When in Rome, attending your first honeymoon. 

So your friends just so happen to be in Rome on the last leg of their honeymoon, which also happens to be on the same continent that you are on. You missed their wedding by one week in Canada as you were due to fly back to Spain.  So what do you do?!

Well you buy a ticket and haul ass to Rome to make sure you don’t miss their honeymoon. I would think it’s only proper friend etiquette to congratulate the beautiful couple in person. Not only that but I also get another check off the old bucket list, my first honeymoon. Wait! Two checks off my bucket list. It was also my first time visiting Rome.  Let’s also bare in mind that they had already been touring Italy for almost three weeks. Not to point out the obvious, but they do have the rest of their lives to romance the heck outta each other. It was not honeymoon crashing so to say. They were very excited to have me visit. A couple clicks on the computer later, and I was en route to Rome. It was that easy. Boom. 

As they were staying in the area of Testaccio I wanted to make sure I was nearby – and I booked my hotel across the river in the trendy area of Trastevere. I was so pleased that it was an easy reach from the airport, literally just a 27 painless minutes train ride away. Which is pretty darn good. I have been in many other countries where it is not nearly that easy.

 Having arrived a bit before check in, I ended up indulging in the most delicious Frappe of my life.

IMG_3748Smooth, creamy and darn delicious. Hello Rome! Your already charming me. 

I checked in, got ahold of my newlywed friends, and it was go time. Let the Rome honeymoon adventures ensue. First thing was first, we all needed some grub. Some delicious Italian grub that is. When in Rome.

Pretty much every restaurant in Rome happens to be a Pizzeria, which means pizza and pasta. Everywhere you look, it’s another Pizzeria. Well I could already see I was in for Carb overload. Mind you, I already knew this trip was about celebrating, endless laughter, sightseeing, food and fine wine.  It was all on. Options are fantastic, but too many can be daunting. Once we debated for a bit, we finally settled on a Pizzeria amongst all the Pizzeria’s. 

   
  

 I had to start with a Caprice salad, not only is it one of my all time favorites, but, as I am sure you and I both know, Italians make Mozzarella like none other. 

  I enjoyed every morsel. I also happen to love rocket! I could eat it every darn day. So that was pleasant surprise addition. After wards, it was onto the next best thing. Pasta! I rarely eat pasta. Yet, when in Rome, there is no ifs, ands or butts about it. 

 
I was all over it, and so was Tyler. Madison tucked into a fine looking pizza. Thin crust is the way to go! In Italy, that is just how they do it. I ordered a mushroom fettuccini myself. Cooked to its perfect ‘Al dente’ perfection, with taste and texture that explodes with freshness and flavor. Winning!! We all know in Italy they have endless courses of food. Granted, meal times are also an event, that takes place over a period of hours. The salad and pasta hit the spot though! 

After filling up on all that Italian goodness, it was time to see some sights. Rome is full of incredible sights, and epic history.   

  It was seriously scorching hot out. The three of us little Northern blooded Canadians were melting like crayons in the sun. Freaken heck it was hot. Hot, hot, hot. That pretty much sums it up. But we trooped on. Luckily, there is some darn good shopping in Rome, with sales everywhere, and shops that include air conditioning…. Trust me, I was not using the air con as an excuse to shop. Well not completely. 

Don’t judge me, you would do it too, that air con would have sucked you right in.

 We seen some stunning sights over the course of a couple hours, but I didn’t want to re-take Tyler and Madison to all the places they had already seen, as I had an extra day there on my own once they left. So I knew I would be on solo Petrena adventures that day, and taking myself all over the place. So after an afternoon of taking it all in, we headed back to that trendy area of Travastere to hit up happy hour. And happy it was, as the drinks flowed, so did the personality, and also the laughter.    

 It was nothing less then a kickass night. The next morning however, I felt as though I got kicked in the ass. The day was off to a slow start, as you can imagine we were all feeling a bit tender. It did happen to be our last day together, and that meant it was a must to go check out more sights, and we have big plans to do a full on Italian dinner event in the evening. Obviously working up an appetite was clearly a must. One of the coolest things in Rome is the fact that they have water fountains everywhere – with clean drinking water that you can either hydrate yourself or even splash yourself to cool down from the hot summer sun.  I absolutely love that! Water for all. No one in Rome goes thirsty. The water is quite tastey too. 

Although the slushies we sipped on later were also quite refreshing. Refreshing, but a bit too sweet, and I kept getting freaken brain freeze!       I think I set a world record for how many times in a row a person can get brain freeze off one small slush.

Hightlight of the day: Getting personalized aprons. When Rome, and you see a apron shop – you get one! Simple pleasures. I absolutely love cooking, which would be why one of my other jobs is chefing. Now we will be the coolest hosts at any dinner party. No big deal. They also make great gifts.

