Vacation Archives – Day #4: Venice

This is an entry from the Vacation Archives, a somewhat tardy report of my adventures in Croatia and Italy. On June 3rd, 2012, I left Croatia with about an hour’s sleep, after a night of drinking and singing, and caught several modes of transportation toward Venice, Italy. This was written after settling in for the night at my room at Hotel Tiepolo.

I’m one insanely lucky bitch. I’m writing this from my lovely little hotel room in Venice, Italy. Today has been one of great highs and lows.

Last night after dinner, I went to a little party down on the waterfront in Lovran, just a few locals, Katie’s brother in law, and Katie’s twin cousins, Zachary and Ian. We drank, sang, Ian played guitar, it was an awesome couple of hours. When the rest of the kids decided to go off to a party at another town, Zachary and I went to a local bar to get some beers and listen to a Croatian rock band. We had so much fun making friends with some locals at a nearby table, and talking about music and dancing and life.

Zachary (right) and our new Croatian friend. He didn’t speak much English, and we didn’t speak any Croatian, but we still managed to share some laughs.

Our new friend, dancing to a popular song.

Things went a little sour after I accidentally closed my finger in the bathroom door, then was accosted by a big guy who kept asking me if, since I was American, I dated black people. He actually used the n word, though, and was extremely offensive in badgering me about this weird question, probably because he was just a jerk, but possibly also because I kept feigning that I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. It was just such a weird and pointless thing to ask, and also the language he was using was so hurtful that I just froze, mentally, and was concentrating on escape rather than setting him straight. I was close to tears by the time I managed to escape him (I was physically trapped in a corner since the bar was so full). Soon after, Zachary and I left and went back to our apartment house, where we sat up having grappa and talking on the patio until around 4:30.

Cute sign in the bar’s women’s bathroom.

I took a short nap, then caught a ride to the Trieste airport with Katie’s brother and family. From there I caught a bus to Trieste, then a train to Venice. As you might guess, I was pretty hung over and very tired, and felt like puking for much of the trip. No fun. I was proud of myself for not missing any connections, though, and I managed to catch a fitful nap on the train.

My original plan on reaching my hotel was to walk from the train station here. However, I was so tired that I caught a water bus instead. A much better option, considering that when I got to San Marco, I found that the street address didn’t match up with my map at all. I couldn’t find an Internet cafe to use my iPad, and I ended up wandering for an hour before giving up and calling the hotel. It turns out that the “street” is actually a dead end alley measuring about 30 feet in its entirety, lol. Once the clerk gave me an idea of the area to look for, I found my way with no difficulty. Lucky, actually, because I had been in a five block radius of my destination the entire time and would never have found it on my own.

But I got here, and that’s the big thing. The hotel is tiny, and much nicer than I expected. I’ve got two windows that open out to the street, where there’s a great night breeze and it smells all kinds of yummy from the restaurants out in the square in front of the hotel. The streets are still bustling, which is neat since its 10pm on a sunday. The room has a big bed, wood floors, wood beamed ceilings, a mini fridge stocked with sodas, a personal safe, and my own private bath, complete with hair dryer, bidet, and really great water pressure in the shower. In the morning there’s free breakfast, too!

After taking a short nap, I put on a cute outfit and went out to explore and find food. It felt very safe to just wander about, unencumbered by my pack. I walked in every direction I could, then back, and chose the next direction. I now know how to find my way here from San Marco and San Zaccharria, so I don’t think I’ll lose my way tomorrow. I went to San Marco to take photos and do some people (and pigeon) watching, and heard some lovely bands playing to the diners in the square. Weird but true, the first song I overheard was a great favorite of mine to sing, Besame Mucho, and then the next band I encountered was playing another of my all time favorites, All Of Me. It felt fateful, somehow.

I had dinner at a crappy little snack bar run by a sweet Chinese couple. The food was just ok, but I hadn’t eaten in 12 hours and was tired of inspecting menus, and they had photos and cheap prices. Plus, I tend to be less intimidated by Asian proprietors. Yes, I know that’s weird. At least I was still eating Italian food.

There’s a purse at a store next door that I will probably buy tomorrow. Right now I’m going to eat some chips, read a bit, then catch some shuteye. Tomorrow I want to go out to Murano and Burano. One of the restaurants in the square is playing the soundtrack from Last of the Mohicans. Beautiful, but odd to hear from my hotel room…

Update: after I stopped writing, the restaurant started playing the Godfather soundtrack!

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