Good Morning Lovelies!
Gosh, it has been a hot minute since my last blog post! I have missed writing on here so, so much, and I am so glad to have my laptop back! I am so excited to be able to share my trip to Italy with you all because it was without a doubt, the trip of a lifetime! It is such a precious thing to be able to relive each day as I share it with you! Since it was such a long trip (which actually flew by) I’ve decided to split the trip into sections and share it over a few days! Today, I’m sharing days 1-3 with you all! So, let’s go to Venice where it all began!
On Saturday July 1 (my 23rd birthday!) we started our day with mimosas and cake (because, duh what else do you do on a birthday?!) and we ended it 10,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean!
Our flight was a night flight which took off from Houston, Tx at 6:30pm and landed in Frankfurt, Germany at 11:30 am the next morning (Sunday, European time – 4:30 am Central US time). My dad travels back and forth to Europe frequently for work and he insists that the Houston – Frankfurt flight is the best for avoiding jet lag because, being a 10 hour flight, you have the ability to get a decent nights sleep – the idea being that you wake up rested and ready to vacay!!!
Obviously, we were going to Venice, not Frankfurt. My dad had been in Europe the previous week on business, so considering that there is a layover to get from Houston to Venice (with several different options of how to get there), meeting my dad in the Frankfurt airport seemed like the best option for us! PS: note the vino in between B and I?!?! My mom told the flight attendants that we were not only celebrating a 23rd birthday, but also an engagement!!! They spoiled us on this flight 😉
Our flight from Frankfurt to Venice left an hour after we landed from Houston, so we had just enough time to grab a coffee and a pastry before hopping over to the city of Islands! When we landed in Venice, we boarded a Water Taxi that took us to the hotel! We stayed at the JW Marriott where the hotel pretty much comprises its own Island! You have to take a Water Taxi to get over to the main part of Venice from the Hotel… it was very cool, I felt like James Bond 😉
*Cue James Bond Music* When we checked into the hotel, the first thing on the list was to head to the rooftop pool for some R&R (and… maybe a nap or two to fight the jet lag!). The pool was gorgeous and the temperature was a little cool, but definitely warm enough to swim when the sun was shining! The rest of our Sunday afternoon was spent poolside, munchin’ on fruit and sippin’ on mimosas!
I loved this free people slip as a bathing suit coverup on this vacation!! I wore it every time we swam!
On Sunday night, we had reservations at the restaurant on the roof terrace of the JW Marriott hotel! This was perfect for us because it meant that we were able to leisurely wander up to the hotel, and those who were tired after dinner could easily return to their rooms while we adjusted to the European time zone!
Ok and also… how cute is my little sister?! Seriously? I was so awkward when I was 11… Anna is the farthest thing from awkward, she’s so cool and so cute.
In our family, we like to go all out for birthdays… its a tradition! So, that means… when you spend your birthday on a plane (which I personally think is a pretty cool way to spend your birthday), you get to continue the celebration the next day! My parents surprised me with the most DELICIOUS Italian birthday cake at dinner on Sunday night! The waiters even sang to me in Italian – it was very special!
On Monday morning we all woke up bright and early (5 am early… although we all dozed in and out of sleep for a few hours and met for breakfast at 8!) and headed over to the main city of Venice to basically… get lost! We had a decently sized group at this point (7 of us) although it would grow to 11 when we reached Rome later in the week! So we thought that at this point in the vacation, the best plan would be no plan! We knew that we wanted to “explore” Venice on the two days that we were there, but we just thought we would have fun with it and go at our own pace which turned out to be the absolute best option for us – we had so much fun!
I could live here! As we were walking through (literally every single backroad and alley way in Venice) B and I were joking (although not really joking) about how we would totally live in one of these tiny Venisian apartments for a year! How amazing would that be to totally immerse ourselves in the culture (not to mention the FOOD)?!
We stumbled upon a gorgeous little lunch place in the middle of a beautiful square and had pizza and wine! As we were eating, a little band started to play music! It was very Italian 😉
Just the father and son – in laws walking through the streets of Venice! I thought this was the coolest picture! Ha!
This picture was also pretty cool 😉 We had gelato at least once a day!
Ya’ll know how much I love stripes!!! How well would I fit in to Venice?!
This was the Grand Canal! It was gorgeous! And so busy!!
Had to snap this pic of my future hubby!
Around 3 o clock, when we had walked for hours and seen tons of Venice, we decided to head back to the hotel to rest for a little while before heading back over to San Marcos square for dinner! We headed back to the pool and of course, had some gelato!
Our original plan had been to dine at the Hotel Monaco overlooking the Grand Canal… but when we got there we realized that there was a dress code (long pants for men) which we had not previously known about! It ended up being a great thing that we couldn’t dine there because we just walked our way back into the quiet side of Venice and ate that the cutest little hole-in-the-wall restaurant! We had so much fun with the waiter! We were asking him how to say tons of things in Italian and he was laughing right along with us! At the end of the meal he brought us a giant bottle of Limoncello (pictured below) and told us we could keep it!!! He said that they usually give guests a smaller bottle, but he was giving us the “family” one! We asked if we could go back the next day for dinner (because we loved it that much) but unfortunately, they were closed on Mondays!
After dinner we hopped on a Gondola to see some more of Venice by night! It was seriously just like you see in the movies! My parents hopped in one Gondola for a romantic little ride, and us 5 “kids” hopped in the other! We drove through all of the back “roads” of Venice and it was SO quiet! It must have been about 10 pm at this point and our driver told us that this was the best time to see Venice because most of the tourists (except us, LOL) have gone back to their hotels and it is super quiet! In fact, it was so quiet that you could hear the conversations people were having in their houses as we passed by!
Look how cute my parents are!!!
The next day was Tuesday, the Fourth of July! We decided to spend it like any Americans would… pool side! The boys even got “American” beers to celebrate! We thought that after a day of walking the previous day… knowing that we were about to walk all of Rome over the next few days… a day spent by the pool would be delightful – and it was! We all got to sleep in and then Brian, my sister, my Dad and I all took a bike ride around the Island that our hotel was on! It was fun and didn’t take long at all because the Island is so small and cute!
After a day spent poolside, we thought that the most fun way to spend our last night in Venice would be to head back to the main Island for dinner!
There is a water taxi at the hotel which is free, and ferries people back and forth between the hotel Island and the main Island every thirty minutes! Because our group is so big, we kept getting to the boat too late to be able to all get on at the same time! So we decided that my parents and little sister would head over first and save a table! Meanwhile, us four “big kids” headed to the bar and split a bottle of local red wine! It was delicious and such a fun way to pass the time between taxis!
On our last night in Venice we ate at a restaurant in the heart of San Marcos Square and it was the best meal that we had the entire vacation! It was another little hole in the wall place and it had the yummiest bread and pasta!! After dinner we strolled down the Grand Canal and stopped for an espresso before heading back to the hotel!
The next day, we headed to Rome!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed reading about our little trip to Venice! We had such a fun time!! I’ll be sharing my trip to Rome on the blog on Monday! Stay tuned 🙂
Have you been to Venice?! I’d love to hear your stories!