I can’t even tell you how happy I am to be back to blogging regularly. Even though Green Lantern is gone, I’m feeling very happy and very blessed right now. This has a lot to do with me being it presence of another super hero, and not hiding in my house alone anymore.
Phoenix, or Jean Grey to you original X-Men fans, is many things. She is compassionate and nurturing. She is strong-willed. She is powerful. She is also one of the few female super heroes to have children. All of these things make her a perfect fit as a alter-ego for my own mother.
So, now that I got my finals done, I wanted to show my mom some of the wonders of Europe, since she was kind enough to come visit. However, anyone who knows me will quickly find out that though am I a hero of many skills, I HATE driving. With a passion. So, with the help of the army post that Green Lantern is stationed at, I arranged a trip… on a bus… to one of the most famous and beautiful cities in the world. That’s right… Venice, Italy.
We started out our first real adventure at midnight. As we got on a shuttle at our little post, I will admit I was more than nervous. I had never taken one of these trips before, and had never traveled to Italy without Green Lantern. It is so easy for me to accept him a care figure, and put him in the role of protector. However, we are two very capable female heroines, and eventually got the bus at the bigger post in the area. I’m not gonna lie to you. The first hours of our trip aren’t very exciting; we spent them sleeping. 🙂 But before we even got to lunchtime, we were crossing the big long bridge that leads into the chain of islands that become the city of Venice.
We got off the bus and walked in the direction of the crowds, and found ourselves face to face with a port. So we take on our first problem. Is the answer water taxi? Nope. Not for us. After looking at the overflowing crowd trying to pack onto those tiny water taxis, we opt to take the people mover… essentially a small tram that take you across the Grand Canal and one other waterway into the heart of the city.
Stepping off the people mover is like a dream come true. I mean, it is still a city, and you still have to walk and find you way around. However, Venice is different right from the start. It, like Rome, has the impression of a city lost in time. My imagination went wild, lost in images of woman in ball gowns and men in masks chasing each other through the streets in a starlit carnevale. I was captivated and enthralled all at once.
Now, the only real plan Phoenix and I had was to get to the Piazza San Marco. This is pretty much the most famous square in the city, and it houses the entrances to the Basillca di San Marco and Doge Palace. Well… that didn’t go exactly as we had planned. I will tell you… it is surprisingly easy to get mildly lost in a city that isn’t made up of anything but islands. I tried to take comfort when I read in the guidebook that part of Venice’s charm was getting lost. However, once in a while when trudging down walkways that were barely wide enough for me to walk straight though, I always had a feeling that we were going in the wrong direction.
After wandering in and out of quaint little shops, we ended up in the plaza outside the Santa Maria Della Salute, a gorgeous baraque era church. Which, as fabulous as it was, turned out to be directly across the Grand Canal from where we were trying to get. Some back tracking, some new shops, and a few souvenirs later… we did actually make it to our original goal.
Piazza San Marco is beautiful. In a way, it reminded me of the square outside the Basilica of Saint Peter in Vatican City, but much smaller. The ornate architecture can leave one breathless. Add that to the stunning water scene, and the dozens of gondolas gliding through the depths… it is a picture straight off of a postcard.
By the time we got back to the bus that night, I was exhausted, my knee (which is recovering amazingly, but still not quite fast enough for my taste) was throbbing, and I was ready to go home. However, at the same time, I had trouble finding a time since Green Lantern had left that I remembered being so happy and so comfortable. I was, and still am, thrilled to have my mother here with me, and am doing my best to give her the best experience in Europe that I can. I figure that Italy, a country that I fall more in love with every time I visit, was a good place to start.
Til next time,