Let me start off by saying, “wow!” It feels like I haven’t published a post in months, when in reality it’s only been a little over a week. My life has been a complete whirlwind lately. I’m sure many of you have heard or seen on my social media, that 3 days before our wedding, my father-in-law passed away. I took a step back those couple of days and concentrated on what truly mattered- time with my fiance, family, friends, and wedding details. (all of my planned posts just kind of went out the door as to be expected) We got married on Saturday, the 20th, and we had the funeral Sunday afternoon. After the 2 biggest events of our life, thus far, we immediately went home and started packing for our honeymoon. (I’ll share more details about all this later but right now I want to keep it light).
When we first got the news about my father-in-law, we cancelled our cruise, but I never got around to cancelling our plane tickets. We immediately figured we wouldn’t be able to take off over seas with everything that was happening. However, as we put one foot in front of the other, and took it day by day, Clint and I decided it might be best to get away and enjoy some time to ourselves (much needed time). I ended up re-booking our cruise, right before our wedding.
As I’m currently sitting on the balcony of our room, looking out over the ocean, (mad because my husband just beat me at a round of speed haha), I can’t help but feel grateful and optimistic. This time last week, we were feeling/thinking the opposite. We were sitting in Broadway Methodist Church, in Paducah, KY wondering why God put, “Congratulations and I’m sorry” all into 4 days of our life. People came and went.. “Congratulations on your wedding. I’m so sorry for your loss…” Looking back I’m not sure how I went from that state of mind, to where I am now. But somewhere, in the Mediterranean Sea, my husband and I have found peace. What we needed most. Peace, hope, optimism for the days ahead, and grateful for all our blessings. So thank you God for that!
Like I said, I’ll open up more at a later time, but right now, I/we are just not ready. Grief has it’s own stages. Right now we’d like to think we are exploring the honeymoon stage, like most couples should. Our is just a little different. Clint says in years to come we will back and know why all of this has happened. I have faith that he is right!
Anyways, let switch topics..
I’ve gotten a lot of requests about travel blog posts and our cruise details! I’m planning on doing quite a few reviews from this trip so stay tuned! let me preface, by saying Clint and I spent a lot of time searching for our honeymoon location. We tossed around Bora Bora, Fiji, and New Zealand, but then we kind of decided we are do-ers. We aren’t the type to lay around the beach all day and do nothing. We like to get out and explore. Funny story, right after our first wedding shower we sat down to eat breakfast with my friends and we started looking online. We came across the Mediterranean cruise and my dad immediately jumped in the conversation and said, “you all should definitely go on that! It’s be a great life experience” From that point on we were sold.. He actually booked the tickets right then and there. We knew it’d be the perfect vacation for us, with lots to see, and do. It truly has been great for us too. It’s kept our mind and hearts busy (which is what we need at this time).
To start out the series, I’m going to share all about our Italy travels with you all!
We flew into Rome a day early and stayed overnight so we could explore some sights before we boarded our cruise! We landed early Tuesday morning and had major jet lag.. so we went to straight to check in our hotel, took a quick nap, then hit the streets of Rome!
**I feel like I should probably warn you all, Clint and I love exploring! We live for seeing new things, tasting new food, walking unseen streets, soaking up other cultures, and worldly views! We thrive off experiences! So I might have a lot of recommendations for you all! Some in this post and lots more to come!
The Hotel Grand Plaza– In Rome, we stayed at The Hotel Grand Plaza. I actually didn’t book our hotel until we were on our way to Nashville to board our flight. With everything that happened I just completely forgot about it. I spent lots of time on hotels.com and tripadvisor.com before I decided this hotel was best suited for us. It was walking distance to the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum, 2 of the main things I wanted to see! Plus, it’s located around shops and streets with lots to eat, see, and do! The hotel was nice and had a friendly staff. Our room was clean and fixed to our standards. I’d give it a 4 star and recommend it to anyone who asked.
