Tuesday Travels: Borgo Argenina

Welcome to Borgo Argenina, a truly magical stone estate in the hills of Chianti. IMG_2414.JPGIMG_2419.JPG

Visiting Borgo Argentina was an experience like no other and my absolute favorite part of our Newly Newlywed Italian Adventure. The 998 AD Peasant Farmer home had been abandoned for years when, now owner, Elena Nappa, discovered the property while on a holiday from Milan. A former fashion designer, Elena quickly fell in love with the estate. She knew in her heart it was a calling for her to restore the hamlet into a stunning seven room Bed & Breakfast and that is exactly what she did. Her story of how she transformed this property without electricity and running water into a fully functioning Bed and Breakfast is really remarkable. IMG_2416.JPG

Adam and I drove from Florence to the Chianti hamlet. Passing thousands of grape vines and olive trees, around curvy bends, narrowingly escaping head on collisions with Italian drivers and through the rolling hills to get to Elena’s. Upon arrival at Borgo Argenina we were greeted by Elena’s four-legged friends, Giuseppina and Pasqualina along with other guests who were sitting on the grand stone patio, enjoying a glass of vino taking in the sunset over Chianti. IMG_2420.JPG

“Welcome! You must be new! Elena is upstairs in the Kitchen.” one guest said. Instantly we were family.

Our journey at Borgo Argenina began as we passed the bell to ring for Elena if you arrive after hours and opened the original wooden double doors adorned with iron locks and handles. IMG_2415.JPG

Once inside the main house, up the narrow stone stairway with one tiny window over looking the garden, we found Elena, tooting around her kitchen. IMG_2433.JPG

“Ah! Bella! Benvenuto! I’ve been expecting you! Fett, si?” Elena asked.

She grabbed the keys and escorted us to the Piccola Suite, our home for the next four days. We had a quaint sitting room adjacent to our bedroom, an attached private bath and views of the rolling Chianti Hills and Elena’s garden. PicTapGo-Image-5.jpg

Each room is equip with a mini bar and tea kettle that is refreshed daily, wifi and a hairdryer. (Yay! One less thing to pack!) There is no air conditioning at Borgo Argenina, thankfully, even during the Summer months the nights were cool and a flowing breeze filled our room. Elena took us downstairs, showed us the Parlor and Breakfast Room before heading outside.PicTapGo-Image-2.jpgIMG_2434.JPGIMG_2423.JPGIMG_2422.JPG

After a tour of our suite and parts of the property we sat down with Elena on the stone patio outside. She shared some of her favorite places in Tuscany with us over a glass of wine. PicTapGo-Image.jpg

We chatted for what felt like hours of friends catching up before we realized the time and that we were late for a supper reservation she made for us at Giorgio’s. We will share that experience with y’all a little later. Delizioso!

Every morning, Borgo Argenina guests are greeting to a beautiful breakfast spread prepared by two of Elena’s three employees. On the daily menu: Fresh Coffee, homemade Yogurt, local meats, cheeses and honey, fresh fruit, and varieties of Elena’s Coffee Cake.  PicTapGo-Image-3.jpgPicTapGo-Image-1.jpgPicTapGo-Image-4.jpg

Elena also invites her guests to a nightly Cooking Class at Borgo Argenina. If you’re staying with her, this is a MUST! It was by far the best food we had during our time in Italy and if she had extra room we would have taken the class a second time! Each guest is gifted with her Borgo Argenina Cookbook-filled with Elena’s family recipes and traditional Italian dishes. The time we spent in the kitchen with Elena and other guests was a highlight of our trip. Pop over next Monday to see what was on our Menu! IMG_1196.JPG

Y’all, I really can not express how much HeliHubby and I enjoyed our time at Borgo Argenina. It is in a perfect location to be a “home base” for Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena and more little Tuscan Wine towns. It’s truly an enchanting, one of a kind Italian escape. Elena is absolutely wonderful. She is warm, welcoming and lovely. We felt like we had known her for years and yet we just met. Leaving we all three got a bit teary eyed as we said our “goodbyes.” I don’t know when the Newly Newlyweds will get to return to Chianti to visit Elena, but I do know HeliHubby and I both left a piece of our hearts in Tuscany at Borgo Argenina. It is just magical.

If you’re considering a Tuscan Vacation I highly reccomened you consider Borgo Argenina as your home. Have questions about the hamlet or want help planning your vacation? Feel free to message us- I am happy to help! PicTapGo-Image-7.jpg

Fino all prossima volta, 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!

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!

