Without further ado…Venice! The canals of Venice make it unique among the beautiful, ancient cities of Italy. At night, the water reflects the city lights, and it’s pure magic. We arrived around sunset and had just enough time to find our hotel, settle in and freshen up before heading out into the night to explore. As Bryan and I wandered the streets hand in hand, taking it all in, my thoughts drifted to March 2004–a little over TEN years ago, when I was here exploring this city with a group of college friends. We were on our spring break during a semester in England, and I was 19. I remember climbing the stairs up to the center of the big bridge over the Grand Canal and looking out over the glistening water. I thought dreamily of what it would be like to be there with my husband. I couldn’t imagine a more romantic setting. So here I was at 29, and Venice hadn’t changed at all. But I had. 🙂 I’m so grateful for that surreal moment I had holding hands with HIM our first night in Venice and looking out at the Grand Canal from the same spot.
We did a lot of walking during our two days there. We found the church from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and sought refuge inside when a heavy rain came on suddenly. They had a DaVinci exhibit going on. What a brilliant visionary! Talk about feeling like an underachiever. They had recreations of many of his inventions with his original sketches.
Of course, we took in beautiful San Marco Square and watched the pigeons (and the people) for awhile. I got my first gelato of the trip while Bryan and I watched Costa Rica play England in the World Cup.
We bought an umbrella and cuddled up together underneath it as we matched the pace of our steps. It brought back memories of when we were dating in Costa Rica during rainy season. We heard a gondolier quote a price of 40 euros for a ride to a European-looking couple just ahead of us on a bridge. “Cheap!” As we approached, he assessed our appearances (or, more accurately, my appearance) and shouted out to us, “80 euros! Cheap! Cheap!” We opted to skip the gondala ride based on the “which will you regret more?” philosophy and instead rode the steamboat through the city. It was great fun, albeit with slightly less ambiance. The people watching in Italy during high tourist season is fantastic! We heard bijillions of different languages, and I loved observing people.
Venice was a great start to part 2 of our Italian adventure. From here, we hop a train to Florence! See you there. 🙂