We made a last minute decision, we decided that we were going to make a slight detour on our Epic Europe Trip 2014. We decided while in Rome to tag on a train ride to one of our favorite places in the world, Venice. We set our alarm for 7AM and packed up an overnight bag and were off to celebrate 11 years together in Venice, Italy. Slightly different then the parking lot of Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, CA where it all began.
We woke up at 7AM and headed out a little after 8AM for the metro. I really wanted to take a taxi but Jenn was convinced that we should go on the Metro. If I've learned anything over the last 11 years is that Jenn is always right, and today was no different. We made our way to the metro, bought our tickets and headed towards the Roma Tiburtina station. We did make one small misstep boarding the wrong subway but we quickly fixed that and made our way towards the train station.
When we got to the train station we were super impressed. It was really nice, clean, and well laid out. We talked to someone from Italo who gave us our seat and cabin (for some reason none of our e-mail confirmations did) and we waited a few minutes at terminal 11 for our train. It arrived right on time and we boarded our amazing first class cabin to Venice. The train is by far the nicest I've ever been on. The seats are huge, they have power ports for my laptop (which I'm writing on now) and free wifi. It made the three hour journey to Venice one of the most relaxing trips I've ever been on. Sort of surprising that you could relax this much when the train goes a whopping 300KM an hour.
When we arrived in Venice it was completely socked in. You could barely see the hand in front of your face. Not to mention it was freezing. We walked from the train station straight onto the ferry to take us to the Rialto stop. From there we had the beautiful problem of trying to figure out where our hotel was. The directions to our hotel (from the hotels website) sounded really straightforward but after you got off the the ferry it felt like the infamous scene on the movie Vegas Vacation and I was Rusty nodding my head in bewilderment. We gave up quickly on trying to follow their directions and instead used my iPhone which was only slightly better. It was really hard to get a good GPS signal of where exactly you were on the map. Luckily Jenn is a wizard when it comes to directions and pretty quickly we got to the Aqua Palace hotel.
We checked in, dropped off our overnight bag and went right back out. We were pumped. I mean Jenn was beaming from ear to ear and we both were taking pictures every few steps. We made our way straight to San Marco square which looked so ominous with the afternoon fog. From there we just started to walk with no destination in mind. If you ever go to Venice that's what I'd recommend, just be OK with getting lost, its part of the cities appeal. We landed on a small restaurant somewhere in Venice (in all honesty I have no idea where we were). Jenn started off with a glass of their house red wine and I had a Birra Moretti. For our main course Jenn had an out of this world spaghetti and meatball and I had a really good calzone. Its the first calzone I've ever had in Italy and it was great.
After lunch we went back out and just kept walking. We put in almost ten miles of walking during our time in Venice today. The sun was just starting to clear and the temperature was up at least five degrees from when we sat down for lunch and when we left. One of the things I really wanted to do when we got to Venice was go back to a store that Jenn bought one of her favorite dresses at. I looked up my old WorldofJoel post and found the stores name (Sicily) and got us directions to the store. Right when Jenn walked in she immediately gravitated to a gorgeous black jacket, found her size and said this is what she wanted. I thought score, it was a good deal less expensive then the dress from last trip. Then we walked to the dressing room near the mens section and she saw a similar men's jacket and said I needed one too. "So I don't get sick" was her rationale for the high cost. Regardless five minutes later we walked out of the store with two amazing jackets and a much lighter wallet.
From the clothing store we then walked to our favorite spot in Venice, the Ponte dell'Accademia. It's one of four bridges that crosses the Grand Canal and in our opinion its the nicest. We took so many pictures on this bridge in 2012 and yet in our ten minutes on the bridge today I feel like we might have surpassed it in total and quality. From there we went off in search of the Teatro San Gallo. As we were busy getting lost in Venice we stumbled upon the theater where they have a performance in english every night about the history of Venice. We went in search of the theater again this time and had a ton of trouble finding it. Luckily Jenn is the master of directions and was able to get us back. We bought tickets for 7PM that evening. We even got the young person discount (which is half-off for anyone under 30). So that was nice.
We had some time to kill so we just kept touring the gorgeous Venice. Gosh do we love this city. At around 6PM we got back to the theater to watch a documentary they were playing pre-show. The documentary was really interesting but more then anything it was nice for both of us to be off of our feet. After the documentary I got a glass of sparkling wine at the bar and then we re-took our seats for the hour performance. It was good, not great. It was interesting, funny at times, and cringe worthy at others. The theater only holds a hundred people and there were twenty-five there to watch so it was a small intimate crowd. When jokes didn't hit, it was rough. Luckily the actors and actresses played it off well.
After the show we made our way back to our hotel in the heart of Venice. When we got to our room we went straight to our room, took a video tour of the room, and went straight to bed.
When you book things for a trip you always have dreams of how things might turn out. But today was better then any dream I could have ever imagined. Celebrating eleven years with the woman I love, in one of the most romantic places in the world, turned out to be one of the best days of my life. It's one I'll never forget that's for sure.