Tuesday Travels: Doing Disney {Tasting Around The World}

Hey there Musketeers!

Are you dreaming of Disney on this Travel Tuesday? We just returned from a quick weekend trip. I too, am wishing we were walking our way around Epcot. Sipping on seasonal cocktails and enjoying the fantastic March weather during the Flower and Garden Festival!

Come on! Take the stroll around Epcot with us! It’s not just for kids- adults can love Disney too!

We arrived at Epcot via boat from the Swan & Dolphin Hotel. Did you know you can do that? We went through the back entrace by the International Gateway. It was there we made a quick right to cross the bridge into France, where our day Tasting Around The World began!RenderedImage.jpeg

Our first stop was at Les Vins des Chefs de France for a little cocktail! We cheersed to our Day of Disney with a glass of Champagne and Adam had a French Beer similar to a Blue Moon. IMG_8012.jpeg

Also in France is Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, where we had a yummy French Duo-  a White and Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake. SO good y’all! It just melted in your mouth. The Mousse was so creamy- clearly this was not a Whole30 Day! IMG_8020.jpeg

Did you know you could travel 1,200 miles in just three minutes? You can! At Epcot anyway! From France we made our way to Morocco where Adam had his second beverage, a Casa Beer, an original Lager from the host country.  IMG_8045.jpeg

After Morocco we made our way to Japan where Adam and I shared a Sapporno Beer from Kabuki CafeIMG_8061.jpegIMG_8059.jpeg

We passed through the American Adventure (we can have a Bud Lite anytime y’all) to Italy for another glass of Bubbly! IMG_8064.jpeg

Next, we headed to Biergarten Restaurant in Germany where Adam took in the, ehh, local fashion culture and even found himself an Epcot souvenir! IMG_8070.jpeg

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China was next on our list, before we headed to Norway for a Beer with Olaf! IMG_8086.jpegIMG_8316.jpeg

I think a Margarita is calling my name! Is it for you too? Mexico was next where we had Cucumber Lime Margaritas.  A mix of Tequila Avión Blanco, Fresh Cucumber, Orange Liqueur, Lime Juice and Agave Nectar. Whew y’all! These little babies were strong! Stronger than we expected for sure! We washed down Beef Empanadas filled with Barbacoa Beef, topped with Chipotle Sauce, Crema Mexicana and Queso Fresco and served with a side of Corn Esquites with our Margaritas from Choza de MargaritaIMG_8108.jpeg

We finished our snack in Mexico and  headed North to Canada for a little beer eh! IMG_8140.jpeg

We crossed the pond for a Half & Half at the Rose & Crown Pub in England for our final beverage on our World Tour of Epcot. IMG_8152.jpeg

Well just like that we traveled thousands of miles and tasted ten new toddies in a few short hours! What’s your favorite country to visit while at Epcot? Do you have a favorite cocktail or meal you have to get while visiting? We’d love to hear about it!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be back in Orlando making our way through Epcot and the World Showcase? Who knows…with just a little Pixie Dust anything can happen! Maybe HeliHubby and I will make our return sooner than planned!

 

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Zoodle Spaghetti

Ok…ok.  I know what you are thinking. GROSS!

There is no way you can make a tasty spaghetti with zucchini noodles. I’ll admit, it doesn’t compare to the real thing and honestly, it might take a little getting used to, but with the right Whole30 Compliant Sauce and full of flavor meat it can be a delicious substitution and SUPER quick meal!

There’s no real recipe. I just sort of threw together ingredients hoping to end up with something edible. Scary, isn’t it?

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You can use whatever compliant sauce and meat you prefer, this is just what I used.

Ingredients:

Trader Giotto’s Organic Spaghetti sauce with mushrooms  

Whole Foods pre-packaged Zucchini Noodles

Pederson’s Italian Ground Sausage 

In a skillet, brown sausage. You can dice some onion and add it to it for more flavor and extra veggies if you want.

While the sausage browns, heat up a small pan and warm up spaghetti sauce. Transfer sausage to strainer and drain over pepper towels and remove excess oils. In the same skillet as the sausage was cooked in, add zoodles. Cook until desired tenderness. (I like mine pretty tender) Do not add any extra oil to the pan. It will just make the zoodles watery when added to the sauce- gross!

Add meat into sauce pan and stir together.

Once everything is cooked and warm. Add zoodles to a bowl. Top with meat/sauce mixture and top with fresh basil or oregano or both if you’d like! Enjoy!

