Living La Dolce Vita
Living La Dolce Vita – Today marks the 20th year anniversary to being married to the love of my life Gustavo Serrano. It’s been a world wind romance since we started dating 22 years ago, and as they say time flies because we’ve been having so much fun. We were friends for 5 years before we started dating and having that friendship foundation really helped with every transition including navigating our roles as parents. 21 years ago me and Gustavo traveled to Italy for a Mediterranean adventure where he proposed cliffside on the isle of Capri. We made a promise to come back with our kids one day to celebrate a big anniversary.
As we were planning our European vacation last year we decided to go back to Italy with our family and opted to explore the other coast in Puglia. Puglia is located on the Adriatic coast of southern Italy, renowned for their stunning beaches, clear blue waters, and a coastline dotted with caves and coves. It was truly an authentic experience as we were the only Americans there and found out that this is where the Italians like to vacation. Our good friend Natasha traveled this region extensively and highly recommended that we stay in Monolopi. It was the perfect place to stay with our boys and my brother’s family because the town was buzzing with things to do.
As fate would have it our good friends Nicole and Deno Mickle who happen to be amazing photographers were planning a trip to the same region at the same time. Of course we wanted them to document our vows and blew us out of the water with these beautiful images and drone shots of the coastline. When they arrived a few days after we did we found out that they were staying 5 minutes from our apartment. This what I call divine alignment at it’s best. This is the link to synchronicity, where events, circumstances, and people seem to come together in meaningful and seemingly “fateful” ways. There is no such thing as coincidence and we were guided to be on this path together.
I couldn’t have asked for a better officiant than my brother Alex. He has been on our journey from the very beginning and has seen our love blossom. He is someone that I look up very much and I cherish our relationship. Me and Gustavo moved to Charleston to be closer to him and his family and now we get to spend every celebration and holiday together.
Me and Gustavo spoke from our heart as we recited our vows to each other. 2 decades is a long time and we realize what we have is incredibly special. Love grows wherever we go and we both have that magnetic extrovert energy that attracts good things and good people.
We had no idea where we would renew our vows, but knew it would be near the water. The ocean is soul cleansing for both of us and source of renewed energy.
Here we are one big family and our good friends Laura and her son Luca made the trek to enjoy this experience after their Germany travels.
It’s hard to get pics of our boys Mateo and Sebastian with us, but they had no choice for this moment. They will look back one and realize, wow our parents are pretty cool. It’s so good for our boys to experience what a healthy and supportive marriage looks like. I hope that they find that lifelong love one day.
Can we talk about this perfect dress for a Mediterranean celebration?? My good friend Erika Pena from Bali designed it and was married in Puerto Rico the same day as our vow renewal. Yet another divine alignment working its magic.
I couldn’t resist an iconic shot on this Vespa. Living La Dolce Vita baby!
We stayed in the Centro Storico area which is the historic center with a maze of narrow streets, ancient buildings, and quaint squares. The town’s architecture is a mix of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, making it a great place for exploring and appreciating Italy’s rich history. Every street was so charming with little surprises everywhere. My great grandparents are from an town called Oriola a few hours away. I could feel a connection to this place knowing that my ancestors probably walked these same streets.
We stumbled upon this quaint square surrounded by a historic church and convent. This fountain was one of the most ornate and pristine ones that we saw in Italy.
The cutest pups were everywhere in Italy with dachshunds being the most popular breed. We made friends with this mini Pomeranian who was ready to snuggle.
My jewelry is by designer Mary Kendig. I was sent this cuff, earrings, and ring right before I left on my trip. These pieces go with everything and were the perfect accents to my dress. I linked where to buy!
We really lucked out of finding the perfect place for our reception. We literally made reservations for a table of 13 the night before and they even baked a cake for us. If you make the trip to Monopoli you have to eat at Piazza Palmieri Ristorante. Their menu offered traditional Italian cuisine with a twist. They let you pick from the freshest catch from the ocean that day for your dinner. I’ve never been a whole fish person until I had it in Greece and the taste is the Chef’s kiss.
The restaurant baked us the most delicious cake adorned with the traditional Pugliese cracker called Taralli.
Our waiter Giancarlo was so charming and treated us like family. We couldn’t have asked for a better restaurant to host our anniversary.
We are so blessed to celebrate our love and life together in the beautiful region of Puglia. We started our journey with a big adventure and I know that we will have many more adventures ahead of us. I’m looking forward to 20 more years with my biggest hype-man Gussy Whoa!