Saturday, August 20, 2016

Temples of Neptune, Hera and Athena

Greek history and mythology is our love language. Clark absolutely loves anything that has to do with the Ancient Greeks so we just knew we had to visit modern day Paestum once known as Poseidonia. The Greek Empire ruled over much of modern day southern Italy and the Ancient Greek town of Poseidonia (Paestum, Italy) is home to beautiful historic Ancient Greek ruins and three of the most well preserved Greek temples in the world! And it is only 1 hour and 30 minutes from Naples. 
In all honesty, it is my favorite thing we have seen so far. Someone told us in orientation the first week we were here that you should have your top 5 places within a 5 hour radius so when people come to visit you know the first and most important places to take them. And this is my number one place now, pushing out the Amalfi Coast for the top spot. We bought tickets when we arrived and headed straight for the archaeological site (the ruins and temples.) We saw the temple of Athena first which is amazing. While there were a few other people wandering the grounds for a Sunday afternoon we basically had the place to ourselves which is another reason I think I enjoyed it so much. It wasn’t crowed! 
From the Temple of Athena we made our way over to the other temples but stopped along the way to see the pool, meeting area, town entrance with stone archway, residential area, original cobblestone streets, thermal baths, etc. Then we arrived at the Temple of Neptune and saw that there were people inside the temple exploring and we literally freaked out from excitement. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would actually be able to step foot inside a Greek temple they are usually very strict about preserving sites and making sure no one goes into the temples so this was amazing. It is colossal and massive once inside and we were absolutely amazed at the architecture, skill, and man power it took to creature such a beautiful building and I am so glad they made them to last so I have the opportunity to enjoy them and marvel in there wonder. 

I have plenty more post lined up unfortunately the internet is kind of spotty so I don't know how consistent I will be. Hopefully it will get better and better though. 
Dress: TJ Maxx
Shoes: Belk
Sunglasses: Target
Purse: JCPennys

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Downtown Aversa

On Saturday we were planning on taking the metro which is about a mile from our house to downtown Naples but when we got there we only had big billed euro and we couldn't find anyone that would break it for us. So instead we ended up spending the day in downtown Aversa which is the town that the metro is in and about a mile away from our town. They have a really good gelato place their, a fun little square, the metro, some other really good restaurants and shops. It is a great place and I am so glad that our house has a fun little area really close by. We are discovering new things everyday which is awesome. There is also a really nice park with a dog park which we are excited to take Knox to sometime. 
love, Carlee

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Gaiola Island

On Saturday, August 6, we were on a mission to find Gaiola Island. If you are like me and have browsed Pinterest for travel ideas you have probably seen this photo which is from Gaiola Island in Naples Italy. So I knew that I had to find it. We ended up finding it and it is even more gorgeous then the Pinterest photo, however you can no longer go out to the island and walk across the bridge. You can pay a small fee and swim in the area or kayak but you can no longer go on the actual island as it is protected by a marine wildlife program now. Which is definitely a good thing because it should be here for years and years so others can enjoy it's beauty. That doesn't mean that I still wanted a little disappointed to not be able to swim out to it and walk across the bridge. Here are a few photos of Gaiola Island before we put our stuff down and jumped into the Mediterranean and swam!
love, Carlee

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Our home in Italy: before

Hey all so Friday, August 5th, was our official move in date to our new home in Italy!!!! We are living off base which we are so grateful for. We originally thought we were going to live on base because you have to live on base for at least a year usually but there were NO available units when we arrived so they said we should probably live off base. We were kind of nervous at first because we were mentally prepared to live on base. But I am so excited that we are living off base! We just ended up looking at 7 places total all in one day and Clark and I both LOVED #2. There was no question that, that was the one for us. It is fairly big. It is 3 stories and a basement. (Which I know sounds huge) but really its not that bad. On the first floor there is the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. On the second floor is the 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, and the 3rd floor is a big open loft area with a bathroom and then the basement is just one big open space with a fireplace and a pizza oven! eeeeeek
Another thing that we absolutely loved about this place was our landlords. They are Italian and live about 20 minutes away. The don't speak the best English but with the English they know and the Italian I know we can make do. And they are so nice. I asked if I could paint and hang stuff on the walls and basically do whatever and they don't care at all. This is going to be our home for the next 3 years so I am super excited to make it my own and be able to really settle into this place. Another huge deal maker (is that a thing) for us was the yard and outside area. We love that Knox finally gets to have this own yard and space to play. There is also 2 olive trees, a lime tree, and a lemon tree in the yard!
Italians don't really believe in storage, I don't think. Other than the cabinets in the kitchen there isn't any storage. No closets or shelves in the laundry room or bathrooms. Not even cupboards under the bathroom sinks so that is a major to-do for us! Storage and closets! Here are some other things I would like to see done:

1. Plant grass seed where there are empty patches in the yard (in progress, hopefully it sprouts soon)
2. Pull up weeds in the floor beds and around the trees (in progress)
3. Paint all the light switch covered white (they are a gross yellow brown right now)
4. Cover the wardrobes in pretty contact paper (we got 2 wardrobes from the base housing office to keep for our entire tour but they are an ugly fake wood color, not pictured)
5. Put cabinets above our washer and dryer (priority #1 for me right now)
6. Paint the tile in the bathrooms on the first and second floor
7. Put up shelves in the 2nd floor bathroom 
8. House plants!
9. Paint walls and murals (nothing specific yet but I know I want this)
10. Hammock and fire pit (just a portable one) in the outdoor space for the summertime. 
11. Downstairs bathroom needs a new shower head and hook for shower 

And plenty more, your probably thinking holy cow why move in if you want to make so many changes. Honestly, the house is 100% completely adorable and lovely (although the storage is still an issue for me!) as it is right now these are just things I know I would like to see. Things that I know would make it even more beautiful and a place that I am excited to come home too. I am excited to take my time making decisions and really making it our own. I like the decorating process and we have 2 years and 11 months so we really have lots of time to make this place feel like our own. But I am already having fun starting! 
Also, we live in a gated little complex with 4 other villas just like ours. The other 3 families are all Italian and we communicate every night about who needs to lock the gate up. We feel safe and security and we get to practice our Italian in the process. So fun!
love, Carlee 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Boating around the Island of Ischia

On Saturday, July 30, we spent the day boating around the Ischia. Which is an Italian island a little bit off the coast of Naples. We rented a little speed boat with two of our friends and it cost $100 for the whole day. It was totally worth it. First we drove down to Naples port and caught the ferry to Ischia then we rented a boat there. We got sandwiches and snacks and drinks to take with us so we could spend the whole day on the boat. We ended up boating around the whole island which the rental company said takes about 3 hours total. We stopped along the way and anchored and swam and explored and had an amazing day.
This is the first Italian island we have visited and it was totally gorgeous and magical. It is great because Ischia isn't even suppose to be the best Italian island so I am looking forward to seeing the rest. This is also the first time I have ever driven around a whole island in a boat. I have been on plenty of boats and jet skis before but this was definitely a totally different experience. Seeing an Italian island from the Mediterranean Sea was amazing. I  definitely want to do some other counties by boat like Croatia! Looks fabulous.
It was a day well spent with good friends and that's all one can ask for. Also, how lucky are we to have already made some good friends? We have only been here a month! Sometimes it takes a really long time to meet good people and sometimes you meet them in orientation on your first week in a new place. Sometimes you luck out.
love, Carlee
Romper: H&M
Swimsuit: Old Navy