Tag Archives: venice

Matters of the heart

They say time flies when you’re having fun.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

And they also say you should probably create your wedding video prior to the eve of your first anniversary.

Well I say two out of three ain’t bad.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since our wedding day. On the one hand it feels like just yesterday we were finalizing details and using all the big-ticket grandparent prayers we could for what turned out to be a beautifully sunny and warm spring day. On the other hand it seems like so much has happened over the past 365 days:

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Dinner and a view. 🌅

A post shared by Sarah Zalewski (@slmurphy) on

  • We enjoyed some romantic meals and date nights
  • And we had a lot of visitors

So since I’m sure my husband is already celebrating our anniversary across the world right now in Goa, India (barring another record heat-induced power outage), I thought I’d share my better late than never look back on the day that I was blessed with the opportunity to walk through life holding this guy’s hand.
zalewski_video

Sarah + Matt

(photos courtesy of the oh-so-talented Wright Photographs)

Visiting Venice: Day 2

It’s day 2 in Venice and by now you’ve established that a day well spent begins with a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant.

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To give you a little history on Venice. Years ago, ok centuries, the Venetians decided that a big old swamp with a few islands looked suitable for establishment of a city. So the barbarians may have had something to do with it, but after surviving a few plagues and purchasing a lot of flood insurance, Venice became one of the most beautiful, and rapidly sinking, cities in the world.

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After breakfast, you hop on a water taxi, or vaparetto, and take a ride out and around the island to San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square. Today, you’re sort of reversing your steps from the airport yesterday, every tiny little step you lugged that brand new but fully-loaded luggage over to get to the hotel.

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You determine the ferries are very similar to the CTA and minus the language barrier, feel fairly confident navigating them with little to no conversational Italian speaking skills yet established.

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You arrive at San Marco and suddenly realize your hotel is in a much quieter part of town.

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It’s a good thing you take way too many photos of gondolas, gondoliers and gondola riders, because you will save yourself 100 Euro when you run out of time to take a ride later that afternoon.

The basilica at San Marco is a must so you climb a steep and narrow staircase to the museum on the upper level where for a small fee they allow you to go out on the marble-tiled roof for a great view of the square. Your legs will tingle the whole time as your new husband leans and stretches himself way too close to the edge.  You make a mental note to adjust your life insurance policy when you return to the states.

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View between the Doge palace (Palazzo Ducale) and prison, along the Bridge of Sighs.

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Grand Council Chamber in Doge Palace, said to be the largest room in Europe.

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By now you’re starving so you wander the winding streets surrounding San Marco until you settle on a trattoria, or rather, you get tired of getting heckled to try said trattorias so you choose the one where they seem to need you the least.

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You wrap up your trip in Venice with dinner at another local spot and a quick stop for gelato. Your next few days would determine that the best evenings are ended with gelato and the best food in Italy is not in Venice.

Next up, Bologna!

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Visiting Venice: Day 1

Today you’re off to Venice. Get excited!

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Wait. Not yet. First you have to get to Chicago. And then Toronto, dontchaknow.

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Add in a brief stop for Fruhstuck (thanks 4 years of German class) in Frankfurt and you’ve made it.

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But you’ll get there eventually. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised by both the quality (very good) and cost (free!) of the wine Air Canada will serve you on the way.

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Merci. Danke and Grazie.

You’ll attempt to follow your new husband’s directions and try to pretend the sunrise over the atlantic is actually a sunset to prepare yourself for the 7-hour time difference, but considering it’s your first time ever crossing the Atlantic, you’re just thankful to focus on the free movies instead of the potential water landing.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridgeYou take a bus from the airport and arrive to the island mid-morning. It’s just a short walk to the hotel and as soon as you step foot inside to be greeted by the friendly staff, it starts pouring outside. A beautiful and perfectly-timed rain shower.

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You get a caffeine fix from the staff while you wait for your room to be ready. A cappuccino for her and an espresso for him before heading out to explore in an effort to avoid complete jet lag.

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Obviously bright-eyed, you spend the afternoon exploring the narrow streets lined by canals and the cutest little boats you’ve ever seen.

