{Video: Our Weekend in Venice!}

Ciao ciao friends! How are you all? Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday? Corey and I had an amazing dinner with some expat friends and then we took off for Venice on Saturday. We got back from our dreamy weekend yesterday and I was so inspired I put together this video of our trip! I haven’t made a video since our trip to Paris over a year ago, so I thought it was about time I made another. It’s such a fun way to document memories! I am definitely not a professional moviemaker, but this video captures a few of my favorite moments from our trip. Hope you enjoy it! Photos to come…


Venice from Liz Denfeld on Vimeo.

P.S. I stole this song from Brittany’s awesome Italy video 🙂

{Italy: The Good // Part II}

As the late afternoon snuck up on us, we decided it would be fun to grab dinner in Florence – just an hour’s drive away. So we got gussied up, hopped in the car and made our way to the beautiful city just in time for every photographer’s dream – golden hour – and caught one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen.
I’m so grateful for these fun memories. It made the trip completely worth it despite my bad luck with food poisoning! I can’t wait to meet up with these ladies again someday (hopefully sooner than Megan’s wedding in Ireland next June)!

P.S. Did you hear Lauren’s exciting news?! Hop on over to her blog to find out!!
The gorgeous views from Piazzale Michelangelo
A stunning sunset on the Ponte Vecchio
Aperitivos at the Ferragamo Hotel
{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Italy: The Good, Part I}

Before things went downhill, I happened to have one of the most fun 24 hours ever. Lauren and I arrived in Italy Thursday afternoon, got our rental car, and set off to find our Tuscan villa. I’d be lying if I told you we didn’t get lost on those tiny Italian roads a time or two, but it made it all the more fun! We spent hours catching up, not one moment unfilled by chatter. I’m sure this isn’t news to all of you, but what I share (and most bloggers, for that matter) here on my blog is a small fraction of my life. The same went for Lauren, so we had endless topics to cover as we got to know each other outside of our blogs. By nightfall, it was time to pick Megan up from the airport. From there, we stayed up until the wee hours in the morning (okay, it was only 2AM, but still, that’s late for me!) having a major girl talk session over a bottle of red and some yummy food. The three of us were fast friends, just as I had expected.
The next day we woke up late and made our way out to the pool where we lounged, took a lot of pictures (we’re bloggers – gotta document!), talked some more and generally just chilled out. It was perfection. And yes, we all are wearing black one-piece bathing suits, and no it wasn’t planned 🙂
 {photo #8 by Lauren, all others ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Our Tuscan Villa}

I always knew that if I got the chance to visit Tuscany I’d want to stay in a Tuscan villa. For one, there are just so many to choose from, and for two, staying out in the country in a quaint and rustic Italian home just really appealed to me.
I searched far and wide for the perfect place for Megan’s hen do celebration and when I stumbled upon this place on Airbnb I knew it was the one. It’s located 10 minutes outside Lucca, so it’s a great hub to make day trips to Florence and Cinque Terre, it has four gorgeous bedrooms and three bathrooms, it’s updated but still has that Italian charm you’ve always envisioned in your head, and it has a pool (set among olive trees no less!). And maybe the best part: The price is right.
This place didn’t disappoint. As I was laying on the couch in misery, sick with food poisoning, I actually felt thankful to be sick in such a beautiful place. I acknowledged that it could’ve been way worse and decided to count my blessings instead of my misfortunes 🙂
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a place to stay in Tuscany, look no further! It really doesn’t get better than this

{photo #1 by Megan, photos #2 & 3 by Lauren, all others ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Italy: The Bad & The Ugly}

I debated for a few hours if I should first tell you about the awesome 24 hours I had in Italy, or if I should first tell you about the 48+ hours that followed that were pretty much my worst nightmare come to life…
I decided I’d start with the bad, so I could get it in my past as soon as possible, and make it stay there forever.
Long story short, I got a bad case of food poisoning on our awesome blogger blate in Italy. Most of you will wonder what I ate that made me so sick.. I wish it was something more cool and obvious, but it was a nectarine(of all things!) I bought at a super tiny, crappy little convenience store in Florence. It had clearly been cross contaminated with some nasty bacteria because it didn’t take long for me to get sick. 

