Wednesday, February 15, 2017

city of boats & balconies

I went to Venice today. Barely. The airports were far, the flights were early and my energy sapped. Somehow when the alarm went off at 230AM, after having fallen asleep a stunning 3 hours prior, I got up and made myself look decent. Well, decent enough to get into the Uber for the hour long drive to the airport during which I promised my boyfriend that I needed the window seat on the plane to apply my makeup in peace. As I'm sure you can figure the makeup application occurred on the ground in Venice. I digress. 

If I had been alone and had to ask the concierge to print my boarding passes and pay the hefty fee for the transportation i didn't factor in when I made the impulsive purchase for the Italian Extravaganza there's a high chance I would've cancelled altogether. I don't know, maybe that's why I'm with him - he fixes the problems I don't / won't fix.

Venice is magical. Once we crossed the bridge from the train into the city and wandered until the sounds of rolling luggage and selfie stick salesmen died out I began taking pictures. Of mundane things too. I guess I was so worried it would end. The magic was bound to run out eventually and it was all I could do to capture everything and keep it forever. I am not a romantic person and I'll go so far as to say I would've felt this way whether or not I was wearing a new dress and with my boyfriend  and it happened to be Valentine's Day. While I have spent my entire travel life being told to be mindful of Italy because the men are pigs and the hands are sticky, I have been simultaneously inundated with romantic alliterations. And the latter wins out.

There was a couple in the gondola ahead of us who bought the extensive package that included a private serenade. Being in such close proximity during the gondola tour we had the privilege of being subjected to such luxury. Without a doubt it made the experience considerably better. I'm not going to tell you to saddle up and pay the 60€ difference. It probably wasn't that outstanding. But I've never felt the way I did sitting in the slim boat slowly passing balconies that have seen their fair share of Juliets, and alleyways that held century old secrets while the staccato of an Italian ballad echoed off the calm water.

We ended the day drunk on Italian wine & cannolis - my Italian boyfriend's favorite. If you're ever in that part of the world, just go. I've never heard regret come from a "what the hell" decision. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

a trek

I did it again.

Not move, sadly. Although Tampa will always be in my back pocket for those days I can be comforted by escapism. No, today I find myself in London. Specifically, in the lobby of Premier Inn perched precariously between Terminal 4 & a brand new KFC. A vanilla latte that would make your garden variety green aproned barista weep. There's a couple behind me talking about death but their accents somehow make it sound elegant. I don't know, I fell asleep in a cramped chair about six hours ago and woke up here.

I've been told my whole life that when a person grows up they can't ever really find a place that feels like home. First of all, bummer. Big time bummer. As I grew old and restless and set out to make something of myself (as unconventionally as possible because, after all, I'm me) something kept pulling me back to London. Maybe it was the societal standards, the archetechture, or political philosophy. I mean, probably not that last one but my point remains. The last time I woke up here was three years ago and there were times I didn't think I'd make it out alive.

Being back here now, older and with lots of life experience behind me, driving down the familiar streets and seeing the change and the constants, I realize I made myself a home. I forged a path in undiscovered lands,  slayed some dragons and got bruised up. But I licked my wounds and I'm back. Mamas home.