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Venice, Italy August 8, 2011

Posted by katehyder in Travel Log.
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I am literally having the best time of my life. Can’t believe how fortunate I am to know all the people I’ve met this summer and to be traveling to these amazing cities, learning from the best professors in the Oxford Program (sorry Groups 1 and 3). We keep saying God smiled upon Group 2… but He really did.

Day 1

We left Rome at the crack of dawn, nothing new there. About half way to Venice, Kristy and Taneshia (our group leaders aka moms) get a phone call from the Hotel Albani. Jessica left her suitcase in the street in Rome. (insert laughter) Apparently, both of our suitcases were sitting next to the bus. Did you really think we could/would lift those things into the bus? Get real. Anyways, our bus driver left them both almost, but mine is an obnoxious zebra print so she was spotted. Jessica’s black suitcase must’ve blended in with the street or something, we still aren’t sure. All I know is, she was luggage-less and it was hilarious!

We had a pretty long bus ride and of course, stopped to eat at an Auto-Grill. They’re great! We passed through Florence, everyone’s favorite city, and then finally arrived in Venice. For those of you who have yet to travel to Venice, you’ll need to know one thing: they don’t have streets, they have canals. So we took a taxi—a water taxi—to our hotel. Sounds cool and romantic, right? Wrong. We had to hoist our suitcases up into the boat and sit basically on top of them. It was terrible and hilarious! Carson gets seasick, so she was dying. Mark had to carry my bag out of the boat because I literally couldn’t do it. Surely, I thought, that was funny and our bad/hilarious experiences will be over now.

Wrong again.

Moseying down the road in Venice, I was getting so excited to see our cute hotel. Then we take a turn down a dark alley. Hotel Atlantide: 2 star hotel off of this alleyway. Terrible. Didn’t realize how spoiled we all were until we got to this hotel. Look below for the pictures… absolutely hilarious.

It came time to shower and Jessica started dying laughing from the bathtub. There was no water pressure. Literally zero. We had to shower in Amy and Christie’s room! The welcome/family dinner was great! It was in a very nice hotel down the street (rub it in our face, GT) called Hotel Pericone. The pianist played “Home” by Michael Buble and some Elton John and Billy Joel. Made me kind of homesick but it was great to hear some good tunes. But this little entertainment did not make up for the fact that I was missing Coldplay at the Heineken Jammin’ Festival 5 miles away. Grr.

Day 2

On the second day, we went to another hotel (Hotel Amadeus) to have class for four hours. Jessica made a cootie catcher and we learned about some Venetian art and music. Class is not bad at all—I really enjoy learning about everything before we see it. It makes it easy to appreciate what you’re looking at. Then we had a couple of hours for our nap. It was a good one because our room was like a dungeon! That afternoon, we went on a walking tour and to a Vivaldi concert at San Marco. The concert was really funny because the cellist looked just like Chris Kattan! After giggling through it, we all went back to the hotel. A bunch of the girls took a night off to hang out and try to get some Wi-Fi. Kelsey, Jessica and I went to the welcome dinner hotel to borrow some of theirs! The boys got a little rowdy without us there that night.

Oh and sidenote, Jessica got her bag back this day.

Day 3

The third day was really cool. We went to Padua and Vicenza. The smaller cities are fun because the locals are nicer and they aren’t so busy. We had a lot of fun and everyone loved Vicenza. When we finally got back to Venice, everyone went to a restaurant called AeOche to get some food and get on the internet. The girls stayed there for 5 hours! We are so deprived and we just want to share everything with y’all at home. Thank goodness for Google talk and Skype. I finally got to Skype Allie and I was so happy!

Day 4

Day 4 was pretty much a free day. We first went to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum where I swear I thought I saw Aaron Umansky (sadly, no, it wasn’t him). Walked around Venice all day afterwards and went to the supermarket to stock up on the essentials: Special K, crackers, etc. Jennifer, Jessica and I shopped around Venice all day. This is when I decided that I love the city! It is so incredibly unique. We were looking for anything and everything. Did we get Italian leather bags? No. Sore subject. That was our main goal and we just couldn’t find that perfect bag or a not so perfect bag for a good price. Oh well! I bought a really neat ring and pair of earrings made of Murano glass.

That night, Jessica and I went to dinner for our last Italian feast: pizza and pasta. We bought some gelato on our way out on the town (aka to the stairs to sit and hang out) that night. Ciao Italy! It’s been fun but I’m ready to be in Austria. Vienna here we come!

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