Our Italian Honeymoon | Part 1
My husband Sam and I really wanted to take our honeymoon right after we got married. We wanted to ride that wave for as long as we could! We were able to take the entire month of September off for our wedding in Lake Tahoe and then honeymoon in Italy and Croatia. Now that I have time tor reflect, it was absolute perfection. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. This post is part 1, Our Italian Honeymoon.
We started our journey with flights from SFO -> Frankfurt -> Venice, Italy. My mom was SO sweet and let us have her United miles which she had been saving for like 10 years to buy the flights. It was a long haul. I have done some international travel, but mainly when I was a child. Sam’s family liked to do road trips around the US when he was younger so this was a first for him. We finally arrived to Venice, Italy and we had to figure out how to get to our hotel which was on it’s own island, Isola delle Rose. I had read on travel websites that it was totally worth it to splurge on the “George Clooney style water taxi” as an arrival to our hotel, the J.W. Marriott. Well we didn’t take that advice because we learned that it was going to be $250! We took the cheaper public water bus and got to our stunning hotel with much anticipation.
We were really happy with the hotel. The minute you step onto the grounds, its just stunning. The staff were possibly the nicest people you could ever meet. As if things weren’t already amazing, we got upgraded to what we nicknamed the “Beyonce/Jay Z Suite” (pictured below) when our original room had a malfunctioning bath and shower. This amazing two story suite was all they had left and we were going to get it for the next 4 days! I couldn’t believe our luck.
We ate a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant and called it a night with some Italian TV. Our hotel package (which BTW I booked with the points we got from charging every single wedding purchase on our Chase Sapphire Card) came with the buffet breakfast so we definitely took advantage of that every morning. After filling our bellies, we set out to explore Venezia.
Another major perk of the hotel was the free shuttle to and from our little island to San Marco Square. It was really nice being able to choose when to be in the craziness of Venice and when to be at your quiet hotel. We did that on purpose.
Once we got to San Marco Square, we kind of just got lost. Venice is the perfect place to wander and take it all in. We stumbled upon a little restaurant for lunch that looked great and had a view of the Gondoliers.
That pasta was seriously the best pasta I have ever had. People are not joking when they talk about Italian pasta. It melts in your mouth. It’s better than dessert!
I think I fell in love with Italy at this moment in the trip. After that lunch we hopped into that Gondola and took a ride around the city. The water is somewhat gross. The Gondolier laughed when I asked if people swim in it. I would highly recommend taking a Gondola ride, you often learn a lot and its a great way to see the city.
We continued to wander until we couldn’t walk anymore…
We met a really cute couple on the ferry ride home that evening. The woman in the couple asked about Sam’s camera and we kind of just all hit it off after that. Their names are Shivyon and Zach. We learned that she is a wedding photographer and that they were also on their honeymoon! We decided to meet for dinner that night in the hotel restaurant and had the best night getting to know each other. Shivyon asked if she could take our picture on the hotel grounds the next day. We were a little nervous but said “yes, of course!”
The next day Sam and I got dressed in the best outfits we brought and had the best time shooting with Shivyon. She is SUPER talented and what I liked most about working with her is that she actually directs you. She made us feel comfortable by telling us what to do since we are NOT models and it can be awkward to be in front of a camera. Check out these amazing pictures we came away with!
We are SO thankful to Shivyon for A) starting the conversation with us! B) offering to take our pictures C) being so freaking talented! We ended up running into them one last time before they left to head back to the states. It was seriously fate. Since then, we have continued our friendship, inviting them to Lake Tahoe last February and most recently we visited them in Boise, Idaho where they live. Never would I have thought we would make new friends that we would see again and again on this trip.
The rest of our time in Venice was spent roaming around, window shopping. Of course, they have all the best designer stores in Venice. As we passed Gucci and Chanel, I got an idea that it would be fun to check out the Balenciaga city bag I have been wanting for the past 10 years. The story of wanting this bag goes way back to visiting NYC about 10 years ago where I bought a fakey Balenciaga on Canal St., I am pretty embarrassed to admit that!
We had to really search for the store, it wasn’t on the main path. We even went into a few other stores to ask for the location, which took us on a wild goose chase until we finally found it. The sales woman was so kind and didn’t make me feel pressured to buy anything. That is probably why I ended up buying one! We agreed that after all my hard work planning the wedding, I deserved it. So I actually bought the handbag of my dreams on our honeymoon too.
I know, you are thinking, what could top this honeymoon!? Well, I am being honest when I say, nothing. We ate the best food, met new BFF’s, stayed in the nicest hotel ever, and I got a Balenciaga!
But…we also went to Croatia, and I am planning a PART DEUX to this post. Because that part of the trip was also incredible!!
Check out my embarrassing excitement over the Balenciaga below (and yes that paper Balenciaga shopping bag is still sitting in my closet with the receipt and everything, even a whole year later!):
***HUGE shoutout to The Mitchell Photo Collection’s Shivyon Mitchell for taking the stunning pictures in Venice.
Check out her website here: