I know myself pretty well, and one of the things that I know is that when I have something that needs to get done (i.e., schoolwork) I will think of a million other things I could do instead. Need to write a paper? Organize your closet! Assigned to read a stack of research articles? Browse shoes/clothes online instead! Giant test coming up that you should study for? Clean/purge your kitchen and closets!
What this means is that today, when I was supposed to be working on my graduate project, I was thinking about our honeymoon instead. (Not actually a bad thing since we’ll want to make some activity reservations soon, but not my project all the same.)
As you might remember from my last post about our honeymoon, we’re going to hit up five cities in Europe: Barcelona, San Sebastian, Venice, Florence, and Rome.
Right now the only thing we have booked are our hotels and one restaurant reservation. We certainly have our eyes on more restaurant reservations and culinary/wine excursions (seriously, we love food), but the thing I’m dreaming about right now is relaxing without responsibilities, and what better place to do that than in a fancy hotel?
In order to find our hotels, I spent hours combing Trip Advisor reading reviews. I picked a handful in each city (with the exception of San Sebastian, as I had one hotel I loved) and presented the options to Sparky. He looked through them and we made our selections.
First up: Barcelona.
Villa Emilia is a cute little boutique hotel, relatively close to the stadium. Hopefully we’ll be able to pop over for an FC Barcelona game!
In Barcelona, I imagine we’ll do lots of exploring and running around. In San Sebastian, however, I think we’re likely to have a much quieter time. With this in mind, one hotel jumped out immediately as my front-runner and was, essentially, my gold standard. That hotel was Villa Soro.
Image via tematis
This hotel, and our one in Florence, are the ones I’m most excited for. I’d love to have a quiet time—lying on beaches, riding bikes through the city, and just generally enjoying the company of my newly minted husband. One of my classmates will be in San Sebastian for one day of the time we’ll be there, so we might meet up for tapas and a drink!
From San Sebastian, we’ll take an overnight train (through Paris) to Venice.
Venice was the city I had the hardest time finding a hotel in. Not because there aren’t a lot (there are), but I just couldn’t find one that was nice, not crazy-expensive, and well located. Nice was certainly possible, as was well located. Here’s the secret about Venice, though: everything is crazy-expensive. Once I realized that and was able to look at it with that frame of mind, I had a much easier time.
Image via campiello-venise.com
Venice occupies this wonderful place in my imagination—a city caught out of time. I was extremely sad to have missed it when I was in Europe in 2006, so I’m pleased as punch to be able to explore all the secrets and destinations Venice has to offer, with Palazzo Abadessa as our home base. The hotel embodies the same qualities that I associate with Venice itself: classic, antique, and enchanted (metaphorically, of course).
From Venice we’ll take a short train to Florence. Our hotel in Florence is a bit outside of the city proper, which I think will be ideal. We’ll be close enough to enjoy all of the amenities, but far enough to enjoy some peace and quiet if we want it. This hotel is called Mulino di Firenze.
Image via Romantik
I hope it’s still warm enough to enjoy that pool! Image via En Florencia
When I look at pictures of this hotel, I imagine waking to a quiet sun-dappled morning. I imagine a small breakfast and warm breezes. (I don’t know how accurate my imagination is, though the average temperature report says about 79 degrees Fahrenheit.) I imagine breathing deep of fresh air and facing each day with a sense of adventure and full of happiness.
Our final stop is Rome. This is the only place we’re going to on our honeymoon that I’ve been before (though Sparky has not), and I’m excited to play tour guide.
Image via Expedia
Hotel Villa Duse is located in a quiet neighborhood that is still well located for tourist activities. When I visited Rome before I stayed at my friend’s apartment. It will be an entirely different experience to live it up in a nice hotel! I think this will be a great transition for us—active enough to keep our energy up but low key enough so that we don’t end up flying home completely exhausted.
We’ll also stay one night in London on our way home, though we haven’t booked that hotel yet (so if you have any suggestions please send them my way!).
Dreaming about our hotels is certainly a nice diversion from schoolwork and actual work. Soon we’ll need to start booking activities (or at least making a basic plan for each city). We have a meeting set up this week with our neighbor who travels to Italy all the time, and he has promised to give us good insight into things to do, so I imagine that will kick us into high gear. That or the fact that the wedding is in two and a half months, one or the other…
What do you think of our hotel choices? Have you used any part of wedding planning as an excuse to procrastinate from work? (Pinterest is wedding research, I swear!) Did you know that you could use YouTube to find video tours of hotels? (I definitely didn’t until I started wedding planning—thanks to Mrs. Beanstalk for cluing me in to that!)