Monday, March 2, 2015

day 5: rome

Italy posts! Yay! I'm trying to extract as much warmth and happiness from these photos because guess what? It's snowing in NYC again. Spring can't come soon enough!

Rome is one of my absolute favorite cities. I did a study abroad session there while in college, so it will forever hold a special place in my heart. This was our main day of sightseeing there, so as much as I hate to be that girl with the itinerary, there were highlights I wanted to hit, so I had us on a pretty tight schedule and we logged some miles walking.

A couple mornings while in Rome, Kurt and I went out before breakfast for a run around the gardens of Villa Doria Pamphili. It was a beautiful way to start the day and made a dent in all those pasta and wine calories.

View over the city from Gianicolo hill where our hotel was.

Appallingly, I never saw the Sistine Chapel when I lived in Rome, so I made sure to plan a trip to the Vatican Museum on this trip. There were so many people! 

The entire museum is gorgeous, but everyone is obviously there to see the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

And it's so small! And surrounded by so many other paintings. I won't say the visit was disappointing because "the painting" is very beautiful, but it was a different experience than I had expected--and much more crowded.

Staircase at the Vatican Museum

OLD BRIDGE!!!!! This gelato shop is nearby the Vatican and was on the route between our residence and classrooms when I studied in Rome. It was an almost daily fixture in my study abroad diet. #StracciatellaForLife

Castel Sant'Angelo

Ara Pacis

Our Italian traveling partners, Manuela, Claudio, and Enea. They were all troopers for keeping up with my death march schedule.

Piazza del Popolo

Spanish Steps

The Pantheon!

Coffee and pastry at Sant'Eustachio--rumored to have the best espresso.

Courtyard of Saint Ivo Alla Sapienza

Piazza Navona

Rome's public fountains were life saving while traipsing around the city in unseasonably warm temperatures

Sigh. My dear, sweet Santa Maria della Pace. When studying in Rome, a friend and I were assigned a group project to study the church and do some sort of project/report about the site. I can't even remember what our project was about but that church has left such a mark on me. It's so small and beautiful and tucked away on a tiny, winding street. I was so happy to share it with Kurt. [The only thing that could have been better is if you had been there too, Jen!]

Campo di Fiori

I was pretty satisfied with our tour after seeing my beloved church, so Kurt and I settled in for a couple drinks at a bar on Piazza del Fico--aptly named Bar del Fico. ('Fico' is 'fig' in Italian and that was a gorgeous fig tree in the center of the piazza.) For being in the center of a very touristy area, the bar was really low key and frequented by locals. We chatted with one guy and asked for a dinner recommendation. He named a few places but ultimately said the restaurant connected to the bar we were at was the best. We were sold and went on to have a fantastic dinner. Other (extremely important) item of note: I've discovered my new favorite type of white wine. If you ever see 'Falanghina' on a menu, order it. It's light and dry and crisp and delicious. You're welcome!

More Italy to come!

Monday, February 23, 2015

life lately

Well, I've really fallen off the wagon with this blogging thing, haven't I? Things got crazy for a bit around the holidays and now I just sort of find myself lacking free time that feels like it should be devoted to photo editing and typing up a few words in this space. We moved (see below) so I've been nesting and tinkering and puttering around the new apartment trying to make it as comfortable and pretty as I can. Also, I've been doing a lot of thinking about wedding planning which is a bit of a time suck. I haven't actually done more than email some vendors, make lots of lists, and pin images like a lunatic, but hopefully, I'll be putting some things in motion in that department soon. Anyway, enough excuses. I'm ready to get back here regularly. I've got so much left of our Italy trip to share! So as a big catch up, here's what's been going on since Thanksgiving!

My dad was in town in December for a few days. It was such a blast to traipse around the city with him, drink lots of wine and eat lots of good food, and keep him up past his normal bedtime. 

We went to Rockefeller Center one day to check out the tree and St. Patrick's Cathedral (which was sadly under tons of scaffolding).

