Monday, November 30, 2009

Italian Honeymoon, part IV: Venezia!

After a little train mix-up on our way out of Sirmione that caused us a 2.5 hours wait at the train station*, we were finally on our way to Venice!

(*E and I decided to purchase EURail passes ahead of time in hopes that it would save us a little money and plenty of time from waiting in line, but we quickly learned our lesson. Even though each of our passes were good for one full day of traveling, there was limited seating for the EURail passes, and you were still required to pay for seat reservations. It didn't save us much time and any money. AND, twice, we were given seats that appeared to be next to each other, (Like 23A and 24A) but were an aisle or a row apart. REALLY annoying!)

We arrived in Venice around 9pm pretty exhausted from the day. It was pouring rain as we hopped off the train and walked off the platform....right up to the edge of a canal!
We reeled at the cost of the taxi boat, but it was dark and raining cats and dogs and we weren't about to try to find our way around in the dark (If you've been to Venice you know how difficult it can be to find your way around in the daylight with a map!)
We board the water bus (called Vaporettos) and followed Rick Steve's instructions to our hotel.

We stayed at Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo, which we found to be totally charming and was owned by two friendly and helpful brothers.

The next morning we woke up and headed down for breakfast...I was blown away! It was set in a tiny, quaint courtyard with birds flitting around and a gentle breeze. Sorry to wax poetic, but really it was the most relaxing surreal setting I could have imagined. This was Italy!

We enjoyed a cappuccino every single morning, along with fruit and a crescent or two.




Also I was obsessed with Nutella. My aunt used to bring it back from Germany and I thought it was the best treat ever. There wasn't a day on our trip I went without!

After breakfast, we couldn't wait to get out and explore!
We thought Venice was just magical...I don't even want to bore you with all the stories of our adventures (ok, they weren't that exciting), but still, I'll just let the pictures do the work for me:







Hubby was an expert map-reader and tour guide and led us through the streets of Venice (though some were so narrow, I'm not sure how they could be counted as roads)


This water looks appetizing, no?



Italy wouldn't be a complete without a nude statue of a boy holding a dead frog:



Sitting on the steps listening to a classical guitarist:


We may have voted this place best gelateria in Italy:

We had a dinner on the vines covered terrace of this lovely restaurant:

and ended the night at the Rialto Bridge, where it all begin.


Up next, St. Mark's Basilica and a gondola ride!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Big Decision: Ceremony Snippet

Because my honeymoon posts are taking forever (I have over 2000 pictures peeps! no lie), and because my photographer spent the time making this sweet slideshow of our ceremony, I'm going to share it with you while I slowly work on my post on romantic Venezia.

I love the song she picked, though I hadn't heard it before. Loved remembering how nervous I was with everyone watching. Loved, loved, loved the excited pictures before the "Walk", and the hugging happy pictures after it was over.

basically, i loved our ceremony. the end.


Katie & Eric- The Ceremony. from Sara Mannino on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We've Got a Latte Love: seeing great grandma

Remember my tribute to my great grandmother?

About two weeks ago, she had a stroke. She's had very minor strokes before, so I didn't get too concerned from my mom's email. But her 4th stroke at the age of 101 had a pretty severe effect. She required almost round the clock care for a few days, but many of us assumed she would bounce back as she had dozens of times after hitting a rough patch.
But at 6:30 am last Thursday I received the phone call that she was taken home into the arms of her heavenly Father.

E and I were able to get on a standby flight that very afternoon and arrived back home in Chicago where we stayed until Sunday. My sister, who was planning to visit us this past weekend was able to transfer her flight to later this spring.

We had a wonderful and exhausting weekend reconnecting with many family members, sharing stories, laughs, memories and love. To know my grandma was to love her, and she knew many people!

So, in celebration of her life, I'm going to post, out of recap order, one of my last memories of my dear great grandmother.

After getting ready at what I considered "home" for the last time, all the girls and I piled into my family's 12 passenger van (it's all about the sports in my family!), and headed 3 miles down the road to the retirement home where my great grandmother has lived for about 8 of the past 11 years.
I say retirement home, not nursing home, just to clarify that she wasn't bedridden (at this point) wasn't hooked up to tubes, or [completely] confined to a wheelchair at almost 101. She lived in a room on her own with minimal help for daily tasks and scooted around every where she needed to go in her wheelchair when her legs couldn't support her any more.

On the morning of my wedding day, as we approached the entrance with a mason jar filled with a few of the extra flowers from our DIY flowers the day before.


(photo by a friend)

She was waiting for us in the downstairs lobby, with an expression I'll treasure forever: pure excitement.


Lots of kisses

and hugs


(baby sister)

(photo by a friend)

and I love yous

a little bit of chatting


and a spin


Then we posed



(my mama, photo by little sis)

after one last kiss, we headed back to the van so we could get to our first look.


I had created a blurb photo album for her with these photos as well as some family photos after my mom emailed me about her down turn. Unfortunately, she never got to enjoy the pictrues, as the album arrived at my parents on the day of her funeral.

But I'm so glad I have these moments captured on film as well as many memories in my heart!

*all photos, unless otherwise noted, were taken by the fabulous, Little Hands Photography*

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blog-a-versary Giveaway Winner Announced!

It's been a busy and unexpected week, and I hope to catch up about it soon.
But first, my one year blog giveaway!

between comments, tweeting and following, I had an incredible 51 entries, which I plugged into an excel spreadsheet.
Then I used's number generator to come up with the winner.

Congratulations to Ms. A

Who wrote:

Ms. A, please email me at: ericandkatiewedding(at) with your address and which banner you prefers ("Holidays" or "Christmas") and I'll get it sent out to you shortly!

Thanks all for entering!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One Year Giveaway!

130 posts & one year, and I'm celebrating!

And yes, this is a little late. Turns out I contracted the bug that's been going around--(thankfully not H1N1) and I'm home from work today.

I wanted to giveaway something to kick off the holidays, but it was so hard to choose! So the winner will have a choice between these three pretty little Christmas items from Etsy:

Felted Acorn Ornaments

Two Turle Doves

Christmas or Holidays mini banner (each letter is on a 3 inch circle)

These are perfect for your first christmas as husband and wife [or almost, for those still planning :-)] I've saved ornaments through the years and I can't wait to decorate our first tree and house for a Christmas party!

To Enter:

  1. Leave a comment and let me know which of the three you would pick
  2. Become a follower of my blog and Twitter (@Latte_Love) and let me know in the comment
  3. Tweet or blog about this giveaway and link to this post and @latte_love

*Edited to add: I'll choose a winner on Monday morning...all entries must be in by 11:59pm PST on Sunday!*

Monday, November 9, 2009

An update and announcement

I'm pretty bad at this recap thing. Maybe it's because my honeymoon recaps have been pretty intense. But we took over 1,000 pictures in 11 days people! And at least half of them are blog worthy, (Italy is just that photogenic) so it's hard to pick and choose what to share.

I want to keep my readers happy, but also offer these posts as a resource to brides planning a honeymoon to Italy, because ours was so fantastic.
If you wedding bloggers start to get uninterested in the lengthy honeymoon posts...I will completely understand if you employ the "quick scroll" to check out the pretty pictures, and ignoring our travel stories!
I hope you can stick around--wedding recaps will start soon!

Also, a couple of housekeeping notes, one positive and one not:

First, I've gotten my first [TWO] spam messages in one weekend, so for now I'm going to be moderating my comments. I hate to do that, but I'll try to be on here often enough that the comments don't hold too long! Yucky spammers.

Second, my one year blog-a-versary is this Thursday, the 12th! In honor of that I'll be holding a giveaway to be announced later today!

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