Venice In The Rain

I haven’t made time to blog about Italy yet because it seems to me a very daunting feat. How to adequately sum up one of the most amazing, magical, awe-inspiring weeks of my life? It truly frustrates me because I wish the beauty and wonder I hold in my head and heart for this country could translate directly onto paper–or blog. But since it can’t, I figure I will just start small. Instead of trying to cover one whole week in one post, (Impossible.) I’ll start with just one night. Our first night in Venice.

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It took me two whole minutes after stepping out of Venice Central Station to know that I had found my favorite place in the entire world. I was instantly and completely smitten. It didn’t even feel like I was living real life anymore. We had stepped out into a fairytale. A fairytale devoid of cars and instead centered around a lively and lovely canal. A city full of bridges, cobblestone roads, enchanting shops on every corner and hundreds of alleyways and turns that were just begging to be explored. Our hotel was minutes from Central Station and fit right in with the magic of Venice; An old, homey building filled with friendly folks and knick-knacks, it had more of a bed and breakfast vibe than that of an ordinary hotel. We lucked out and received the only balcony, which gave an absolutely gorgeous view of the canal and was perfect for late-night or early-morning people watching. (That didn’t sound as creepy in my head.) Feeling the wind in my hair, watching boats pass as the night sky reflected on the water, and listening to the waves and Venice chit-chat from that balcony quickly became some of my most cherished Italy memories.

After we checked-in and got settled in at Hotel Canal and Walter, husband and I decided to do some Venice exploring. I had heard and read multiple times that getting lost in Venice was simply a must on the Italy to-do list, so that’s exactly what we set out to do. It wasn’t a hard task. One road nonsensically turns into the next, street signs come and go, dead ends are abundant and one bridge over water looks identical to another bridge over water that was encountered miles back. Even if we would have had access to GPS, which we didn’t, it wouldn’t have done us much good anyway. So get lost in Venice we did. And that was fun and wonderful and we were a wide-eyed, in-love couple aimlessly wandering the breathtaking streets of Italy.

And then the sprinkles of rain that were oh-so-romantic turned into droplets. And before we knew it, those droplets turned into a massive downpour of water. It was raining, hard, and we were now rather lost in Venice. Husband had had the foresight to buy an umbrella stores back, but this wasn’t really made for two people. Robby would maneuver his way under the umbrella occasionally, but for the most part he was just getting drenched from head to toe. I was staying a bit drier, though my boots were sloshing and soaked through from the puddles on the ground. Our picture-book perfect moment in Italy had quickly turned into a bit of a misadventure. My feet were cold and my poor husband was getting poured on and we were not-so-successfully trying to find our way back to our hotel in the dark. And then I just couldn’t help it. I started laughing.

Robby, who tends to have a happy disposition even in less than ideal situations, smiled and asked the appropriate question– “What’s funny?”

“I’m just tickled.” And I was. I knew how humorous this would all seem in retrospect. I knew even then that the moment—That moment where we were completely lost at night in the unrelenting rain of Venice, would probably be amongst my favorite moments of the trip. And I was right. It was. Because though we were lost and cold and tired and getting rained on, we were lost and cold and tired and getting rained on with each other. In Italy. We were getting uncomfortably wet and disoriented, side-by-side, on the confusing yet charming streets of Venezia. How lucky to have had the chance to be sopping wet and totally misplaced in a beautiful country with the person you love most in the world.

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Eventually, we found a café where we were able to dry off a bit, collect our thoughts and order a delicious tiramisu. The rain had eased up a bit by the time we left, and my husband, who has an uncanny sense of direction, eventually found our way back to the hotel. For the rest of our incredible stay in Venice, the skies stayed much clearer and we, much drier. Still, looking back on that evening will always bring a smile to my face and a rush of nostalgia to my heart. I never will forget that very first night of Venice in the rain.

The eyes of a child.

“Seek the wisdom of the ages but look at the world through the eyes of a child”- Ron Wild


Went to my parents last night and enjoyed a few games of Uno (I was 3-1,baby!) and had some quality family time.For laughs,I decided to ask my four year old brother some serious questions as I recorded him on my camera. I was giving him simple enough ones but my seventeen year old brother, always the ornery one, decided to ask him some a little more challenging. It’s interesting to get into a four year old’s head. It took me a while to realize that, when asked about the President, he was hearing “Presents.” Thus, Santa Claus.  Also,In his mind, food solves all problems. Yup, definitely my brother. This whole video cracks me up everytime I watch it and helped me write the rest of this blog. Kids.

