Saturday morning we had to wake up around 5 AM to get ready to meet the bus that was going to take us there. We checked the weather and noticed that it said that there was a chance it was supposed to rain. I guess we saw that as the glass being half full rather than half empty because we were not prepared for what Venice had in store for us.
So we all got ready, packed our lunches for the 7 hour bus ride and were on our way. (Mind you because I didn't bring any rain boots with me to Italy and I didn't want to wear my nice leather ones I decided to wear flats.)
The six of us boarded the bus and we were on our way. Even though we were up bright and early we began the day being the jokesters that we are. Steph and I started taking pictures of our sleeping roommates and we proceed to goof off and make faces the whole way there. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone on the bus wanted the six of us off because of all the laughing we were doing.
Once we got to Venice we were unpleasantly surprised with the weather. I guess for once the meteorologist was right and it did decide to rain. Actually it wasn't really rain but more like a wind storm with torrential down pour. That did not stop us though.
We hopped on the water taxi that took us along the canal and were taking pictures left and right. Even with the bad weather it was still unbelievably gorgeous. I loved every minute of it.
We got off the water taxi at San Marco. Then we headed straight to the outdoor vendors. I think we may have tried on every single mask they had there. Rae and I were the first two to buy them.
We then started walking towards the Piazza. We tried using our umbrellas but they weren't helpful one bit. I think anyone who attempted to use their umbrella that day left with a completely mangled one.
Once we were in the piazza there was a huge parade of people drunkenly dancing and dressed up in costumes. One man dressed like a drunk Jesus took Natalie by the hand and started dancing with her and parted with a kiss on the forehead. A pack of men dressed like monkeys then came over to the six of us. Because Natalie is the only one who is really good at Italian she was able to talk to them. Two of the monkeys ended up having a crush. One on Natalie and the other on Kristen.
We left the drunk Jesus and the pack of monkeys in the parade and headed over to do some shopping. Meanwhile, my poor little feet were so cold and wet to the point where it hurt to walk. My mission from then on was to buy rain boots and socks!
We started to walk around taking pictures when our little cold wet fingers would let us and doing some window shopping. The stores were beautiful. Every other one sold masks and cloaks and all other things to help people celebrate carnevale.
I finally found a store with rain boots and I think I may have been the happiest person on the whole island. I walked into the store and I was forced to use the little Italian I knew because that is all the man spoke. He gave me a pair of boots to try on. Everyone in the store was staring at me as I did so. I left with the shoes and with socks on my mind.
We walked around some more looking at all of the little shops. We crossed over one little bridge that caught my eye. It had locks all over it with couple's names on it. It reminded me of the photos I had seen on the Internet where couples go, put a lock on the bridge, lock it and then throw the key into the water showing their eternal love for one another.
Just as we crossed that bridge we went into a little store that sold beautiful Murano glass necklaces, rings and bracelets. They also sold little souvenirs too. Apparently when I was looking around the store I didn't realize that my roommates had left. I turned to look for them to leave and saw no one. I walked out of the store, and still no one. A little part of me inside had a little panic attack. All I could think of was being lost in Venice, during Carnevale, in the rain. Thank goodness for my Italian cell phone.. or so I thought. I tried calling my roommates a million and one times and no answer. I started to get a little more nervous. But I stayed calm and stayed in front of the store that they had accidentally left me at. Then all of the sudden I hear someone calling my name. My roommates had come back for me!! I began to joke about how they did that on purpose to try and loose me.
We were all pretty hungry after that so we tried to find some place to eat that was pretty reasonable.
A miracle happened! Just as we were passing by one of the shops, out of the corner of my eye I found socks! Out of excitement I ran into the store purchased the socks and put on my shoes! I couldn't have been any happier at that moment.
We then got food at a little restaurant. I got spaghetti alla carbonara. It was delicious and I was happy to be sitting in a warm place.
After dinner we decided to go to Murano because we had three and an half more hours until we had to be back for the bus. We bought a few more souvenirs and were on the next water taxi.
By that time it had gotten really dark and the water was really choppy. The boat ride was taking forever and we started getting nervous.
We got off on Murano to what looked like a ghost town. We walked around looking for a little cafe or something to get warm and relax at for a little. The only place that was open was hosting a private party. We decided to head back and grab a water taxi and just go back early.
Natalie and Steph were a God-sent on this trip. They were our little navigators. The were able to find our way back. It wasn't as easy as it looked on the map however.
We missed the main stop that we were supposed to get off. This just added to the discomfort we were all in. We were all soaking wet, cold, hungry, and definitely starting to get delusional. We had to get off to get on another water taxi that would take us to where we needed to go.
When we got on this last taxi it felt like Heaven! It was the first taxi we had been on with heat! Kristen started to get a little nuts. She was laughing like crazy because she was so happy to have heat but also because the trip had been such an emotional roller coaster between happy, wet and cold, hungry, grump, nervous, scared, and back to happy again.We all had slight variations of that roller coaster.
Once we made it to the main land we met up with the rest of the students. All of the girls in the women's bathroom were drying themselves off with the hand dryers. People were drying their socks, shoes, bags, everything. It was quite entertaining.
We got back on the bus and settled into our seats. Making sure that we were comfy and somewhat cozy before we made the 7 hour trip back. Goofing off of course by having a little photo shoot with Steph's mask on.
We finally made it back to Rome at 5:30 AM. Once we got back to our apartment we all passed out until the afternoon.
Venice definitely got the best of us but we made it a trip that we will forever remember. Even with everything that happened we were still able to have a great time and create some amazing memories.
About to get on the bus to Venice: