Tuesday, June 5, 2012

{Corey's 30th Birthday in Italy}

A little disclaimer on this post. This blog is just as much for me as it is for all of my lovely readers, so on special occasions such as my husband's 30th birthday, there are memories I want recorded. I'm aware this post is wayyy too long for most of you, so feel free to just skim over to the photos - no hard feelings. The writing is mostly for me to remember this special day :)
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Corey and I met when he was 25. At the time, I was 21 and still in college, so 25 to me seemed really mature and old. Well, not old, but definitely older than me. For some reason, shortly after we started dating, and I was sure Corey was the one, I started obsessing over his 30th birthday. I love celebrations and I love any excuse to go big for them. So in the years since meeting, I’ve had many ideas for his 30th ranging anywhere from a trip to Mexico to a big surprise bash.

When we decided we’d be moving to Europe last summer, I realized all my plans for Corey’s 30th would have to change. The thing that made me the saddest was knowing that his family and friends wouldn’t be able to share in this milestone birthday with him. So, I did two things: One, I planned an awesome trip to Italy for him (who can be sad & homesick when they’re in Italy?!), and two, I got his family and friends involved, from an ocean and continent away. Here’s how it all went down…

The morning of Corey’s birthday we woke up bright and early (4:30AM) to catch a luxurious cab ride (we normally bike to the train station and take the train to the airport) to catch our 7AM flight to Naples, Italy. From Naples we took a series of buses and trains to get to our final destination: Positano, Italy. I’d be lying if I said the journey wasn’t quite a long and tedious one. We touched down in Naples around 9AM and didn’t get to our B&B until 2PM. There were times I started feeling like maybe this was a bad idea – all this traveling on his actual birthday, that’s no way to spend your 30th! …

…Fortunately, the second we stepped into our room at the B&B and saw our gorgeous terrace overlooking the sea I knew this was going to be a very special birthday and it was worth the journey there. There was cake (traditional Italian cake of chocolate & almonds – so yummy!) and wine waiting for us in the room (I called ahead :), so we quickly uncorked the wine, poured two glasses, got into our bathing suits and plopped down on the two sun loungers on our deck. Not two minutes later I sprung out of my chair and announced to Corey that he will now be receiving his gift…

…I disappeared into our room and came back out with a single letter. From me to him. It was more like a novella of sorts, filled with lots of loving words, birthday wishes, and other fun mushy stuff! Also in my letter I informed him that I wanted to get his friends and family to help him celebrate this special birthday, so they all wrote cards and letters for him*. I once again disappeared into our room and this time came out with a big stack of letters. We spent the rest of the afternoon drinking wine, eating cake, staring out at the gorgeous view and reading touching and hilarious letters from his wonderful friends and family. Corey is an incredible son, brother, friend, husband and so much more, and it was so clear in these letters how loved he is by so many people in his life. He makes us all better people and he is always there for us, through thick and thin. And best of all, the guys knows how to make you laugh :) The best quality in a man, I must say!

Before we knew it, we’d gone through all the letters, our skin was rosy from the delicious rays of sun and it was nearing time for dinner. We took a quick scenic walk around our B&B and then came back, got ready and headed out for one of the best meals of our lives at La Tagliata.

La Tagliata is a traditional Italian eatery run by an incredibly sweet family. It’s located in the hills above Positano, so it has a breathtaking view of the city below. The second you arrive you are given a bottle of amazing house wine, a bottle of water, and for us, two glasses of champagne to celebrate the occasion. Shortly after, you start getting plates and plates of food. We never saw a menu – and realized about 20 minutes in there wasn’t a menu! They serve what Mama made that day and let me tell you, Mama knows how to cook! We were stuffed silly by the time dinner was over. The meal ended with glasses of limoncello and the entire restaurant singing “Happy Birthday” loudly to Corey. He was mortified, and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

I knew the years of planning had all paid off when Corey smiled that adorable smile of his and told me “This was the best birthday I’ve ever had”. It’s a day I don’t think we’ll ever forget. One of the best days ever.

{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}
*I got this amazing idea from Sarah Tucker, of course! :)

59 comments:

  1. happy birthday corey!

    You two are soo cute together!!!

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  2. This is so sweet Liz! I can't imagine a better 30th birthday celebration, he must have been so happy when he received all the letters :) Love the photos!

    xxx
    Jenna

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  3. seriously liz you are an amazing wife! I think I need to try a bit harder for Andreas's 31st birthday next year, this looks and sounds like the most incredible celebration for two. :) a very happy birthday to Corey!

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  4. oh gosh i love this so much it hurts. will be replicating this entire thing.

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  5. You are just the sweetest wife ever! I loved this post, and I truly believe that it's the sentimental gifts (opposed to the spendy ones) that are the absolute best. On my 24th birthday Steven made a video with my friends from the US holding birthday signs in their different cities... it made me cry like a baby and 2 years later I still love reading and watching it.

    Great job on planning the PERFECT getaway... I want to go to Italy now!!! Happy Birthday Corey!!

    x
    Jeanelle

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  6. I have to say this is really one of the sweetest things I have read in a while :) And Im so jealous that you got to go to Positano, I have been wanting to go there for quite some time <3

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  7. Happy Birthday Corey.
    That all sounds amazing and the letters were such a sweet idea. The photos are breathtaking, I'm extremely jealous!
    xox

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  8. this is really amazing birthday for your husband. He is luck to have you and you are lucky to have him. Stay happy together!