Trevi Fountain– Our first stop was the Trevi Fountain. Clint came to Rome on a school trip in high school so he was familiar with some of the main attractions. It’s nice traveling with someone who knows the area and has a little background of what to do and see. With that being said, he wanted to go back to all the places. After our nap, we got up and walked straight to the fountain! It was mid-afternoon and fairly crowded. However, the weather was perfect and the lighting was just gorgeous on the fountain! We waited in line to get some pictures at the front. Then, Clint gave me a Euro to toss in the fountain and said, “use it to make a wish”. I think I was concentrated on taking the boomerang that I didn’t toss it far enough, and it never made it to the water. Told him, “I hope it’s not bad luck that my coin didn’t go in the fountain.” He said, “no.. half the people do the same exact thing you do!” Might need to go back just to try it again. Right after that we got our first taste of gelato and shared the cone! GAHHH, it was so good!
Spanish Steps– We actually never sat on the steps. We more or less walked by them, took lots of pictures, and soaked up the view from the bottom! It’s a famous spot in Rome though, so I definitely recommend going to check it out! The steps are located by lots of shops and side restaurants as well! Since I’m into fashion, I made Clint walk around Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton with me. To my surprise, he actually enjoyed it. (Except for the part when I tried to convince him to get me a new purse haha.)
Gusto al 28– After our walking tour around Italy we were craving pasta. We headed back towards our hotel and stopped at Gusto al 28. We ordered the best bruschetta appetizer ever and thoroughly enjoyed some wine and fresh Italian pasta. Definitely recommend this restaurant! Especially if you sit outside and enjoy the weather! After dinner we went and got our 2nd round of Gelato and each had our own cone… ** Beware, get use to the word gelato if you’re reading these posts. It’ll be mentioned a lot.
That concludes our first day and night in Rome. Pretty fun and adventurous if you ask me!
The next morning, we woke up early and headed to the Colosseum.
The Colosseum– Just like what I expected the Colosseum was truly amazing. When you’re there you can truly feel how big the amphitheater is. It’s the most popular attraction in Rome and is one of the, ‘new 7 wonders of the world’. If you ever make it to Italy, this is a must! I think this historical site just speaks for itself!
After the Colosseum we walked around the area and down ‘Via dei For Imperiali’. We passed lots of landmarks, mesusms, and buildings! If you have time it’s a cool place to explore.
Would it be bad if I told you guys we are considering switching our flights and spending 1 more day in Rome? I still want to see the Vatican and a couple other attractions. I guess we will see how I’m feeling later one!
Naples, Italy (Pompei)
Most of our day in Naples consisted of exploring Pompeii. It is an archeological site, where a once thriving city was located. In 79 A.D. Pompeii was buried under ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted. Today, you can go and explore the city and uncovered ruins. Clint and I spent about 2 hours touring the grounds. It’s fairly big so we got lost twice… We didn’t do a formal tour, but looking back we wish we would’ve had! I’m sure there was some much history we could’ve picked up on and learned about.
After Pompeii, we headed to the main street of Naples. To our surprise, it was quite busy, and a little dirty. One local came up to me and told me watch my bag, which scared Clint and me. Apparently, Naples is home to the Italian mob and it can be quite dangerous. Beware if you are off to explore the area!
Also, I’m going to do another full blog post on Pompeii. We took lots of pictures that I want to share with you all!
Messina, Sicily Italy
So, I was a little disappointed in Messina, Sicily. The highlight of our stop here was the dinner view we had from our ship! Originally I was looking forward to this stop. I had heard about Sicily and maybe that’s what sparked my interest. We almost booked a tour through our ship but changed our mind last minute. Nothing seemed to exciting, so we decided we would just go explore on our own. We walked around the streets and actually ended up in a sketchy part of town. Told C we needed to turn around immediately and go get a glass of wine. So that’s what we did! We found a little outside patio in the towns square and enjoyed the weather and view! After we stopped for gelato (of course haha) and boarded the ship. I’d like to think there’s soooo much more to do in Sicily, and maybe we just weren’t in the right spot? Or maybe our jet lag finally caught up to us and we were uninterested? Either way, it was good stop, but probably our least favorite.
Hope you all enjoyed my thoughts, reviews, ad recommendations on Italy!
I’ve got a lot more to share with you all so stay tuned!
As always, if you have any questions, send them my way!
p.s.- all of my outfits are linked on liketk.it