In March Dave and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. In the early years of our marriage, I pictured celebrating our 10 year anniversary in Vegas renewing our vows with an Elvis impersonator. (Fat Elvis – duh!) Instead we set up camp in two beach houses with my family – about 15 of us total, dining on chili cheese dogs and sleeping on an air mattress; all the hoopla reserved my for nephew’s first birthday celebration instead of our ten year union.
Life never really does turn out as planned, does it?
For our 20th wedding anniversary I’ve always dreamed of returning to where we got engaged – Italy.
But… (almost) 20 years later – two moves, different jobs, financial ups and downs, a mortgage, two kids – one less than two years away from college… life and those plans right? While we are lucky to be rich in love (most days), our current bank balance suggests that we’re much more likely to be celebrating our 20th by clinking our Chianti glasses at our favorite Italian restaurant with views of the hills of Agoura, than at a quaint trattoria with views of the hills of Tuscany.
GowithOh rents vacation apartments to travelers in 17 European cities – five of them in Italy. (Florence. Milan. Rome. Pisa. Venice. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes!) To enter the contest all I have to do is write a blog post about which apartment I would chose from their site and why, and tag the post on Twitter using the hashtag ##GwOGuestTester. Fantastic!
When Dave and I travel to Europe we love staying in quaint pensions, small bed and breakfasts, or apartments like Europeans do. Sure, luxury hotels are lovely, but if you’re going to experience another country, I think the best way to do it is by traveling -and living- like a local.
GowithOh just happens to have 255 apartments located in my favorite Italian city – Florence. We returned to Italy and visited Florence on our second anniversary. I immediately fell madly and deeply in love. I wept when I stood next to The David, I was so overcome with its beauty. I raised my hands in victory when I climbed all 463 steps to the top of Il Duomo. We crossed the Arno River and picnicked on a hillside taking in the wonderful Tuscan views. And you want to talk tears of joy? I think I cried every time I ate because the food was so fresh and so incredibly delicious, it made me the happiest I’d ever been every time I ate. (Which was as often as possible.)
So Dave and I started cruising the GoWithOh website to pick out our dream 20th anniversary trip apartment. Where would we stay if money was no object? It was almost impossible to choose.
We loved ceilings and the uniqueness of this one.
And we loved the traditional Florentine style of this one.
But this one simply took my breath away. That view? Are you kidding? This is where Dave and I would choose to spend our 20th Anniversary 2nd Honeymoon.
But wait… there’s more…
We’ll spend our afternoons resting from sightseeing and rejuvenating before heading out to the piazza for an evening stroll and (a tears-of-joy-inducing) dinner here.
We’ll prepare a simple breakfast here…
Then eat it here…
None of your business what we’ll be doing here. (But it might or might not rhyme with peeping. Shut up! Sightseeing makes you tired!)
And trust me, for a European bathroom – this one is HUGE! (Love that tub!)
I might not win the GoWithOh Guest Tester contest, but that’s okay. We’ve had a great time perusing at the apartments they have to offer. Looking at all the pictures and planning our dream trip (even if it is only in our hearts and our heads) was almost as fun as being there.