As stated before, I really hope to use German as my home base and travel around Europe as much as possible while I am living here. My first weekend away combined seeing an old friend from home and visiting a new city. My good friend Kristen and I met freshman year of highschool and danced the next three years together on our school dance team. She just graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and decided to travel to Italy and use her new skills while teaching English at a school in Venice, a great alternative to attending a long drawn out graduation ceremony!
I stayed three nights in Venice, a city that has always fascinated me and I unfortunately missed out on my last two times in Italy. Wine, Cheese, Laughs, Canals, Carbs, Beach, Gelato, Memories, and Shopping would pretty much sum up our time together and I loved every minute of it! I had been disappointed with my previous food experiences in Italy, always spending too much in tourist areas for food that is just so-so. I wouldn’t even say that we ventured far off the tourist path, but were somehow rewarded with delicious meals! I devoured the best pesto fettuccine I have ever had, tried hard to stay on my half of our shared Crème brûlée, and sipped on refreshing Prosecos at least once a day.
Kristen had saved a lot of the shopping and sight-seeing until the end, after she was done with teaching and while I was there, so that was just perfect. We took the ferry to Murano to purchase some authentic glass pieces. Enjoyed two lazy afternoons on the nearby island of Lido – basically a giant sandbar turned ritzy town a short ferry ride from Venice. Toured many of the main sights including the Piazza San Marco during all times of the day, but I think our night visit was my favorite. The surrounding buildings were lit up and bands played traditional Italian music at the outdoor restaurants. While in Venice, I took an unecessary amount of gondola and gondolier pictures, but I just couldn’t stop. I felt like they were constantly posing and the image of a gondolier man in his striped shirt and hat, standing against a light post, near a canal, with an old building behind him is too “Italian” not to document. Oh it was everything I had hoped it would be.
It was wonderful seeing a familiar face from home and reminiscing together. Unfortunately, life gets busy and it took a trip to Italy together to completely catch up on the last few years. This was a good reminder to not let jobs, school, and day-to-day stresses get in the way of the relationships one has with their friends and family… this was lesson #1. Lesson #2 would be to NOT travel to Italy and eat like it is going out of style ONE week before your wedding.
Our German Wedding is in less than 7 days! Oh yes 🙂