Sigh. It's hard for me to look at these pictures because this trip was too short. I long to be back there and experience more of it. If you know me at all, you know that I love to travel and go on adventures. From living in Maui last summer, to teaching in a village in Kenya a few years ago, to visiting Puerto Rico and much, much more, I have been blessed to travel the world. In fact, I started this blog almost 8 years ago (what?!) because of my trip to Fiji and I wanted to document it all the way back in 2008.
With all my traveling, I have never had the opportunity to go to Europe. So when I had the opportunity to jump on a plane pretty last minute and visit Italy (Tuscany) for a week, I had to take it. It was a lot of work to leave and a lot of tears and stress to come back to teaching, but it was worth it. In my mind, travel is always worth it.
I am so grateful for all of the "views" that I see in this world. (Get it? Sierra's View! Witty).
I don't want to bombard you with too many photos, so I will try to split this trip up into a few posts. We were only there for seven days, but man, my mom and I went HARD. We wanted to see most of Tuscany area and we did! Because we only had a week we stayed in the Florence/Tuscany area. I plan to, one day, return to Italy to go to Rome, Naples, Sicily, and Venice with T-Money. Even though we were only there for a little bit of time and it was a short trip, I was amazed at the sites that I was able to see. Because it was January, it was not as luscious or as green as other months, but it was still gorgeous (and cold!). I could not get over the design and textures of the buildings.
We stayed in a little country town called Montecatini. It was a pretty small town about twenty minutes outside of Florence. It was quaint, but darling. Our first day in Tuscany, we were exhausted, so we spent the day exploring all of the towns around Montecatini. It wasn't anything extravagant, but it was so fun just to explore the little towns and walk around. Everything was DEAD because of the winter months. So no shops or anything was open. We were grateful that it wasn't busy, but I wished that we could experience sitting outside and enjoying the delicious bakeries in the warmth. The setting of every town was picturesque. We looked really cute in our tennis shoes and jeans, too! Haha.
|I love the eerie feeling of this little street. It was so cool and old.|
|Compared to last photo, I loved some of the colors of the shops. Many of the buildings were a pastel color, but this was brighter than usual.|
|They had the craziest trees here! I loved how unique they were trimmed for the winter.|
|Meow. I thought this path was darling. There were so many cats EVERYWHERE!|
|The windows with flowers might be my favorite European style.|
|I loved all of the buildings and the doors, can you tell?|
|LOVE this shot.|
I want to tell you about this adorable little cafe. This little bistro was right down the street from our hotel. After a long day of exploring, my mom and I were just craving something to eat, but we didn't want to go anywhere crowded. We stopped at this family owned bistro and had the most amazing minestrone soup and calzone. This boy in the picture was in sixth grade and he didn't speak very good English, but it was fun to translate on my app and talked to him. He had muscular dystrophy and we just talked about the shop (with his mom). It was our cheapest, best meal we had while there.
|I had to take a photo in front of the local elementary school. I loved hearing all of the kids!|
|Don't mind the closed eyes.|
|The little pops of green were fun to see.|
|Our cute hotel.|
|Gorgeous view of Montecatini Alto on the hill!|