A friend got us amazing tickets, so Kurt and I took my dad to see a Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays.

Then we moved apartments five days before Christmas! Now I've moved a few times in my NYC career (this is apartment number six if anyone's counting) and this occasion was kind of miserable. The culprit? Way. Too. Much. Stuff. Somehow when Kurt and I moved in together, we both become hoarders and accumulated an impressive amount of objects in a year and a half. I'm really good at squirreling things away, so our apartment wasn't exactly overflowing with junk, but once you start boxing it all up and contemplate piling it in a moving truck, we had a few "how in the world did this happen?" moments. Also, only giving ourselves a week to pack each night after work was a pretty terrible idea. Anyway, we got through it. Thankfully we had help from Erik and Silvia AND Kurt's parents who were in town to celebrate Christmas with us. I'm sure it's not how they planned spending the holidays but we are eternally grateful for all the extra hands.

We really loved our old place and would have stayed there for several more years but unfortunately it wasn't in the cards (long story) so we've found a new place nearby in Windsor Terrace. It was sad to say goodbye to our first place together, but it was only walls and doors and windows so I'm boxing up all our happy memories of the place and moving on with our adventure. I'll be sure to share some new apartment images soon enough!

Well, two days after moving, we abandoned all our boxed up things at the new place and flew to Alabama for the holidays. Here we are at bluegrass night at a local country buffet in my hometown.

Downtown Huntsville

My Auburn architecture classmates usually put together a mini reunion over the Christmas holidays in Birmingham. Schedules don't always allow Kurt and I to make it down, but I am so thrilled whenever we can. My college friends are such a fantastic group and I love getting to see their faces in person. 

No trip to Birmingham is complete without a stop by Railroad Park. Looking good!

Back at home, Kurt took some photos of my mom with her horses, Annie and Morley.

Before flying back to NYC, we tooled around Nashville for a few hours and my mom insisted we take Kurt by the Opryland Hotel. It's a weird shopping mall kind of hotel but seeing it all done up for the holidays is fun.

Back in New York, we spent a few days unpacking boxes, rang in the New Year with some friends in Manhattan, watched lots of football bowl games, and went up to the Catskills to celebrate my birthday (29!!! eeeek!!!!). I had been dying to try out The Graham & Co. in Phoenicia so Kurt and I booked a short weekend trip. 

It snowed while we were there which was super pretty but made driving around kind of tricky. And it didn't snow enough to try something fun like cross country skiing. We poked around Woodstock for an afternoon and did lots of eating and drinking to fill the rest of the time. I'm looking forward to going back in the summer when we can take advantage of the pool, fire pit, hiking in the area, and even a railroad tour!

In case you haven't heard the B1G NEWS: Ohio State won the football national championship! Before the game, Kurt pledged that if his team could beat Oregon, he would shave off his beard (almost 10 years in the making at varying levels). They won! He shaved it! Verdict: he looked like a baby and was very cold for several weeks. It's mostly grown back to a respectable level now, but the change took a lot of getting used to on everyone's part. 

One of my bosses lost her mind back in the fall and bought the office tickets to see Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden. We ended up with an extra seat so Kurt was able to join and enjoy our awesome floor seats. I'm ashamed to say I didn't know much of their music before going, but it was an amazing show and they killed it.

I'm slowly make progress on our new apartment, but of course some of the first projects were to address our alcohol/accessory storage. Hopefully I'll have more pieces to share soon!

Oh, and the weather has been relentless this year. It snows all the time and is bitterly cold. My snow boots are in constant rotation and my wardrobe has been reduced to the few sweaters I own. Spring cannot come soon enough!

Thanks for sticking with me! I'm hoping to have more posts soon, including lots more from Italy!!!!

P.S. - I hope you all like the new layout! I wanted something fresh and simple, so I'm pretty happy with it stripped down to the basics.
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