Italy: Where to stay?

After some (hours worth of) extensive research into boutique hotels in Italy (because we're looking for the true Italian experience rather than a chain...with AC of course) , I think we have landed on where we will be staying in each of the cities along our Italian travels this summer.

Our first stop is Rome, where we'll be staying at the Hotel Giulio Cesare.
It's near the Vatican and the Herndon's actually stayed there last summer, so it comes highly recommended. We've also scheduled a Vatican tour...can't visit Rome and not see the home of the Pope.
After a couple days in Rome, we're headed for Florence.
While in Florence we'll be staying at Hotel Brunelleschi, which is said to be a hidden treasure in the heart of Florence and we're all about a good, central location. The hotel has already been very helpful by email as I've also been researching day trips out to the Tuscan countryside.
Our next stop in Venice, where we'll be staying at Hotel Santa Marina, which is in close walking distance to Piazza San Marco.
Then to round out the trip, we're headed to the Almafi Coast for a couple days of sun and relaxation. We'll be staying at Hotel Margherita in a room with a view!
The trip is well on its way to being planned and I cannot wait for those vacation days to get here.

Samson...growing up!

Samson is now six months old, and he is growing into an adult dog so quickly!
He is ALL smiles ALL the time!Look how small he was just a few months ago!What a difference huh!?
He's just as playful as ever and though we do face the normal puppy training issues, we are so lucky because he really is a good dog.

Sweet Sophia

Every October my family travels to Grave's Mountain Lodge and I just love all the fall colors of the pumpkins and leaves with the rustic cabin. These are some of my favorites from Saturday when Sarah stopped by the cabin with Sophia, Uncle Mark and Aunt Carolyn.
Family shots
She is such a Cutie!

Charleston, SC

Charleston, South Carolina is a charming city.

Check out the shots from around the plantation.
(Beautiful farm animals and old fashioned equipment)(The plantation was a rice farm and has extremely scenic views)
(The small details)(Like out of a dream)
(This is one of my favorite shots from the day.)
We really enjoyed walking around the plantation.
What an interesting place it must have been to live and work.
(The food in downtown Charleston is picture perfect and perfect on the taste buds as well!)
We then walked around town to find Rainbow Row and the waterfront.
The finish out the day, we scheduled a horse and buggy ride to tour the historic homes of Charleston. Boy are there some gorgeous places that take your breath away.
(The false doors to the porches are a neat feature of many of the homes.)
(We even found the spot where my friends Lindsey and Darren had their wedding.)
(Charleston has some amazing iron work!)
Charleston is a beautiful, whimsical city and I loved spending time in a place that has an old timey romance.

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