Okay I’m going to start taking volunteers to help me move my stuff here- it’s amazing! As soon as we stepped outside the train station, all three of us were speechless. The arcitechture on the tall buildings was beautiful, but the river the buildings sat on (the Grand Canal) was like nothing we’d ever seen. It was huge and sparkling in the hot sun. Taxis (in boat form), police boats, and gondolas travel along this waterway in such mass numbers, it was unbelievable that they didn’t collide.
After we checked into our hotel (which has a view right over the river), we walked down the street to grab a bit to eat. We found an outside restaraunt right by the water. Our waiter, Marco, was working as the chef, bartender, and waiter all in one for the day, and still he was incredibly patient with us, and the food was excellent! I got a burger, and although I didn’t come halfway across the world for a classic American meal, it was prepared like nothing I’d ever seen. Later came the tiramisu that Marco made himself- delish!
Afterwards, we wound our way through the maze of streets looking for a gonadola company on the Canal that we’d bought tickets for earlier. The ride was beautiful, and the musicians that played actually made me enjoy accordian music. 🙂
45 minutes later, when the ride was over, we tried finding our way back to the hotel, with little luck. We wound up at St. Mark’s Square where parts of our favorite movie (The Italian Job) are filmed. We sat down at an ourdoor cafe to rest our bodies from the tiring work of reading a map. Rachel and I got chocolate milkshakes, and listened to the dueling classical quintets. It was really interesting to a music fiend like me.
Then we began walking back to the hotel, at least that was the ultimate destination. We walked around with one tiny map of Venice as a guide, and it was getting dark quickly. “Get lost in a foreign country” is towards the bottom of my bucket list, so my anxiety started to kick in. We were in a huge anxiety bubble, and it was only expanding around us, ready to pop, as we worked our way further and further into the heart of the city.
Many many left turns and one very helpful hotel concierge later, we found our way to the public transportation- a big water bus. As nervous as we got, afraid of what kinds of people came out at that hour, everyone outside our bubble seemed completely calm and secure. Drenched in sweat from the hot and heavy Venetian air, and so used to getting back to the safety of the hotel in Florence come nighttime, the liesurely post-dinner milling around had become unfamiliar to us. At one point on our walk back from the “bus” dock to the hotel, I turned to Dad and said: “Look at them! Just look! They just don’t care! He responded: “Oh, they care, just about the right things.”
Now I’m typically very careful when it comes to right and wrong because everyone seems to have their own opinions on the matter. To me, it’s like stepping on eggshells. But just then is when it all clicked into place. I stopped short in my tracks, and walked over to the railing of the bridge we happened to be crossing. I just stood, leaning on the railing, listening to the jazz music coming from the street below. And I watched the people, the gondolas, the water. It was like an epiphany. Why rush rush away from the beauty of this moment- the water, the night, the people? Just taking a moment, a minute, an hour here and there to enjoy the preciousness of life is all it takes.
Well I hope this blog makes you reflect a bit! Ciao from the most amazing city I’ve ever seen!