I’ve been told my opening quote fits me very well. I am, in many ways, still a kid. I’m younger than a lot of the people I hang around, but more than that, I just really strive to have a young heart. There’s a magic about youth, an innocence that so many of us let go of or lose. I say don’t. Keep it around, Nurture the kid in you. If you can see the way a child does, you’re living a bigger life and seeing things that many people lost sight of way back when. I’ve made this here list of my 5 simple ways to keep the child in you happy and alive.

1.Forget to be mad. How often do you see a child get mad about something for more than a day? Hell,more than an hour or two?  They throw their fit and cry and scream and after that, everything is better, we’re friends again, Oh I’d love to share my toy with you now. We, as adults, treasure the grudges we hold. It’s an indulgent feeling, to store up anger against someone.  After all, we are big kids now and have the luxury of  being mad at the world for umpteen amount of reasons. We constantly remind ourselves why we have the right to hate somebody, whereas children simply forget. Why do you think they’re so carefree? I’ve practiced this and after my little tantrum or pouting for a while, I forget about whatever it was that irks me. It simply doesn’t matter enough to ruin your life, or a day at that. Children are masters of getting it out and letting it go, and if we could do a little less holding on I think we’d learn a lot from that.

2.Play. In the hustle and bustle of life and work and school and our broken hearts and oh my God my hair appointment….we forget to have fun. Watch a little one play for just five minutes. Just take in all of that joy and try to mirror it. No matter what is going on in your life, take time to not just relax, but to play. We forget how fun it is. Fly a kite. Eat a banana split. Play a game of football.  Run around aimlessly. Draw, even if you’re like me and can only draw ugly stick figures. Find a hobby you like. Go putt-putt. Whatever it is.. take a day, maybe just a moment, to do something you really enjoy.You ain’t gonna regret it.

3. Believe. When we get older we are more or less told not to do this. We are cynical, skeptical, pessimistic assholes. That’s what we are. We are too cowardly to believe in anything, so we believe in absolutely nothing. We give ourselves cool names like ‘The realist” when we are really just big,emotional chickens. I’d rather be known as “The believer.” Watch a child’s eyes light up when he talks about Santa. Watch when he tells you about the money the tooth faerie gave him, or the candy the Easter Bunny brought. Maybe believing won’t get you anywhere,but at the very least it brings a huge amount of happiness to the world. Maybe what or who you believe in will never come through, maybe it doesn’t exist, maybe he/she will never change. I always found it hard to believe in Santa because a mean relative ruined it for me at an early age. But I held onto that glimmer of hope, that tiny little piece of wishing…because I wanted to and because I had to.  Don’t ever let anyone keep you from believing. It takes courage, but it’s worth it. Because life is not about saying “Fuck you, old man, I know you don’t exist.” It’s about clinging onto that sliver of hope,waiting for the sun when the rain is the most persistent, keeping that sparkle around and always thinking, ‘Just maybe.’ Just maybe.

4.Open your eyes. Our eyes are too often shut. We know what we know, we have our group of friends, we’re perfectly content with the way things our going. But a child? A child absorbs everything, is constantly discovering, and always wanting more. And have you seen those adorable wide eyes lately? Gah, the world would be so much prettier if we could all open our eyes like that. So open yours. Make new friends. Realize people that have hurt you are also hurting. Discover new places.  Learn something new. Lately, more than ever, I have been gulping up what’s around me.  Learning  has been more fascinating than ever to me;A new goal of mine is to be fluent in Spanish and I’m staying up late to read my boring old History 2 book. If you just look a little closer, Try to see what you’ve been missing…Everything is fascinating. There is this huge world out there that so many people are missing because they think they’re okay in their tiny little corner. Don’t be satisfied. Want more. Don’t just want it. Need it,crave it, long for it. Again I say, open your eyes.

5. Chew bubblegum. Not just any gum. Bubblegum. There is a humongous difference, my friends. Adult gum, sugar-free, teeth whitening gum? NO. Absolutely not. BUBBLEGUM. Always keeps the kid in me satisfied.