit overcast today, but for me that felt like the perfect opportunity to walk up to Piazzale San Michelangelo. From my apartment, it’s definitely a full hour walk straight uphill. So you can imagine that it is not very enjoyable during the heat of the day. But luckily for me, the clouds provided the perfect little respite to really take my time and enjoy all of the little bits of beauty along the way.
May 13, 2017 / inspired by today: Cooking in Tuscany
Aside from studying, walking, wandering, shopping, eating and drinking, today I got to do one of my other most favorite things to do when we travel – I took a cooking class. I was going into the class anticipating learning how to make a beautiful homemade pasta ragù, but I came out of it having taken a little tour of Florence, a drive through the countryside, and having learned how to make tomato bruschetta, homemade pizza, a roast pork, roasted potatoes and tiramisu. Not to mention that this was all happening while being nestled in the most gorgeous villa in the foothills of Florence. Sigh. Tuscany truly is magical.
May 14, 2017 / inspired by today: Sunset in the Iris Garden
In one of my classes this morning, my teacher mentioned how absolutely beautiful the Iris Garden is at the top of Piazzale San Michelangelo. Iris Garden? At Piazzale San Michelangelo? Not only was I just there two days ago, but I have been there many, many times now and not once ever seen or even noticed an Iris Garden. And since my teacher happened to mention that this was the end of their blooming season, I knew that I couldn’t wait another day. So after a little spot of dinner (just a bit of leftovers from my lunch at All’Antico Vinaio) in my apartment with a splash of wine, I hiked back up the hill. But believe me when I say that it was worth it. The irises were completely basking in the glow of the sun just beginning to set.
May 15, 2017 / inspired by today: My Apartment in Florence
This is the first time that I (or we) have rented an apartment in Florence. Aside from my great desire to feel like I “live” here, since I will be here for three weeks, it just made sense. And although we have never stayed on this side of the Arno before, I chose the Oltrarno neighborhood to be my home, because that is exactly what I wanted it to feel like, home. I wanted to be in a neighborhood filled with local families, and little shops and restaurants that felt far away from the hustle and bustle. And that is exactly what I got. Yep, as I walked up to our local wine bar for a glass and a snack tonight, my heart knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.