Italy (Part One)
I’m so excited to finally start sharing posts from our incredible trip to Italy. It was easily one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been to. We got to experience beautiful landscapes, amazing summer activities and delicious food, Italy rewarded us with everything we wanted in this trip. We felt a bit spoiled to be honest.
We went to Italy because my husband's company bought a machine and he had to go inspect it. Mike and his coworker James were set to be in Verona for at least four days. We flew into Verona (Mike and I almost didn't make the connection and then when we got there our bags did not. Luckily I had packed a spare outfit in my carry on! You can read more about that below under notes. :) We stayed at Hotel Giberti right downtown! It was such a cute hotel and great location. There was a great little lunch spot across the street and an amazing gelato shop around the corner, La Romana. The next day we transferred to the hotel that the company in Italy had put us up in, The Grand Hotel Des Arts, it was a great hotel with a lovely terrace. They had these great bikes you could use so Mike and I jumped on and headed towards Castel San Pietro, which has a gorgeous viewpoint over Verona.
After our long trek through Verona we went back to our hotel. We had gotten a call that our luggage made it! Mike went and picked it up so we were able to change before dinner!
We decided to check out Lake Garda. We had heard amazing things about the scenery, although we did hear it was a bit crowded with tourists. We got out and did a bit of sight seeing. We stumbled across a gondola that took you up Monte Baldo a mountain range in the Italian alps. It was a really fun experience to be able to be at an amazing lake one moment and up in the alps the next. We headed home exhausted but excited for our first pizza dinner! That evening we had pizza at Pizzeria Bella Napoli.
The next day Mike and James to work, so Andrea and I had to find something to do. She had found a site for day trips from Verona and I saw a beautiful Garden. We had done a lot of walking the day before so we were really excited when we found out that you could rent golf carts to tour around the Garden. The Parco Giardino Sigurta is known as one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe. There were these gorgeous flowers on the pond, Nelumbo, they are a type of lotus and some of the largest flowers I have ever seen!
Suffice it to say we had a lovely time in Verona! I would highly recommend checking it out if you are ever in northern Italy! After Verona we rented a car and headed to the coast! More to come in Par 2 of our Itinerary…
How we almost didn't make our flight:
Mike and I almost didn't make it to Italy! My maiden name is on my passport but my tickets were booked under my married name. I had called Delta to see if that would be an issue, and they said as long as I brought my marriage license it wouldn't be. That was not the case. When we got to the airport to check our bags they wouldn't let me through. They sent us to special services where they said I had to get a new passport! Luckily we were on a flight from Minneapolis To Chicago and then to Italy. They got us on a 12:45pm flight to Chicago, it was 9am.
We went to the baggage claim to get our bags and on the way I called the passport agency in Minneapolis. They said they could get me in at 10am. We decided leave the bags at the airport and rushed to Fed Ex to get my passport picture and then to the passport agency. Even though my appointment was at 10 that did not mean you were seen at 10, you still have to take a number. I was sitting there tapping my leg waiting for my number 145 to be called. I asked others around me with lower numbers if they needed their passports that day, of course they said yes, even though I found out they didn't need them for 2 weeks! I even told them I had a flight in 2 hours! I finally got my number called and told them my situation, they said that I would have between a half an hour to an hour to wait. Mike waited in the truck so that when we got it we could rush to the airport. I was hoping we could leave the passport agency by 11:30 am, at 11:25am I asked the window clerk if there was an update, he said my passport was done, but that he noticed something on the screen and needed to check on something. My passport was done but they had spelt my name wrong! (what are the chances!) They redid it, it took about 15 minutes, and we were on the road.
Of COURSE we got stuck in lunch traffic. Mike called Delta to see if they could check our bags for us, since there was no way we would have time. They did. When we got to the airport we valeted the truck knowing it was the only way we had a chance and that $600 for parking was better than $1000 rebooking fee and missing our flight! Thankfully we were TSA pre-check and we booked it through security and literally sprinted to our flight! There were 4 more people in line to get on the flight when we arrived, we had just made it! Once we got to Chicago we knew it would be a tight connection, Andrea and James were there already giving us the play by play. Chicago is a VERY confusing airport. We had to get on the bus to the international terminal and it was so hard to find, thankfully James and Andrea had done it before us and let us know the bus was in terminal G15. It was the longest bus ride of my life! We got to the terminal of course at the opposite end of where we were supposed to be. We SPRINTED to our gate, Andrea had texted me to go to the desk, so I thought we missed the flight. We got to the gate and they had to verify our passports. We MADE IT! We got on the plane and when I saw James and Andrea I literally said "We're have arrived!" and Mike took the glass of champagne and downed it like a shot! Then Andrea, James, and I cheers'd and we were on our way!