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The rain lasts just long enough for you to still think it’s pretty. It’s the last sign of clouds or precipitation you’ll experience for the next 10 days.

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You make it to dinner and based on a recommendation from the concierge where the menu is in Italian and the waitress doesn’t speak English. A perfect end to a very long day and the beginning of a wonderful honeymoon.

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Oh hello there!

Should we try this again? You know that whole I actually login and write stuff down about what’s going on in our crazy life and you occasionally read it, offer color commentary or just secretly binge read a month’s worth of posts like I do with oh so many bloggers?

Truth is its hard to get back to blogging when you’ve left for a while. It’s like skipping the gym. So you miss one day. It’s not that big of a deal if you creep back in the next day. But skip three or more days? Well you might as well put on your sweats and start a monthly pizza and beer subscription because you aren’t leaving your couch anytime soon. Restarting is the hardest part. Which reminds me. I should really get back to the gym.

Where do you start? How do you catch people up on the last few months when more blog worthy events have occurred in a few weeks than you could have ever dreamed of in your blog life?

I’m sure you’ve heard of writers block but when one (well way more than just one) plans a wedding in just under 6 months, executes said wedding at the end of last month and then leaves directly for a honeymoon that took her and her new husband (still sounds weird) through 4 cities in Italy in less than 10 days well then you have the opposite problem. An intoxication of blog content (and red wine and Renaissance Art and bread and gelato).

 

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Don’t get me wrong it’s a great problem to have. We’ve experienced more love and life in the past few weeks than we may for the next four years and we’re completely ok with that.

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In an effort to try and circle the wagons and bring you back up to speed and any other analogy out there on life lately, I’m going to work backwards from our honeymoon to wedding, attempting to share our experiences over the past few months with you along the way.

So grab a glass of prosecco or chianti and a hunk of Tuscan bread (not that crap from Venice) and let’s go on a tour of Italy.

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IMG_4719 IMG_4744 IMG_4778 venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

 

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Ciao!

 

A Perfect Fall Day

Today was just about as close as you can get to a perfect fall day. And believe me I’m just as surprised as you that it happened this early in October and this close to the Gulf of Mexico. But it did. And I’m perfectly OK with that.

Normally on a day like today, I would head out to a pumpkin patch with the sole purpose of stocking up on gourds, drinking cider and eating donuts until my glucose tolerance increased enough for the upcoming holiday. But since I’ve been warned that any pumpkins I purchase will likely melt before Halloween, Finn and I settled for a trip to the dog beach instead. Because nothing says fall like sun, sand and saltwater.

If you’re already sick of PSLs, puffer vests and pumpkin pics, let me take you on a day-trip with us to the dog beach. You can go ahead and stop reading now if you are over my alliteration or averse to a million dog photos.

Cat people beware.

I had planned on taking Finn to the dog beach this week as a reward for adjusting fairly well to me going back to work, but when we woke up to temps in the low 60s this morning, I wasn’t sure anyone else would be at the beach for him to play with. I tried to come up with something else to wear him out but neither he nor his cow were having any of it.

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So off we went but not before Finn showed off how much control he has when he realizes he is in fact going for a ride in the car.

It’s not a very long ride to the dog beach but all that excitement about riding in the car usually wears Finn out for the actual riding part. After all, you never know what you’re in for once you get to your final destination so you might as well arrive rested.

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Turns out everyone else was taking advantage of the great weather and the beach was actually busier than usual. Never very cognizant of his own size, Finn managed to find the only dogs on the beach bigger than him. Cocoa the Saint Bernard and Willow the soon-to-be 200 pound mastiff seemed like as good a pack as any to join.

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There was a lot of gossiping going on.

And quite a few selfies.

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get one with my ears blowing in the wind mom.

When we got tired of running around, we took a few more selfies.

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And how can we forget that moment when Finn thought he was posing for a picture and it was really a video. Awkward!

I still have to figure out another way to spike my glucose over the next few weeks but I’m glad that we can keep trips to the beach in rotation well into the fall.

Have a great week and please keep the pumpkin patch pictures coming!