Wednesdays with Walt in Italy.

If you didn’t see our Tuesday Travels post, you missed out! We started the story telling journey of our recent Newly Newlywed trip to Italy. Over the next few days and weeks we’re going to share all the details from our two week trip across the pond. IMG_1518.JPG

We’ve got the perfect post for a Wednesday with Walt. If you’ve been following us for any link of time, you’ve caught on to my love for Disney. Wouldn’t you know, Disney just follows us wherever we go?

Skipping a few days into our trip from where we left off, while in Florence HeliHubby just happened to find me a Disney Euro Store! Ah! Y’all my heart was oh-so happy! IMG_1704.JPG

No surprise to us Disney fans, the store was full of Disney Magic. Disney movie music filled the air, all in Italian of course. As soon as I opened the doors and walked in, I immediately knew I was not in the typical Disney Store. The decor was very Italian. Ceilings painted with Roman Disney Characters, paintings hung the walls featuring iconic Italian landmarks and of course hidden Mickeys everywhere!

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The store had the typical Disney Merchandise: shirts, toys, stuffed animals, all the coffee cups and speciality merchandise specific to Italy. I. WANTED. IT. ALL. Y’ALL!

If you’re a Disney fan roaming the streets of Florence make sure to pop by Via dei Calzaiuoli, 69/71/R, 50123 and say hello to Mickey and the gang! The store is in the same building as Hotel Maxim. {Feel free to pick up your favorite Newly Newlyweds a surprise too!}

Have you found another International Disney Store? Which is your favorite location? We’d love to hear all about it!

Join us tomorrow as we Throwback to more of our Italian Adventures!

Until next time, we hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Tuesday Travels: Ciao Italia

A little over a month ago Adam had the grand idea for a Newly Newlywed Adventure. We began our search of where the road- or friendly skies- would take us. Originally, our plan was to return to Hawaii. IMG_1426.JPG

The Big Island and Kauai were still on our Wish List, but with the recent volcano eruption (and taking a helitour over the volcano was a “must do”) we opted to save that vacation for another time.

We spend days researching. Toyed with Iceland, Africa and Australia. It wasn’t until I put my Key To The World Travel Travel Planner skills to the test and happened to find a fantastic deal to Italy, we just couldn’t pass up.

So, with three weeks until take-off the planning began! Once we decided on Italy, we were both craving Italian food. Naturally, we had to have our “planning meetings” at Antico Pizza Napoletana. (AKA: The BEST pizza in Atlanta!) IMG_0394.JPG

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Unlike most of our vacations, this trip was very unplanned. Besides knowing where we were staying, we had no other set plans.  [I’ll just go ahead and put it out there…Being the planner that I am, I did a really good job with being flexible. Just ask Adam.}

July 3, 2018 our bags were packed and we said arrivederci to the USA onboard a Delta PINK RIBBON Plane. IMG_1054.JPG

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We flew in style- Delta One -for our first 8 hour leg of the trip to Amsterdam. Such fun cheers-ing to vacation and our time away! Our cabin mates just happened to be The Mingos and their entourage. After a 4 hour layer over in Amsterdam, a short 1.5 hour KLM flight and two landing attempts later (the Florence runway is quite small) we arrived in Italy about noon local time on July 4th. IMG_2244.JPG

We grabbed our luggage and headed to the Rental Car Center…that’s right, you read that correctly. We decided to rent a car and drive in Italy! That was an adventure in itself!

{Travel Tip: BE CAREFUL if you decide to rent a car internationally. Even though we used Enterprise and booked the car in advance, they tried to over charge us and cut our days on the rental. Thankfully Adam had copies of the agreement stored in his E-Mail and I had printed copies with me.  Slightly stressful, but we survived and so glad we ended up having a vehicle to get around. Also, keep in mind the rental car center is made up primarily of trailers all on gravel roads. It can be a bit of a work out pulling your luggage to and from your car.}

Two bags full of clothes, two over sized wine suitcases and 4 carry on bags later the Newly Newlyweds were ready to hit the road and head to our first stop, Borgo Argenina. A truly magical Bed & Breakfast we cannot wait to tell you all about!

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Follow along our Italian Adventure over the next days and weeks to come. We’re so looking forward to reminiscing to our time in Italy as we share it with y’all! We can’t wait to return to the beauty of Tuscany someday.

Until next time, we hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Girls Weekend in the Great State

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Unless your a resident of the Lone Star State, I have a inkling you’ve not. Fun Fact! Fredericksburg is the 5th largest wine producer in the US! Cheers y’all!

