Claire gets married! Part 2

This post is gonna be full of pictures, so if you’re on a slower connection, do make a nice cup of tea while the pictures are loading!

Anyway, my friends Claire and Alex decided to have the wedding in a place called Saturnia, which is in Tuscany, Italy.

Saturnia, is famous for it’s hot springs.

I was most excited to check the hot springs out. (And attending my friend’s wedding of course ) From Rome, it took us about two hours of driving to get there. And I admired the scenery as it goes from urban concrete, to the sea, to rural greenery.

At length, we reached Saturnia! It was a small little commune and we searched for our bed and breakfast so we could plonk our stuff in. Cart is really wierd. On top of our luggage, he brought two sets of outfits just for the wedding. He couldn’t decide on one! While I’ve already decided to wear my green baju kurong. And he brought his laptop along … to play facebook games *facepalm*

Anyway, the bed and breakfast was such a cozy looking place.

It was a tiny room, but looking at it, it felt so much like I was my relative’s or even my parent’s house (somewhat) with all the flower pattern and the ribbons.

This looks like a typical Malay bedroom or what?

Oh and another cool thing was that, when you open the cabinet, there’s a compact kitchen in there! Dang! I should have packed some stuff to cook! Or brought some coffee at least.

The bathroom was teeny, but it was substantial enough for a short stay.

And then we headed out for dinner. I got to meet some of Claire and Alex’s close friends, Franz, Max, Jess… and family, Christine and Rachael. The original plan was for us to go to a pizzeria, but it seemed that there weren’t any that could handle the ten of us! So we had to go to a trattoria instead.

And this was what we ate. I’m not going to even attempt to remember what they were :

Oh! I do remember what this was though …

It was my ravioli with baccala inside and it was really good!

Oh, by the way, in Tuscany there is a type of steak called the Bistecca alla fiorentina which are made specially from the cows in the area, and the size was at least 10cm deep.

Franz was saying that eating it was like eating the steak that Fred had from the Flintstones. It’s so huge!

Oh gosh. How is it even possible to finish this?!

And this was the last thing that we had at the trattoria. I couldn’t help but to take a picture. What an adorable coffee cup!

This was what I woke up to, the next day. Isn’t it glorious? Tuscany is famous for it’s greenery.

I decided to take a quick walk around the area for a quick exploring. And I met Claire, Christine and Rachael who were already there, basking in the sunshine. I was amused at Christine’s comments at how well I speak English, she said, “If I closed my eyes, I think that I was speaking to a Brit“.

Really?! Wow! Hahaha!

It happened that around the area was a sort of cat station where all the cats in the commune seem to hang out.

And not long after, it was time to get all dressed up and ready for the wedding. About a week before, I was suggesting to Claire that I could do her makeup, if she wanted to. And she replied that I’d have to fight with Jess for the job. I conceded in the end. Didn’t want to start a catfight … LOL!

Here’s Jess doing Claire’s mekap and I was eyeballing the amount of mekap she had.

Here are just a fraction of her mekap. My heart skipped a beat at the stuff she had … sooo many pretties! She sheepishly told me that there were more at home, but come on, girls love their pretties!

I got back to my room to get changed and by the time I went back, she’s done! Check out her cool looking cinnamon roll hair!

As the wedding is held in the Manciano commune, we are off to with Jess, her husband and Claire in one car… (Alex was already gone with Franz and Max)

And Cart, Claire’s mom and sister and me in our car.

Look at how Cart’s driving with full of concentration … We didn’t want to get lost on this important day!

And at length, we were there. Manciano is beautiful. I just love seeing the horizon as a backdrop to the charming commune.

The people living here sure are lucky to be waking up to such a postcard picture view every day.

We entered the mayor’s office where the rest of the guests were already waiting. And with bated breath, Alex waits for his bride.

And here she comes!

The stand in for the mayor gave a few words, with Max as the official translator and proceeded to start the ceremony.

And then it was time for the ring exchange!

And the signing away of their freedom of the documents!

Look at Alex’s coy and big smile! Hahahaha!

And here is Cart giving an Obama not bad face.

And now they are finally married! Yay!

Look at how beautiful Claire looks … she’s practically glowing 🙂

Cart and I were walking behind the couple and before I knew it, people started throwing rice at them. I missed a photo opportunity! Ah well!

