AAAND, we were flying over Italy!!! Our faces were practically glued to the airplane’s windows. Some aerial shots:

Photo Credits: Jen

When we got to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, we were greeted most warmly by our Italian sponsors – Vincenzo and Susy!!!

Their generosity and hospitality have let us live this unforgettable dream of a summer month!

They helped us pile, luggage and all, into their car for the long scenic drive to the city of Siena. It was like a road trip! I just could not believe what I was seeing. The pictures in guidebooks don’t totally lie. Gloriously golden rolling fields, bountiful Tuscan vineyards, high plateaus clustered with charming villas and ringed with the iconic cypress trees! They all passed in a surreal blur.


A quick rest along the way, where Jen and I got our first glimpse of Italian FOOD. And so, our food journey also begins…


Then, we arrived. That night, after checking us into a top-of-the-line hotel, the pair whisked us away into the center of Siena and introduced us to the best meal I’ve had a long, long, long while…

I vowed to myself before the trip to use the experience to step out and dare to try the new and unexpected. To surprise myself. That first meal was a litmus test. I broke that self-imposed rule I’ve always had never to drink. Thanks to Vincenzo, who prepped us on the correct way to drink wine, I slowly grew fond of the art. I also relented to eating four different kinds of meat (I admit, the salami and prosciutto were heavenly) when normally I would try to shun the category altogether, being an absolutely devout veggie lover back home. My strange food habits had extended even to banning ice cream from my diet before the trip, but guess what, I was inducted into gelato fan club by the night’s end.

I’ll forever remember what Susy said that night: “The journey is just as important as the end.”



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