You know what I love? Couples that appreciate photography! Why NOT have an anniversary shoot?! You deserve it! I was all too excited when Ashley told me that’s what they wanted to do. We met for coffee and talked for an hour but only seemed like minutes (which ended up being her entire lunch hour and then some). I was so excited to do their shoot. And it turns out, they are SUPER natural in front of the camera! My job was super easy. All they had to do was be near each other. So perfect.. I’m pretty sure I let out multiple cheers from behind the camera. They even brought their adorable basset hound, Fenway, for a few pictures. He was so easy going, which I’m not used to AT ALL.
Welcome to Positano!
We picked Positano as the last part of our two week vacation because there’s not much to do here but enjoy the view. It was right before the busy season starts, so not even a lot of businesses were open. We were exhausted, starting to feel a little under the weather, and ready to relax. Well, that’s kinda funny because Positano is basically a city of stairs on a mountain. I knew that.. why didn’t I think of that? We were there for only 2.5 days. 1.5 of those days were raining. I guess we got to relax, right?? And at least we had a beautiful view. The picture above was from our balcony. When the rain stopped, we would go explore & ate A LOT. Oh man, the food was incredible. This is for my friends Tiffany & Raul. In between rainstorms, we decided to explore one of the stairwells that was supposed to lead to a beach. Well, I guess it does, but it takes forever to get there. Knowing we had limited time before the rain came back, we decided to forgo our journey and head back up. It’s a lot easier going down than it is up. This was during one of our breaks. And the cutest little pine cone that ever was. On our last full day, it was such a beautiful day. We were ready! Bring it stairs! (view, again from our balcony) My adorable hub attempting to make espresso. The first night we were here, it was raining, but we had to go somewhere to eat. We walked down a million stairs to the main road, and this was the first place we came to. The food was to die for. And we were greeted with complimentary shots of limoncello at the end. Perfect dinner. As we were walking up the mountain, ending our trip in the gorgeous Positano, I realized I didn’t take any pictures of the lemon trees. So I whipped out my camera.. also procrastinating the hike up the stairs w/ luggage in hand. I was so excited to visit Pompeii. I wish we had more time though. We only had about 3.5 hours before our next train out. Of course it’s not enough time to discover an entire ancient city. But what we saw was just so incredible. The people of Pompeii were building columns when all hell broke loose. They were making faux marble columns, covering the outside of the bricks with stucco. Mount Vesuvius in the backround. The mountain that provided them with a beautiful view also was their doom. DA DA DUUUMMM We’ve heard so much about the brothel, so we had to make a B-line straight for it. It was very, very small and consisted of a few rooms with stone beds. Here Bryan is sitting on one. And definitely not suitable for kids, there were some rather explicit frescos on the wall of some of the sexual positions they offered. Casts were made from the preserved bodies. The casts are a mix of actual bones and plaster. Surreal. I couldn’t have imagined doing this trip with anybody else. I love you, babe!! Can’t wait for our next adventure!
One of our last days in Rome, I felt like we walked the entire city. Our first stop was the Baths of Caracalla. I swear, you’ve never felt SO small.. Everything in Rome is just HUGE! And for these things to be 2000ish years old and still standing… that really says something.
The picture on the left shows what this place looked like in it’s hay-day.
Then we headed across the bridge to Trastevere. I LOVE this part of Rome.
The history behind St. Cecilia is my favorite out of all the churches we went to. After she was martyred, they built this church on top of her house.. which of course we went into. So incredibly bizarre but incredible to walk through this place that’s just so old and in relatively good condition.
This was one of the fanciest churches we saw. Of course we were not allowed to take pictures and there was a mass going on. We sat for a while and just awed over this incredibly detailed ceiling, and when we left, I quickly snapped this picture. Sorry to be disrespectful, I just couldn’t help myself!
We had a good laugh over these 3 wheeled trucks. It has one seat, but you better believe we saw two big men riding in it.
I’m sorry I don’t remember the names of these churches, but THIS was the fanciest. I was completely blown away with how ornate and EXPENSIVE everything was.
The above and below picture are two of my very favorites from the whole trip. For the most part, I tried to keep people out of my pictures, which is SO hard. But these Korean nuns standing there made me so happy.
And not to be disrespectful. I love Jesus. But this lil’ baby looks like a pimp baby. Amiright???
I was hoping to get a wide shot of the Colosseum at night, but there was construction on a big part of the exterior, so I was happy to get a few closeups anyway.
Walking to the restaurant we wanted to go to, the sky was GORGEOUS and everything was lit up beautifully. Of course, I had to use the ladies room ridiculously bad, but I couldn’t help but to stop every few seconds and snap away. Eventually I had to retire the camera, no matter how many beautiful things I saw.
These are the pictures that start our time in Florence. We stayed for 4 days, but we didn’t take as many pictures as we did in Rome. Most of the things we did here didn’t allow cameras. Rome and Florence are both incredible in their own very different ways. Florence was a lot more quaint and neighborly, almost. We didn’t have to take trains to get from here and there. And we stayed in the center of the city, and had the most amazing view.. but we’ll get there in a second. First, statues.
