I still have so many ideas and places I want to share about from the keys! I actually just haven’t had the time to draft the posts between working remotely and fitting in time for fun while we’re living on island time! I got the idea for this one while unpacking here in the keys but I wanted to save it to share on the morning of our wedding anniversary!
Today August 4th makes 9 years since we said I DO. I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long because the time has flown. I always tell every bride to be that it all goes by so fast! We were engaged December of 2010 and didn’t tie the knot until August of 2012 so for much of our engagement it felt like the big day was so very far away. We bought our home which we still reside in early 2011 but didn’t schedule our wedding until August 2012 because we wanted to be able to leave on our honeymoon immediately after. I know it’s common but we didn’t want to get married and have to return to work the following Monday. Peter was in law school, my life revolved around tax seasons, and the window we had to get married and take a honeymoon happened to be early August of 2012. I remember having dreams about it, one of which involved us saying our vows in a water park and when I woke up the morning of, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t another weird dream and that our BIG day had finally arrived! Somehow we got from there to being close to married a decade with two kids and so many beautiful memories in between! Our house has changed quite a bit over the years as we leave our print on it, we’ve done various trips, and created some traditions of our own like hosting the big Noche Buena party at our house which slowly, to my surprise, somehow became a fully home cooked meal! With the good comes the bad and we both lost grandparents during this time and had friendships come in and out of our lives but, we went through this together. I also cannot exactly say our kids are babies anymore.
I am sure I can come up with all kinds of posts but today I thought it would be really cool to share why the perfume bottle in this photo became significant to us during our honeymoon. For some reason, at the time I did not like to have multiple perfume bottles open at once. My brother had gifted me this one, I am not sure the occasion but if I had to guess it was Christmas or my birthday. I hadn’t used this one yet since I had my one perfume at a time policy but I couldn’t resist not using this beautiful bottle as a prop in wedding photos. I was so set on leaving on our honeymoon immediately after getting married that we stayed in a room at the same hotel where we celebrated our wedding reception, the Biltmore in beautiful Coral Gables, and left on our honeymoon straight from there. Given my one perfume at a time policy, I figured I would take this bottle on our honeymoon.
For our honeymoon we booked a Mediterranean cruise through Italy, Greece and it also had a stop in Split, Croatia. We bid on it at a silent auction at a charity event we usually attend for Camillus House. The cruise left a week and a half after our big day though and after waiting so long to get married we did not want to wait any longer to go on our honeymoon. It was decided that before leaving on the cruise we should do a road trip through Italy. I loved this because we had the best of both worlds. We were able to take our time in the cities where we were road tripping and see the cities from early morning to late night without worrying about port of call times and on the cruise we were forced to relax.
We checked out of the Biltmore Hotel with all of our bags and jumped on our flight to Italy! First stop was Sant’Agata Bolognese. You may be wondering why the random location when Italy is full of famous cities like Venice, Florence and Rome. Well, you know you married a car enthusiast when you get off your flight to your Mediterranean honeymoon and your first stop while still in the clothes from your flight and totally jet lagged is the very romantic- Lamborghini Museum! My friends, I cannot make this stuff up. Check out my ‘just married’ tank.
We rented a little stick shift Lancia for our adventures. Peter tried to teach me to drive stick shift on this one night in the hotel parking lot and it was a disaster but a funny story to tell! Nine years later I still don’t know how to drive stick shift.
At this point, you may be wondering what this has to do with the perfume bottle brought along because it was a pretty prop for wedding photos. It’s been 9 years so I may not remember the exact details. Since I recently started my blog and at this point most of my posts have been about our time in the keys, it has crossed my mind that even if no one reads this, I wish I had started this a long time ago because at a minimum, it’s a record of some of my memories. At any rate, if memory serves me correctly, I had what I believed at the time to be an unfortunate situation.
