Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wedding Picture Preview

Hello all!!  Our photographer e-mailed us the link to our wedding preview yesterday and we are so happy with them!  I think there are still more to come, but there are already a lot to look at here.  Enjoy!

Jess and Chris

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Early Birthday Present

For those of you who don't know, my husband is turning the big 3-0 next Saturday, June 6! Since this is such a significant birthday, I thought for a long time and came up with the perfect gifts for him. They arrived on Thursday and, because Chris never has a reason to go into the guest bedroom, I hid them in that closet. Fast-forward to today. Chris' boss Janet and her husband Tom invited us to go out with them on their boat. It was the perfect day to be on Candlewood Lake. Several times during the day we stopped and dropped anchor, just enjoying the warm sunshine and the company. Towards the end of the day, we saw a huge crane perched on a rock. Now, to fully understand this story you have to realize that we see a LOT of animals in our backyard and are always saying that we need to get a pair of binoculars so we can see them better. So, for Chris' birthday, that's exactly what I did.

Jess:  Hey Chris, we really ought to get binoculars sometime.   (Ha, ha!  He has no idea!)

Chris:  Oh yeah!  I meant to tell you.  We have binoculars.

Jess:  What do you mean, we have binoculars?   (So now what do I do with the ones from Amazon?)   Where?!   (Garage?  Basement?)

Chris:  In the guest bedroom closet.

Jess:  In the guest bedroom closet?   (What were you doing in there?!)

Chris:  Yeah- I couldn't believe we've had binoculars all this time!!

So, needless to say, it came out that those binoculars were actually for his birthday!  Brand new, in the box, but he never put two and two together and realized they were for him.  When we got home from the lake I pulled out the binoculars and let Chris try them out.  His birthday's less than a week away, might as well start celebrating now!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Honeymoon Day 7 & 8...and that's all folks!

So our 7th, and last, day in Italy was another rainy one, but we found the perfect activity for it- taking the ferry all the way down the lake. Lake Como is much bigger than I originally thought, and the ride from our end of the lake all the way to the town of Como took about two hours. But it was worth it! It was so neat to see all the little towns. Chris took so many pictures, I'm only going to post a few here. Maybe in one of them we captured George Clooney's house!

Heading over to the ferry ticket office where we bought round trip tickets. Once we got to Como and realized how long it took to go down the lake, we upgraded our tickets to use the high-speed ferry on our way back.

Yup- he loves me. :)

Views from the ferry

We met another really nice couple, also on their honeymoon, and from California who took this picture for us. Now that I think about it, we met a lot of Californians on our trip! They have the same anniversary that we do, April 18, but they said it was 90 degrees in California the day they got married. I'm so glad that it was nice and breezy in New Orleans...even if that meant I had to stress about rain for 48 hours straight!

There is one small island in the middle of Lake Como. There are a few things on it, including a restaurant, and apparently it is a favorite hangout of George Clooney. We were convinced we'd see George on the trip...but no such luck. Oh well!

Still on the ferry...almost to Como!

A street in Como. Bellagio and some of the other towns we visited along the lake had a very old world quality to them, but Como itself is a bustling city.

We had to visit the Wine Cave one more time!

Last night in Italy...bittersweet. :(

We picked a fabulous place for our last dinner in Italy. All the other places we went, whether in Capri or Bellagio, had English on their menu or a separate menu in English. This place did not but it was really, really good! Chris and I make risotto a lot but we always use a white wine. I got the most amazing red wine risotto here that Chris and I can't wait to try and recreate at home. Chris' meal was fresh pasta, peas, and prosciutto...delicious! It was the perfect way to end our honeymoon.

After all the trains, buses, and ferries, Chris decided to hire a car to take us to the airport the next morning. Though I had to stop the driver once and ask him to let me sit up front with him (those windy mountain roads were rough!) we made it to the airport right on time. Our flight back to New York was non-stop with no delays. We were back to NY in no time! Well, maybe not no time...more like 9 hours! Here we are at the airport in Milan just about to board the plane. We were still full from our big dinner the night before...can you tell from Chris' face?

