Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Savannah Travel Guide : Guest Post from Sarah Shaneyfelt



Yay! I'm so excited to share a guest post from my sweet friend Sarah today. It was supposed to go up while Ben and I were traveling, but some technical difficulties ended up with it going up today. I first became friends with Sarah when I designed her blog, and then we bonded on pursuing healthy living.. and our love of the South! Check out her blog, you won't regret it! She's become such a sweet friend to me! XO 

Hey everyone!  I’m Sarah and I blog over at Meet the Shaneyfelts!  While Victoria is off frolicking along the Italian coast, she has been so gracious in letting me take over today.  I wanted to recap one my my most favorite and recent vacations—my honeymoon to Savannah, Georgia!

I absolutely loved going to Savannah, Georgia, for my honeymoon.  Because I teach school and got married right before teachers started back, our honeymoon had to be quick and close.  Savannah was the perfect choice!  I’ve lived in the South my entire life and Savannah is old South—which I am obsessed with.  While we were there, I kept wondering what it would have been like to live in Savannah pre-Civil War.  Fun fact:  On a tour, I actually learned that the sidewalks are so wide in Savannah because of the hoops that women wore under their dresses—it gave two women the ability to walk down the sidewalk side by side—LOVE!





Both of these pictures were taken on Jones Street which is called the Most Beautiful Street in America.  I think that it definitely is!  The cobblestones are amazing.  I also wonder how much is cost to live on this street?

The history in Savannah is so rich.  I highly recommend taking a trolley tour while in Savannah and plan on it lasting an entire day.  There’s an option for a hop-on and hop-off tour which is what we did.  We chose the Old Town Trolley Tour company and it cost around $34 for two adults.  There were about 13-14 stops and you can get off any stop you want, walk around, and then hop back on another trolley an hour or two later….all you have to do is show your ticket!  During one of our stops, we were able to tour the house of the Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low.  Unfortunately, they didn’t allow pictures inside, but I loved learning about the architecture from the from when she was born during the 1800s.  We spent over an hour at that stop and then hopped back on another trolley when it passed by!





This is a house off of one of the squares in Savannah.  Savannah has 24 squares, and we walked every one!  Tip:  Wear good walking shoes because that’s all you’ll be doing in Savannah!




Flannery O’Connor’s house—I’m an English teacher so I LOVED this!  (She was a Southern Gothic writer.)  During one of the stops on the trolley tour, we went into a very old Catholic church and I saw her family’s pew.  Apparently back then you could reserve a pew for just your family and it was written into their book in the church.




This is the famous fountain in Forsyth Park.  It’s a huge park and there were always people walking, running, playing football, etc.  I would have loved to have lived near there!

Another great thing about Savannah is the food!






This was my favorite place to eat in Savannah, HANDS DOWN!  I actually begged my husband to eat there the next night!  The Olde Pink House is beautiful on the outside and breathtaking on the inside.  Our waiter was the most knowledgeable on everything—the food, wine choices, and the history of the restaurant.  I actually overheard each surrounding waiter give their patrons the restaurant history periodically throughout their meal.  I have never eaten anywhere with service like The Olde Pink House.  If you go (and you must), be sure to make reservations and be prepared to pay.  (We spent $100+ for two people, but it was most definitely worth it.)




I love Paula Deen and had to eat at The Lady and Sons.  Cutting to the chase:  I was not impressed and would not go back there again.  At least I can say I have eaten there.  If you’re from the South and are used to fried chicken, collards, mashed potatoes, and deviled eggs, then what your mom or grandmother cooks is probably better than what you’ll eat there. Northerners may enjoy it!



Make time to stop by Leopold’s Ice Cream!  There will most likely be a line for ice cream, and one of the owners has connections in Hollywood, so be sure to walk around and see all of the signed movie posters!

