Sunday, July 29, 2012

"The Horse Wins"

This year, Chris was awarded with his company's highest honor: The Contrada. 
This award is cool because it is not solely based on sales numbers, it is also given to the sales manager who best exemplifies Constellations' corporate vision. You must be nominated by your zone and then the VP of Sales makes the final decision. The award is a trip with your spouse to Tuscany! We had a FANTASTIC time.  At first, I thought that it would be a bit of a drag to have so much of the trip planned out, but it ended up being more  relaxing than expected.  It was great to wake up in the morning and have someone drive you around while stuffing you full of GREAT food and wine.

We visited Siena, Strove, Florence and Pisa. It was so gorgeous. We were taken to a few of the Ruffino wineries and vineyards. They were awesome hosts! One highlight was Il Palio, a bi-annual horse race in the square of Siena.
what. a. rush. 
As Mark, our brother in law, puts it: "The jockey does not determine the winner.  If he falls off and the horse crosses the finish line first, THE HORSE WINS!" {we crack up every time we think of that statement because he says it in his most dramatic Italian accent

Here are some pics (there are a lot) from the trip!

The view from our villa in Strove

Lunch by the pool in villa in Strove

Outside of our room in the villa

 San Gimingnano (a walled city in Tuscany)

The square in Siena

Contrada Winners

The Duomo in Siena

Lots of fanfare from each village the day before Il Palio

 Our FAVE restaurant Enoteca E Terzi

 In the square the day before Il Palio. This is the practice round

 The night before the race, we joined one of the villages (known as Contrada in Italian) for dinner
Our Contrada was Girafa

 Totally normal to set up the iPad and watch the soccer game durning dinner!

 Dinner with 1000 of our closest friends!

 Race Day!

 This square will be home to 10,000 people for the next few hours.  Sooo glad we have a balcony!

 Our balcony

 Dining al fresco at a beautiful restaurant


Ciao Firenze!

The Duomo in Florence

Rooftop of our hotel Westin Florence

Ruffino Lunch.... a "light" lunch of only 5 courses

Dinner in Florence


Duh....Leaning Tower

You just have to...

Another Ruffino Winery

Dinner on the last night 

Bocce in the Ruffino vineyard! 


Much Love!