And, our first stop once we were back in CT was to pick up Bailey from Marta's Vineyard where he was staying. That is one happy cocker spaniel!
The honeymoon was wonderful, but married life is even better!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Is our dog strange?

Maybe. Unlike a lot of dogs we know, we can't buy him cute, fuzzy chew toys because he will rip through them in under 5 minutes. Instead, we stick to rope toys and the ones that claim to be made of "indestructible" rubber (which really aren't all that indestructible) which must get a little boring for Bailey. The kids who lived in the house before we moved in left a ton of balls in the backyard, of all different kinds. We thought we had found them all, but the other day Bailey found this one. Hmm, what is that you say? It's a baseball. A baseball. And he tore threw this in minutes. What can I say? Bailey's special. And we love him.

Honeymoon Day 6 - Rain, rain go away

Our first day in Bellagio was beautiful, but we knew that rain was headed our way and by the next morning, it had arrived. If we had to pick one location to have rain, though, we're glad it rained while we were in Bellagio and not Capri. And I didn't mind cuddling up to my new husband under an umbrella anyway!

These trees were all along the shore of Lake Como in all the different towns. I couldn't quite figure them out, but I liked them.

Chris really isn't pointing at anything, just using it as an excuse to show off his fabulous physique (and, as Chris likes to point out, "I don't even go to the gym").

Another great meal! This was lunch and we met another nice couple from California. They were just starting out their SEVENTEEN DAY tour of Italy. Phew!! I wonder how they made out.

I loved all the little streets and alleyways of Bellagio
Since it was a rainy day, we decided to take the ferry across the lake to Mennagio and see what it had to offer.

Thankfully I did remember to pack the umbrella.

We stopped at a cozy little cafe in Mennagio where I got, what else, a cappucino. Doesn't that look good?? Even if you don't drink coffee, that has to look good!

Chris decided to get tea. You can't see it in the picture, but that couple behind us had their dog with them. Absolutely beautiful and perfectly behaved. We saw a lot of well-behaved dogs in Italy...wonder how Bailey would have done?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Honeymoon Day 4 & 5

Hello! Sorry for yet another long break in blogging, but we have been busy celebrating a few graduations! Last week we drove up to Burlington, VT for Chris' sister Caroline's graduation from St. Michael's College. Then we drove down to Washington D.C. to watch Chris' cousin Jill graduate from Georgetown University. And, although we weren't able to attend, my cousin Nathan graduated from high school last weekend also! So CONGRATULATIONS to all of you! We are so proud! :)

Day 4 of the honeymoon was our last day in Capri (though it was just a half day) and there wasn't a cloud in the sky!! Here we are enjoying our last breakfast...I miss Antonio's scrambled eggs already...

Town square

At the top of the Via Kruppe, one last time

View of Capri from the center of the town, right before we took the funicolare back down to the marina.
Beautiful beach!
On the ferry back to Naples...goodbye, Capri!

This was a very old castle in Naples right by the marina. We had just gotten off the ferry from Capri and were trying to figure out how to get to the bus stop, so that we could take a bus to the train station, so that we could hop on a train to Milan. Thanks to one of our guide books we found the bus stop, but unfortunately it failed to mention that you can't buy a ticket once you're actually on the bus! So, after a very stressful bus ride where we were holding our breath that someone wouldn't ask to see tickets that we didn't have, we jumped off the bus as soon as we reached the train station. It all worked out. :)

After an afternoon of hanging around the Naples train station we were finally boarding our overnight train!! We had McDonald's before we boarded because the train station didn't have many options. Still, Italian McDonald's wasn't bad. Along with a typical chicken sandwich, we got curly fries (don't have those here) and a caramel sundae...complete with crushed biscotti cookies on top!

Here's the start of Day 5!! We arrived safely in Milan. I probably woke up about every 2 hours on the train, checked to make sure my new wedding ring was still on my finger (it always was!) and then went back to sleep. We had about an hour layover in Milan, then it was off to Varenna for the second half of our trip!

