Harper had just left on a Girl Scouts trip to Naples and I was able to put the littles in hourly care on post.
I realized a couple of things:
1. I'd never been to Venice in the year we'd been here- yeah, i know i know. Not sure how that happened.
2. I'd never taken Sadie anywhere for the entire day- just the two of us.
I set up hourly care for C and L, purchased train tickets, and kept the secret. If you know ANYTHING about me, you know this was excruciating.
On Friday after I dropped C&L off, I turned towards our apartment instead of towards Sadie's school.
I wouldn't tell her what was going on until we got to the train station. I think she was suspicious of my intentions and she didn't seem that impressed. HA!
We bought some croissants, hopped onto the train (it was only a 45 minute train ride!) and hit the road. Tracks? Anyway...
Sadie started to get VERY excited.
When we walked out of the train station we decided to just explore. That's probably the best thing about living in Italy. Instead of only having a once in a lifetime trip...I can come back whenever I want.
I didn't have to cram in any must-sees or must-eats...we just wandered. And it was magical.
Every time we saw a gondola, Sadie begged to take a ride. I knew we were going to take one...I was just picky about choosing the gondolier. I wanted it to be a fun, non cheesy experience. No, that's not right. I wanted the right kind of cheesy!
Meet Guila the gondala. And her captain, Stefano. This is one of my all-time favorite Italy stories.
Stefano and I had a hilarious conversation. All in Italian and I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself. A year ago I couldn't have had this experience and I wouldn't have had this story to tell.
I asked Stefano who Monica was.
He told me it was his mama. I said...You don't have a wife? And he said...oh I have a wife, but I'm not putting her name on Guilia.
Mammas are forever. Wives do not last.
BAHAHAHAH! Such a typical comment from an Italian man. I about fell out of the boat!
We ended our gondola ride and set off to find St. Mark's Square. Jimmy? Is the navigator in this relationship. And he was not there.
Let's just say we got lost. Very lost. But that whole wandering/no stress thing worked. We eventually found it. Ask anyone how to get to St. Mark's and they'll tell you to follow the signs.
Please note that the streets of Venice are VERY narrow and winding. There are many bridges to cross and many corners to turn.
At first the signs looked like this:
Then they started to look more like this. Oh my. They got smaller and smaller. Pretty sure I saw one on a post-it.
We stopped along the way for some shopping:
If you ever need to dress like a gondolier, go here.
We finally found the square. We chased some pigeons, did a tiny bit of sightseeing...
Had a quick lunch, and then caught the train home. Despite what this photo might have you believe- Sadie had an AMAZING time. In this photo we were standing on a bridge and every single time the lady would try to take our pic...about 20 tourists would pass in front of her. HA! Sadie was not amused. Obviously.
It was such a special day. I loved spending time with sweet Sadie. I want to be able to do one on one trips more often. It takes effort, but it always pays off.
And Venice? Stole my heart. I cannot WAIT to go back!