I'm headed south to the birthplace of pizza and the Italian Coast!
Just wanted to quickly say hello and show you all some pictures of my trip thus far. I absolutely love it here and am a bit sad about leaving! From our hotel staff to the locals to the waiters we befriended at some of our favourite restaurants - everyone has been WONDERFULLY HOSPITABLE!!!
I LOVE ITALY!!!
My girls and I have been able to truly rest as well on this vacation. We toured the first three days, even taking a day to travel to Florence (the city of my future summer home)! I did catch a terrible cold and was out for the count for a day - glad I was able to rest, my body seriously needed it.
TRAVEL TIP: When visiting another country, do your best to factor in days not only for touring and sightseeing but for resting as well - remember, YOU ARE ON VACATION!
We had 6 full days here in Rome and 2 half days. The first three we used for tours (see previous post for site) and the last three we were able to still sightsee but also be a bit lackadaisical with time; sleeping in late and staying out all night!
After a hearty breakfast this morning, we did some last minute souvenir shopping and now we are waiting for our train to take us to Napoli!
TRAVEL TIP: Souvenirs don't have to be expensive or cheesy. Search for something unique to the place you are traveling too. Your recipient will be UBER happy for the thought and uniqueness!
We found a gourmet Italian grocery store, where we were able to buy oils, chocolates, and wine for the same price as key-chains and magnets!!!
Alright loves - until next time!!! Enjoy the pictures and be sure to comment and let me know your thoughts/questions about travel!
Sidenote: Thank you for all your prayers - My girl's luggage was found and returned with all of it's contents!!!!
I'm writing this blog from Rome!!!!! What a trip this has been so far. I left the States on Monday afternoon arriving in Rome Tuesday early evening. The trip began with the fire alarm going off in the airport (that's always a comforting sign) to a 7 hour layover in Stockholm, Sweden - to a 3 hour delay at the Rome Airport because of lost luggage (which has yet to be found).
However, this trip - we have determined - is going to be a GREAT ONE!!!!! My friend whose luggage is lost is handling it like the pro that she is! A planner by profession, she has been on the phone with airports, banks, customer service personnel, etc. Me, along with my girl Rachael, we have faith and a praying mommas!! So with all of these forces combined, the luggage has to show up - but as they say in theatre - THE SHOW MUST GO ON!!!!
Because of her immaculate planning, everything big was already pre-paid for (ie: all hotels and tours) and THANK GOD for that! We had a three hour tour of the Colosseum, Roma Forum, & Palentine Hill. DOWNRIGHT AMAZING! To be immersed and surrounded in history that is thousands of years old is such an overwhelming feeling. And if you are anything like the nerd that I am - you can understand my joy by gaining so much knowledge. Our tour guide was great and informative.
TRAVEL TIP: When you travel and are looking for tours, check out www.viator.com
We booked all tours through this third party and have not been disappointed at all by this decision!!!! Definitely read reviews and do your research. I also advise booking tour in advance because if you are traveling during a heavy tourist season like we are now, the lines for major sights can get up to 4 hours long - not a great use of your time!! With our tour we were able to skip lines and walk right in. Plus it helps to have someone share with you the stories and history of the sights, rather than reading signs.
I won't keep you long - I have full day ahead of me. It's 11:30am here and I just had an amazing breakfast - Milanese Salami w/ fresh Parmeggiano, pineapples, grapes, sliced peaches, scrambled eggs and baked potatoes. Of course this was accompanied by mint tea and fresh orange juice. I think I'm ready to take a nap!!!!
We are going to do some shopping and take a tour of Vatican City today - I think the Pope & I have a lot to discuss about his beautiful city - lol!
I will be writing as much as I can throughout the trip, with helpful travel tips and such. See pictures below of my hotel at night and my girls & I at the Colosseum!
I wanted to take some time and write a more personal blog - on something that has been on my heart and mind for quite some time.
I recently had a meeting with a mentor (finally have one!) and I was just sharing with him that when it comes to my dream, my goal, my vision - currently I feel like I'm at a standstill - a crossroads and I don't know what to do!!!
Before talking with him I felt like:
I know what the dream is and I know what the end result is - but how do I build the bridge between the two. Yes, I went to college - got my degree - I have the work experience - but there is something missing. I put pen to paper, written as much of a business plan as I know how to, googled, researched, looked up, reached out, networked (or at least tried too) - and yet still - I haven't made enough progress (in my mind) in this journey of turning my dreams into a reality. And I'm screaming (figuratively & literally) - HELP!!!!!
I know that I have the support of my family and friends, and I have my faith - but I need more. I need direction- where do I find my network, who do I ask for assistance and actually receive it from - where are the tangible resources that can guide me, that know which way to point me in? I am not a lazy person - I want to do the work - I am willing to stay up all night, grind all day - I just need to know what's next.
To those who might be at that point - I say: keep doing exactly what you are doing - because it's coming. The person who is going to help you in this part of your journey is there, or on his/her way - just keep putting yourself out there. Don't be discouraged by the lack or rejection - don't get deterred by the naysayers or your current situation - keep going!
For me personally, for my dream, I had reached a point where I was like: I know hospitality - I know service - but when it comes to business operations & financials, I'm lost. So what now?! I need this - I can't have a proposal without showing some kind of money but where do I begin? And for almost 6 months, I did everything, from attending a financial class to reaching out to contacts, family, and friends and I got NOTHING! Not to say I was always given the cold shoulder, but whatever the reason: no time, no clue, no support - I had to keep trying. And today - 7/12 - 5 months later, I got the direction and help I needed!
I'm not sure who this is for - and yes we always hear that we need to just keep going and never give up - but it's so true. And if you are like me, even when you decide to settle for a bit or give up - that dream comes right back and pushes you, nudges you constantly till you start to work on it again.
I am an earnest believer that EVERYONE has a dream - has something that they were put on this earth to do - that only they can do! I also believe that my dream will help others accomplish theirs and vice versa! Whatever it is - whatever your purpose - whatever your passion - whatever it is that you eat, breathe, and live - just don't EVER LET IT GO!!!!
I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions - rather I have words that God gives me at the beginning of every year that determine how I make decisions and live for the year. For 2013 - it was "happiness" - and I did EVERYTHING that made me happy for the entire year - and as I blogged about previously, it was THE BEST YEAR EVER!
For 2014 my words are "Get it done!" My blog was born this year and my lifelong dream is on it's way to becoming a reality. I have never encountered more opposition to making it happen but I have never had more opportunities either!!!! Everyday, I tell myself: GET IT DONE DESTINEE!!! Eliminate giving up as an option - remove it from the equation - I cannot do anything but get it done.
I hope this helps - I want to see my entire circle doing AMAZING THINGS - achieving your every dream and goal - and I plan to be right there with you!
Dream & Achieve!
Hugs & Love