Two Weeks in Europe – Our Itinerary Week 2

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As of today, it’s just two months until our adventure in Europe begins! I am bursting at the seams, and my stomach literally aches with excitement. This past weekend, I spent a lot of quality time with my Italian lessons, so I’m doing what I can to prepare myself.

I’ve already shared what we’ll be up to during the first week of our 16-day trip, and today I’m back with what we’ll be doing the balance of the time.  Just like on the last post, I’ll be discussing the exact accommodations we’ve booked, the price of those digs, and any activities we participate in. So really, you’ll be able to book a similar trip if you so choose! I’ve also included a darling little map that I drew/illustrated with the driving details. Cominciamo! [Read more…]

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Two Weeks in Europe – Our Itinerary Week 1

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It’s true that the only thing getting me though this cold, dark month is planning our upcoming vacation. We have just two short months until the big trip, so we’ve made a lot of progress on the itinerary.  Before, we only knew a rough outline of where we wanted to go, but as we get closer and closer to the trip, things are starting to fill in!  Everyone we speak with has such different ‘musts’ for us, but we’ve taken the plunge on some things just for the sake of needing to make a decision and I’m here to share our up-to-date itinerary with you!  There were tons of people who commented on the last post who were preparing for similar trips this year, so I’m going to go into some detail as to where we’re staying, what we’re doing, and how much we’re spending. Since there is a lot of info, I’m breaking it into two posts, week one and week two!  [Read more…]

Booked!

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Guys!  I am so so excited to let you all in on a new development in our lives AND to get your advice!  Matt and I have been planning to take a big trip next spring for our fifth wedding anniversary and we’ve pulled the trigger!  Right after we got married, we actually started talking about this trip… it’s been five years of considering everywhere from South Africa to Australia to Chile, but we landed on spending some time touring around Europe.

My necessary qualifications for the trip were that it must include: Culture, Wine, Beach, Food, Outdoors/Adventure. A big list, no?  So you can now see why all of our considerations were in the running!

We landed on Europe because of the few times I’ve been, I haven’t had the opportunity to wander and relax.  We wanted a place where we could leisurely explore and felt the most comfortable doing that in Europe.  With sixteen days and a rental car, we’ll be able to be flexible with our schedule and go where the wind takes us.

While we have the framework of the trip worked out, I’d love to get your take on if you’ve been to any of these place and the best things to do in each spot!  We’re starting in Paris and will be there for about three days before heading out into the french wine country to the east. After spending a few days there, we’ll continue on into the alps, traveling through Geneva, Gruyere, and whatever other place we decide to explore before landing in Lauterbrunnen.

After a few days of the outdoors, we’ll leave lauterbrunnen in the direction of Rome, stopping in the Cinque Terre for a couple of nights and possibly drinking our way through Tuscany.  We’ve both already been to Florence, so we’re going to bypass on this trip for some of the other Tuscan treasures. Once we get to Rome, we’ll spend a few days there trying our hardest to immerse ourselves in roman culture.  After all of that traveling around, we’ll train to Positano to get a little time by the sea before heading home.

It’s going to be jam-packed, there is no way around that, but we’re excited that it will be a little ‘fly by the seat of our pants’ and we’ll be able to make a lot of decisions on the go.

Ok, so NOW I want your thoughts!  I’d love any sightseeing recommendations, restaurant recommendations, or favorite places you’ve stayed.  We’re still looking for lodging in a few of the cities, so any of your suggestions are highly appreciated!

Now, I’ve got to go do some work and try my hardest not to spend the next four months scouring Trip Advisor!

 

photo sources: 1 | 2 – Riel Photography | 3 | 4 | 5

 

Weekend Trip: Historic Williamsburg

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I told you guys last Friday that I was packing my bags for Williamsburg and jetted off Friday evening for a short weekend trip. If you were following along on Instagram, you’ve already seen an eyeful, but today I have all different photos to share from my trip!

It was my first time to Williamsburg and I was spoiled!  We got the royal treatment from the wonderful people of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Benjamin Moore.  They brought just five bloggers out to Williamsburg to get a front row seat in their collaboration. When I signed up with these two notable brands for the trip, I had no clue what I was in for, but my expectations of the town were blown out of the water! They had a perfect itinerary planned so that we were able to get the most of Williamsburg (which meant eating a lot!!!!).

We started the weekend Friday night checking into the Williamsburg Lodge, then walked across the street to a cocktails and an appetizer tasting menu at the Taste Studio.  This was a wonderful, interactive event space where chefs from some of the best restaurants in town showcased small bites with paired drinks.  I highly highly recommend this experience.  It might have been my favorite of the weekend. Chef Travis’ Bourbon Pumpkin Ice cream (topped with pumpkin brittle) was the most indulgent thing I’ve tasted in…. who knows how long.

Dinner followed at the Golden Horseshoe where we had a chance to sit and chat with everyone in the group and I absolutely loved getting to know the Benjamin Moore team better – what a fascinating job!  One of the men who sat with us, Carl, is responsible for creating and naming the colors… how awesome is that?

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(The butler’s pantry at the palace painted Governor’s Gold)

 

Up bright an early on Saturday, we met for breakfast and had a chance run in with Patrick Henry.  I just love the touristy stuff like that! After breakfast, the group toured the colonial town and our minds were blown. [Read more…]

LA in a Day

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With all of the rigamarole for the Emmy event, I had yesterday totally empty and I was determined not to do an ounce of work and to spend the entire day soaking in what I could of LA.  Not only was I determined to not open my mail or computer, but I also challenged myself to not make a plan for the day and just to go where it took me.  For someone who usually maps out each day by the half hour, that was a big challenge. I was talking to my husband on Sunday night and told him that I was going to relax and not make any plans for myself and he laughed doubtingly.

So, of course I had to do my best, right?  I have photo overload documenting what I did in 12 hours (just wait to you see where I had dinner)! [Read more…]