So yes, this was our view from our balcony. The Duomo. It doesn’t get any better.. and believe me, the pictures just doesn’t do it justice. This was taken with my 50mm, so you can get the idea.
So here’s a funny story. Bryan and I decided NOT to climb the stairs to the top of the Duomo. We were so exhausted from the hills and hills in Rome. So we’re waiting in line to get in the church, in the cold, for about an hour. We read that it was free, but we started seeing everyone around us with tickets. After an hour of waiting, Bryan runs to find out if we needed tickets, and indeed comes back with two. But on his way back, he sees people going right in the church from the other side. He looks at the ticket and realizes he just paid for us to climb. We decided to suck it up and do it.. We already invested an hour in the cold!
OKAY, so the stairs. 450ish of them. About 100 of them, VERY steep. Let’s just say that I’m not in the best shape of my life. This was HARD. Every once in a while you get a break and you can let the people behind you pass. (thank God). We got near the top, and it’s basically a ladder for people to crawl down and up on. As we were waiting to go up, we saw a guy, NO LIE, on crutches. Going down a ladder, and facing 450 more steps (mostly spiral). You’ve never felt so bad about yourself until you’ve seen that. Sure, you feel crappy when the old people pass you, but when a guy on crutches can do this, you feel like a wuss.
Alas, the destination. Pay no attention to the hair. But hey, I made that scarf! That courtyard area is where our apartment was! I think I took like a million panoramic pictures on my phone. No matter how many times I’m always disappointed that it never does the scene justice. Imagine my surprise & excitement when we happened upon a Renaissance parade!! Come back soon for pictures of our time in Positano!!
Bryan and I have always talked about if we could travel, where would we go? Italy has always been on our hearts.
As some of you may know already, for the past 6 years my husband has battled kidney disease. He’s received 2 transplants. After his first transplant, we were excited to travel. We booked a Disney Cruise with his family 2 years in the planning. We were so excited! As it got closer, Bryan’s new kidney failed and we had to start the whole process over again. The cruise was kind of up in the air, and his new transplant was scheduled 3 days before the cruise was set to go. Even though we were completely bummed, we managed to get a full refund, and we asked ourselves “Where shall we go?” Italy.
Rome, Florence & Positano were our destinations. Bryan is the planner in our relationship. He carefully mapped out all the little details that I wouldn’t know where to begin with. So lucky to have him! I would be completely lost, and probably still in Rome, trying to figure out how to get to Florence.
We had the time of our lives. Psha, that’s completely an understatement. What’s the most amazing, most awe inspiring word in existence?
We went for the food. We went for the history. We went for the gorgeousness. It doesn’t get any better than Italy.
In attempt to not completely bore you with my loads and loads of pictures, I’ll separate them into different posts. Just check back!!
The only tour we took was the underground tour at the Colosseum. SO GLAD we did that!! We got to go places that other people didn’t get to go, like the ground level, which is pictured here. I looked up and I saw what the gladiators and prisoners saw. Mind blowing. The seats you see there are the seats that were reserved for the VIP, including TEACHERS! Yes, teachers were considered very important and highly treasured! This was my favorite part of the tour. This was underneath the floor where they fought. This is where the prisoners and animals stayed. So, so, so cool. This is where Caesar Augustus is said to have lived. One of my favorite memories from the entire trip was relaxing at the Trevi Fountain. Don’t get me wrong, it was the busiest attraction we went to.. absolutely crawling with tourists and sleezy street vendors, but we managed to find a seat with a good view and enjoy the best gelato that we had all two weeks. It was perfect. In fact, we went back to the fountain 2 or 3 more times! We stayed until it got dark, because it’s a whole new scene. Unbelievable. We’ve always just gone to the Italy section at Epcot and thought “This is AMAZING! I don’t know how the real thing can be any better.” What in the world were we thinking? Legend has it that when you throw a coin into the water from over your shoulder, you will visit Rome again. We went to the Vatican Museum and my favorite part was the Egyptian exhibit. Everything was just so old, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Especially this guy.. He even still had his finger & toe nails! Creepy! Rub-a-dub-dub in an ancient Roman bath tub! (don’t worry, he’s not really in it) The Vatican just blew me away. I had no idea it was so MASSIVE!! When we turned the corner and saw the Pantheon for the first time, I lost my breath. I keep saying to everyone that there is no way pictures can do any justice. You have to see it for yourself. You just have to. On the right: Raphael’s tomb We saw an episode of “Dangerous Grounds” and they had some coffee at this place by the Pantheon. Of course we had to find it and try it out ourselves. The detail!!! Every corner you turned and every street you walk down, there is some tower, or some building that will completely blow you away. You almost begin to not even think anything of it because you see so many things!! THE FOOD!! La Prosciutteria shut us up for about a good hour.. All you could hear us say was “mmmmmm” Every night we would walk through a park to get to our apartment in Rome. This is one of the trees that I thought was so beautiful lit up. Don’t forget to check back really soon for more pictures!! Many, many more!!