Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12 - Santa Cristina

We made it! We've arrived in Italy! Let's recap how we got here...

After Ashley's wedding reception ended, we headed back to my parents' house to finish packing and change out of our wedding attire. I took a quick shower and we headed out. It was almost 11 PM by the time we left Hollidaysburg. After a very long drive, we got to Newark's Fairfield Inn by the airport. We literally spent 30 minutes driving back and forth on the highway trying to get to the hotel. The instructions on google maps said things like "take the exit" (there were several exits within tenths of a mile of each other) and "continue straight" (not an option) and other things that didn't make it easy. Plus, it was after 3 AM! We finally broke down and called the hotel when we thought we finally were on track (according to Google maps) and ended up in the far side of the airport near the storage and warehouse area (?!?!??). We could see the hotel across the runway strips and were so frustrated! The guy at the hotel was great and stayed on the phone directing us step-by-step to get there. After an easy check in, we both crashed for the night. The next morning we grabbed some breakfast at the hotel and lounged/slept until it was time to head over to the airport. Luckily, the shuttle service was quick and easy. Check-in/security was rather quick as well (thanks to Elite Access) and we met up with Peter's parents in the Presidential Lounge.

This is actually the only picture I took at the airport. I'll chalk it up to still being super tired! At least it was a good one! :)

After one last American burger at Ruby's Diner, we were off to Italy! I was worried that the flight would go on forever and that I'd be restless the entire time, but it wasn't that bad. I would've liked being able to get some sleep, though. Thanks to a loud guy in front of us and not being able to really sleep, we didn't get more than a scattered hour of sleep each. Thank goodness for movies to pass the time!

It was hot when we landed in Italy and made our way through the Rome Fiumicino Airport. Some parts were outside and some were inside. Additionally, some of the inside areas weren't air conditioned. It was just totally different than what I was used to in the U.S. After a bit of a hassle with the rental car, we were finally on our way to the villa!

Peter did a FANTASTIC job driving through the craziness of morning airport rush hour traffic. I thought Pittsburgh drivers were bad! There were cars literally all over the road. I am shocked that there weren't accidents everywhere!

Upon arriving at Santa Cristina, we were greeted by Mima, Aunt Grace, and Uncle Michael. Mima was so happy to see us in Italy that she started crying right away! Aunt Grace gave us a tour of the villa and we all settled into our rooms for a bit. Peter and I stayed in the cottage.

We then all gathered for our first meal in Italy! Mima made some red sauce and we had a plethora of delicious food. My favorite thing at lunch were the fresh figs. I had never had them before, and they were delicious!

After lunch we hung around and I took a nice, much needed nap. We spent the rest of the day just relaxing which I was glad for. Peter went on a walk with his parents and Uncle Michael to see the vineyard, but I opted for a nap instead. With all of the wedding stuff this past weekend, I really just needed some downtime. I did walk around the villa and take a few pictures.

I loved the huge, open kitchen.

A lemon tree. The lifestyle here is so different and I love it. Nothing like going outside and picking lemons or figs right from the trees!

Peter snapped this picture on his walk. It's the manmade lake. Water is like gold here. They often have to truck it in between April and October when they get very little, if any, rain. At around $80 per truckload, that gets expensive!

This is another picture that Peter took during his walk. Such a beautiful view of the vineyard!

The landscaping around the villa is beautiful. This is an old olive tree.

After some time in the pool, Peter and I went with Uncle Michael to pick some figs from the fig trees in their yard. It's so neat and fun to be able to pick fresh fruit right in your own yard.

I could hardly wait to get back and cut them up and eat them. Yum!

This is where we'll be calling "home" for the next week. :)

We had a great first day and are excited to be here in Italy on vacation with family. Peter and I aren't as well rested as everyone else so we need to try to get caught up on some sleep sooner than later! So goodnight!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Drew and Ashley's Wedding

Well...Drew and Ashley are married! Here's a quick recap of the day from my point of view.

Ash and I got up early, dropped her dress off at the church, and met the other girls at the hair salon. Here's everyone getting their hair done. Lots of curling going on!

At one point I called Peter and he delivered Starbucks to us! What a nice guy! :) After getting our hair done, we headed to the church to get ready for the wedding. Once we were all dressed up, we headed outside for some pre-ceremony pictures. Then we had some waiting to do. So we waited and hung out all dressed up. At some point Ashley realized that her veil was ripped so we had a mini-emergency, but everything ended up fine.

The bride chilling before the ceremony:

Some of the bridesmaids hanging out:

I remembered to take a picture of my toenails since I didn't yesterday. They look almost black here, but they were dark purple to match my dress.

