Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day 19: Anniversary in Siena

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Today's highlights:
   -Some anniversary mush
   -Rough night of bugs
   -Anniversary plans

Well, it's true. We made it. Today, we celebrate one year together in this dweam wifin a dweam called marriage. And in honor of this day, I am going to tell you why I am the luckiest girl in the world. 

You all already know that Robbie is one of the greatest people alive. I knew that going into this marriage too, but every day I see his goodness and qualities in ways I never even considered before we got married. He just gets better and better, or more likely, I just get more and more aware of what an incredible human being he's always been.

One of the best things about him, that has really stuck out to me on this trip, is his kindness. Whether to me or to a complete stranger, he makes people around him happier. I sometimes laugh at him when we are in restaurants here, because if he thinks something is good (which he always does), he HAS to tell the cook. He gets antsy waiting for the waiter to walk by our table so he can ask them to go tell the cook how amazing our food is. I just tell him, "Robbie, it's okay. I'm sure they know its good." But he needs to make sure they hear it from us. What a gem. Also, anytime we walk by someone taking a picture, WITHOUT FAIIL he will stop and ask them if he can take it for them so they can all be in it. He doesn't wait to be asked. He volunteers as soon as he sees a need. These seem like such simple things, but they are just pieces and examples of what a genuinely good guy he is. He is so gentle and kind and loving and willing to go along with whatever crazy, exhausting plan I have in mind. He is my back-up and support team anytime I need him.

Sorry to get all mushy on you, but I just really love this guy, and coming out and just saying it does something for my soul. This past year has only made me realize how many layers there are to what makes him who he is. And I just love being the one who gets to see those everyday. I love being married to him! Oh man, I'm typing this while sitting next to him on a train, hoping he'll keep reading his book so he won't see my eyes welling up. How embarrassing :) 

Okay, so yucky love stuff aside, let's talk about today! It started a little rough, all because of the bugs... Remember when I told you our place didn't have AC? So we had to sleep with the window open AGAIN and we got attacked by biting, villainous mosquitos AGAIN (we are pretty sure that's what's going on now because we heard and saw their attack, so no fleas! Yay! But mosquitos, boo.) We both woke up around 3:30am itching like CRAZY! We turned on the lights and had an all-out battle with those dang things. Robbie thinks there was just one Super Mosquito, and he declared to it, at 3:45am, "I will find you and then I will kill you and every member of your family." Late night itch attacks do crazy things to our brain. 

So we finally got up for the day (after little sleep) and packed up our stuff to leave Florence and head to Siena, however the day improved significantly when we found fresh croissants filled with actual melted milk chocolate for breakfast. It is amazing how good food can make life better. We spent the morning trying to find a ward to go to, but despite many attempts couldn't get the website to work. So hopefully next week!

We decided to splurge on a nicer hotel in Siena in honor of our anniversary and it was stinkin AWESOME! And air conditioned! And bug-free! And just so beautiful and comfortable, we almost cried. 

Now, as far as plans for our anniversary, I thought I had it all figured out. Siena is in the middle of the Tuscan countryside, so originally I wanted to go horseback riding! (Not that either of us has any skill with a horse, but it sounded romantic, you know, and I love romantic holidays). However, when we couldn't really work that out beforehand (horses are hard to come by I guess), I decided it would be just as romantic and cool to rent a Vespa scooter and drive THAT through the Tuscan countryside. So I have been planning on this for some time now and had my heart set on it, knowing we would only be in Siena for one day, and that day would be so perfect.

Well, what I did NOT account for was that that day was a Sunday. 

And the Vespa place was closed. 

Romantic plans sabotaged! I was so sad, so we decided maybe we would try again in the morning before leaving for Rome. With that plan gone, we had all afternoon free and had to decide what to do instead. We decided since it was our anniversary, we should only do something we honestly wanted to do, not anything we felt obligated to do. This is where it gets a little embarrassing....

We watched a movie. In Italy. For our anniversary. And, as sad as it may sound to you, it was awesome. 

In our defense, we have not had access to any kind of movies or tv since coming here (except for the 10 minutes we watched of Easy A in Germany, all in German with no subtitles). That is 3 weeks of being screen-free! And it was mid-afternoon and 9 million degrees outside. And we knew we would go out to see the city in the evening when it cooled off. And we were so tired from go-go-going in Florence and knew we'd be go-go-going in Rome for the next three days. (Defense rests). So we figured out how to rent a movie on iTunes, snuggled up in our big, comfy bed and watched "X-Men: First Class" on a tiny, 3-inch iPhone screen. No regrets.

Once we were ready for some food (our stomachs often serve as alarm clocks for us here), we headed out to explore the city. And yes, it is beautiful. 

Siena is really famous for one big thing: the Palio horse race. It is crazy huge and people come from all over. They do it twice every summer, and as (bad) luck would have it, we are sandwiched between the two, barely missing both. Major bummer. But it seemed like every indoor place we went had pictures of it on their walls and we went to Il Campo, which is the central town square where the race takes place. It's awesome. It's just a huge seashell-shaped area with people sitting and lounging all over it. So we sat and people-watched for awhile (one of our favorite activities) when all of a sudden, a drumline of young boys in maroon, Medieval-looking pageboy outfits marched into the square drummin their little hearts out! There were dozens of them and they surrounded the entire seashell (and its a big seashell), some drumming while others waved these big humongous flags, all in uniform. We kept waiting for some kind of announcer to say what was going on, but no one ever did. They just kept drumming. Is this like, a medieval flash mob? The only thing that did happen was a long line of mothers pushing babies in strollers marched out and stood at the front, followed by a long line of old people. The best we could figure is it was a celebration of the babies born in the last year and....the people who plan to die in the next year...? I don't know, no one ever said. 

We like to think they were drumming for us, in celebration of our anniversary. I feel like that's a more realistic guess. 

So we spent the rest of the night walking around the beautiful city (with walls so high you feel like you're in a castle), eating, and just lovin being married. 

Life is the best.


  1. cuuuuuute. happy anniversary, you two!

    p.s. i hope i'm not over-commenting on this blog! i'm just lovin hearing about your awesome travels, and can't help it!

    1. No Holli, I love it! You motivate me!

  2. Happy anniversary to you two darling lovebirds! Love love love reading this bloggie and laughing out loud at your incredible adventures. XOXO