Tag Archives: Italy

Falling for Venice 

After eight months, I found myself back in Venice, Italy.  It was a chilly Fall day, filled with warm memories.  I was enjoying my layover with a crew of friends.  We spent the day indulging in all the red wine and all the pasta we thought we deserved after walking around the rainy, romantic city.  

You can read about the first time I met Venice in a previous post. Here’s some pictures of my recent visit and recent reminder of how amazing this car-less city is… 
   
    
    
   

I apologize for the brief post.  I know I’m robbing you of all the fun details.  I’ll be back tomorrow. #30postsin30days 

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Carnevale in Venice

After much self-inflicted internal debate, my flight attendant friend, Ali, and I decided to chase Carnevale in Venice. We had the same days off & needed to ditch the upcoming snow storm in Philadelphia. Italy was a dream.
After a few days working, we were both exhausted & didn’t know if we wanted to put in the “effort” to go to Italy. Luckily, our intuition (& my roommate, Courtney) spoke up.
We were suddenly reminded that we should “not be lazy” or “settle for the easy way out.” We should seize the moment & fly to JFK, to Milan, catch the train, & to the boat, to Venice to celebrate Fat Tuesday.
The idea clicked like a lightbulb & we were off. Escaping the snow storm for 50 something degree weather & delicious pasta was a no-brainier. We were excited!  



The flight to Milan brought about new flight attendant friends. They took care of us & invited us out. This is pretty common among flight crew. We really do stick together.
It took about 13 hours of actual travel time… 2 planes, 2 trains, a bus & a boat. 





 After a long day of travel, we finally made it to our hotel – which we booked at a Mc Donald’s cafè, thanks to wifi and Booking.com





 We each indulged in a long, hot shower, got primped & dressed, and stepped out for the night.
What I must say is that, in this case, the journey was truly more important than the destination. We made friends with our fellow flight crew on the way over. We met the most amazing young woman on the train from Milan to Venice who talked to us about everything from growing up in Europe, to education, to politics, to young love & so much more…she even shared her mother’s homemade, & Venetian trademark, tramezzini sandwich with us. All of these people fed us, loved us, made feel right at home, and engaged us in the stimulating conversations.
We made the trek to the car-less city to partake in the largest Carnevale celebration on the continent… & when we arrived at Saint Mark’s square, we had a real-life “womp womp” moment. The ground was covered in confetti & the crowd was clearing out. We missed the festivities that we’d traveled so far to see… 





 It was ok, though. After the experience we’d had to this point, we were optimistic… We knew there’d be plenty of after-parties. So, we walked the winding roads & stopped for some of the best spaghetti bolognese I’ve had in my life. Maybe it was the best… or maybe I was famished from our busy day.
We stumbled on the cutest local bar – Devil’s Forrest Pub – where the bartenders seemed to love us. They gave us free drinks & beads all night. They even took shots with us. 





They also pointed us in the direction of the biggest party of the night, “Arsenal.”
After what felt like a journey through The Labyrinth, we finally made it to a long, straight path along the water. The path lead to a historic-looking warehouse that was in the distance. 



This is when I turned to Ali with my fear… Maybe we were being lead to the large, annual feeding of local vampires. Maybe this was the part where all of us unsuspecting fools were fed to the blood-thirsty beasts…. But, man, what a way to go!
We continued on until we made it the huge night market/rave. With food, drinks & multiple rooms of music & flashing lights, we joined the masked & costumed guests on the dance floor. We did Arsenal! 



 Needless to say, we were absolutely exhausted after our big day. When we decided to leave the party, we discovered a water taxi that would save us about an hour of walking (that is if we could find our way back). Side note: Venice is a city with no cars, which means no cabs to drop you off… We hopped on the boat & got off at the stop that we thought was the closest to our hotel.
We wanted to get a good night’s sleep, so we could take advantage of a full day in Milan. It was a nice concept, anyway. A few hours would have to suffice.
In the morning, we enjoyed our free, breakfast at our hotel. The sun was shining, the day was gorgeous, and our view was overlooking the Grand Canal. Boats & gondolas rode by us as we enjoyed the most important meal of the day. 









