Twilight, Travel, and Treats

Reflections of a Twihard on all things twilight, travel, and treats.

So far we've done

Bologna Part 1 (Parmigiano Reggiano) and 2 (Balsamic Vinegar and Prosciutto)

Have we all recovered from all the cheese and ham?


this is the view from our bed :)

We took the train from Bologna to Florence. Very fast and we arrived at train station Santa Maria Novella. Since we thought that there were no cars allowed in the heart of Florence where our hotel was located we decided to walk. Very hot June weather and my husband had never seen me hustle so quickly. Amazing what the dream of air-conditioning will do to propel you forward.

tiny hotel sign

Our hotel was the Granduomo and it was great. We had a kitchen and even got upgraded to a superior room because it was our 10th anniversary. We got a very thorough tour (keep in mind I'm wanting to just lie in the bed with the A/C on) that took a good 10 minutes around the property. You couldn't be closer to the Duomo - yes, this is the view from our bedroom window.

You almost miss this hotel because it's entrance is next to the Ben & Jerry's. Yes, there is an American ice cream company competing with some of the best gelato in the world. Go figure. And no I did not go in for any Cherries Garcia.

breakfast basket with Nutella; bottles of water and apricot juice in the fridge

You wonder what this little giftbox is in the washroom?

lovely view of Florence from the top - gorgeous at night
Eventually we decided to leave our hotel room. Directly in front of our hotel is the Duomo - we didn't venture inside this time since we've been here before. Gorgeous from the outside and huge - can you imagine the line wraps all the way around all day long?

Next we went searching for a restaurant recommended to us by our tour guide from Bologna.

Il Porcupino is almost back at the train station. Pretty good food.

love these deep fried zucchini blossoms

ravioli - okay but not the best

yum to parmesan and beef carpaccio
I loved walking through Florence at night. Many tourists but it was beautiful. Even the sculptures in the main square were even better without the heat and massive crowds of the daytrippers.

awesome carousel at night

The next day my husband went out early to the market.

He'd seen these lampredetto tripe sandwiches on Food Network and he was not disappointed.

one of his favourite things the whole trip
On the way back he saw a flour fight breaking out the street. Don't know if this is a common occurrence. The rest of the day we saw teenagers covered in flour and water all over the streets.

One of the biggest draws for Florence was seeing the Galileo Museum. My husband is definitely not a science geek but he has a thing for Galileo. Lucky for him the museum opened the week before we arrived. Beautiful, bright, clean, modern, and virtually empty - awesome!


Galileo's telescopes - helping to prove the Earth was round

cool microscope
They even had Galileo's finger on display that someone had stolen. Out of respect my husband ended up deleting all the photos. In fact, we weren't supposed to take any photos but the museum is so new they didn't have time to put the signs up yet!

We also did the standard Accademia Gallery where I marvelled at David for a good 45 minutes. Seriously did not understand what the deal was until we got there. Have you ever been turned on by a sculpture before? Didn't think it could happen until I stared at his rock hard abs and ass until my husband pulled me away. Even managed to sneak in an iPhone pic.

We needed a snack between museums so where did we go? Sadly it's in my nature during the Italian afternoon break to find the only place I know will be open - the fancy department store's cafe on the terrace. Regardless of what city you're in you'll find this open just at the right time for a glass of ice coffee.

beautiful view of Florence rooftops

tourists and locals

Later on in the day we took on the Uffizi Gallery. By the way I bought tickets for both Uffizi and Accademia online ahead of time and it was brilliant. Saved us a huge wait in line (from 4 hours down to 10 minutes) and we got to reserve what 15 minute time slot we would show up at the gate to enter. It is plausible to do both in the same day, especially if you are a museum "skimmer" like I am.

Fanfiction Alert - for all you University of Edward Masen fans - yes I spent a lot of time with the Botticelli paintings in the Uffizi trying to figure out which ones they talk about. Definitely had a wonderful romantic vibe to all of Florence reflecting back on E&B time here.

Ponte Vecchio - site of heated E&B kiss from UoEM
Alle Murate - The super fancy restaurant that Edward takes Bella too is beautiful on the outside but I couldn't justify an expensive meal to my husband in the name of fanfic.

More good food for dinner. I found a cheaper spot for locals that served decent food.

yummy liver pate

That night we also set out on a hair raising adventure of finding the best gelato in the world. I don't know why it seems that every time we do this I end up navigating us through dark dank alleys. But we did find it!

Vivoli Gelato in Florence - I thought it was the best of the trip. My husband differs but I can't wait to go back. There's no one for blocks and it's not the best neighbourhood and this place is hopping! Full of tourists and locals.

