ITALY, PART 2

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Hello there,

During the second half of our trip to Italy, we stayed in Florence for a brief two days and then headed on over to Rome for the last part of our trip! We didn't really get a chance to see Florence, since the purpose of our time there was to iron out some plans for our wedding in Tuscany next summer.

I was glad to see that everyone we met was so gracious and warm, it made me feel like our wedding is in solid hands! During our second day in Florence, we took a trip down to the Chianti region of Tuscany where the villa for the wedding is. I couldn't believe we were able to fit in an engagement shoot (photos to come later!) and see the villa, considering how it was pouring rain by the afternoon. It was a bit hectic, but after we arrived at the villa, all of my worries melted away. The place is even more beautiful in person! As you stand in front of the villa, you look out to the picturesque Tuscany landscape, with the rolling hills and cypress trees dotting the vast landscape. At that moment, our wedding finally became real to me. I saw myself walking out in my dress towards Eric and having our close friends and family there with us... I had to stop myself from tearing up.

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After those two hectic days of running around to catch various wedding appointments, we arrived into Rome. Rome is vast, grand, and bustling with energy. You can literally feel the power it exudes through the awesome landmarks like the colosseum and Vatican City! We filled our last few days with delicious pizzas in Trastevere, the cacio y pepe (cheese and pepper) pasta that bursts with flavor and spice, and the much recommended carbonara pasta that is home to Rome! Honestly, we probably could have seen many more museums and basilicas, but there is something so enjoyable about walking through neighborhoods and narrow streets scouting for the best food.

Our last day in Italy was a bit sad, we couldn't believe our trip together was almost over! I made sure to savor my breakfast cappuccino, fresh orange juice and croissant that day...We paid a visit to the famous Spanish steps, threw in a coin with our wish at the Trevi fountain and spent our afternoon at the National Gallery of Modern Art. The museum sits inside a vast park that I absolutely loved walking through. It's filled with famous villas and gardens, and the memory of us racing down the steps together towards the museum makes me smile every time...

This trip not only opened up my eyes to European arts and cultures, but it also gave me time to reflect on the future of my business. This has been a year of much learning and testing the waters in many different directions. Though balancing many different projects taught me time management and prioritizing skills, I think this coming year will be about slowing down my pace a bit so that I can put more attention and love into each project. When I am in a calm state of mind, I am able to develop work with a sense of depth and purpose. I think this is really important to maintain, though it will be a constant challenge in a work environment that comprises of only myself! But I am going to make a conscious effort to spend enough time with my paintings from now on. 

Well, that's all for now!. You can read about the first part of our trip to Italy here!

See you guys next time,

-Yao