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: West Coast Wanders {Part 3}

Friday (continuation): 

{Just joining us? Check our West Coast Adventures on our Tuesday Travels and Throw Back Thursday posts- we started our trip in Napa.}

Adam and I finished up in Napa and headed South to San Francisco. We made sure to plan our way to the city with  a stop at the Muir Woods to take a glimpse at the gigantic Red Woods.  (Thanks to all our friends that suggested this stop.)

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The park was mesmerizing. I felt like I was in the middle of the Twilight Saga. Not as romantic with the crowds and local runners zooming by us, but just as majestic! If you have time while you are visiting the area, the Muir Woods are a must see! {If you don’t have time…make time. Trust us!}

From the Muir Woods we continued our drive toward San Francisco making a detour at the Muir Beach Overlook.

Muir Woods Over loook

Wow! Talk about beautiful views. We just happened to have taken a wrong turn that took us to the overlook. Even on a foggy day the views were stunning. Drive a little out of your way- seeing the views from the cliffs is so worth it y’all!

Muir Woods Over look

After a few wrong turns (are you seeing a pattern here?) and trips over the Golden Gate Bridge we finally made it to The Argonaut Hotel, another Kimpton property. (We came across Kimpton properties during a recent trip to Savannah, GA and fell in love!) Just like our previous Kimpton stay, The Argonaut was not a disappointment!

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The hotel is nestled inside the historic century-old Haslett Building smack in the middle of Fisherman’s Wharf. There was a nautical theme throughout the hotel. Original exposed brick and timbers gave our room a bit of character.

Kimpton Hotels really know how to take care of their guests! We were welcomed with all sorts of Birthday Treats for Adam’s 30th Celebration. Fresh flowers, personalized notes,  a bottle of wine, a fruit and cheese tray and more were waiting for us upon our arrival in our upgraded suite! It was fantastic! We really can not wait for our next trip to a Kimpton Hotel! (Wish they had a Nashville location- hint hint!)

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Once we settled into our room Adam and I were ready to explore the Wharf! First stop, The Blue Mermaid Chowder House for some of their famous Crab & Corn Chowder in a Bread Bowl….OH-MY-GOSH y’all…it was so delicious! If I could only have some now! After supper we did a little window shopping and headed back to the hotel.

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(Insider Tip: If you don’t know this already, San Fran is FREEZING in June. This was something we had heard, but did not realize the severity of it until we got there. Needless to say we did not pack the right clothes! Our first night in the city was cut short- we were two freezing cold southerns!)

Saturday: 

Unlike most of our trips full of “touristy” things we felt more like locals! (Someone even asked us for directions-ha!) We started at the Ferry Building Marketplace‘s Saturday Farmers Market. Rows and rows of fresh produce, flowers, seafood- it was unbelievable. We found a local company who specializes in flavored salts- stay tuned for new recipes using it! Wish we could have brought home more of what the market had to offer.

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We tasted Italian Donuts stuffed with Nutella and shared a breakfast sandwich from the Golden Gate Meat Company-oh so good! You can’t go wrong with Nutella!

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We walked the streets of China Town-peeked into the different stores, stopped by one of the local restaurants for a taste of, well who knows what we actually ate, but it was tasty! We found the Original Fortune Cookie Factory and of course had to have a taste! (The factory created the Fortune Cookie in 1962. They have very strict rules about photos- so we grabbed one outside.)

China Town

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Adam knows how much I love Social Media and took me by the Twitter Home Office….yes…true story! I tweeted from Twitter y’all! I was probably overly excited about this, oh well! Are you following me @Hollywoodhollyc?

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We drove around the city by the “Full House” House and the House from “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Around the curves of Lombard Street and took in the delicious, hints of chocolate from Ghirardelli Chocolate. Yummm!

Market Place

We finished the night with supper at Cioppino’s– an Italian Restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf. We spilt a Margarita Pizza and a few Blue Moons- delicious! We finished the night at The Buena Vista Cafe for an Irish Coffee. The Buena Vista is the home of the Irish Coffee- make time to stop by for one…of three!

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Such a great first night in San Francisco! Stay tuned for details from our final day on the West Coast! We can’t wait to start planning a trip back! If you have favorite spots, be sure to share them with us!

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.

Mastering the Art of Italian Cooking

This  Sunday, Adam and I are hosting an Easter Lunch. It is not going to be the traditional family lunch with ham, mashed potatoes and pie, as both of our families are out of town. Instead we are welcoming all of our friends who’s families are not in the Atlanta area over for a non-taditional Friends are Family Sunday Funday.

What’s on the menu you ask? PIZZA!