Walking home we pass may bars and everyone is glued to watching the World Cup. The universal language of sports and alcohol together.

even the women are watching World Cup
Every time we walk pass a bridal shop regardless of where we are I always have to stop. My husband sometimes makes a bee-line across the street before I spot it but this time he knew the inevitable was coming and pointed it out to me instead.

Seriously funky dresses. Thinking that Italian brides can get away with a lot more than we can at home. Some of these don't look so friendly for a Catholic church wedding.

Apologies for not having as many photos for this trip. It was too bloody hot and too many tourists to pull out the big SLR all the time.

Okay, next we move on to Tuscany which means Montepulciano and Volterra!

Hey everyone,

I just fell in love with a new story - it just finished and guess what? It's going to be pulled on October 1st from fanfiction.net and then later published. So...go read it now!

The story is Just Wait by InstantKarmaGirl. It's All Human, high school setting, some lemons but very mature themes.
Fanfiction link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5320917/1/Just_Wait

In a world saturated by vices, Bella is forced to move in with her father to avoid the repercussions of her past deeds. But after she meets the socially withdrawn adopted son of the town's doctor, will she allow herself to open up and heal?
Very dark and tortured. The Edward and Bella characters are both extremely broken people. It is well written and the story addictive.
I blew through all 67 chapters in 20 hours - no sleep and just taking time out to feed and bathe the kids. Just like I did for Twilight - yes, that level of addiction.

So if you want to check it out here's your chance. It moves slowly and has long chapters but I love this style of story. The character development is wonderful and I'm sad to see it end. Every time I close my eyes I still picture her Edward and Bella in my head - do you know how that is?

Don't forget to check out the banner I made for the MotU Crackfic - those girls are crazy! When you see the banner you'll go - WTF? Just read the story and you'll get it :)

First of all a very big thanks to all the girls who played along all week. I was most amused by all of your answers and many of you got distracted with all the lemons.
It was tough to choose just one winner because so many of you aced the questions but I could only randomly choose one winner per quiz. The lowest score was 46/50 and four people scored 50/50. For the bonus 8 people got the answer correct - that's a lot of condom counting - good job girls!
But alas I could only give away one prize for the 50 questions and one prize for the bonus and had agreed to choose randomly using an online random number picker.

Who are the winners that were chosen at random from those with the most correct answers?

Winner of the $50 Zazzle gift certificate
Roquel Benjamin

Winner of the 8x10 glossy custom hand signed by Icy
Deanna Tanner

Congratulations ladies!

For all contestants - as a consolation prize I've made you guys a button for your sidebars. I figured most of us were Subs but just in case there were some Doms in the mix...

In case you were curious these are the answers that I was hoping you would come up with (I accepted a variation on these)

Questions & Answers (with corresponding Chapter)

1) What is the name on the front of Edward's office building? Ch 1 Cullen House
2) Of what newspaper is Rosalie Hale the editor-in-chief? Ch 2 WSU Eyewitness
3) What colour pants does Edward buy from Bella? Ch 3 navy blue
4) What brand of camera does Jake use in the Heathman photoshoot? Ch 5 Nikon
5) What is the name of Bella's favourite tea? Ch 6 Twining's English Breakfast
6) What does Edward send to Bella the day of her final exams? Ch 9 Tess of the D'Urbervilles 3 volumes First editions
7) While Edward holds her hair back, where does Bella puke? Ch 9 flowerbed or Azaleas

8) What does Edward order Bella for breakfast their first morning at the Heathman? Ch 11 one of everything on the breakfast menu
9) What kind of SUV does Edward have? Ch 12 black Mercedes
10) What is written on the side of Echo Charlie? Ch 12 Cullen Enterprise Holdings Inc.
11) Where are they the first time Edward winks at Bella? Ch 12 Echo Charlie/helicopter
12) What is the name of the building Edward lives in? Ch 13 Escala
13) What "situation" does Edward need to rectify the first time that Bella visits his home? Ch 15 her virginity
14) What colour is Edward's playroom?
Ch 14 burgundy/red

15) What colour is Edward's bedroom? Ch 15 pale blue
16) The first night they have sex how many orgasms does Bella have in total? Ch 15 three
17) What fictional character does Bella equate Edward to when she ties up her hair in pigtails? Ch 16 Bluebeard
18) What does Edward call non-BDSM sex? Ch 17 vanilla sex
19) What kind of sports car does Edward drive? Ch 18 Audi R8
20) How many subs has Edward had? Ch 14 fifteen
21) What item of Edward's does Bella take with her after her first night at his home?
Ch 20 his underwear/boxer briefs

