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The Honeymoon is Over + Making Holiday Resolutions

Posted Thursday, September 25, 2014 in: Nerd Life

So we are officially back from our honeymoon to Italy! The past two weeks were two of the best I have ever had. Being super-organised paid off - there were no disasters - but we also got super-lucky. Honestly it was one of the best holidays ever. We are in LOVE with Italy.

Everyone we met was so warm and friendly. Honestly we did not meet one rude person on our whole trip. People were so nice – and did kind things for us that they really didn’t have to. Like when we handed over our boarding passes at Dubai to fly to Rome, we were over the moon to be told we had been bumped up to business class (and we never even said anything about being on our honeymoon!)

We loved where we stayed in Verona - Tenuta Delo Relais, this beautiful B&B with a 9th century AD tower by the farmhouse. Yes, I was obsessed!

At restaurants, kindly feeders disguised as waiters brought us extra little titbits, desserts and free glasses of Prosecco (maybe we look poor and starving. Ok I definitely don’t look like I’m starving. Maybe we just look poor). At our amazing hotel in the Dolomites (Hotel Tyrol – I recommend them HIGHLY) we were flabbergasted to discover they had upgraded our budget room to one of their nicest suites with a balcony with views over the mountains; an icy-cold bottle of Prosecco and a box of chocolates on our coffee table that we promptly scarfed (chocolates not table). We barely even said we were on our honeymoon, but it felt like all the people we met – our fellow B&B guests as well as everyone in the hospitality industry - went above and beyond to be nice to us, and it rendered us almost speechless on more than one occasion.

It is back to reality in Perth now and sadly no lovely waiters with force-feeding tendencies proffering giant bowls of ravioli. The husband is out of the house tonight, so I started to tackle my list of important post-holiday things to do. I sat down at my computer, opened my bulging inbox of work, looked at it, closed it. Then I melted peanut butter in the microwave, poured it over a bowl of vanilla icecream and had a Bachelor marathon with all the episodes I missed while I was away. I simply cannot describe how much I love this show (and I have tried, on numerous occasions, to do so to baffled-looking friends. But is because it is so corny and contrived it is GOOD).

ABOVE: Mr Nerd and I, the view over Campo di Fiori from our apartment in Rome, Florence, Italian dogs are less fond of me than Australian dogs.

ABOVE: Sniffy dogs at Tenuta Delo Relais, the beautiful B&B we stayed at in Verona (a converted stable) scrumptious Rome breakfast, cooked from market-fresh ingredients by the husband, Lederhosen-clad waitstaff in the Dolomites (and I ate four poofball things, in case you were wondering) and prosecco, chocolates and a veiny hand in the Dolomites at Hotel Tyrol.

Now I feel sick. Not because I’ve overdosed on the Bachelor and heard Blake say for the 298th time how much he wants Jess/Chantal/Zoe to ‘really open up their heart’ and ‘reveal their true feelings more’ but because of the peanut butter/vanilla icecream combo. Good in theory, bad in prac. But I have finished this post because I am a soldier like that.

Do you guys make holiday resolutions? When I go away, it usually takes me at least two days to reeeally switch off from work and when I start heading back, feeling relaxed, I inevitably start making my holiday resolutions - mini mental lists of all the elements of my holiday that I could incorporate into my day-to-day life. Things I want to tweak. New habits I could adopt to maintain that holiday feeling, so I’m not always being an uptight stresspot obsessing madly over a looming deadline.

Maybe it is a Virgoan trait (and a crappy one at that) but I feel I am always trying to perfect everything around me. (Yeah, I know I’m a dork, I don’t care). But cringy as they sound, holiday resolutions are a totally beneficial thing for me, because usually my idea of switching things up around here is to type in a different font. Mm. Let’s get crazy in here, Helveticaaaaa.

ABOVE: Views from our Verona B&B, eating in Tuscany, how we got about - our trusty little Fiat Punto, prettiness from our hotel in the heart of the Tuscan countryside.

Eating and drinking 'boom boom' in the Dolomites with the very awesome Hotel Tyrol staff.

ABOVE: Venice, an amazing locals restaurant in Verona, and being floored by Italy's amazing mountain scenery.