In Varenna!! We were waiting for the ferry that would take us across Lake Como to Bellagio. Doesn't my husband look handsome here? After sleeping on a train, too! :)

Approaching Bellagio!

We met a great couple from California on the ferry ride over. They could tell we were on our honeymoon and wanted to give us some friendly advice since they'd been married over 30 years!  And after knowing each other just three weeks.  :) The husband grew up in the Bronx, which isn't far from us, and he took this picture for us as we arrived at the dock in Bellagio.

Enjoying a cappucino by Lake Como

So beautiful!! Never mind the clouds, they stayed there for the rest of our trip, but we still had a fantastic time.

This was our hotel!  We stayed at the Hotel Florence and it was perfect.

We were starving once we got to Bellagio!! Lunch was fantastic.

At the Cava Turacciolo Wine Bar. This was Chris' find and one of our favorite places from the trip. Along with our wine we had a plate of three different cheeses and three different meats...yum!  And, believe it or not, we still had room for dinner afterwards.  You can't skip a meal when you're in Italy!

More on Bellagio to come!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Honeymoon Day 3 - Anacapri

Anyone out there? I'm afraid we might have lost all our blog readers because we've been so slow with these honeymoon pics! Our computer has been in and out of the Apple store three times since we've gotten home from Italy. It'll be fine, but that's why we're taking so long. But...back to the honeymoon!

We spent a lot of our second full day in Italy in the town of Anacapri, the other town on the island. After breakfast, we took the funicolare (kind of like a trolley or a monorail) down to the Marina to go on a private boat tour around the island. Chris found the company Capri Relax Boats and our boat driver, Nuncio, was so nice and did a wonderful job. The tour took us completely around the island and into all the little grottos (caves) of the coastline. We even saw wild goats up on one of the hills! I loved it.

After the boat tour we took the bus to Anacapri. We had lunch in one of the squares and then took the Montesolaro Chairlift up to the top of Mount Solaro. It was kind of like a skilift but for one person at a time. The chairlift ride itself was incredible, but the views from the top were even more amazing! Definitely something you shouldn't miss if you're going to Capri.

The entrance to the famous Blue Grotto
Inside one of the grottos- gorgeous! It was a little too cold to go swimming on our boat tour, but a lot of people go in the summer. We saw a LOT of tiny little jellyfish in the water so I was kind of relieved it was too cold to enjoy the beautiful water!

Perfect weather for a boat ride!
There's my handsome husband!
Nuncio told us that we had to smooch as we went under this arch. So we did. :)

Chris and Nuncio at the end of the boat ride. When Nuncio hopped up on the seat Chris started to follow him, but Nuncio asked Chris to stay down. I guess he didn't want to look so short next to my tall husband! :)

Lunch in Anacapri. A delicious tomato, mozarella, and basil panini for just 3 euros...delicious AND a bargain.

One of the views from the top of Mount Solaro

That's Capri in the background
On the top of Mount Solaro
Then we visited the Villa San Michele, a beautiful old house that's been turned into a museum. The gardens were fantastic, there were just so many different kinds of flowers! From the villa (that was in Anacapri), there was an old stone stairway that went down the hill, under the highway, and all the way back to Capri. It was 800+ steps and, feeling ambitious (and also not wanting to wait in line for the bus) we decided to do it. It was a long walk back to our bed and breakfast but we loved it! We saw so much on the walk back.
A view of one of the gardens at the Villa San Michele

Before we started down the steps. See Capri in the background? That's where we're going!

We had a great dinner at a restaurant in Capri. When we walked in I was pretty sure we were the only people in the place speaking English, which is always a good sign that the food will be REALLY good. And it was. :) I had another gnocchi dish (I just can't enough of those potato dumplings) but Chris wanted to try something he might not be able to find many other places- grilled squid. And he loved it!

After dinner we walked around the main square in Capri. And, of course, we had to get another gelato. Have I mentioned yet how much I absolutely love hazelnut gelato??
Yum...gelato makes me smile.

Ciao to another great day in Italy!