22) What is Rosalie's middle name? Ch 21 Lillian
23) What street is Bella and Rosalie's apartment on in Vancouver, WA? Ch 22 Green Street
24) What does Edward put in her navel the first time he visits her bedroom? Ch 25 white wine and ice
25) What kind of snack does Edward allow his submissives to have? Ch 22 fruit
26) What does Bella do to deserve her first spanking? Ch 32 roll her eyes
27) What does Edward tie Bella's hands with before he asks her to hold the bed post in the playroom? Ch 37 cable tie
28) What drink does Edward leave for Bella after their first playroom session?
Ch 37 cranberry juice and sparkling water

29) Where do they have sex at his parents house for the first time and what does Edward tell Alice he is showing Bella? Ch 39 boathouse; rowing trophies
30) What is the full name of the publishing house Bella ends up working for? Ch 42 Seattle Independent Publishing
31) Where is Bella the first time she encounters Lauren? Ch 56 outside SIP
32) How much money does Edward give Bella for her truck? Ch 59 $24,000
33) What is the name of the beauty salon Edward takes Bella to for a haircut? Ch 59 Esclava
34) What college did Edward drop out of? Ch 60 Harvard
35) Roughly how much money does Edward earn per hour? Ch 61 $100,000

36) How many schools was Edward expelled from? Ch 64 two
37) Where are Edward and Bella when they first admit that they love each other? Ch 67 shower at hotel in Seattle (note - many people answered Edward's kitchen and I accepted these as well)
38) What is the full name of Edward's boat? Ch 68 The Esme
39) What colour is the spinnaker on the boat? Ch 69 red, RROP dark red
40) What does Edward spank Bella with after she loses to him at pool? Ch 71 ruler
41) Where are they when Bella speaks with Lauren for the second time? Ch 75 Bella's apartment
42) What children's food is Bella surprised that Edward likes?
Ch 77 macaroni (&) cheese

43) What is in the second set of drawers in Edward's playroom? Ch 80 vibrators
44) What floor is the Mile High Club on? Ch 82 77th
45) When is Edward's birthday (month and day)? June 20 (needs some calculating)
46) What brand of watch is Edward wearing? Ch 84 Omega
47) How many birthday boxes does Bella give Edward to open? Ch 81 and 86
48) What is Taylor's daughter's name? Ch 86 Sophie
49) What kind of drink does Bella throw at Irina? Ch 87 lemon martini
50) How many times has Bella been tied up by the grey silk tie?
Ch 19, 24, 86

Bonus Question
I realize I was quite cryptic with this question as I didn't specify whether I wanted just the number of condoms that were written outright or whether you should include those that were implied.
# condoms written specifically = 23
# condoms including those implied = 30
Icy even mentioned that Chapter 80 (where they have sex during a time when we know he would have used a condom but it was not mentioned at all) would be confusing.
So I decided I would accept both 23, 24, or 30.

If you would like to know your actual score just give me an email at twimobile(at)gmail(dot)com and I'd be happy to send it to you.

Thanks to Icy for playing along (yes she actually did this quiz too!) and for helping with our special Bonus prize.

For those of you just arriving here
Questions 1-7 from September 11 - here's Quiz Day 1
Questions 8-14 from September 12 - here's Quiz Day 2
Questions 15-21 from September 13 - here's Quiz Day 3
Questions 22-28 from September 14 - here's Quiz Day 4
Questions 29-35 from September 15 - here's Quiz Day 5
Questions 36-42 from September 16 - here's Quiz Day 6

Remember, there's a $50 Zazzle gift certificate for MotU merchandise at stake.

Separate from the 50 question quiz is the Bonus Question where you could win a 8X10 glossy autographed by Snowqueens Icedragon.

Quiz Day #7

(Hint - all answers are found within Chapters 80-87)

43) What is in the second set of drawers in Edward's playroom?
44) What floor is the Mile High Club on?
45) When is Edward's birthday (month and day)?
46) What brand of watch is Edward wearing?
47) How many birthday boxes does Bella give Edward to open?
48) What is Taylor's daughter's name?
49) What kind of drink does Bella throw at Irina?
50) How many times has Bella been tied up by the grey silk tie?

Phew, all 50 questions done. Remember you can finish the 50 question quiz without answering the Bonus - you'll still be eligible for the $50 gift certificate.

Send your answers to TwilightCupcake at twimobile(at)gmail(dot)com.

The contestants who have the most correct answers to the 50 questions will be entered into the draw for a $50 Zazzle.com certificate for MotU merchandise and a winner randomly chosen.

Bonus Question answers can be submitted even if you have not completed the 50 question quiz.
Contest closes night of Saturday September 18th at midnight Pacific Standard Time.