Last weekend Aunt Tina and I surprised Mom with {another} 60th Birthday Celebration! She knew she was heading to the GREAT STATE with two of her favorite people, but little did she know all the surprises we had in store!

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We told her to pack her bags- we were heading to Texas! Friday morning we were wheels up for Texas, flying from Atlanta to San Antonio. We picked up our rental car and I played Uber driver for our 57 mile commute to our VRBO rental in Kerrville. (About 25 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg.) Mom just couldn’t wrap her head around WHY we had to rent a house if it was just the three of us. Even though we told her it was cheaper than staying in town and probably a lot nicer than the local Holiday Express Motel.

This home was stunning y’all and Erin, the owner, was fantastic to work with. The house was updated and the views were spectacular- the rolling Texas hills made us feel like we were up in the hills of Hollywood. The Master Bathroom had a walk-in shower with three, yes THREE, shower heads! Don’t get me started on the backyard with the fire pit, outdoor kitchen and  infinity pool- absolutely breathtaking y’all! Highly recommend this property if you’re heading to Fredericksburg for any occasion! Wish we could have spent more time there!

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The real reason we needed a larger house? It was not going to be just the three of us spending the weekend together hopping around tasting wine. We were spending the weekend with a few of our favorite Texas women- sorority sisters, family, friends from fifth grade and friends that are like family! SURPRISE TG!

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Friday Night was spent with guests arriving sporadically surprising Mom. Catching up, laughing like school girls and of course cheers-ing to our Birthday Girl!

Saturday we got up bright and early to hit the Texas Wine Trail! We used The 290 Wine Shuttle Company, which was fantastic! They charter guests around to 13 local wineries for a very reasonable fee. It was so nice not having to worry about calling an Uber or having a one of the girls miss the fun and play Designated Driver.

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We started at Barons Creek for a quick tasting of five or six varieties.

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They have a huge tasting room, complete with multiple private rooms, a lovely back garden space and gift shop. The Viognier was one of our favorites from the tasting- it has ripe apricot and delicate lemon zest flavors combination in this delicious Texas Viognier. This wine has a long, creamy finish. It’s a fantastic companion for shrimp or lobster with butter sauce.

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Mom also really enjoyed their Muscat Canelli, a deliciously sweet and balanced wine bursting with flavors of peach, honeydew and a hint of grapefruit. It is a perfect aperitif on a warm day but you can also pair it with fruit salad or Thai cuisine. That has her name all over it!

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From Barons Creek we had a short wait for the 290 Bus and headed to Grape Creek: The Tuscany of the South.

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Grape Creek is a local favorite. The property was beautiful! You really did feel like you were in Tuscany! The tasting area was VERY crowded and on weekends they do limit the number of guests per tasting groups. This vineyard was highly recommend, so we broke into small groups for tasting prior to our arrival. Our tasting experience was ok. Our guide was not full of that Southern Texas hospitality until I decide to sign up for their Wine Club. We had to wait over an over an our for a tasting, their restaurant was packed and the check-in station seemed a little frazzled and not able to give us real information the wait time, availability, etc. I wish the customer service experience as a little different because the wine was quite good. We ended up finding a spot to sit and share a bottle and a stunningly delicious charcuterie board together before heading to our final stop of the day.

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Our third winery was Fat Ass.

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Our favorite for the atmosphere! {With a name like Fat Ass, how could it not?}  It was such fun y’all! Very laid back, low key environment with a live band. So, so much fun! Their wine supply was down when we were there, but they make a wine slushy that went down way too easily! A perfect drink for Summer days. Definitely plan to stop by Fat Ass when you head to the Texas Wine Country! We had the best time!

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Whew! Feeling wined-up yet? Hang on and pop over next week for our Travel Tuesday series when we wrap up our weekend in the Wine Country!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Memory Maker: A Key To Our World

If you know HeliHubby and I through our blog or in real life, you have probably caught on to a few things about us.

We love to travel.

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I am quite the planner.

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I have a {healthy} love for Disney, that Adam is slowly starting to appreciate.

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If I was a betting lady (and I am) I’d bet in 2018, Adam and I have spent more nights in a hotel than in our own home. You tell us when and where and  bags are packed and we’re out the door! Traveling has always been a big part of our relationship. While we were on our first date we traveled to the Georgia/Alabama boarder, just so we could say we crossed the state line, knowing it would make for a good story later down the road. We took our first trip together to New York City after only knowing each other for three weeks.  Adam works in aviation, I used to be a flight attendant, we got engaged in a helicopter, arrived at our Wedding reception in the same one and y’all know we just added, “Elsa,” our 1967 Cessna 182 to our family.