    3lin

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  9. So lovely! Sounds like your hubby's birthday was wonderful in many ways! Happy Birthday to Corey!

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  10. I can't think of a better way to spend a birthday - Corey sure is a lucky guy to have a wife like you!

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  11. Oh my gosh, file you under best wife ever. That is the sweetest thing ever. Honestly. You two are so sweet. Glad Corey had a wonderful birthday!

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  12. such a beautiful idea! I am sure this was his best birthday ever. and the pictures are glorious, such an amazing place!!

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  13. I've read the whole post and it was a pleasure! Amazing bday idea and realization. Which B&B did you stay at? We're going to visit Positano and considering accomodation options :) Happy bday to Corey.

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  14. Everything looks so perfect! I'm not surprised that he said it was the best birthday ever!

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  15. Looks wonderFUL. I love your red dress & sparkly clutch & of course everything is SO gorgeous! Perfection.

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  16. It does sound like the best birthday ever! These pictures are just out of this world, too!

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  17. Wow it looks like you planned an amazing birthday trip...can't get much better than that!

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  18. I can't think of a better way to ring in a birthday!

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  19. Such a sweet idea! So glad you could surprise him! Can't wait to see more pictures from Positano!

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  20. happy happy birthday to corey! you are the best wife ever! so glad you both had such a great day!... and once again liz your photos.... breath takingly incredible, and i'm not just saying that because i'm your friend... you have an incredible incredible talent!

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  21. What a sweet & memorable birthday!

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  22. this memory is such an amazing gift! how sweet. love all the pictures, that balcony is AH.mazing!

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  23. So I actually had a dream about Italy last night so reading this post is making me super envious because it looks like y'all had an AMAZING time...the Italian coast is breathtaking and the food, oh the food! You are the sweetest wife and your love for you hubby radiates through in your writing...it looks like he had a wonderful birthday! :)

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  24. love letters on a birthday-what could be better!

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  25. i'm in tears! so so sweet. so glad you did this for him!! (:

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  26. I cannot imagine a more wonderful birthday! Well planned!

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  27. beautiful words and amazing photographs.your trip looks amazing!!!

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  28. I loved reading this. Definitely not too long and such a treasured idea.

    You are both so blessed to have found each other.

    Dani // Andbubblegum.com

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  29. Call me crazy, but I just about cried while reading this... So thoughtful and sweet! This is the most perfect, romantic, fun and exciting 30th birthday idea. I loved reading your detailed description of the day AND your photos just added to the dreaminess of it all :) Glad you both had fun!

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  30. I love everything about this. Corey is one lucky husband to have such a thoughtful and beautiful wife! Bravo Liz ;)

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  31. Just found your blog-just in time too! :)
    I adore Italy, what I know of it anyway. These photos make me want to visit even more!
    Eat Cake

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  32. kind of the best 30th birthday I've ever heard of. What a good wifey you are on all that planning!

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  33. Oh. My. Gosh. This is EXACTLY what I want to do for my 30th! I've just started getting the ball rolling ona trip to Europe (Germany, Poland, Prague) and I have told several of my friends that I want the letter idea from Sarah's blog! Do you wanna plan my birthday?? ;)

    ~Tiffany
    http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

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  34. I'm blown away by these photos! So, so beautiful :)

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  35. love the red + leopard combo.

    and yeah, i think you probably win the wife of the year award!

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  36. amazing pictures as always Liz!

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  37. Perfect birthday memory maker you are, sweet Liz! xoxo

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  38. Wowza that view is amaaazing. Your dress is adorable too!
    xo

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  39. What an amazing birthday idea! It has got me excited to plan my husband's big 30th although it is years away--I love a celebration too :)

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  40. You made me cryyyyy!!!

    I loved the letter's idea!!

    Thank you for sharing this.

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  41. Why is Italy the most amazing place on earth!! This was truly beautiful. I turn 30 before my husband (next year)and I'm totally making him read this post for some inspiration ;) Also, I love your sandals. Where from?

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  42. Can I please just say, these few posts on Positano have been breathtaking! I can't stop thinking about this place! Your photography is just beautiful and inspiring. I have been to Italy but never here... good excuse to plan another trip in the future! Love it xo

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  43. I read the whole thing and was smiling the entire time. You are such a great wife. Happiest birthday Corey!! Your photos (per usual) are unreal!

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  44. Isn't Positano amazing?? I live in Chicago but just got back from a vacation to Italy a little over a week ago - I want to go back! We also went to La Tagliata for dinner one night. Such a fun place! It's fun to see someone else's take on it while the experience is still fresh in my mind. What a great birthday celebration for your husband! :)

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  45. I read the entire post...and cried.
    Don't ever apologize for writing so much!
    You and Corey's relationship seems so lovely.
    Makes me wish I get that lucky one day.
    xo
    Olivia
    http://www.wanderlust-and-such.blogspot.com

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  46. This is so so sweet! I love your red dress! Where did you get it?

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  47. I can't stop thinking about this place! Your photography is just beautiful and inspiring. I have been to Italy but never here... good excuse to plan another trip in the future! Love it check this

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  59. Hi! I love your site! What a beautiful birthday! My husband & I are thinking of moving to Ireland next year, it's fun to see the experiences of you and yours as expats! We are also planning an Italian vacation for next summer. I was wondering what B&B this was? Looks perfect! Thanks!

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