8 Days in Italy

Today is the last day of our trip and we fly home this afternoon. We just spent 5 days in Tuscany, mostly Florence, then have been in Rome since Thursday. Somehow I have done yoga every day. Not the at the time or how I normal would, but it really helped with the foot, leg and back pain from all the walking. I have written each day of the trip below.

Day 1: Saturday, March 23rd

We flew into Rome (FCO) and immediately hoped on a train into the city to catch a train to Florence. By the time we arrived at our hotel there was time to take a short walk, grab dinner, I did a short yoga video while my partner showered and then off to sleep. Here are a couple of our best shots:



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Day 2: Sunday, March 24th

We booked a 12 hour tour because having something structured to do seems to help us with jet lag (and melatonin supplements). Walkabout Florence has a “The Best of Tuscany Tour“. It was AMAZING! Sara, our tour guide, and Ricardo, our bus driver, were fabulous folks to be with. We left from the train station in Florence for stops in Siena, San Gimignano and Pisa with a stop at an organic farm and winery for lunch just outside San Gimignano. We loved every stop and want to go back in the future to explore each city more. We bought about half our souvenirs this day (including 2 bottles of Chianti)…



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Day 3: Monday, March 25th

Since my partner was coming for a conference, I had my first day solo. After having breakfast together and helping him find the way to the conference, I went to the Museo Galileo. I saw many cool artifacts, but the most notable was Galileo’s fingers and one of his teeth… O_O Then I did not really know what I was going to do, I like wandering about and just picking things on a whim. It works for me and it definitely did this day. I saw the Palazzo Vecchio on my way to the Museo Galileo and just the free parts told me I HAVE TO check out the rest of this place! It will likely be my favorite place from this Florence trip… I really hope to come back.



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Day 4: Tuesday, March 26th

I woke up with the intention of immediately getting ready to see the David. I was not able to get a reservation online, so I got there 20 minutes before the Accademia opened and got in immediately! Best time to go because the line was around the block when I left the building 30 min later and much longer when I walked by at the end of the day. Then, I just walked around the Duomo, Cathedral and Baptistry for an hour and stopping in the shops around it. I was waiting for the Leonardo da Vinci Museum to open. It was another quick museum, only took an hour. After this I was feeling a need for a nap, so I walked back to my hotel to do so. After a nap I grabbed a gelato and went to a 3rd reasonably priced, quick museum, the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. It was once used as a prison, but now is an art museum. I LOVED the porcelain produce! My day ended with an entire pizza, since it was more like my lunch/dinner, and a walk through some Italian fashion stores.



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Day 5: Wednesday, March 27th

There is always a day during your trip that does not go so smoothly and that was today. We went to the Uffizi and ate amazing paninis, those were the high points of the day. Otherwise, we argued, napped and went to a eh conference dinner.


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Day 6: Thursday, March 28th

My partner had to attend some conference sessions before we departed for Rome. So I walked over to see the Cappelle Medicee, where most of the Medicee are buried. On my way I found a beautiful market to walk through, it smelled amazing! Around 1 PM, we walked to the train station to grab a high speed train down to Rome. Once we arrived in Rome we immediately walked to our hotel to drop our things off, use the toilet, connect to WiFi, etc. We took a pre-dinner walk and yes, we did not eat lunch… I was happy to see the Coloseum and visit the Mouth of Truth, but so hungry. We had dinner at the hotel and it was 3 courses… I was so full.

Day 7: Friday, March 29th

We had a slow start to the day, but we made it back over to the coloseum and Roman Forum, where we walked around for 4 hours. We then walked over to the Pantheon, got gelato at Giolitti, walked to the Trevi Fountain and watched the sunset at the top of the Spanish Steps. We stopped back the at the hotel to rest a bit before getting pizza and cacio e pepe for dinner.

Day 8: Saturday, March 30th

We met up with my partner’s mentor today, who works at the Vatican Observatory! *Astronomy Nerd Alert* We got a private and behind the scenes tour of the Papal Gardens and Vatican Observatory! It was so fun and Father was so kind to take us around. I’ll add the rest of the pictures when we return. Tomorrow we leave for home and I will greatly miss this place.

My Teeth Are Fixed, Well Almost

I did not have health insurance for about 1.5 years. It was scary and I did have to schedule one trip to the doctor (turned out to be cheaper than I thought it would be, about $350) because I had a bacterial infection, but the thing I was truly holding out on was the dentist. I knew my teeth were in bad shape.

At the end of January, while still waiting for my dental insurance card to arrive in the mail… my inlay or partial crowd that had been bothering me for years popped out. I have been SO thankful to quickly find a great dentist who has fixed me up over 4 visits. I had a root canal (not as bad as it sounds, just a long procedure), 3 fillings (because 2 fell out), and a full crown on the tooth that had root canal.

