Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Sea Goddess and A Sporty Gal

Saying goodbye to any city is never a pleasant experience, but when you can do it with gusto and a gondola, it really isn't so bad. Our Italian boating lesson was postponed because of the wind, so we woke up bright and early for our rescheduled time slot. Thank goodness the wind had tamed itself, so we were able to meet our guide and begin our adventure through the canals. From what I learned, the real skill lies in the hands of the person steering the boat in the back. This requires balance and focus, so as not to fall over into the murky water or ram into another boat channeling through the waterways. My cousin and I were therefore instructed how to row from the mid-boat position, hampered with much less responsibility or prestige. Either way, I had my boat hat on, the sun was shining, and I had no problem taking my turn at the helm. Once we got to the open lagoon, we were allowed to try rowing from the star spot, when I realized just how hard it would have been amidst the canals. Even with all of the open sea around us, when any speed boats floated by in the distance, the waves made it infinitely more difficult not to go splashing overboard. While balancing my little legs with a view of Venice on the horizon, I felt like a true goddess of the seas.

Our afternoon plan was to take a water taxi over to Lido, where we would rent some bicycles and traverse around this small little island. We of course first sat down for some pizza and a Spritz, fully fortified before we took our afternoon jaunt. In contrast to the horrifying hills (or rather what seemed physically horrifying on a bicycle) around Florence, Lido is incredibly flat, so we were able to soar and glide on our bikes beside the beach all the way around the island. When it was finally time to head back to Venice proper, I felt that our day of boating and biking made me a truly sporty gal for the afternoon.

Unfortunately, after our eventful day, it was time to bid my dear cousin adieu, as she was heading back home before me. I would have a solo night in Venice before going back to Paris the following morning. After I said bon voyage to Hot Blonde Cousin, my first stop was to Harry's Bar, a famous spot visited in past by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Charlie Chaplin. They are renowned for their €15 bellinis, which may be pricey but are certainly delicious. After slowly sipping on my one glamorous cocktail, I went off to buy a few last minute souvenirs and head off to my selected dinner spot. I still have no idea how, but it took me about 30 minutes to find the place, even though I passed it about 10 times, just not realizing it was the location I was looking for. I may have the worst sense of direction in the history of the planet, but even for me this was extra special. At long last, I sat down to my independent dinner and ordered a glass one wine with my lamb chops and apricots. I had one more cocktail on my way back to the hotel and actually walked by the pizza place I had visited two nights before, where one of the servers recognized me and suggested I come back in an hour to have a drink with him and another coworker. Sadly, I had to pack and wake up at 4am for my flight, so no partying for me, but I enjoyed the fact that by the end of my brief stay I already felt like a local.

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