I love to travel. But the funny thing is, I am not very good at it. Long rides I find it hard to stay still. I stress about needing to pee. I stress wondering if we are heading in the right direction. I stress about packing; if I brought enough. Will it still fit me once we get there? As if I magically grew from the time I packed to the time we got to our destination.
I stress the entire trip, before it even starts. And as someone with endometriosis, stressing about a trip is intensified x's a million. But yet, I still love it. Traveling makes me feel alive.
When hubby and I decided to finally make our Italy trip come true, I panicked. The trip was finalized and we were really going to be heading to Europe in a few months. Europe...across the world. Long plane rides, different languages, cultures and way of life. As exciting as it was, I was terrified. I found myself trying not to think about the trip. Because thinking made me stressed. It wasn't until we were only a month away, I had to shake this nervousness and begin to prep.
Outfits, walking shoes, correct plug ins to charge our phones, passports, tickets, learning the do's and don'ts of being in Italy; so much had to be done and so much I had to remember. But the day finally came, and I was ready! Well, kind of.
If you have been following my endometriosis journey, you know how much of a pain in the ass it can be. And without fail, she showed her ugly face the very day we were leaving. It had been two months since I had my period + it chose to come that exact day. Some wonder why I share TMI. Others, totally get it. But this is my life. And it isn't just a period. It's actually a bomb in my body, waiting to explode any minute. And if I am not careful, it could get ugly.
I woke up so upset and in so much pain. How could this happen on a day that was already going to be a hard exhausting one? If I didn't have enough to worry about, now I had to worry about bleeding, leaking, discomfort and cramps while sitting for 12 hours on a plane. But as my parents drove us to the airport, I still had a little bit of excitement in me. WE WERE ABOUT TO BE FLYING TO ITALY! And there was no way I was letting endometriosis take away from that excitement. So I put my smile on. Because honestly, there were way too many reasons not to!
And before I knew it, our first flight was over! Of course, this flight was only 2 hours long and I had slept for most of it. It was the next flight (10 hours) I was worried about. We quickly got off our plane and ran to our next gate. We really had no time to relax as they were already boarding by the time we got there. I took one last pee, checked my pad and put my game face on. I was ready for this flight! We climbed into our seats where we would be spending the next 10 hours. I got myself cozy with the pillow and blanket (or well what airplanes consider pillow and blankets) and picked out all the movies I would be watching once we took off.
By the time we were in the air, there was no turning back. We were really doing this! Thankfully, the movies kept me occupied. And it being an over night flight helped. Except, I stressed trying to make myself fall asleep. I didn't want to be tired when we arrived because I wanted to start exploring right away. I ended up watching 3 movies and slept on and off. I was super excited when they fed us dinner and then breakfast in the morning. It wasn't really the tastiest but it was just what my tummy needed.
When I decided to take a peak out the window the sun was already coming up. It was weird to think it was morning where we were and night time back home. But at that very moment, I didn't feel an ounce of tiredness. We were flying right over Venice and my excitement started to kick in. It wasn't until we landed, went through customs, got our bags and searched for our driver; until I realized how nauseous I was. My body was shakey and my head felt like it was still up in the clouds. I guess that's what you call 'jetlag' and I was hoping it would go away once we made it to the hotel.
Our driver picked us up in a fancy Mercedes (thanks Costco) and we started our drive to our hotel. If you never been to Venice, it is surrounded by water. So he could only take us so far. Luckily, drop off wasn't far from our hotel and he was kind enough to drag my ginormous suitcase right to the entrance! We said our goodbyes and headed into our hotel for check in. They brought us up to our room and it was beautiful! My nausea subsided and my excitement was back!
We took a few minutes to sit and gain some strength. It was only 9AM there so we still had ALL day! Hubby opened the cookies they had left us as a welcome gift + boy, were they yummy! Once we caught our breath, we cleaned up, grabbed our map and went to explore this amazing city we were in.
Unfortunately, it was a rainy first half of the day. And my cramps + tiredness made me very cranky. I tried hard not to let it bother me. I was on a trip of a lifetime and so grateful, but was feeling so awful. We finally decided to get out of the rain and grab some lunch. We found a cute little resteraunt called Trattoria-Pizzeria All' Anfora, that had covered outdoor seating. I wouldn't admit it but there was something cozy about sitting there watching and listening to the rain fall on the cobblestone. But deep down I was hoping it would clear out so we could walk around with out being soaked!
We picked our seat and the first order of business was, WINE! They say not to order pizza in Venice, however, that was what both hubby and I ordered and OMG. I am a pizza critic, and this pizza was probably the best pizza I have had in YEARS. We both ate our whole pie, drank all the wine + tried to savor our water, because in Italy, you have to pay for water! When we finished lunch, the rain had let up a bit so we started to explore some more. We came across some beautiful canals, sides streets and buildings. I had to stop and figure out if this was a dream or if I was really standing there, on the streets of Venice, with my husband taking in this beautiful scenery. Before we knew it, we were lost. It is said that one of the best things to do in Venice, is get lost in the streets. And if we weren't jet lagged, I would say that is true. But at that very moment we were so tired, thirsty, hot and just wanted to find our hotel. It seemed every street we turned down brought us to a new one or the same one!
When we finally made it back, my feet were covered in blisters. So much for comfy "sneakers". We had said we were not going to take naps while in Italy, but at this exact moment, we both needed it. Before I knew it, we were passed out. I woke up an hour later to see it was already getting dark out and that it was almost dinner time. We got ready, this time both feeling refreshed and so much better, and ventured out into the streets to look for dinner! We found a cozy little place by our hotel called Leone Alato, and decided to eat there. We sat outside and it was so much fun listening to the hustle and bustle of locals and tourists. There was even a man playing some music, which gave it that Italian feel even more. Our dinner was delicious! Of course we both had pasta and wine.
After dinner we decided to explore the streets some more and grab dessert. We stopped and took a few pictures by the beautiful canal. It was so quiet out. We came across a street that had a bit more hustle and bustle going on so decided to look for dessert there. That was until a giant chocolate fountain inside a store (Nino & Friends) distracted me. Originally I was just going to take a picture of it, but hubby insisted on going in. As soon as we walked in, we were bombarded with free samples of cookies and chocolates. A sweet tooth lovers dream! Needless to say, we left with full tummies and of course a box of chocolate covered Limoncello's!
We decided to walk the streets a little bit longer before we made our way back to the hotel. The day was truly a whirlwind. The jetlag and adrenaline rush I was feeling really was still making it hard for me to believe this was real life. But it was safe to say, in those hours of exploring, Venice stole our hearts. And I couldn't wait to see what we would get into the next day. ❤