Europe Wedding Adventure – Part 2

The Week After: Tuesday, Sept 9 – Monday, Sept 15

After 9 glorious days in France (and Switzerland) we said our good byes to our loved ones, cleaned up the barns, and drove our silly rental car to Chambéry to catch a train to Italy. And I was super sick. Go figure. My summer cold package came complete with a sore throat, headache, runny nose…the works. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, and I should have known that between the anticipation of a wedding and spending a week or more with everyone who arrived from around the world by plane…someone was bound to get sick. At least my cold kicked in AFTER our wedding day.

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Returning the rental car in Chambéry was a little bit of an adventure in and of itself. First, we had some trouble finding a gas station that would take an American credit card (seriously, with the chip and pin already!). So we tried to navigate all around the town to find a gas station with an actual human working. After a few stressful attempts, we finally found one (insert funny story about Jesse pulling up to the gas pump here). Then, we had some difficulty finding the rental car return place at the train station. After finding it, they, like the rest of France from noon to 2 pm, were closed. The note on the window said to go to the nearby hotel, which Jesse did, and he was told to park the car on the street, bring them the keys, and they’d deal with it. Umm….okay? Since we didn’t have a lot of time to question them, that’s exactly what we did. I think I asked Jesse about 10 times if the person who told him that ACTUALLY worked at the hotel and he assured me he did. Apparently it worked because 2 weeks later we received confirmation that our car was returned (and not just stolen by some dude we gave the keys to). Lucky.

The train ride to Milan was just over 3 hours and I slept the whole way. It was a surprisingly luxurious train! Well, that may be a stretch but it was way better than a plane ride, anyways! We arrived in Milan and remembered our rental car place was almost a mile from the train station so we’d have to catch a cab. Problem: everyone else and their dog needed to catch a cab as well and the line was at least a kilometer long. That’s also probably a lie, and I don’t actually know how long a kilometer is (that was my one attempt at using my non-existent knowledge of the metric system). Suffice it to say, it was ridiculously long…so we walked, dragging our luggage along, looking like tourists with our phones out trying to navigate, and me about to pass out from all the sickness. I’m sorry Italy, that I was not more prepared for you.

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We picked up our silly little rental car and drove to Lake Garda, which was about an hour and a half drive. We both enjoyed the autostrade and comparing the giant warehouse-style shops along the freeway to those in America (and sadly missing every AutoGrill, which we regret to this day). We arrived late to our tiny village, but our hosts were graciously waiting up for us. The narrow streets were everything I dreamt they would be.

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Gabriella, our host, and her lovely daughter had made up our room in true “honeymoon style” with rose petals, balloons, etc. It was seriously adorable.

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Over the next few days we were greeted each morning with a gorgeous breakfast, which we enjoyed with the sunshine on our bare feet under the persimmon tree. And the fairy tale continues…

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Also, I’ve never eaten so much bread in my whole life. It was a dream come true!

I was sick for most of the time we were in Italy, so we didn’t do as much exploring as we normally would have. But we took in Venice one day…

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IMG_4907 IMG_4919This “warning” in Venice was posted in numerous places in various translations. It was never quite clear if the pickpockets WERE the pregnant women, or if pregnant women should be more aware of pickpockets. I found it incredibly hilarious, either way!

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Enjoyed a nice run by Lake Garda…

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Relaxed in some small towns by the water, including an Italian market…

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Explored the giardino botanico…

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Extra points to anyone who can find both lizards in this photo:

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Took in what we thought was a castle [insert another funny story here]…

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And my favorite day; hiking to a refuge in the Dolomites. There are no words to describe that day. Spectacular, amazing, incredible…all of those and much much more.

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We finished off our “honeymoon” with some sparkling wine at our new favorite restaurant.

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And just to share these miscellaneous photos because I love these 3 bikes so much.

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This blog post turned out to be mostly photos because there are some things in life that are better left as private memories…I am choosing to leave the details of Italy just between Jesse and me. =] I am so looking forward to a lifetime of memories with him.

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