My holiday-inspired implementations are not always super-practical (ie: swim in the ocean every single morning, unless there is a 5m great white meandering around Cottesloe) but I always try (and quite often fail) to incorporate them to some degree.



2. Learn to make fresh pasta (when Mancini’s is unavailable. Eat some! I think it is some of the best fresh store pasta available in Perth).

3. Drive like an Italian. I’ve always felt vaguely guiltily indignant when people cry, “People in Perth are such bad drivers.” Post-Italy, after tearing along six-lane super highways in our tiny Fiat Punto (Mr Nerd hands-on-wheel driving, I encouragingly backseat driving) at speeds much faster than we ever would in Perth, I agree. I think if we did away with revenue-raising speed cameras, this would help because people would be more focused on being aware of road situations and not focused solely on their speedometer. Italian people are way more RELAXED drivers yet they’re really alert and way better at driving at high speeds and changing lanes so they meet their pasta restaurant dinner reservations efficiently, yet safely.

4. Stop carrying a huge shoulder bag around. I skipped carrying a handbag on our trip in lieu or giving everything to Mr Nerd to resignedly put in his backpack or his pocket. It was AWESOME being bag free! Before we left, I had been having some back problems and had spent a small fortune on chiros, physio and massages. My chiro said this was caused by too much computer time, but I also think that carrying a heavy bag around all the time on my right shoulder probably wasn’t helping. After two weeks not spent sitting at a desk all day, I feel brand new! I am going to streamline the contents of my bag and get a really small one. Because Mr Nerd can’t trail around after me all the time carrying my crap. That would be weird.

Our Roma accommodation in Campo di Fiori (top left).

The beautiful converted stable-turned-home at Tenuta Delo Relais.

View from our balcony in Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre.

5. Blog more – and write more personal posts. My last holiday resolution was the decision to write more on here as well as more on our life and our own house and renovations. (If you prefer the home tours and expert tips over my personal stuff, you can tell me - I won’t be upset!)

When I started House Nerd, I never initially intended to involve myself, or my husband or even my dog, or my family in it at all. I think I had written from the journalist’s standpoint for so long, always interviewing OTHER people for stories, that at first it never struck me that I had anything worth saying myself. But now I have been getting so much feedback from people who read my blog who tell me they like my personal posts most of all and that they wish I would do more. These requests come mostly in the form emails and comments, but also encompass drunk encounters with readers at functions, which often produce the most heart-warming compliments I have EVER gotten about my blog or my writing. So thank you, my fellow champagne drinkers. You spur me on and give me confidence. I don’t always find it easy to write about my own life. For one it often feels a little narcissistic. Every time I write a personal post, I’m like, “Argh, are people really going to be interested in this or am I being boring?” Yet despite this, ironically the blogs I personally love the MOST of all are the ones where the writers ARE personal and honest and in-depth!

Secondly it is easy to get a bit shy when you are posting stuff on the internet for everyone to see. I never check Google Analytics, unless Mr Nerd (my unofficial bossy manager) forces me to do it. Of course I am flattered and hugely appreciative when I see those numbers on the screen, but it is kind of scary too! It kind of makes me feel shy. (Does anyone else feel the same way about their blogs? Getting comments on posts still makes me happiest. Comments are personal and infinitely more fun than numbers on a screen!) I like to skip the intimidating elements of Google Analytics in favour of writing each post like I am writing now; pretending I am writing a letter to just a little group of good friends.

I’d love to hear more of what YOU would like to read and see more of on House Nerd (or less of). Do you prefer blogs that are more personal or do prefer home tours or expert tips? 

Do you blog? Do you find personal posts a little harder?

Do you make holiday resolutions? Do you stick with them?

And MOST importantly - who do you think will win the Bachelor? (I still think Jess… although I think Louise might be the best match. Sad to see Laurina go though. She was lively. #teamdirtystreetpie. Maya x

If you love The Bachelor and you are also a little bit mean, you will love this chick's snark blog Bland Canyon. She does catty play-by-plays of every episode and she is HILARIOUS. Proudly presented by a nerd who spends way too much time on the internet. You're welcome.

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