The start of it all.
It only takes the one moment to decide. For us, for me, it was precisely five minutes into our Christmas vacation to Cuba to say yes. And here I am almost nine months later on the brink of marriage. I know what you are all thinking, elope but aha! We decided to get married in Italy. This my friends is where it all begins. I have to interject here and also say a big thank you to theVin Room staff and mostly Phoebe Fung, our Proprietor, who is letting me travel for four glorious weeks!!!
Let me begin by saying that I really wanted to focus this wedding around food and wine. Mostly food. We knew we wanted to do a destination wedding and we asked all our friends “where oh where should this fiesta be?” And one of our dearest friends lamented “Please not in Costa Rica. So many of us have gotten married there. Can we go somewhere different?” To me, this made perfect sense. My fiancé loves food just as much as I do. Even more perhaps so it became a natural thought to combine the two biggest thoughts about this wedding together: family and reception. So it became apparent to us to get hitched in Italy. Time to go home. I know what you are thinking. She does not look Italian. AHA!!! I am half Italian thank you very much. And all of my spaghetti loving family still lives down there.
In nine months with the help of a great and trustworthy wedding planner who is based in Rome I am almost there. Four enchanting weeks of eating and travelling through Italy, Greece, and Turkey. We decided to tack on Turkey at the last moment but could you blame us? As excited as I am about the wedding, the real thrill that courses through me is the thought of going home. You see, for my whole meager adult life I have spent almost half in Italy with my family and friends and working and travelling around. It is the thought of revisiting what I left five years ago. When I lived in Rome, I was a mere 22 years old and a naïve one at that. I decided to leave after culinary school, cashed in my small savings, buy a one way ticket and land my bum in Rome, determined to learn and experience Italian life. I miss it sometimes. The business of the streets, the fresh bread smells in the morning as I pass by the bakeries. I even miss sitting with the old ladies in the piazza parks watching the seniors kick the butts of young fresh Italian boys at soccer. And fresh cornetti (Italian croissants) that you buy at 3am in the morning after you have spent the entire night dancing.
We North Americans are always so enthralled when we travel to Europe and it is easy to see why. People actually get to live like this. They eat amazing pastries, sleep in the afternoon, and have history as their neighbor. This trip means all of this to me. The fact that I get to share this with someone who used to live there too is a big bonus. Robert, my fiancé, grew up in Greece. No pineapple on pizza please. No burgers for lunch. How about boar paparedelle and fresh truffles that you hunted down with your neighbour’s dog for lunch? This is what I am going back to.
Greece and Turkey will be so different to Italy but it is the excitement of trying new things to eat is enchanting. This will be a culinary travel. Don’t forget the wine. Can’t do that but I am an adventurer at heart and will eat or drink anything once. 18 days to go. This will be something.