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.
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.
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.