After item #1 Celebrate New Years in a Different Country was completed, the project was off and running, I felt like I could breathe and start looking at the rest of the list. There was something about creating this project under wraps, doing the first item, and then launching this crazy quest to the world that took all of my focus. I felt like I was at the starting line, 3... 2... and then that final moment felt forever to come. Well simultaneously as the ball dropped in Italy the starting pistol fired and I was finally off and running and could for the first time imagine the other 86 items and the adventures I was about to have.
Andy and I woke up on the first day of the New Year still pumping with adrenaline from the previous nights' excitement. On that first day though, both of us seemed to wake up hungry for another, different adventure, and within Milan's city walls didn't feel like it could provide what we were craving. We had spent three full days exploring the city, we had three full days left on our trip, and I had two other items I was trying to accomplish before flying back to NYC: #15 Eat Pasta in Italy and #86 Ride in a Gondola in Venice. #15 seemed like a feasible item with three full days left, so all of my focus was on Venice. After a quick search, Venice was only a 2.5-hour train ride away, and the boys immediately booked tickets and headed to the train station for a 2 pm train to the Floating City.
The first day of the year in Milan was pretty cold and gloomy, and it was the same story on the train ride; then it was full on raining when we made it to Venice. The train station, hilariously enough, sits right on one of the main, and largest, canals in the city. Neither Andy or I could believe how incredible this place was, the beauty completely upstaged the rain. Andy had found and Airbnb for us to stay at for the night. We had particular instructions to ride one of the canals shuttles a few stops down the channel and then owners friend would meet us there and would walk us to where we were calling home for the night.
In comparison to where we were staying in Milan which wasn't the nicest, we had the cutest little studio apartment in Venice. By the time we arrived and dropped our bags, we had lost all of our light which meant: no photos and our Gondola hopes were going to have to be tackled in the morning before our 1 pm train back to Milan. We ended up wandering the city, amazed at the lack of sensible direction every turn made, and the lack of people out, but there was never a lack of beauty or disbelief over every canal - this city was indeed floating. Our explorations worked up an appetite, and we ended up walking by a few places that sparked interest, but never enough to commit.
Finally, we walked by a substantial windowed, well lit, and busy with multiple parties outwardly enjoying their time based on laughter and smiles. As we were walking in all we saw was pasta, and right then and there I decided #15 Eat Pasta in Italy would be the second item of the year to be crossed off.
If you're wondering what I thought, let's just say Italian pasta, in Italy, made by an Italian chef is a whole other pasta ball game. Maybe something you should go try for yourself. #15 Eat Pasta in Italy: CHECK. Now off to see if we can check off one more item before leaving Venice.
All my love,