The day had gotten away with us, and it was approaching dinner time very quickly. So we headed back to the apartment with Prosecco in hand(did I mention we were in Rome?!), in preparation for our dinner that was sure to be very memorable. Not before we had a photo shoot with our new aprons! As any classy ladies with with brand spanken new personalized aprons would do.      Da Oio a Casa Mia, was the name of the dining establishment chosen.  Madison had her eye on the place, so it was where we chose to dine. Table 38. That was us.  We most certainly did make an event out of this dinner experience. Starting of course with water and wine. Who am I kidding….. Primarily wine.  We tried every course, in proper Italian fashion. From beginning with bread, shaved meats, and mozzarella.
After which moved onto more perfectly delectable  Al dente Pasta. 

     
Honesty the pasta in Italy. That’s all I have to say. 

Already feeling pretty stuffed, yet we had no choice but to troop on. Our main courses consisted of Lamb, Veal, and Italian meatballs with vegetables.   

Umm, where are the stretchy pants when you need them?? We took our sweet ass time though. Sipped on our vino, had great chat, loved life, and then after it all, somehow squished in dessert. 

  
An amazing end to my first honeymoon. Well I suppose it was all of our first honeymoon. 

The next morning we caught up for a last Coffee and Croissant together on Italian soil before they hit the skies. The fact that I was even there with them was surreal from begining to end for all of us. 

Once they left, ‘me time‘ adventures ensued. For hours! It was necessary, I needed the exercise by that point. But seeing as how I only had the day, I took in as many sights as I darn well could.   

       

  

  

  Yah I may have done this a few times.  Making me nothing less then a sightseeing pro. And I walked the whole way! Boom.

Let’s not forget….. The Vegan gelato.. Being more of a vegetarian then a meat eater, it rocked my world!   Rome is amazing. It’s incredibly rich and preserved history exudes a massive energy. And after missing Tyler and Madison’s wedding, it made Rome even more special to spend time with them there and congratulate them in person. 

When in Rome: Attend your first honeymoon, take in the rich history, shop, eat fabulous food, drink incredible vino, and just be awesome. There is no other way. 

 

Spontaneously, I woke up back in Spain.

As per usual Petrena style, I made the spontaneous decision to return to Spain for a bit. My other home. Palma de Mallorca, Spain. It seems I just can’t stay away for that long, it drags me back. Well, in all honesty it doesn’t take much dragging. Hello Palma!!

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Holy man, first of all, the mid summer heat nearly did me in. My Arctic blood always has an interesting go at acclimatizing to the heat. Trust me, I am not in my most attractive state when I am sweating my ass off….  It’s a great way to detox your body. At least that is what I keep telling myself in order to power through. It’s a small price to pay though to be back in the one of the most epic places on this planet. Although summer is ridiculously busy on the island, and there are loads and loads of tourists – so I still prefer the winter here, however, I love it any and all times of year. It’s just undeniably amazing.

I also decided to bring my sweet ass Canadian made Lochside bicycle on the journey with me. I have traveled with quite an array of interesting things, from a massage table, to hoola hoops, and onward. This was my first time with a bicycle though. So packing it was also an interesting little feat.

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Yet with some bubble wrap, tape, and some help from my awesome friends after a few glasses of vino, she was pulled together quite well. I even used a piece of rope to make a handle(which ironically was very handy). She made it though! Intact(well just a couple bumps and scrapes) and equally as excited for the Mallorca experience.

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We were greeted by one of my best friends, and a fab wine and cheese spread. Let me just say, I am beyond happy I brought my bike, we just rock these bike paths together. She really is just such a smooth ride. It helps that the island is built for cycling, and there are loads of bike paths all over the place. I knew I wouldn’t regret bringing her along. My piece of home that I get to share with my other home.

Coming home Palma always also means one thing(among many). Catching up with my awesome friends. With time away, the excitement to catch up is always building.

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Absence also creates in-between adventures, which in turn creates loads to talk about. Never a dull freaken moment. Between catch ups, cycling, and visiting my favorite restaurants, with Vintage(pictured below) in the trendy area of Santa Catalina being one of my all time favorites, I have been kept very busy.

IMG_3724I even had a quick trip up to Northern Spain, where I was able to have another reunion.IMG_3398 IMG_3396

And while I was there, a visit Santiago De Compostela.

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A place full of mucho history, it’s a beautiful area.

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There is a well known pilgrimage called the Comino de Santiago, which takes about a month to complete. I have wanted to do it for years, more so for the fact that I want to say I have completed a month tour by foot. Santiago De Compostela is where the pilgrimage ends.  So you see loads of happy people with their backpacks, exuding satisfaction at what they have just completed. Being there and seeing that reinforced inside me that I want to do the walk. And I will indeed.

I also checked out the little town of Poio. It is a small place with nothing too major to see. However it is still rich in history, and I fell in love with it’s little old town. It came out of nowhere. We went from a quiet lunch and streets of not much.

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To jam packed little old town streets. In the matter of a turn of a corner.

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I loved the atmosphere it had. Until it started raining. And then I was soaked. I love playing in the rain, I will dance in it, put on my swimsuit and love life in it. I just wasn’t equipped with the proper footing for it at that moment. However it was a memorable area.

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Oh Spain. I absolutely adore you. Your just so darn fantastic. Not a bad place to wake up to – if I do say so myself.