Honeymoon Recap: Getting There and Florence

I am bursting at the seems with excitement as I write up my first recap of our Italian honeymoon.  Brian and I officially returned to the states on Tuesday, we then had Wednesday off to recuperate and I spent the weekend compiling pictures, organizing pictures, and getting ready for our first week back in reality.

We took a TON of pictures to remember every last detail, and I also made sure to write down what we did each day in this notebook:

Honeymoon notebookWe received it as a wedding gift, and as soon as we opened it I knew that I wanted to bring it on the honeymoon to document the memories of our first trip as a married couple.  I have always loved notebooks and I often take a notebook of some sort with me on vacation to keep track of what I do each day, and I did not think that I should fall out of habit with this special trip!

We left for our honeymoon on Saturday, July 13 which was one full week after the big wedding day.  It was a bit hard to stay focused at work with such a fun and exciting trip on the horizon, but I am 100% thankful that I had the extra time to rest, triple check my packing list, and truly get excited for our honeymoon.

Our honeymoon got started in the Indianapolis International Airport with a fun breakfast at Patachou!

HoneymoonI have mentioned this restaurant before on the blog, as it is one of my favorite places for brunch and lunch in Indy.  Their are several locations throughout the city, including the airport.  If you ask me, there is no better way to welcome someone to the city than with a delicious meal from Patachou 😉

I started with a delicious bowl of granola, fruit, and yogurt.

HoneymoonBrian started with one of their open-yolk sandwiches…they are his favorite!

HoneymoonAfter our yummy breakfast, we boarded the plane to the Newark airport.

1-photo (4)-002Once we got to Newark, we had a 5 hour layover scheduled…so we knew we had PLENTY of time to keep ourselves occupied.

We decided to shop around the various stores in the airport:

HoneymoonWe decided to treat ourselves with a yummy cookie dough cupcake snack:

HoneymoonAnd after finding ways to keep ourselves occupied in the airport for 5 hours…our flight ended up being delayed for another 4 hours! Because we were so excited and anxious to get to our final destination, those extra 4 hours really stretched out making our day seem very long.

HoneymoonWe did, however, eventually get on the plane just in time to get some shut eye before landing in Germany.

HoneymoonWe thought that all of the waiting would be over once we arrived in Germany…but unfortunately we missed our connecting flight due to the unexpected delay we had in Newark.  It was easy for us to hop onto another flight later in the day, but we had plenty of time for napping 🙂

HoneymoonAfter a very LONG journey abroad, we finally arrived at our little slice of paradise in Florence, Italy.

We stayed at the Hotel Alba Palace during this first leg of our Italian adventure.

Honeymoon Florence 2We were welcomed to the homey hotel by the friendly staff at the Alba Palace.  Checking in was smooth and simple, and Brian and I were anxious to see what our room looked like because of all the Italian character that the lobby exuded.

We arrived at our room and the only way for me to describe the decor is that it looked just how I imagined it would look!  Everything was quaint, cute, had an antique look, and very welcoming feeling.

The best part?  We were greeted with a cold bottle of champagne!

HoneymoonWe cleaned up from our long day of traveling, cracked open the champagne and began to explore.

Honeymoon Florence 3Our room had a window that opened to an outside balcony that all of the rooms on our floor had access to.

Honeymoon

HoneymoonAfter checking out what was available outside our bedroom window, we headed downstairs to ask the front desk agent where we should eat dinner.

He recommended La Martinicca, a restaurant that met our one and only requirement for the evening…outdoor seating.

HoneymoonWe were able to nab the last outdoor table as soon as we arrived at the eatery because the front desk agent at the hotel called the restaurant to reserve our space…thank goodness!

HoneymoonWe were seated just outside the restaurant’s main door along the street, which provided prime time people watching.

HoneymoonWe started our first real Italian meal the way that any Italian meal should begin…with a delicious glass of wine.  We opted for a crisp and refreshing white wine to offset the summer heat.

By the time Brian and I sat down to eat, we were both very hungry after our long day of travel.  Our waitress set the bread bowl down on our table and both my mouth and Brian’s mouth started salivating…Italian bread is supposed to be delicious, right?

We bit into our pre-dinner bread with disappointment.  The bread was dry and really lacked any of the flavor that we were hoping for, so we ended up giving it a pass.

HoneymoonDespite the disappointing bread, once our actual meal came out our tastebuds were revitalized.

Our first course or “Primi Piatti” was a type of pasta very similar to tortellini called faggotini.  It was stuffed with gorgonzola cheese and pear, topped with a cream sauce and was amazing!

The sweetness of the pear contrasted perfectly with the salty and tangy gorgonzola.

HoneymoonBrian and I were both disappointed once we cleaned our plates of this dish…we are STILL talking about how great it was.

We then shared a “Secondi Piatti” or second course of salmon with a side of spinach and cannellini beans.

HoneymoonThis was also delicious and reminded me of something that I would make at home with an Italian twist.  Brian and I are both salmon lovers, and this fillet had a salty seasoning on the outside that did nothing but enhance the flavor…yum!

While we were so excited to be experiencing the Italian culture and responding with “Grazi!” it was a breath of fresh air to find out that our waitress was actually American, and her grandma lives in Terre Haute, IN (which is just about 45 minutes from Indianapolis, where Brian and I live!)

Brian and I made sure to ask our waitress several questions about how to order, what the different courses were, and whether or not we should tip after each meal.

To top off a great evening, our waitress gave us limoncello shots on the house at the end of our meal.

HoneymoonBoy were those strong….but good!  Limoncello is a lemon liqueur that you will find in every shop and at every restaurant in Italy.  There is a very sweet, rich taste accompanied by the tartness of fresh lemon that gives a warm sensation as it slides down your throat.  Brian and I were unsure of how to drink this (should we sip it?  take it like a shot?).  Our waitress explained that we should take it in about 2 to 3 sips.

Thank you for the advice!

I’ll be back with more on our trip to Florence covering our first FULL day in Italy and the amazing things that we ate, saw, and everything inbetween 🙂

Comments

  1. Oh my heavens, what a long day of travel. Y’all probably could’ve drove to NY before your flight departed lol. Glad you made it to Italy safely, though.

    I can’t believe how close your waitress’s grandma lives from y’all. What a small word.

    You & Brian are just glowing! So sweet of your hotel to not only have champagne ready for you, but to call ahead to the restaurant to make reservations.

  2. Flight delays are no fun! But the end destination is obviously worth it 🙂 wow what a busy first day! I also found the restaurant bread in Italy a bit disappointing… can’t wait to read more.

    • Tara Deal says:

      Crazy that your restaurant bread wasn’t good either! We did have some super tasty bread, but our first impression was just shocking!! 🙂

  3. Oh my goodness, gorgeous pics!

  4. Loved reading your Honeymoon Recap! So pleased and happy that The Notebook went with you on your honeymoon….the start of so many happy memories! 🙂

  5. Anna Kenney says:

    When I read about your bread experience I had to laugh! Florence has the worst table bread! When I studied there, I avoided the stuff like the plague. I think that’s why they invented bruschetta – to hide the flavor of their terrible breads!

    • Tara Deal says:

      Glad to know I am not the only one who thought it tasted bad! I felt horrible thinking that..but the rest if the food was great!!!

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  1. […] the bread bowl and still had plenty of room for our dinner.  This bread was NOT disappointing like the previous night, so we thoroughly enjoyed our pre-dinner […]

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