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: 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!

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!

Tuesday Travels: Spring Training

Well most of y’all know Adam and I can’t stay in Atlanta too long without getting the “itch” to travel. With just a few days until the Braves Home Opener we wanted to share our Spring Training Tuesday Travels.

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Adam and I share a love for sports- hence scheduling our wedding around Michigan Football. {Man! Did he luck out or what?} The last 3 years we’ve made the 7 hour road trip down to Orlando to take in a little Spring Training action- a tradition I grew up on- now an annual trip for us. We typically take in a Braves vs Tigers game or two. Nothing like a House Divided competition!

Braves vs Tigers Game 2014
Braves vs Tigers Game 2014

This year, while we were in Orlando, both of our families were visiting the area as well. We met my Dad, Adam’s cute little Grandpa (picture the cute man from Disney’s UP), 3 of Adam’s Uncles and his Aunt in Celebration at the Market Street Cafe for Breakfast before heading to Disney’s ESPN Wide World Of Sports to cheer on the Braves and Tigers. Out come? Tigers slaughtered the Braves…and I have yet to hear the end of it!

Dad&I Braves Game            Adam&Grandpa Braves Game

This March we had the opportunity to make a trip out to Arizona to visit Adam’s Parents, where they spend the winter season. No trip would be complete without planning an outing to a ball park!

I am my fathers daughter.

 There’s nothing like the aroma of hotdogs smothered in mustard, sunscreen filling the air and the sound of bats cracking as the crowd cheers in the background to bring in Baseball’s Regular Season. We had a great time cheering on the Royals, visiting a new ballpark and even ran into one of my college friends, Nicki and her family.

Royals Game

Whether it is traveling and exploring a new city or traveling to cheer on our favorite teams with Family and Friends, Adam and I will always have a passion for both as Newly Newlyweds or Nearly Newweds. We hope you too have a passion that you can share with your significant other and experience together.

Cheers to a great Baseball {winning Braves} Season and safe travels to all! Stay tuned for details on our next Big Adventure!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments!

Cheers!

Adam&Holly