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!

Tuesday Travels: 4th of July in Nashville

Adam and I LOVE Nashville, Tennesse!

Nashville is just a four hour drive from Atlanta- another perfect weekend get-a-way! Our most recent trip to Nashville was over the 4th of July Holiday. As always, we dropped Samson off with his Grandparents, packed our bags and were on the road. Needless to say, we didn’t pay much attention to the weather and picked the perfect, rainy weekend to visit!

If you have not been to Nashville, add it to your list! There is so much to do and for all ages. It’s a great city for families, couples and a very popular place for Bachelorette Parties! Like Charleston, South Carolina, Nashville is home to some fantastic restaurants. {Let’s be honest..there was a lot of good eating on this trip.}

We started our trip at Arrington Vineyards. “AV” is located just 20 minutes outside of Nashville in Franklin, TN. (Such a cute, quaint town. If you had to Nashville make time to stop and shop a bit.) Adam and I came across AV the last time we visited Nashville and fell in love. It’s owned by Kix Brooks of the Country band, Brooks and Dunn.

Our friends, Josh and Kristy, from Atlanta met us at the vineyard. AV has a great policy that allows you to bring in your own food/drinks on the property. The four of us shared a cheese/meat/bread assortment as we tasted our wines and enjoyed the view on an outdoor patio.

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After a little vino tasting we showed Josh and Kristy Downtown Franklin, did a little shopping and stopped for an appetizer and cocktail. We snacked on Chicken and Waffles drizzled with local honey and Fried Pimiento Cheese Balls made with homemade Pimiento Cheese at Gray’s on Main. {Oh-My-Gosh y’all! We can’t wait to go back and eat them again!}

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{Take a peak at their Menu…your mouth will be watering!}

The decor was very rustic, southern. Old Prescriptions lined the walls of the ladies room, rustic chandeliers hung above and we ate on farmhouse style tables. We sipped on handcrafted cocktails. I can’t remember what we ordered, but they were tasty!

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Music City is home to one of the largest firework displays in the US. (Whoops! Again poor planning on our part.) The streets of Music Row were jam packed and local artists lined the streets performing. We bobbed in and out of crowds, finding ourselves at The Stillery for supper. We started by sipping on Southern Peaches and Strawberry Rye handcrafted cocktails. Both were great, but I would definitely order the Peach over the Strawberry next time.

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The Stillery is know for their burgers and man are they good! Adam got the MC Burger- the biggest burger ever! Topped with cheese, bacon and fried egg! The burger was a heart attack on a plate!

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Josh, Kristy and I all got the Soronan Burger. It was delicious! It was topped with jalapeños, paperjack cheese and a garlic aioli spread. Kristy had a side of their homemade Mac and Cheese- it was to die for, while the three of us had fries. Both burgers are two of their top sellers and oh so good!

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{Check out their Menu…get a burger, trust me!}

Saturday was 4th of July and we started the morning by meeting an adorable lady from Alabama in our hotel lobby. She asked all about our love story wanting to know all the details from how we met and our wedding. She was even sweet enough to take picture of the two of us.

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The Brinkley’s and Fett’s headed to The Garden Brunch Cafe for breakfast. Next time you’re in Nashville head over to Germantown and check them out. Wow! Can not say enough good things about the staff, service and food. It’s only open Friday-Sunday- keep that in mind when planning. We met one of the owners daughters as the family works in the restaurant reguarally.

I had their Banana Fosters Pancakes…oh my heavens! Words can not discribe how delicious they were….take a look at the goodness.

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From breakfast we headed to our day of brewery tastings. The boys were so happy to have such fun tag-a-long wives. Really, Kristy and I should win an award. We fought torrential downpours and monsoons to go from brewery to brewery. We were troopers!

We visited about 4 or 5 different breweries, but Yazoo and Tennessee Brew Works were our favorites. Yazoo had the best beer out of the ones we visited.

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Tennessee Brew Works had a great food menu for snacking, a live band and table games for guest to play. We shared their BBQ Pork Nachos and Charcuterie Board. So much fun!

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Outside of Jackalope was the BEST shaved ice truck. I can’t remember the name of it, but watch for it if you visit. It’ll make you so, so happy! 

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Our hotel had the best view of the fireworks, so we skipped the crowds and rain and watched the show from our room. Sunday we headed out and made a little pit stop at the Jack Daniels Distillery.

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It was a great tour (and tasting too!) If you plan a visit, make sure you go on a sunny day. Much of the tour is outside and there is lots of walking (and stairs)! I doubt it would be much fun in the rain or if you have bad hips.

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Despite the rainy weather and large crowds, we had a fantastic weekend away in Nashville and are already planning a trip back! Do you have any favorite spots? Tell us all about them! We’d LOVE to hear!

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.

Tuesday Travels: Quaint Charleston

Don’t you love long weekend Get-A-Ways? Adam and I are very fortunate that Atlanta is central that we can hop in the car and within hours be in a beautiful, southern city.