Where to Stay:

We stayed at the Mansion on Forsyth Park.  It was beautiful, but if I were to do it again, I would stay someplace like The Bohemian (the Mansion’s sister hotel) or The Cotton Sail Hotel—both of these are close to the river and restaurants.  Stay at the Mansion if you want a calm area to stay in.  While we were planning our honeymoon, we made sure to read up on each hotel.  Savannah is labeled at the most haunted city in America, so we wanted to stay somewhere that didn’t have lots of ghosts. :)  Also, the Mansion is a 4 Diamond hotel and very, very nice!

What’s your favorite vacation spot?




Monday, June 29, 2015

Rome



Roma! I've always dreamed of going to Rome. The city has intrigued me, even before the Lizzie McGuire movie, and that added fuel to the fire. :) This happened in Venice too, but the sight of the Colosseum brought tears to my eyes. Yikes. #emotional. 

In adulthood, however, people we know who have visited Italy have ranked lots of other places over Rome. So I went into our few days there with unclear expectations. And then Rome completely charmed us. Truly, I LOVED this city. I can't even pinpoint why. I just loved it so much. I loved walking all over and exploring, I loved the jolly folk! I would return to this city in a heartbeat. Our formula for Rome was this: early mornings and lots of sightseeing, afternoon naps during the crazy tourism afternoon hours, and evening strolls with long, late dinners. It was so perfect! 

Where We Stayed: 
  • Hotel Milton
  • Why we liked it: AMAZING continental breakfast, parrot hanging out in the lobby, great location where we could walk pretty much anywhere, also close to the train station
Where We Ate: 
  • IL GELATARIA- this place is in all caps for a reason. YUM. Best gelato of the whole trip. We went multiple times. My favorites were mint chocolate chip and nutella. (in the Monti neighborhood, I'll update with an address)
  • La Taverna dei Monti 
  • another favorite was next door to our hotel (I'll update with name and address) and it was super small.. the food was really good but the best part to us was that the dad took our order, the son brought our bread and silverware, and the mom and daughter cooked the meal. We talked to the owner/head of family a bunch and he was super precious.. it felt like such an authentic, truly Italy experience. We also loved that it was next door to our hotel so it might be worth asking your concierge about something similar
These were a few of our favorites, but we found quickly that as long as you're not going to very touristy places with big plastic photos of food, Rome's cuisine cannot be messed with! We would recommend exploring and finding your own gems as well as taking suggestions!

Things We Did: 
  • The Colluseum- we went early in the day and honestly at times it felt like we were by ourselves, such a cool thing to see 
  • The Roman Forum- At first we tried to keep up with what everything was and got burnt out really fast. Once we just started exploring, we had such a blast. It was miserable hot, but we're glad we did it. 
  • The Trevi Fountain- The trip's biggest heartbreaker was the fountain being under construction. I will return to Rome if only to see the fountain!!
  • Piazza Navona- one of our favorite spots.. we both wish that we would have structured our day around spending more time here
  • The Pantheon- a quick and easy to visit spot, but it ended up being one of our favorite places
  • Vatican City (I'm including in it's own post, it's a city after all!)
  • Piazza Popolo- we ate lunch over here one day
  • Villa Borghese Gardens- beautiful views of the city, a great place to rest your legs for a bit!
  • The Spanish Steps Area
Note: We both regret not doing a cooking class! Our friend Lisa recommended it, but after booking so many other excursions throughout the trip, we decided to save our pennies. But looking back we both think it would have been worth it. This is the place Lisa used. 


































Saturday, June 27, 2015

Home from Italy!


Yippee! We are back in the US after the trip of a lifetime. Thanks for being patient with me if you've emailed. I'll get back to you very soon. :)

We had such an incredible trip. Italy is truly a dream. Italians are the friendliest, most helpful people. Every city we visited was so different and fun. Such an experience. I'm so excited to recap our travels and share the things we picked up along the way. The food was amazing. Man, I already miss the fresh tomato and basil! We ate more carbs than I have eaten in the past year- no joke! But what's crazy is that we walked so much that we both came home to lower numbers on the scale. Isn't that so wild? And let me tell you we didn't hold back. Multiple times Ben ate multiple... PIZZAS. Haha! :) Having our fitbit to record this was so fun- btw if you've sent me a friend request I'm planning on taking a few minutes next week to figure all of those out- I couldn't do it from our trip!