Sadly the first crown was not a good fit, so another has been ordered and hopefully on April 1st I will have a completely fixed mouth. Seeing my teeth all white though and looking like real teeth made me so happy though!

I think my teeth do look nice from the outside even though I never got braces, but when I was a kid I was not taught or forced to brush my teeth. I did not start regularly brushing my teeth until after a lot of damage was done, which was around the 6th grade and only because a kid in my class pointed out that he could tell I did not brush my teeth.

After that I brushed my teeth in the morning only, but then at night all the sugars and acids were siting on my teeth. I brushed in the morning and night some time in college and started flossing in graduate school. Mouth rise only happened when I bought it and felt up for the burn.

Now with a mother-in-law who is a dental hygienist and having gone to great dentists, I know what needs to be done. I brush my teeth and use a mouth rinse post breakfast. Then, I brush my teeth, floss and rinse again after I am done eating for the day and before bed. I am also slowly working on cutting back on acidic and sugary foods because they make my teeth hurt when I eat them too often. Oh man were my teeth feeling it during the holidays.

I would very much like to keep my teeth, so hopefully I will not be in a dire situation like this again, if I follow the recommendations that is.

Oh How Things Have Changed

Finally getting around to updating my blog information. At this point in life I feel like I was way too “fits-po” or “fitspirational” when I started this blog and had my head up my ass. I had just realized that what I thought I wanted was just what everyone else was pushing onto me. I was fit enough to get a 6 pack and it made me cringe. The body I was praying I had I got and I realized I loved my “average” body from before.

I now find myself back to the Bridget Jones form I had for most of my adult life. Sure, I could lose 5-10 lbs to get my doctor or others to tell me, “Good job!” However, being “a little bit fat” is healthier than I thought it was, especially mentally. I wasted so much time and created so much anxiety just thinking about being fit.

I feel like I was a phony, but when I started the blog I was in a better place because I had already realized being thin was not everything and doing Bikini Body Guide workouts that made me hate life was no way to live happily. I got my cycle back, I lost weight from disordered eating, life is beautifully imperfect and I still feel like generally I am a happy, positive person. So I am not a phony. I am just a gal living and trying at life.

I updated the text around the blog and my Instagram. Spring’s arrival is breathing into me and hopefully you will see that in my posts. 🙂 Happy St. Patrick’s day!

We Got an Air Filter

Since moving to New York state, we have been congested, sick and surrounded by dust. I do not know if it has something to do with the building we live in, the area of the country or just how our daily lives have changed, but we figured we needed to give an air filter a chance. If anything I figured we would not have to dust so damn much.

First of all, the dust situation has changed dramatically. We wipe down for dust maybe every other week now instead of every other day. My partner also pointed out that you can no longer see it just floating in the air in the beautiful sunshine that comes through the apartment.

The dust was likely a contributor to our congestion. After it became too cold to open the windows and patio door, we realized we were blowing our noses to clear congestion 2-3 times a day. Now, it is only necessary once a day. And, not to be gross, but the color of our snot is very different. Less dirty looking.

Are you super healthy and free from all illnesses? No. We got the stomach flu and a cold since we got it. Maybe it helps with germs, but its not a miracle worker. The weekly disinfecting the apartment likely does way more for that. It did help with our chronic congestion and the dust problem though. We are at least satisfied with the purchase.


My Experience Thus Far With High Interest Savings Accounts

I have always been a saver. That began with me hoarding the cash I got for presents and counting it regularly, which I know laugh about. I wanted to make it grow so that I did not worry about not having money as my family did. So as I have grown older, I knew the importance of saving money and have always kept a savings account. Although, I feel like I am only just getting a hang of all the ways you can save and those that work best for our situation.

Last year, we opened our first high interest savings account with Capital One, the 360 Money Market account. We received a $200 bonus for opening the account with a specified amount of money. The first month, February 2018, provided us with about $11 interest. I had never received that much interest in even a year with my previous savings accounts. February 2019 provided us with $22 interest and it is up to a 2% interest rate.

While we have a retirement account now, we have seen from the first account that there is a lot of potential for high interest savings making it possible for us to save up a downpayment more quickly for us to purchase a home of our own. So a year after opening our first high interest savings account, we opened another with Ally bank to have both a general savings, for just in case something happens sort of thing, and a future home savings.

I feel like a high interest savings account, even if you can not put in the sum that provides you the highest rate, is a great option to start building up to that point and hopefully get enough together for something you need the money for. Additionally, while you can access the money from an online account, I feel like it is also not so accessible since I do not have a debt card for it or a location near by. Therefore, I am less likely to touch it until I truly need it.

I still have a lot of researching and learning to do about savings, but I feel good about my choices so far.