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Have you made a Whole30 Zoodle Spaghetti? What do you think about it? Do you have any tips for making it less watery? We’d love to know what you do to make it a delicious dish! This one is an easy recipe, but honestly, not one of my favorites. If I have the ingredients and don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I’ll make it, but it is not one of my favorites. Trying to get there though!

Hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole 30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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

Monday’s Menu: Blue Apron Delivery

“Yay! It’s here!”

I cheered with excitement as Adam and I returned home yesterday from lunch in the city with our friend and my sorority sister, Ann Marie. We both had anxiously been waiting for our Sunday delivery from Blue Apron and it had arrived!

On the Menu this week:

Bhindi Masala

Fresh Basil Fettuccine

Corn & Green Bean Empanadas

Tonight’s choice? Fresh Basil Fettuccine

Ingredients: 

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Recipe:

Wash the veggies. Fill a medium pot with water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cut off the ends of the zucchini, quarter length wise and thinly cut crosswise. Peel the garlic and mince. (We have an awesome kitchen gadget that minces garlic- stay tuned for our Friday Favorite on that!) The original recipe says to cut the tomatoes in half, however, we quartered them.

In a large pan, heat 2 TSP of Olive Oil. Add the zucchini, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes (to taste) season with salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes until slightly soften. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook 3-4 minutes until soften. Remove from heat.

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While the tomatoes cook, add the pasta to the water. Cook 2-3 minutes until al dente. Drain. Reserve 1/2 cup of water.

Add the cook pasta, butter and half of the reserved water to the veggie mixture. Season with salt and pepper and cook on medium-high for 2 minutes. Stir and throughly combine.

Plate. Garnish with cheese and ENJOY!

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This meal was WONDERFUL! It made just enough for Adam and I to both have plenty and be comfortably full. Highly recommend trying to make it at home or order from Blue Apron yourself! We will definitely be making it again!

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!

 

 

Throwback Thursday: Not even newlyweds take on New York

Are we just dating? Are we “together”? Did Adam or I know each other’s middle names, favorite colors or board games as a child? All questions we might not of known the answers to when we took our first BIG trip together.

As Adam and I prepare to take-off on our next adventure to the BIG APPLE I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than a Throwback Thursday post about our first trip together.

We began dating in 2012… do you know our story? We were set up on a blind date by a coworker of Adam’s and the Mother of the family I was nannying for at the time. Long story short-ish….Adrienne spent months trying to set us up. We finally gave in and I, yes you read that correctly, I (Holly) got the nerve to call him on fall football Saturday afternoon. {After a TCU victory of course!}

We spent a couple of weeks texting regularly, chatting daily and agreed to not look each other up on Social Media or send photos of one another.  If/when we decided to meet it would truly be a “blind date.” We tackled all the touchy subjects before our first date. Yes…kids, religion, politics…we covered it all.

Two weeks after our first date was Christmas and my birthday…poor Adam.

As a {one time only} joint gift he surprised me with a trip to NYC and so comes our Throwback Thursday post!

We flew into LGA on a brisk January 4th afternoon.

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As this was Adam’s first time to the Big Apple I played the part of tour guide. Our hotel was just a few blocks from Times Square. Shortly after landing and settling into out hotel we put on our walking shoes and started acting like tourists! We saw the lights of Times Square, the Toys R Us, Hershey and Lego Store. Strolled by Radio City Music Hall, the Rockefeller Ice Rink and Christmas Tree, where we took our first photo together after Adam got conned into buying a FDNY Beanie from a street vendor. {That’s a story for another post.}

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That night Adam took me to see The Newsies on Broadway…it was fantastic! His first Broadway show was a success! {Little did he know how much I love the theater and how many times he would be going to the Fox Theatre from there on out.} If you get a chance to see it live, do it! If not, watch the movie!

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Our second day in the city was spent roaming around like locals. Trying hole-in-the-wall restaurants, getting off the train on random spots, and doing a little shopping.

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That night we grabbed some Starbucks and went on a Horse-and-Carriage ride through Central Park. Not to get all mushy, but it was oh-so romantic.

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Our final day in the city was spent strolling through Central Park where I snapped one of my favorite photos of us. Until today, Adam didn’t know this photo existed. New York may not be known as “The City of Love,” but it will always be that to me. A magical city where my heart made room for Adam and a true love began to develop…oh lordy! Who am I being all sappy?

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We can hardly wait for our next BIG CITY adventure! Are you a native New Yorker or just love to visit? We’d love to know your favorite, non-touristy spots as we get ready to embark on our trip.

Stay tuned for trip details!

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds not experts!