83E96767-399E-49CA-95AB-688FABD15D71.jpegRoad Trips, plane rides, cruises, you name it. If we have an opportunity seek a new adventure, we go explore!

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Part of the traveling aspect I love the most is the planning. Researching the cities we’re visiting, finding the local favorites, best restaurants and things to see. I do it all! I’ve always been an organizer and planner. From planning Sorority functions to being hired for private event planning jobs, vacations for Adam and I or for family and friends. I am always planning. Don’t get me wrong, not ALL things are planned. We are semi-spontainous when we travel and in daily life. We do however, try our best to maximize our time while on vacation and planning correctly is a big part of that.

Since October I have gone to Disney World at least once a month. (The benefits of living within driving distance and having an Annual Pass.) Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in October, a “just because” visit in November, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with the family in December, another “just because trip” in January, ran the Walt Disney World Princess 10k in February, and in March for Spring Break and Spring Training. Now some call this a little extreme or even an obsession- ha! I like to think of it as a more enjoyable way to get in my daily steps. It doesn’t matter your reasoning for going or how old you are, Disney is always magical. From the moment you walk through the front gates, hear the music playing in the background and the smells of popcorn and cotton candy fill the air, you can’t help but get butterflies of excitement.

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Don’t you wish you were there now?

Friends and family heading to Disney always reach out asking for help in planning their Disney Trip- Where should they stay? What fast passes should they get? What’s the best character dining? I get giddy with excitement for them and all the fun I know they will have at Walt Disney World. I love having the opportunity to help them plan their magical adventure.

So……after countless friends and family suggesting, years of researching and thinking it over I’m taking the plunge and becoming a TRAVEL PLANNER with Key To The World Travel!

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PINCH ME!

Is this a dream? I have found a career path that ties all of my favorite things together, traveling, planning and Disney. I could not be more excited! So while I am going to be specializing in Disney Destinations, I can plan any vacation for you! Cruises, All-Inclusvies, excursions, you name it, I can plan it!

Thank you to all my friends and family that encouraged me to pursue this new path. Thank you for trusting me to help plan your vacations and referring me to your friends too! I am thrilled to be doing Travel Planning and can not thank each of you enough for your support while I embark on this new adventure!

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Let’s get your bags packed and start planning your next vacation!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed adventures as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Tuesday Travels: Girls Trip!

Sorry @HeliHubby, but you’re not invited on this impromptu Girls Trip!

Two weeks ago I bought a plane ticket, packed my suitcase and decided to set sail with my best girlfriend and Sorority Sister on my first Royal Caribbean Cruise to Key West and Nassau!

Why you ask? Why not? Ann Marie was on Winter Break from school, Adam was on-call and would be working late every night, so the two of us decided to take a little long weekend “Mardi Gras” themed Girls Getaway!

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DIY Surprise: All the staples you’d need on a Cruise for our Mardi Gras themed getaway! 

Samson spent the week at his Tonna and Buddy’s. Adam was wife and puppy free! Don’t let him fool you! He was loving “his” time while I was sailing the seas!

We flew Delta from ATL to FLL and used Uber to get us to the Miami Port. It’s so much cheaper flying into Fort Lauderdale than Miami and the Uber ride was less than $40 each way. We got to port around 10am and only waited about 20 minutes before we could get on our ship, The Empress of the Seas.

When on vacation it’s always cocktail time! We wasted no time finding a spot on the ship  to sit and sip while we waited for our room. IMG_5737.jpeg

Obviously, our room was the cutest on the entire ship! Laissez les bons temps rouler y’all! We were ready to let the good times roll on this girls getaway!

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We spent the day checking out the ship. EOTS is the oldest in the Royal Caribbean fleet. It is a smaller boat, but was nice to get the lay of the sea quickly. The main areas have recently been updated, but the rooms were very outdated.  We waved Bon Voyage to Miami and like the old women we are, went to bed before 8! {Hey now, getting up at 3am for a flight and traveling all day will do that to you! Besides we couldn’t wait to see what towel animal we got!}

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Day 2:

We docked in Key West on schedule. We had breakfast at the main buffet full of all sorts of options- you could be healthy if you want or load up on all the pastries. They had someone making omelets to order and were more than willing to help make my meal as Whole30 Compliant as possible. Afterwards we hopped off the boat and went to do a little site seeing. We visited Mallory Square to see the Kissing Couple and The Southern Most Point in the US. {Everything in Key West is the “Southern Most.” You’ll see it everywhere when you go.} IMG_5768.jpegIMG_5862.JPG

If you’ve not been to Key West before, Duval Street is the main street in town. It’s full of shopping, restaurants, night life, art galleries and touristy gimmicks like coconut water that I just had to have!