As we were driving down the Italian countryside in our little rental car full of luggage with clothes for almost a month, one of us got a whiff of the perfume. Next thing we knew. the whole car smelled of it. It smelled really good! I’m not sure at what point I realized though that the only reason the whole car smelled of the perfume was because the bottle had POPPED in the luggage on our flight. The bottle completely broke and the luggage was covered in the scent of the perfume. At first it was just a nice scent for our first leg of the trip to Sant’Agata Bolognese. From there we went to Maranello- home of none other than Ferrari Factory!
We stayed here a couple of nights so we unloaded luggage at our Ferrari themed hotel (again…. CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP!) To our surprise, the scent of the perfume was so strong, that even when the luggage was not on there, the car still smelled like it! Our road trip took us to a few more places and wish I had some sort of journal of it because after so many years I know I have forgotten details. My grandmother once told me I should keep a journal of my travels and I wish I had listened, especially for such an epic trip like this one! One of our days in Maranello we visited Modena. Up until this point Peter was not impressed with Europe. We were visiting places you only visit if you are into cars and there wasn’t as much of the history and architecture you see in the more touristy cities. I have to admit though, the food in Maranello was OUT OF CONTROL! Honestly, possibly the best we had in all of Italy. I wasn’t as excited about the cars but I do need to say that I found it really cool to visit an authentic Italian city and see the Italian countryside on the road. Modena is not one of the bigger cities but here we did start to see more of what you would expect to see in a European city.
From here we finally started doing some non-car related things and headed to Florence. We did a beautiful tour of Tuscany where we visited Sienna- home of the Palio horse race, a farm where they served organic foods paired with wines from their winery, Saint Gimignano where we visited the best known gelato parlor and Pisa where we got to see the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
While in Florence we didn’t use our little rental car so much and the tour of Tuscany was on a bus, but the smell of the perfume followed us on our road trip to the city and into our hotel room since it was stuck to the luggage as well as the car. From here we drove to Rome and this is where we said good bye to our little rental car.
From Rome we spent a few days in Capri, and then back to Rome for a few days, and then we jumped on our cruise ship which took us to various ports of call- Naples, Santorini, Mykonos, Olympia, Athens Split, Croatia… to name a few. I could probably fill this post with tons of photos and tons of memories but it would likely be one of the longest blog posts ever because there would be so much to share! Maybe I’ll slowly add some of them to my blog and share some experiences based on memory. I think we both agree this has been the most amazing trip either of us have taken. We were very blessed to be able to be there about 3.5 weeks! It was such an amazing experience that I do not think I can put into words and that pictures would not do justice. It was Peter’s first time to Europe and my third so neither of us visited Europe all that often and we actually have not been back since.
The scent of that perfume followed us to every city, every hotel room and of course to our cruise ship cabin. When we would open the luggage it would become more potent. Once in high school I did a group science experiment where we tested if scents can take you back to a place or time in your life and we determined that they could. I can tell you, I would not need a science experiment to prove this. See, the scent did not fade from the luggage after our honeymoon. The scent was there when we took our next trip. It was there when we went back to the Biltmore Hotel to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. It was there when we did our last hoorah before kids in California and Las Vegas. It was there for Natalia’s first vacation, and Peter’s first vacation and so many trips after! If you haven’t figured it out by now, the reason I got the idea to write this blog post is because almost 9 years later, unpacking our things here in the keys, while it is slowly fading away, the scent of the perfume is STILL there. Both Peter and I are transported back to those beautiful days in Europe and Greece every time we open that luggage, even 9 years later.
The perfume breaking on the flight seemed like an annoyance at the time. I would have probably never remembered that it had happened 9 years later had it only been an annoyance. I am so happy it broke though. That scent brings back so many beautiful memories and it’s come along with us for so many others throughout our 9 years of marriage! Today I am happy it broke. I am happy I have this story to tell and, if you know me, you know I love photos so I am very thankful that I took a photo with the bottle of perfume before I even knew what it would mean to us!
To this day I actually only know it was a Prada perfume but unfortunately, I do not know which one. I’ve never been able to find it. I tried asking my brother but he doesn’t remember. Maybe it was supposed to be that way. The scent will never be related to anything other than the memories of our beautiful honeymoon. That being said- if you happen to know where I can find this perfume again- Please let me know!!!!
Thanks for visiting!