'Allo, family! Guess where I've been?
That's right, Venice! The actual Venice in Italy! The one with canals and everything.
The trip was amazing, obviously. We took hundreds of pictures and every one was beautiful, because Venice is about the most photogenic city in the world. It was just fantastic being able to get face to face with it, to see it for real. And we did see quite a lot. We visited some the wonderful Museo Carrero, which is in a building so pretty you could cry; it's all ceiling ornamentation, gold plating and larger-than-life-sized portraits. We also saw the amazing Biblioteca Nazionale and the Murano Museo Vetrario, or the Murano Glass Museum. This museum was my favourite: it featured glass artifacts from many centuries ago (how were they not broken???) as well as more recently made works. One of these was a "table centerpiece" that's about 2 square metres large. It's a garden courtyard made entirely out of glass - freaking unbelievable.
Then we shopped in Murano for glass jewellery - I enjoyed that VERY MUCH.
We also ate quite a bit. Since I was in Italy, I felt obligated to have a pizza, which was excellent. Afterwards, we had gelato, also excellent (I had Nutella ice cream with actual swirls of Nutella in it - for me, this is a dream come true).
But one of my favourite parts was meeting two great people on the train ride to Venice. They were from Great Britain, a father and son who we'll call Tom and Sam. They were backpacking across Europe and they were some of the nicest, most interesting people I've ever talked to. They made the grueling, day-long trip to Venice very enjoyable, and that's quite a feat (no showers, no dining car, water that's unsafe to drink - you get the picture. It's quite hard to enjoy).
They also reminded me what I love most about life: just when you've settled into a normal rhythm, life has a way of throwing it all thrillingly off. New things happen. You meet people, do things, and work through change. And no matter how certain your future, you never can really know what comes next. In the most mundane moment, something wonderful and unexpected could happen. When you're looking forward to visiting Venice and waiting for your train ride to be over, someone could walk into your compartment and change everything. No matter who you are or where you live, it's never a dull moment.
And I love that.