italian honeymoon photo diary | florence.

florence17 florence19 florence31 florence28 florence3 florence21 florence4 florence7 florence9 florence10florence22 florence13 florence14 florence29 florence35 florence16 florence30 florence36florence2 florence18 florence15florence20florence40florence45the last stop of our trip (*tear) was florence and it was so much fun to be in a bustling city!  tuscany and cinque terre were both fairly quiet and mellow, lake como was pretty mellow but a little more city-like, and florence was pure CITY.  our hotel was super modern and artsy and hip and located 2 steps away from the arno river — i highly recommend this place!  as i’m sure you can tell by the photos, we spent most of our time in florence shopping, eating, more eating, more shopping, sight-seeing, and lots of walking.  they have the coolest vintage shops sprinkled all throughout the city and we attempted to find as many as we could because old italian stuff is just really cool.  another thing i absolutely loved was all of the neat signage and typography around the city.  (it’s so nice to be inspired outside of pinterest and blogs for a change.)

i am pretty surprised that we managed to get by on our whole trip by knowing approximately 6 words of italian.  (americans are spoiled – everyone else in the world knows english!).  this was also the longest consecutive amount of time reis and i have spent together just the two of us and we had the BEST time.  we are so thankful, blessed, and fortunate we were able to go on such an incredible honeymoon.  i can’t wait to travel more with him and we already know we want our next european venture to be france and amsterdam…saving our pennies until then!

italian honeymoon photo diary | bellagio, lake como.

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*i don’t know what it is about me and publishing blog posts before i’m done!  woops.

during our stay in como we went across the lake to bellagio to take a cooking class!  it was really fun learning how to make homemade pasta and pretending like i was gourmet for a day using fancy spices like saffron.  we got to enjoy the meal we prepared for lunch and it was delicious.  it was rewarding to be eating the fruits of our labor…even though the chef definitely did most of the work while we watched and listened.

the whole town of bellagio is on a slope and you have to walk up and down cobblestone steps to get everywhere.  reis fell in love with those little fiat cars and i swear he would have shipped one back to hawaii if we had the money.  everywhere you turn in bellagio is picture-worthy.  the views of the lake were so stunning and majestic we couldn’t stop staring…or snapping photos.  the water looked creamy and buttery and the backdrop of the snow-capped swiss alps was majorly swoon-worthy.  last stop: florence!

italian honeymoon photo diary | lake como.

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there is something purely magical about lake como.  i don’t know what it is — and i don’t like picking favorites…but i think lake como might have been my favorite stop on our honeymoon!  but that’s not true because i really fell in love with every single place we went!  we took the train from cinque terre to milan (which, btw, the milan train station is kinda ridiculously cray cray.  reis is slightly directionally challenged and this place was STRESSFUL), and then from milan to como.  we stayed at albergo terminus, an amazing hotel built in the 19th century located right on the lake.  it had a semi-haunted/eerie feeling about it, but in a cool way…think hollywood tower of terror kind of creepy.  it was the perfect walking distance to everything – restaurants, shops, the lake…we loved it.  i really loved how each place we went to in italy was SO different – it definitely made each place really exciting to explore.

on our first day there we went shopping (i was on the hunt for the perfect leather bag), had our routine afternoon gelato/cappuccino break – cremeria bolla is SO GOOD, and walked around the lake.  we discovered the most beautiful little park that was covered in leaves and obviously perfect for photo-taking.  the whole atmosphere was so romantic with the brisk air, the pinkish/yellow sky, a slight fog hanging over the lake, and being with my new husband!  i’m telling you – italy in the fall is truly AMAZING.  everything from the colors, the weather, being able to bundle up in boots and scarves (!) — it is so beautiful!    the second day in como we went to bellagio, a swanky town across the lake.  but since i got photo-happy and there were wayyy too many pics for this one post, that post is coming tomorrow.

italian honeymoon photo diary | cinque terre.

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cinque terre is hands down one of the most beautiful places in the world.  we took the train from tuscany and when we arrived in monterosso, we were so giddy we could hardly wait to put our bags down to explore the seaside town.  we stayed at the quaint hotel pasquale in a room overlooking the water and woke up each morning to an incredible sunrise right outside our window (9th photo from the top).  the colors of the water and sky were unreal — beyond anything i have ever seen before!  we had cappuccinos every single day we were in italy with breakfast – those italians sure know how to work their espresso machines because the coffee over there is on another level.  our hotel breakfast in cinque terre was probably our favorite breakfast of  the entire trip.  they made fresh croissants each morning and we could smell them baking from our room.  i would go back and stay at this hotel again just for the croissants.  they were that good.

on our second day there, we went on an early hike from monterosso to vernazza (you can hike to all 5 towns but a few trails are closed right now because they’ve been rained out).  besides having a slight 30 second panic attack that i was going to fall off the side of the mountain when we took a wrong turn and ended up off of the path, the hike really was amazing.  the weather could not have been more perfect and the views looking out at the mystical cliffs and down into vernazza were insane.  italy is one of those places that really is as picturesque in person as it is in photos (if not even more beautiful!).  we spent the rest of the day exploring riomaggiore and manarola, two of the other towns that make up cinque terre.  we ate as much gelato as we possibly could and ate our way through the towns at pizzerias, cafes, and ristorantes.  next stop: lake como!

italian honeymoon photo diary | tuscany.

tuscany8tuscany16tuscany14 tuscany15tuscany3 tuscany18tuscany20 tuscany6tuscany19 tuscany4tuscany5tuscany22 tuscany13tuscany9 tuscany10 tuscany12 tuscany11our first stop on our honeymoon was tuscany.  just looking at these photos makes me want to go back already!  we were both pretty exhausted from all of the excitement and craziness leading up to our wedding so we wanted to go somewhere relaxing to start off our trip.  we stayed in petroio, a quaint little village about an hour outside of siena, at a villa called palazzo brandano.  i can’t say enough good things about that place…we experienced the most amazing service here of our entire trip!  the hotel manager drove us around tuscany since we didn’t have a car and made sure we were well taken care of on our honeymoon.  tuscany was just beautiful at this time of year with its rolling hills, vineyards, orange and yellow leaves, and gorgeous sunsets.  i am really glad we went in the fall when there are not as many tourists and everything is less crowded!  we explored pienza and montepulciano while we were there, ate delicious food, and took a lot of long walks everywhere our legs could take us.  the roads are so tiny and narrow and i just have a major thing for cobblestone streets!!  it makes every city just so unbelievably charming.  i couldn’t get enough of it!  up next: cinque terre.


sweet november.

image of vernazza (one of our stops in italy) via

november will pretty much be the BEST MONTH OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.  i am getting married to my best friend.  we leave for ITALY (!!!) on our honeymoon the day after our wedding.  then we fly back to hawaii 10 days later and our north shore reception will be held in reis’ parent’s backyard 2 days after thanksgiving!  and my whole family is flying out for it too!!  i can’t believe it’s all coming up so quick!  so much to do – so little time!  but i am enjoying every single minute of it.  it’s so weird — i want the next two months to fly by so it can be here already, yet i want it to go super slow so i have more time to do everything i want/need to do for both our CA wedding and our HI reception.   i am trying to blog as often as i can (which obviously isn’t happening) just so i can re-live this special time in my life when i’m feeling nostalgic.  but dang…time is of the essence and any of it that i do have is spent crafting, scheming, and designing (three of my favorite things!).  so considering wedding stuff will be taking over my life (plus 2 more trips to california before the wedding), this will probably become “my wedding diary” blog for the next 2 months.  hope you’re okay with that.