I’m a little amused with this picture of Cart trying to hide behind the flowers.

Random sidenote because I just noticed her shoes. Claire’s been dragging me around for weeks and weeks to find her perfect wedding shoes. She’s really fussy about them! I’m glad the wedding’s done :p

Finally married!

They have a very cool inscription by the way, of an old English poem divided into two for each ring. I can’t remember the exact wording, but it was something like : There are thousands of stars in the sky, but I only see you.

How romantic!

Here are a couple of group pictures :

Claire with her sister and mother.

Claire with Christina and Mark and their daughter Sophie, a beautiful family.

Here’s one with Franz and Max

And here’s Jess! (Where’s Daniele?)

And here’s one with Cart and me! Finally, a picture of me! Hahaha!

Here’s Alex examining his wedding document. He probably couldn’t believe that he’s a married man now! Haha!

The next time I knew, was Max and Christine wondering what material the document was made. Paper or Animal skin? And that was when Max decided to examine it thoroughly.

And in the end, we still have no idea.

We then headed back to the village of Saturnia for the wedding lunch. And as a random sidenote, this lady below, (Cristina’s great great grandmother) is 98 years old! And she’s still very active! (She even offered Cart to sit down where she was!) We were all marvelling at the fact and wondered if it was the country life and food that made her so healthy.

We were in Da Mario, a nice looking restaurant, a walking distance from our bed and breakfast. And I thought to myself, I’m hungry! I am ready and cannot wait to start eating!

But even before half the appetizers, I realized that the wedding lunch was probably the most daunting thing that I had to go through. Mostly because I wanted to try everything, and everything was so good …

And the waiter kept pilling more and more “refreshers” for us! By this time, I had to leave more than half of the food on my plate … I felt so bad …

Erm … Would it be rude if I asked for a doggie bag?!

I was practically ballooning up and bursting in my baju kurong. So. Much. Food. And I felt really bad that I couldn’t finish the food, that I almost cried when the waiter took away my parmigiana. I hated the idea of food being thrown away … I should have brought a tupperware :p

Nevertheless, it was nice seeing everyone chill, laid back and having a nice time.

And this is my bomboniere! These are wedding favors given to each guests after a wedding. It can be decorated in many forms but it contains a type of sweet and it’s always in 5.

I’ve always wondered what the significance. No one I asked seemed to know. Even Cart couldn’t tell me.

After the humongous lunch, we were all so full that the only thing we could do now is to collapse in bed. Eating is so tiring! And by the time we woke up, the sun was already starting to set …

We are like vampires!

It happened to be a food and music festival at the piazza and we all headed there to a look see. It was really cool seeing everyone dancing.

I was really amazed to see Franz dance so well. He was very very good! I asked him, where did he learn to do that. And he told me that when he was a young boy, vacationing in the mountains, the only few things to do, to pass the time was to dance. LOL!

The next day, I woke up wondering to myself at how easy it was to sleep here. Normally I won’t be able to sleep well in a strange bed. But the past two nights has been really restful.

A quick breakfast, and a chat with Claire and Alex (we should give them a nickname by now. Clairex? Or Aleire?) Here’s Claire reading the little card, Cart and I wrote for her 🙂

And here is Rachael showing off her thank you card which she wants to give to the lady that they’ve been staying with … With a monkey in front. LOL!

It was next to impossible to find a thank you card there, as almost everything was a birthday card!

Rachael, not content with the message written inside, decided to doodle a little. Quite an artistic streak!

But it was the thought that counts, and the family looked very happy to have received it 🙂

And then it was time for us to depart. Claire and Alex to the airport for their honeymoon. And us … well, back to real life. I was a little sad to be leaving such a lovely, idyllic, beautiful, and tranquil place.

By the way, Cart and I stopped by the hot springs to have a look-see. At long last! The smell of sulphur was pretty evident.

It was strangely charming seeing people picnicing around. It reminds me so much of the outings my clan that we had every now and then.

I was really curious to go for a dip and give it a try. Maybe with the power of the hot spring, all my maladies will disappear and I’ll come out a supermodel-esque.

But it was too bad that I didn’t have anyone joining me. I’m quite shy! Plus it was starting to rain, so it didn’t seem too safe for me …

I wonder when we’ll visit here again! Cart? Claire? Alex? Clairex?!