Poor Megan and Lauren had to endure me upchucking all over Florence (in bathrooms, on the street, on the side of the highway…) and then throughout the night and even into the next day at our lovely villa outside of Lucca. That felt like the longest night of my life. I swore I was dying and I needed a hospital. It was awful. Only made more awful by the fact that my body was so torn apart and depleted that even when the throwing up had stopped, I was too weak to go anywhere or do anything for the entire rest of the trip.
There are so many other awful details, but for now I’d rather just focus on the fact that I’m slowly but surely getting my strength back, I’m back in my bed in Amsterdam and that Megan, Lauren and their guys (and of course Corey!) were the sweetest and best caretakers. It could’ve been really terrible and awkward to be sick around people I didn’t know very well, but they made me feel so comfortable, and I’m forever grateful for that.
So for all of you who have ever read my blog and felt even in a twinge of jealousy… here you go. Crappy things happen on awesome travel adventures, too! And I’m here to report back on those as your loyal travel blogger 🙂 I’ll be sharing the few photos I have from our Italian getaway just as soon as I’m feeling up for it. Hopefully soon!
P.S. Thanks for all of your thoughtful and concerned comments and tweets on Instagram & Twitter – they kept me great company while I was up in the middle of the night!
{you can always rely on bloggers to document everything, even me being sick on the couch! Thanks for the photo Lauren 🙂 }

{Have an Amazing Weekend!}

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, or you read Meganor Lauren’s blogs, you probably already know that as we speak I am on an epic blate (blog+date) in Tuscany with the two of them! It’s just us girls for now, lounging by the pool of our Tuscan villa, but the boys are joining us this weekend! I’m excited for good wine, girl talk and some sun! I’ll be back here on Tuesday. Until then, have a fabulous weekend!

{Capri, Italy}

The forecast the day before we left for Positano was actually comical. Rain. Every.Single.Day. The forecast for Amsterdam? 75 and sunny every day. Would you believe it? I mean, since when does gloomy Amsterdam have a better forecast than southern Italy?! For a nanosecond I seriously considered booking us a different vacation – I so didn’t want to spend six days in the rain! But we decided to stick it out since the forecast had been so temperamental –changing from sun to rain from hour to hour. Luckily for us we had gorgeous weather… Well, all but one day. And it happened to be the one day we were on a boat. Oops.

We started our  journey to Capri in cloudy, chilly weather. We were able to see all the grottos before it started to pour. From that point on it was a serious torrential downpour the entire time we were on the island. I was not dressed for a storm and was freezing and wet and uncomfortable.  Instead of exploring we opted for a 3 hour lunch instead, then took the first available boat back to Positano. So yeah, we definitely need to go back someday and explore Capri, but we were just happy to have part of the journey be dry and to be able to see the famous Blue Grotto 🙂


A few things that were super fun and unexpected on our boat trip.. Jelly fish! There was one grotto that was FULL of jelly fish – it was so crazy! I had never seen so many in my life. They were a lot smaller than I imagined, and absolutely beautiful. It was thrilling to be so close to them, but safe in our boat! Also, I had no idea you had to get off your boat and get into smaller row boats to actually see the Blue Grotto (and wait in line with a bunch of other boats!). The entrance is so small, you have to duck down into your boat, almost laying flat. Once you get in it’s a rush of darkness and you see nothing but black. Then you turn around and you see it.. That incredible blue water. It truly looks fake, but that is the natural color of the water! There’s some kind of science behind why it is so bright blue. I’m not sure about all that, but what I do know is that it was really gorgeous. I purposefully didn’t enhance the photos at all. That is the real color! I highly recommend you check them out if you ever find yourself on the Amalfi Coast.

{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}