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Duval Street reminds me of New York City. It is the Street that doesn’t sleep! When you’re out and about shopping check out The Spice & Tea Exchange. It’s a franchise store, but each location has speciality teas and spices specific to their store. Since I starting getting into loose leaf teas in December, it has become a favorite store! This location has a Creme Brûlée tea you’ve got to try it! Oh-so good!

Everyone loves Kermit’s Key Lime Store. Pop in for a sample or a Key Lime Pie on a Stick! Everything in the store is made with Key Limes. They are proud of their products. There are a ton of touristy gift shops around town that sell similar items at a lower cost, just so you know! If you have time, pop into The Key West Rum Distillery. I was on a #Whole30 and didn’t do any sampling, but we did come home with a few surprises for the boys from here. They offer tours, tastings and all sorts of products. I will say the staff was not the friendliest, so be prepared! Just down from the Distillery is a great Lilly Pulitzer store and we all know how AM and I love our Lilly! Our favorite find {and where I did the most damage} in Key West was Antica Sartoria. Y’all this store is the cutest! We had the best customer service and such fun shopping in the store. They only have 4 locations and some of the most unique pieces. They are on the higher price end, but so worth it! You will not find another person with the same outfit as you! I got the most adorable *camo* top– LOVE! Holly in camo? Who would have thought?

After shopping and being tourists we headed back to the ship to work on our tan before sailing away to Nassau!IMG_5861.JPG

The Crew of Empress of the Seas is phenomenal. Yes or Yes? I know, I really don’t have another Cruise to compare it to, but in general compared to other hotels and experiences, they were great! Hugo, the Cruise Director, was full of life and personality. Always entertaining!

We did the My Time Dining and ended up having Milton and Wimbo as our servers in the main dining room. What a great team! They were so nice- my water glass was never empty and when we couldn’t decide which dessert we wanted to try, they brought them all to us! After supper we went to the nightly show before heading to bed for our big day in the Bahamas!

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Day 3:

We were at sea all day and arrived in Nassau that evening for a surprise overnight. All the crew that we spoke with suggested we stay on board the ship that night as Nassau can be a bit dangerous. If the boys were with us, we might have explored a bit, but since it was just us two we were just fie staying on the boat. Good call!

The nighttime entertainment was fantastic. Vegas Showman, Tony Tillman, is quite an entertainer! He came out in a sparkly suit and y’all the man sings, dances, tells jokes, he does it all! It is a show for all ages- even the kids. I’d go see him again! The second show was an adult comedian. He was hilarious! Definitely for the adult audience, but really funny! Both Adam and David would have liked him. Next time boys…

Day 4:

Nassau did not disappoint! We started the morning heading to the Queen’s Stairs in the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex in Nassau. Sixty-five stairs made of solid limestone rock around 1793 and provided a direct route from Fort Fincastle to Nassau City. It is free to visit the area and is a quick walk from the port. (We walked along side others from the ship and felt relatively safe. You walk through neighborhoods and passed a hospital to get there.) The Fort itself is very small, but has some of the best views of the city you will find. It was about $3/person. The area is surrounded by local vendors and “tour guides” that tell you about the Fort for a donation.

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We walked by the Straw Market, but did not do much shopping there. Everything was the same and haggling with the vendors is just not fun. We headed to the Duty Free shops instead! The main street off the port is full of Duty Free stores like David Yurman, Kate Spade, Gucci, you name it and they probably have it. AM and I took full advantage of our shopping opportunities! We were just saving the boys money!

Our trip flew by! We had such a good time! We had one last meal in the main dining area with Wimbo and Milton. They save the best for last- Lobster tails were on the menu and were oh-so delicious! The boys took care of us bringing us out an extra…or two and even cut it out of the shell for us! We even got a little Dining entertainment with a dance from the staff.

Just like that we awoke to the Port of Miami. Getting off the boat and going through customs was a breeze. No line. No wait. It was a great experience. Finding the Uber pick-up location was a bit chaotic, but overall not bad. I would do it again!

I am missing the sun and the ocean breeze, aren’t you? Such a great time with a great friend and the most perfect weather for a little weekend getaway! Can not say enough great things about the Ship’s Staff and the cruising experience. Guess it is time to book our next trip! Maybe the boys will be invited this time!

