I had been planning something special for my mom’s 60th birthday present for awhile and each year that she visits near her birthday I choose a destination for the two of us to visit for a few days. Since her 60th isn’t just any birthday, I choose Venice this time. I saved up for our trip and I booked it as close to the time I could to get the best weather. The weather was planned to be brilliant and we were so ecstatic for Venice.
The day finally arrived. It was the first plane ride I have been on without my children in a very long time. It felt almost like I was missing an extra 100 pounds on my back. I wasn’t pushing a double stroller, and I didn’t have two diaper bags hanging off my back. I wasn’t having to drag two large suitcases behind me one handed. (trust me, this is no exaggeration). This time it was just my mother and I including a small carry on. What a holiday that was already!
Since we were celebrating, we broke out the champagne on the plane and ate chocolate and chips without a care in the world. My mother and I travel so well together. We like sightseeing, dining out and churches and museums. I knew this trip would be like the rest of ours, amazing memories to cherish forever.
I am so grateful we are so close and have these opportunities to travel and see the world together. We have seen Paris, Florence and Pisa in the past, together. Venice was on our list, and each year we think of our next adventure we want to seek together.
When we landed, it was another forty-five minutes on a small boat to get to Venice. We were dropped off on the grand canal, in the heart of it all. We got in at evening time so there wasn’t much day light left to do anything but find our hotel and have some dinner.
Venice is beautiful. It was exactly what I thought it would be like when we landed. The sunset was so lovely over the canals and bridges that surrounded us. I only wish I knew that the next three days were going to be storming, rain, and flooding. I would have left finding our way around and our hotel alone and jumped on a Gondola and snapped more photos right away.
We passes boat after boat, docked at people’s front doors. The streets were tiny and packed in. There were as many streets of water as there was of road and we must have climbed a million stairs in the process to find our hotel. There are bridges every where you turn so I would never recommend Venice with a stroller! What a nightmare that would be.
It wasn’t long that we found our hotel in the perfect location, half way between the famous Rialto bridge and the Doge’s Palace. I didn’t know what to expect in our hotel. The photos weren’t the best online when I booked it but I was trying to find a central location for sightseeing since we didn’t have much time there. I am so glad I paid a little extra to be in the center of it all when the rain started to fall hard the next day.
Our hotel couldn’t have been more like a Palace itself. I am pretty sure somehow we got an upgrade or a mistake was made in our favor because our room was bigger than my apartment in Seattle. We had our own separate living room with a door, which had a tv and sofa bed and coffee counter in it, we also had a walk-in closet, we had a double sink bathroom with a jacuzzi tub in it, and our bed was surely bigger than a super king with another flat screen tv. Not that we watched tv, who watches tv in Venice. Although our room would have been amazing for a family room.
We should have known how lovely the room was going to be by the lobby, bar and restaurant at the front of the hotel when we walked in. The staff were so friendly and smiling. After working in a five star hotel myself, it’s refreshing to get five star service elsewhere. This hotel should have been rated higher than it is. I couldn’t fault any part of it. There were corners of shelves and big chairs to sit and read about Venice and huge velvet sofas in the bar area to have a drink. Even the lobby restrooms were pure gold marble and truly divine.
While standing in the elevator that night we realized there was an extra button that said roof top terrace. Bonus! So we popped up to see what the views would be like. The rain was lashing us but we still had to make the most of it.
We were recommended a restaurant from the front desk and sent on the longest goose chase ever. We must have walked all the small side streets of Venice before we finally found it. After walking in and smelling the worse fish smell ever, we ran. Yes, you read that right when the waiter wasn’t looking we ran out as fast as we could. Decided to take our own chance about where we ate, even though we just had spent an hour looking for this recommended smelly place. The hotel clearly had set another couple to the same place and while they stayed I don’t think I could have ate anything smelling fish. It will just be a funny memory to us now.
We settled on a lovely restaurant that was tucked in the corner right next door to our hotel. You would almost miss it if you didn’t look close enough. Just by looking at it I knew it was my kind of place.
We sat in this very window above, looking over the beautiful flowers and watching the gondolas go by, while we ate the best meal ever! Boy, can the Italians cook. I ate myself to sleep that night. I am so glad we made a runner for it and in the end enjoyed the rest of our first night in Venice.
Venice doesn’t stay up late. We came out of the restaurant and all had gone quiet. The busy streets of the day were only dotted with a few people and the gondolas were few. If you are looking for a romantic getaway to Venice I would recommend a night gondola ride. It would have been amazing that night. My mom and I were saving our ride for the next day to sightsee during the day but we weren’t prepared for the horrible weather that was about to hit us.
We woke in the morning to have breakfast at our hotel. They had a beautiful conservatory area for breakfast and a huge buffet each morning with everything you can imagine. The coffee was absolutely superb too which is always a highlight for me. Even though it had already began to rain that morning very hard, the conservatory was bright and welcoming.
I am not a big breakfast person (unless it’s crepes/pancakes) but I tucked in each morning and filled myself as best I could. I was on holiday in Venice, after all. I kept telling myself I wouldn’t need a big lunch but that always went out the window too, come lunch time. From breakfast on our first official day in Venice, our adventures really got interesting. You must stay tune for part two of our trip and celebrating my mother’s 60th birthday abroad. Hint: I may have broke down and bought a bright yellow poncho!
In the words of my mother, “Poncho Up!”
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