This past weekend we ventured to Charleston, South Carolina. We loaded Adam’s car and started the 5 hour Road Trip down I-20 towards Augusta, GA. We jammed out to a CD made by yours truly {you know Adam loved listening to N’Sync and One Direction}, had a little Chick-fil-A breakfast, got our Starbucks Caffeine fix and we were ready to go!

Unfortunately,the weather did not cooperate with us for our first visit to Charleston. Rain. Drizzle. Rain. Drizzle was all we saw, but we did make the most of our trip! Charleston has some of the BEST shopping and restaurants in the South!

Upon our arrival we stopped by Fleets Landing, a local, hole-in-the-wall restaurant our friend Laurie told us about.Fleets is the only  restaurant directly over the water in Charleston. They even have a covered and heated outdoor dining area- perfect for our rainy day visit!

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If you visit you’ve got to try their “Stuffed Hush Puppies.” Oh my word- delicious!

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From Fleets we drove around downtown Charleston, down Rainbow Row, and came across the old Navy Base.

{Fun Fact: Adam’s Dad was in the Navy and his family lived in Charleston at one point. His older brother, Brian, was born on the Base too!}

We crossed the Arthur Raven Jr. Bridge onto Mt. Pleasant, drove through some of their neighborhoods and visited Sullivans Island. That evening we tried Pearlz, another restaurant on our ” Charleston List.”

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{Tip: When you start planning your trip work on getting dinning reservations or be prepared to wait! Happy Hour from 4-7pm had a 1.5 hour wait! Yikes!}

The food at Pearlz was delicious! We spilt Raw Oysters, Oysters Rockefeller (Oh my gosh! To-die-for!) and one of their special dishes of the night, a Seafood Risotto.

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We tired our first Oyster Shooter- it was delicious and started a “trend” for our trip! A spicy, Bloody Mary type concoction, but not too tomatoey as Adam nor myself like Bloody Marys.

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We had the opportunity to engage with one of the Managers, Tim. He was so welcoming, gave us a little history on the building and a few helpful tips for our upcoming trip to San Fran!

Friday morning, Adam had the pleasure of touring the Bluegreen Vacation Properties…that is it’s own blog post. There were quite a few “debacles” with that and needless to say, we will not be purchasing with their Vacation Club any time soon. After the tour we had a tasty breakfast from Caviar and Bananas, a local  Breakfast/Sandwich spot on our “Charleston List.” I had the egg, cheese and bacon croissant, while Adam had the same on a bagel and shared an Ice Coffee. We did the touristy thing and walked around the open air City Market where we picked up a few souvenirs for family and friends. We then headed over to the Palmetto Barn for a Horse drawn Carriage tour of Charleston.

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{We highly recommend doing a carriage tour during the first part of your stay. We learned so much about the city, history and made a list of places we wanted to go to on a walking tour for pictures. Our guide, Mike, was a History major and former History Teacher- he was fantastic!}

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Friday night, we (thankfully) changed hotels and moved to the Elliot House Inn. It is the most quaint  Inn I have ever been to. Just lovely! Our room over looked the community courtyard and had a private back porch.

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Each morning the Inn served breakfast either in the courtyard or upon your request, in the privacy of your room. Each room came with a journal- one of my favorite parts of our stay. Our journal had been kept since 2007 and each guest from that room shared stories of their Charleston experience and places they recommend. Every evening at 5pm the hotel hosted a Wine and Cheese tasting- you know Adam and I were all about it too! The hotel was located right in the middle of Downtown Charleston- off of King and Queen Streets.

Next door to the Elliot House Inn, was Husk, a restaurant we heard time and time again by friends that we had to try! Thankfully we booked lunch reservations when we did because they were booked for the day and supper reservations are booked 6-8 weeks out! Yikes! Everything was delicious. Definitely worth planning for if you’re heading to Charleston. We started with their “Husk” Puppies and their sweet bread rolls. Adam had their Charleston Dragon’s Punch- “Recipe from Charleston Preservation Society. California brandy, Jamaican rum, peach brandy, Black tea, lemon juice, raw sugar.” Both Adam and I had their Hamburger (what they are known for) and finished with a slice of Peanut Butter Pie- yum!!!

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Unfortunately, I got a lovely “Bug” the last two days of our trip and had to lay low, catching up on some reading and NCIS. Saturday night was slightly cool- we walked the city- by Battery Park, down Rainbow Row, the Waterfront and admired Historic Charleston Homes.

Charlerston12Although the weather wasn’t as we had hoped and we didn’t get to spend as much time out and about since I was sick, we still had a great time visiting Charleston and look forward to our next trip! Thanks so much to all of our friends that gave us  tips and suggestions for the trip! Wish we had more time to explore them all!

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Have you been to Charleston? Share your stories 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!