I started tinkering around with Pizza Dough Recipes last night and let me tell you…it is not photo worthy.What a mess I made! Who knows if they are going to turn out! Flour was everywhere! I called my Aunt Tina about 5 times during the process with questions:

“How much is 7/8 ounce?” “Does it roll into a ball pretty quickly? What do I do? I think its too runny!” “Now what?”

Tonight will be the ultimate test when we give Recipe #1 a taste. Poor Adam- he is sampling pizzas tonight, tomorrow with Recipe #2 and then again on Sunday. There is always Plan B of buying crust from the store if they don’t work out.

Want to give it a try? Let us know how it goes!

Quick Beer Bread Pizza Dough:

*Substitute unbleached all-purpose flour if you don’t have semolina. We were unable to find Semolina. Other posts may say to use Cornmeal, we found this was not a good idea.

1) Mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until you’ve made a smooth, soft dough.
2) Cover the dough, and allow it to rise for 30 minutes, or for up to 2 hours.
3) Preheat the oven to 450°F with the pizza stone (if you’re using one) on a lower rack.
4) Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a 10″ to 12″ round.
5) Place the rounds on parchment paper, if you’re going to use a pizza stone. Or place the dough on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. For thin to medium crust, bake the pizzas immediately. For thicker crust, let them rise for 30 to 60 minutes.
6) Transfer the pizzas, parchment and all, to the baking stone. Or place the pans in the oven.
7) Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, top as desired, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the bottom crust is crisp and the cheese is bubbly and browned.
8) Remove from the oven, and serve hot.

Cheers to trying new things and learning to be a little Susie-Homemaker! Hope y’all are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

Our Day: The Planning Process

Our Wedding Weekend was everything I could have imagined and more. It was full of family, friends, laughter and love. The BEST weekend ever!

After an exciting Christmas Eve Proposal, we set the date! October 18, 2014! Michigan’s Football Bye Week– priorities people, priorities.

We had about 7 months of {somewhat stressful} wedding planning. Typically 7 months is probably enough time to get organized, plan and execute the perfect wedding, but our day was all DIY. Did we mention we invited over 400 guests? Yikes! Now you know why it was stressful!

Note: DIY- Do It Yourself

I had a love-hate relationship with Pinterest– so many ideas! In the beginning I wanted everything, but finally focused on a “Rustic Southern Chic” look. I couldn’t wait to delete my wedding planning Pinterest boards post wedding- ha! Thankfully I had the wonderful Melissa, my Wedding Planning Sidekick, around to help me stay on-track with one design plan and not go “Bridezilla” on everyone! Adam and I could not have pulled off our vision without her and her amazing team!

View More: http://tulleandgrace.pass.us/airportI grew up in Peachtree City, Georgia. It’s home to over 90 miles of Golf Cart Paths and we’re know for enjoying life at 15 miles per hour. When we were discussing a location Peachtree City was a must! Our town is unlike any other and having Golf Carts incorporated into our Wedding Day was something we had to have. Since we wanted a “Rustic Southern Chic” wedding, we looked at old barns and open fields, but none were golf cart accessible and I did not like the idea of having to take a chance on the weather with an outdoor wedding/reception. After getting location ideas from family and friends we found the Peachtree City Airport– it was the perfect location!

Adam works in aviation with Helicopters and I used to be a flight attendant, the airport tied in perfectly with our backgrounds. The airport has a huge open hanger that with a little bit of creativity we turned into the rustic southern chic location I had hoped for. We hung hundreds of lights. Wrapped pillars with burlap. Built bars out of pallet wood. Painted 400 Mason Jars with Chalk Paint. Adam and I went on countless Junk Yard Adventures to find antique windows, doors, whatever we could find! Oh the details!

SONY DSCFriday morning us ladies left the Hanger Set-Up Crew for my Bridal Brunch at the Swan House in Atlanta, hosted by my Mom and Aunt Tina. The perfect Brunch spot for a Southern lady and friends. SONY DSC SONY DSC

 Later that evening, after setting up wedding day playlists and preparing for Saturday, we all met up for our rehearsal. It went quickly and smoothly and was exactly Adam and I’s personalities. Have you participated in a rehearsal that had Adult Beverages? Pretty sure everyone loved us for making an awkward situation {most of our friends met for the first time at the rehearsal} not so uncomfortable!

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The Bridal Party, Family and Friends had such a great time at Mellow Mushroom for a very casual Rehearsal Supper hosted by Adam’s Parents. There were lots of “Toasts” and it wouldn’t have been a celebration without a Bride/Groom Shot!

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With one last “Cheers” we went our separate ways to {try} get some sleep before our BIG DAY!

We hope you’re enjoying your newly or nearly newlywed moments!

Cheers,

Holly & Adam

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds not experts.