A few minutes before the ceremony, Ashley announce that she was feeling overheated and might pass out. Not good! She was just nervous. Not about marrying Drew, but about being in front of everyone haha. I kept telling her to breathe and she was ok. I cried walking down the aisle haha. I just started thinking of my little sister all grown up. I noticed that Ashley was definitely focused on breathing as she was walking down the aisle and I was hoping she would make it ok. She was wavering back and forth during the ceremony, so I braced myself incase she was going to fall. Luckily she was fine! The ceremony was beautiful and went off without a hitch. (Except for the sand that Ashley poured all over the table instead of in the unity sand jar!)

After the ceremony, Mark had surprised her with a limo ride for going to the reception! We made a quick stop at Garvey Manor to see our great-aunt Pat and then headed onto Laurel Lodge for the reception.

I don't have many pictures from the reception because I was busy visiting with people, video taping, eating, and dancing!

After some more pictures outside at the Lodge, we were announced into the reception. Then the typical wedding reception fun began!

Ash and Drew:

Mark and Ashley:

The cake that I sadly didn't even get a piece of :( I heard it was delicious though!

The rest of the reception was lots of fun. I was a dancing fool since not many other people were dancing. I was trying to get others to dance so I was a bit over the top at times. :P Ash and Drew also played a fun game during the wedding. I'll have to post some of the videos from the reception soon.

Lots of good food (turkey dinner theme with lots of yummy treats to go along with it), friends, family, and fun. I was totally pooped by the end of it and we still had a long drive to Newark NJ ahead of us to get geared up for our flight to Italy on Sunday. We didn't leave Hollidaysburg until close to 11 PM. Yowza!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Rehearsal

This evening was another late night of wedding things! We had the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner at the church and then stayed to finish (and by that I mean start and finish) decorating the church.

I gave my mom my camera to take some pictures of the rehearsal.

Here's all the men lined up (From L to R - Chris (best man), Andrew (groomsman), Mark (my brother/groomsman), Erik (my other brother/groomsman), and Peter (my hubby!).

And all the ladies (from L to R - Chelsea, Natalie, Cacie, Katie, and me!).

I believe at this point we were trying to figure out how to manage Ash's dress when she'd be walking around. As you can see, Erik was really interested in it - haha!)

I grabbed my camera back from my mom and took some pictures from the MOH viewpoint. My dad and Ash practicing walking down the aisle.

I believe this is when Drew started to tear up when they were practicing their vows.

And then I passed the camera to Chris to snap a picture of Ashley practicing her vows.

The best man gives his approval.

Practicing walking down the aisle...again. I think in all we practiced everything several times. By the end of it, we were all beat!

But then we had to decorate! First, I went with my mom to get Meadows ice cream. They had Raspberry and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup - my 2 favorites! Then we got a call to run to Wal-mart to get fishing line for something with the decorating. By the time we got back to the church it was around 10 PM. After much difficulty with the lack of purple ribbon to hang the pew bows, I came up with a solution. Thanks to many of Ashley's shower gifts coming from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, there was more purple ribbon on her practice bouquet. After getting her ok, I tore that thing apart for the purple ribbon and cheated a bit to make it work. Luckily everything turned out great!

It's actually the wee hours of Saturday morning now and I have to be up in less than 7 hours to get my hair done, etc. I had to back date this post's time to make sure it posted as 7.9.10 since 7.10.10 is the big day!


Ashley's last day as a Bevan...

I can hardly believe that this weekend has arrived! My little sister is getting married! TOMORROW!

Last night Peter and I drove to my parent's house and spent the whole evening setting things up at the lodge and making little paper favors until the wee hours of the morning. I haven't been up that late in a looong time!

This afternoon we ate lunch at Sakura and then headed to get our nails done. Lunch was yummy! Ash loves Sakura, and so do I!

Here's a picture of Ashley and the other ladies in attendance. From L to R - Cacie (bridesmaid), Holly (Drew's mom), Chelsea (bridesmaid), Natalie (bridesmaid), and my mom. Katie, the last bridesmaid, hadn't made it into town yet. She was running late so she met up with us at the nail salon.

Cacie took this picture so that I'd be in some, too. :)

My sis, mom, and me.

This picture cracks me up because the guy that was doing Natalie's nails was sweet on her and just kept talking with her. Obviously, Natalie wasn't sure what to make of the situation. Meanwhile, Cacie and I just laughed and felt uncomfortable because the ladies doing our nails kept chatting in Chinese and were most likely talking about us!

This is a picture of my mom's very first pedicure!

Natalie and her nail man.

I'm pretty sure Natalie liked the fish better though!

The nail place that we went was great. I was super pleased with my nails, but neglected to take any pictures of them. Oops!