 We prepped for the day & started our voyage back to Milan… or, at least we thought. We ended up running into some of the crew members from our flight, & joined them for drinks & (inevitably) lunch along the water. We knew it would be a voyage back to Milan, & we couldn’t do it on an empty stomach… Spaghetti bolognese was definitely in order. 





 After soaking up the sun, we took the boat, to the bus, that would take us to the train, to get to Milan. We met with a couple other flight attendants from our flight for dinner. We’re all pretty new to the industry. We had a lot in common & a lot of stories to tell. It was nice getting to know each other.
Although I wish the night could’ve gone on forever, and we could’ve seen more of Milan, time was a factor. We needed sleep & we needed to catch our flight home in the morning… A shuttle to the airport, then two plane rides would have us back home in Philadelphia.
Four days to travel to Europe & back may seem crazy to most people, but to us, it was normal. “No time wasted,” is often our motto. So, when we have days off, we make the most of it… Do you?

Thanks for reading along, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this post. How do you spend your days off? Have you ever taken a spontaneous trip? 

 *Special Thanks to Alyssa Muckey for assistance with photos. Also to my bestie, An Dyer , for her ongoing love & support of my life, my blog & my dreams!

Yesterday Germany, Tomorrow Italy

I was talking with my best friend one night & she asked me where in the world I was. I told her I had just gotten in from Puerto Rico after being in Germany yesterday, then I’d be heading to Rome tomorrow. The simple fact that that’s what my conversations sound like now is just ridiculous to me… & I absolutely love it!
My crew to Germany was amazing. We were all pretty junior and we wanted to go out & see the city. This was my first time there & I was looking forward to schnitzel & bier!
We stay just outside of Frankfurt, in Mainz. The city is gorgeous. The hazy weather added to the beauty around us.
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After some congregating at our hotel, we head out for some food at a restaurant that’s a crew favorite. The crew & our waitress all suggested schnitzel, so, after plenty of thought, that’s what I order… Schnitzel & dark bier. Yum.

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At dinner, we run into another crew member & his partner, who is a local. Our group grows & we set off to explore together.
Everything is so beautiful, from the streets, to the buildings, to the trees. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It feels like I’m on a movie set! I stop occasionally to touch trees & buildings just to make sure they’re real.

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We spend the day frolicking & making stops here & there for a drink or dessert… It’s Sunday, so there isn’t a whole lot going on.
We all get to know each other better & have great laughs as we close the day by the river.

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A couple of us head out for some late night exploring, where we meet some interesting locals along the way. When we stop and ask for directions, one guy says he’ll walk us. He’s carrying 2 duffle bags & a backpack… He’s just getting in from Berlin. He’s spent all day on the road, in traffic, and now he’s showing us around, while lugging his baggage.
He had the most wonderful attitude & was so sweet, I just has to mention him. That was my impression of Mainz… & Germany. A beautiful city with nice people, good food & great bier!

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When I returned to Philly, I got called for a quick turn to & from Puerto Rico. It was an easy work day…those crews are always fun. Then, I had a few days off…
That’s when my friend, Anabel ( who you met here) invited me to Rome!
I was debating on visiting a friend in LA & going to a show… I even asked a few people about it. The answer seemed obvious to everyone but me. So, at the last minute, while standing at the gate, I walked away from my LA departure & headed towards the gate for Rome!
Anabel was surprised (& excited) to see me. I was pretty excited myself. This would be my first time in Italy…& to do it with a friend, who was willing to share her (free) hotel room…I mean, yay!
When we arrive, Anabel needs to rest. I was able to sleep on the flight over, so, while she naps, I get ready for the day. I love our hotel. It’s cute & quaint. The decor is exactly what I think of when I imagine Rome. There’s a vanity in the room with a darling little chair. The mirror is old & misty. There’s doors (with long windows with wooden panels and shear white curtains) that lead to the terrace. It’s adorable.
Anabel has been here before, so, she has a game plan. When she wakes, we hit the ground running. Here’s how we saw Rome in a day…

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After a day of walking around the entire city, we were pooped. Anabel hailed a cab back to the hotel & even though I wanted to go out & see Rome’s nightlife, I ended up falling asleep in the cab. It was a wonderful day & I was ready for a good night’s sleep.