Thursday, November 21, 2019

{Travel} Italy-Day 7 Florence

As much as we loved Cinque Terre, we were excited to move on and go to Florence.
 One last cappuccino with this view in Portovenere. #sigh
There was a farmer's market going on so we took a quick look.
 Such beautiful produce!
 One more stroll along the water and then we took a taxi back to La Spezia train station.
 We had to change trains in Pisa.
 We were anxious to get to Florence so we just grabbed coffees and got on the next train.
halter top: LOFT
shorts: J Crew Outlet
shoes: Birkenstocks
 Another quick taxi ride and we were at our hotel. It was right next to the Great Synagogue of Florence or Tempio Maggiore.  It's one of the largest synagogues in Europe.  It was patrolled by armed guards and surrounded by tall gates so this was all we could see.
Florence definitely had its own feel, we were in the city but not as busy or crowded as Rome.
 It was Monday so a lot of the restaurants weren't open for lunch. We finally found CaffĂ© Michelangelo on Villa della Colonna.  Not only was it open but the owner was so sweet and made us the most delicious (and inexpensive!)sandwiches.
 Fortified from lunch, we set out to explore more of  the city on foot.
 We walked through Piazza della Signoria.
 There were so many statues and the impressive Fountain of Neptune.
 We also found Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in  Florence.
 Views from the bridge.
What a gorgeous backdrop!
We got to peek at the Duomo, Florence's most recognizable landmark before heading back to our hotel.
We met up with my friend Lisa from college and her family who live in Florence.  It was a really special evening and you would never know we hadn't seen each other in 30 years!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

{Travel} Italy-Day 6 Cinque Terre - Riomaggiore - Part 4

We ended our visit to Cinque Terre in Riomaggiore.  If you're following along, you can catch up here.
 It's the closest town to La Spezia and the main train station.
 The village dates back to the early thirteenth century and is known for its wine and vineyards.
 The whole village was decorated for their grape festival called Simaatera.
 We were ready for lunch by then and felt compelled to try some of their famous wine.

More pesto for  me!
 I could sit here all day!
 This town definitely had its own unique characteristics.
 More grape festival celebrating!
 We got a little lost but each corner was a beautiful surprise.

 I bet this church looks so pretty at night.
 I was impressed with this interesting gardening technique.
We came upon what looked like a parade about to start but we weren't sure where it was or what it was for.  
 Our last night in Portovenere.
 It was such a special place!
 Veggie pizza for dinner.
Doing a little yacht shopping..but no time for that. Tomorrow we leave for Florence.

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Some Fresh Grocery Finds

Here are some fresh finds I've been loving lately....
I don't know if this is new but it was new to me at Trader Joe's. It's hearty and delicious! 
This salsa is our new favorite. We're on our second jar of it. It has a slightly smoky-spicy flavor and is really good paired with... 
...these Longboards tortilla chips. We really like the shape of these chips and they are perfect for dipping. 
Dairy free peppermint mocha creamer--and it's unsweetened?! Yes, please! 
College Girl recommended these Roasted Plantain Chips, after a few mishaps, I finally found the right ones. They are so good dipped in hummus. 
These should be good for some holiday treats.

We found this shelf stable riced cauliflower at Costco.  I'm excited to try it!
I found this soup at a local store so I'm not sure of it's availability but for local peeps, Luhv foods has killer soups and this one was delicious too!

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

{Travel} Italy-Day 6 Cinque Terre - Manarola - Part 3

When we left off in the last Italy post, we were exploring beautiful  Cinque Terre by train and had just visited dreamy Vernazza
We hopped on the train and decided to skip the town of Corniglia since it didn't have any sea access and we were all about the beautiful  ocean  views.
 We stopped  in Manarola to continue our tour.
 This was another charming town.
 Manarola's primary industries are fishing and wine making.
Their population is 353!
 Walking through the town we came to this view of the trails.
 This is an easier part of the trail because it's paved and runs along the coast.
 We were walking along the trail and looking for the restaurant called Nessun Dorma for lunch.
We found it but the line was too long and we wanted to do more exploring and not spend our time waiting in line.
 We could not get enough of these views.
 The historic buildings of Manarola and you can walk along this trail to Riomaggiore (the next town over).
 Are we really here?
These people were jumping off very tall rocks.
 This woman kept hesitating (I don't blame her!).
 But she did it!
Manarola is the second smallest town in Cinque Terree
 We had one more town to explore so back to the train station we went.

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