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Are you an avid cruiser? Share your tips and tricks with us! We are foodies and I have to say I was a little disappointed in the food…it was just ok. Tell us your favorite cruise lines and why- we want all the details y’all!

Signing off for now! Time to pack up and get ready for our next trip…DISNEY! Tune in next Tuesday for a little Disney fun!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlyed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Let’s go fly a plane!

Yep. I said it.

On Sunday, August 20, 2017 when Adam decided to go “practice flying” I said, “Yea. Sure I’ll go.”

I’m not sure who was more surprised by my answer, Adam or myself. He had only been asking me to fly with him AND his instructor for 6 months and never did I have any interests in dying. I mean flying with them! Much less going up alone with Adam just days after him getting his pilot’s license.

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What in the world was I thinking? Maybe I was just being a supportive wife or crazy! I guess I’ll never know for sure, but on that warm August morning I decided to go up, up and away with my newly winged Pilot. I’ll share how we celebrated his big accomplishment in posts to come, but figured for our first Throwback Thursday of 2018 and (hopefully) days from getting our plane, it would be fun to tell our first flight story.

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Isn’t that the normal thing to do? Get your pilot’s license and buy a plane? We will share all the details about Elsa later!

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Adam spent weeks prepping for the exam y’all. If you know him, you know that when he has a goal, he is going to reach it and not only reach it, but do it with flying colors. He will be the best. He will do it the fastest and getting his license to fly was no exception. As thrilled as I was for him for completing his goal, it was not an easy 6 months for us. He would wake up super early. Go fly. Go to work. Stay late at work. Go night fly. Come home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. I basically never saw the man. We had plenty of conversations about him and the “other woman” he was obsessed with for months. Plenty.

August 20th was the first day I returned home from a trip down to Orlando. (Adam shipped me off to Disney World so he could study for the exam.) As I walked in the door, he was leaving to go on his first solo flight since earning his wings. JUST LIKE THAT I said, “Ok, I’ll go too!” It was a now or never thing. If we didn’t walk out the door that very moment, there was no way I was going up anytime soon.

Next thing I know I am in the passenger seat of a little Cesnna plane watching my Pilot do his pre-flight checks and texting my bother to let him know we were about to take flight, in the event anything happened. There was no way I was telling my parents until we landed safely back on the ground.

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In no time we were taking off!

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Needless to say my stomach was in knots. I said about one hundred Hail Mary’s and had white knuckles during take off. (Oh, lets be honest. I had white knuckles during the entire flight and landing!)

While I was never fully comfortable during the flight thanks to my nerves, it was actually fun. Seeing the city from above is pretty amazing. We flew around North Atlanta, over Stone Mountain and Lake Lanier for about an hour. Baby steps y’all, baby steps.

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I guess I should let you know Adam did a fantastic job flying! He was such a gentleman constantly checking on me, telling me what each of the knobs on the panel and exactly what their functions were. We even chatted about me, yes ME, taking a few classes just so I can learn the basics and more importantly learn how to land in the event of an emergency. We both think it will help my nerves and allow me to calm down and actually enjoy flying in our little bird.

I am still not thrilled with the idea of Adam flying and us traveling in a tiny little plane, but I am warming up to it. Adam got me my own fancy airplane headphones and the cutest miniature suitcase for weekend trips in Elsa for Christmas. It is the cutest thing ever y’all! (Watch my Instagram for a picture! You’ll love the suitcase, trust me!)

Just from writing this Throwback post, I am already getting butterflies thinking about going up again. After 4+ months of being in service, our little plane, Elsa, should be finished next week! Looks like we will soon be flying the friendly skies together and 2018 will be full of adventures!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (throwback) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts.

Friday Favorites: Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well…it is finally here. After months of planning and watching the count down dwindle your favorite Newly Newlyweds are leaving on a Jet Plane, off to a tropical paradise.

Aloha Hawaii! 21764839_10155795375444923_6606157555300774428_n.jpg

We’re hopping on a Delta flight non-stop to Honolulu and catching a connection to Maui. We will spend a few days on Maui then Island hopping to Oahu for the remainder of our trip.

Thank you to all of our friends that gave us planning tips and tricks to prepare for our trip!

Are you picturing being laying beachside, drink in hand with a little umbrella? Umm YES please!

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Have you visited Paradise? We’d love to know your MUST DOs, favorite local spots and all those tourist traps that are worth it.

Catch you Island Side!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds not experts!