Friends and Family,
Pete and I are back from Sicily, settling in to our new home. We had such a great time leading up to the wedding, with showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, time with our family and bridal party, and the rehearsal dinner. The main event was spectacular, despite the cold wind and the dogs breaking out of the chicken coup! Everything went according to our (Sheila and I) anal plan :). Pete and I enjoyed the company of all of those who were able to make it and felt the love of those unable to attend.
After the wedding, Pete and I attempted to unpack some boxes and pack for our out-of-the-country rendez-vous -- it was an experience! We were able to make it to the airport just in time to upgrade to 1st class, avoiding traffic, figuring out packing issues, fixing camera malfunctions, and an unsuccessful bank trip! We settled into our seats and enjoyed our ride to JFK, where we spent our first honeymoon night in the most run-down, dirty hotel we could imagine... In the morning, we took the subway into the city for a walk around Central Park before our 9 hour and 45 minute flight to Palermo -- a red-eye, no less. It was a test of our patience trying to find our hotel, a beautiful beach front resort with 4 pools, bocce ball, ping-pong, mini-golf, a private beach and what I would consider a very interesting buffet breakfast and dinner service. I made it, though, as fishy as it was, without ketchup and diet coke, I survived (ok, so we did have pizza the majority of the days for lunch and one, very timely meal at McDonald's -- I wouldn't have survived without).
Pete and I toured the country-side on the overcast, rainy days of the week, and sunbathed by the sea on the sunny, warm days. We were fortunate to have a car,(don't ever doubt the power of a Fiat Punto) so we were able to travel to markets and small towns. We learned very quickly that stop signs are merely a suggestion for Italians, two lane roads are commonly used to pass people, and even though there are lines on the roads of bigger cities, everyone just drives where they need to go -- all of this equaling to get out of the way of the crazy Italians or join them (you know Pete joined them)! We spent some time in Cefalu, which was 12km from our hotel, a cute town which was busy from the hours of 4-8pm, before that, there were long, long periods of silence for naps and family time. Pete and I learned early-on that visiting towns before 4 was great if we wanted to drive safely and enjoy the views, but horrible if we were hungry or wanted to shop! Another amazing town we visited was Erice. To explore the town, you had to drive up a very windy road (not for me) or take a gondola (not for me either, but this was the best, straight route, with amazing views). The town was built very long ago (ok, I forgot already), and was built with a fortress wall around it. We ate marzipan fruit candies and yummy snacks at a pastry shop and took many pictures of the stone streets, Trapani (the city below), and the sea. This day we also took a ferry ride to an island where Italian families spend their weekends in the summer -- the Hamptons of Sicily? We saw many amazing sights and spend some great quality time together -- much needed after the whirlwind of the wedding!! Our trip home was long (we figure we were awake for 35 hours and either on a plane, in an airport terminal, in a custom line, or in passport line for approximately 30)!! We stopped immediately at JFK for a Diet Coke - Coke Light stinks, don't ever let anyone tell you differently, and looked forward to sleeping in our own bed. We have been home for over a week now and are enjoying each other, our backyard, Pepper, and our house immensely.
We have yet to open all of our presents and thank you cards are starting to make their way out. We want to thank everyone for your well wishes, hugs of support, and being there to help us celebrate on September 30th! Pete and I had the best time ever at our wedding and we hope you did, too!!!
Thanks again so much - we love you all!