Last year I recapped by day, and it took about 85 years. It wasn't efficient or interesting to anyone outside of our mothers who want to know all the details. :) This year I'm going to recap by city, sharing just our absolute favorite photos. I also really want to focus on making the posts helpful to someone who might visit the city, while still being personal and sharing about our experience. I've already got two posts (Rome and Venice) completely finished and ready to roll for next week- so a big thank you to jet lag for that! :) Overall, I'm feeling really inspired when it comes to this blog and I'm so ready to challenge myself creatively and continue making this space a great outlet for me, as well as a great way to connect with others, and keep a great scrapbook of our lives for future babes to read. So excited for what's ahead, y'all!

To start, let me share the cities we visited. All but one of our visited cities are pictured above (I just realized the Capri postcard is missing in action- yikes!) Since we've been married, we've picked up a postcard in every city we've visited together. On the back we write the date and a few things we did there. I keep them in a decorative bowl and it's been a really fun way to inexpensively record our adventures. I highly recommend this and it's never too late to start!

Rome 
Vatican City
Venice 
Cinque Terre (we stayed in Vernazza and also spent time in Monterroso)
Florence 
Siena 
San Gimingano 
Pisa
Naples
Capri 
Sorrento 
Positano 
Amalfi 




I can't wait to share all about our trip, and most importantly.. catch up with you guys! :) What's been going on? Is everyone super pumped for the upcoming holiday weekend? We sure are! T-shirts have been ordered, y'all! :) 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Friday No. Ten


The last few weeks have been so incredibly busy for us- and in a good way! Lots of sweet time with family and friends. 




The weekend before last we went to the Colonial and I've never felt more empowered to be wearing rain boots. The weather was pretty stinking yucky.. and having the boots made the experience 10000% better! There were so many girls in sandals caked with mud all over their shoes and feet.. I was grateful for the planning that helped me choose the right shoes. :) It was something different to do and we had a lot of fun. Also, the last photo is a High School Musical 2 reference.. if you get it, let's be best friends.


Church has been so stinking good recently. I love you, Sunday!




The blackberry harvest has been great! So many yummy berries have been picked. It's a great way to spend a sunshine afternoon. 



Macarons, smoothies, and my people! 


Ben's aunt and uncle are both retiring after a zillion years of teaching. Actually, I'm pretty sure they have a combined 70 years. Last week was his aunt's retirement celebration at the elementary school. While trying to get Cathy and Roy in a photo, Max stepped in to change it up a bit. This photo makes me laugh so much. We love our extended family!


Our hydrangeas in the back yard are really on the up and up! We have several bushes that are really blooming! Ben picked some of the bigger blooms for the kitchen this week and I've so enjoyed them! 


Loving some sweet time with my niece.. I can't believe she is almost one!


I'll be packing just a carryon for our trip- and I'm so excited to share details of how I packed all of my must have items!








On Saturday night our home group had a high school reunion themed murder mystery dinner. I wasn't sure how it would actually play out but it ended up being so so fun to see everyone get creative. We loved every second! Thank you to the Burnetts for hosting! As you can see, Ben and I were the teacher/principal and were supposed to be older than everyone else. In some of the photos we just look like we have baby powder in our hair.. which we do! I also drew some fake wrinkles on our faces with brow whiz pencil. When I first put Ben's on he said "I don't look old.. you're making me look like a cat!" Yikes. Oh well! :) 








On Monday night we traveled about 2 hours away to Commanche, Texas. Ben and his brother Zac were picking out the details for their new custom boots. They did this once about a year and a half ago, but I didn't go with them to the shop. It was such a fun and interesting experience to see all of the different leather choices, and just how the whole process worked. So neat. Because these boots are so nicely made, they will last longer than our lifetime! I love that. It was really sweet for us to pick out the details of the boots and imagine our grandson wearing them to his first Aggie football game as a student, or whatever! So so sweet. 

Well! There's a big dump of what's been going on with us! :) Happy Wednesday, folks!