Travel: Tuscany, Italy
Easter was extra special for April 2019. A week in to our Italian vacation (coming from Venice, Florence, then a day trip to Maranello and Modena), we finally get to our "castle" right as the sun was about to rest for the day. Just coming from the Ferrari museums (this was Friday, by the way), we drove all the way to Tuscany, through the highways, eventually turning our views into endless fields, then finding ourselves driving through mediterranean cypress-lined roads. This drive alone was an experience. It was literally like you were unfolding beauty every time you took a step closer to the destination, the Castello di Montegufoni. By the time we got there, Camille and Mike (they were the most-abled bodies) rushed to the office (to not miss our check-in time) while Carl, Mama, and I decided on a tree-shaded parking spot.
My immediate thought when we got out of the van was the scent of the Tuscan countryside. It tasted like I was being served a freshly done bruschetta or a freshly baked focaccia, just coming out of the oven. Or probably like you entered an Italian nonna's kitchen, interrupting her while she did her magic. You could literally taste the air... the sweet scent of the perfume from the wisteria, the earthiness of olives, the tanginess of lemons, the saltiness of cheese, and the bitterness of Tuscan kale and radicchio. Oh, and of course, the butter. I smelled that and I had a rough inkling as to where their breakfast nook was hidden. It was just as if a flavour scale slapped me in the face... and I JUST exited our van rental. We hadn't even eaten yet. Lord, help me.
We had the whole wing of the castle to ourselves. And naturally, we were in shock-and-awe mode. We were like children running around saying, "Look here! Ahh-mazing, look at this! Wooaaahh, look at that!" and randomly pointing everywhere in pure excitement. I'm pretty sure every little girl has dreamed of being and living in a castle. No matter what role she played. But this was just surreal. There were 3 rooms and 2 washrooms in the top-most floor. There was another room in a landing, the kitchen, the dining and breakfast patio, the outside patio, and of course... the grand hall. As I was walking up the stairs, I thought to myself, "So... this is how Princess Fiona felt. Must've been tough to go up all these steps! Respect, Fiona." Hahaha. And every room had windows that only served the best views. I swear, pick a room. You'll be satisfied anywhere. After our moment of awe, we decided we couldn't lift all our heavy luggages up the stairs so we bolted to the van and packed our hand-carries instead with our Tuscany-dedicated outfits. Yup... we were packing up and making a mess in the parking lot.
When Carl and I woke up on Saturday, I looked out the window and couldn't believe we ACTUALLY "woke up like this". That was dreamlike. I asked Carl to pinch me so I could believe it was real.
We spent the rest of Saturday driving around Tuscany, visiting the outlet and doing some shopping, and we went ahead and bought our groceries for Easter brunch.
The day Easter Sunday played out for us was just absolute perfection. We prepared brunch (with Mike as the sous chef), making some French toasts, sausages, eggs, and a cheese plate. Camille was our cheerleader and moral support. After brunch, our plan was just to relax. WHAT A GREAT PLAN. We spent the day lounging around by the pool, taking multiple siestas, soaking ourselves under the sun, sipping cappuccinos, reading a book, and just taking everything in... the beauty of it all, appreciating all our blessings, and savouring the great company we were in. Oh! We did a drone shoot too! And of course, we had wine and cheese again in the afternoon. This is how every Sunday should be spent. Just taking a step back to appreciate life.
I also just have to say this. One of my favourite movies of all time is "Under the Tuscan Sun". The way Diane Lane delivered the movie, it was just so encapsulating you'll just want to jump on a plane, hop on a tour bus filled with the happiest gays, and buy an Italian villa on a whim. So naturally, when we found out this was in our itinerary, I froze (just a little... okay that was a lie), with eyes wide open, then secretly cried happy tears inside. Thank you, Mama for making us experience this.
Here are some more photos to take you to Tuscany, Italy.