Making The Most Of A Day In Venice

Making The Most Of A Day In Venice

Seeing Venice in six hours

Imagine a city built atop a lagoon, filled with masked men and women stepping through dense fog, wearing wigs and dresses that date back to the 18th century, gracing the cobblestone streets as if they'd never left them. Children dressed as forest nymphs and princesses stare up at you through dark holes in feathered, painted disguises. This is where I spent my Saturday afternoon.

The bus from Rome to Carnivale in Venice left at 7 a.m. My friends and I spread out in the back of the second deck and prepared for the six-hour trek ahead of us. We drove into the hills until our ears popped and we could see clouds at our side. The mountains were a constant, shadowy presence in the distance as we passed long stretches of land and dirt roads, ghost towns and farms growing nothing but trees of thin, veiny branches. Mist settled onto the grass. I listened to the "Into the Woods" soundtrack and imagined a fairy tale.

We got to the shore after 1 p.m. and boarded a small private boat headed into the lagoon. The fog grazed the water, turning the world stark white ahead of us. Venice drifted into view like smoke. We wobbled off the boat and into Venice with only six hours before we would have to leave for Rome again, leaving us on the docks pressed to make the most of what time we had. As short as the time was, we really did find a way to do it without rushing ourselves. We bought masks in Piazza San Marco and blended into the crowd to explore the islands. The water at our feet was a pale green.

The girls wanted to go looking for a Bellini, so we stopped at a small place beside the water. The shop was stocked with sandwiches that made our stomachs growl, even though we'd eaten lunch only two hours before. We stood near the water and snapped pictures of the passing gondolas and costumed men and women.

At 4:30 p.m, we split. Five of us went looking for a gondola ride, while the others went to a glass-blowing show (something I'd love to see in the future, though I'd pick the gondola again, given the choice). Our boat slipped through the fog and into the green canals. I've always loved being on the water, and the slow rock of the gondola as we passed through high, colorful buildings was incredibly serene. The sound of the water lapping at the sides of the boat was the only thing to break the silence.

After the gondola ride, we found dinner at Dal Moro's, a fresh pasta take-out place that serves food in a Chinese rice box. It was definitely some of the best pasta I've had in Italy, so far. The pasta was great and cheap, and the marinara sauce was even a little spicy. We sat on the ledge by the window, where the people working behind the counter smiled at us as we watched them work the pasta-maker.

The day grew dark, and drops of rain started to fall as we went looking for gelato in our last hours. The night brought masks shaped like plague doctors and skulls, and the eyes of the masks from the morning transformed into black holes in the shadows. Our first stop was a shop that had been recommended to us, but after trying it, we decided to keep looking. We ended up stopping at enough places that I had a small collection of small spoons in my purse pocket by the time we found a spot that we liked.

We joined the bus group again and left before 8 p.m., an entire troupe of disguise-clad college students trying to navigate in the busy dark. We stumbled back onto the boat and watched Venice disappear into the fog as quickly as it had emerged, until it was just a string of bleary lights. We boarded the bus in a tired daze and immediately began falling asleep as the bus took us into the dark hillsides. We were satisfied that even though we, deciding to take the day slowly with just a few priorities, had only seen a corner of Venice, it had been the right choice.

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1.3 Million Annual Deaths

What are the Top Causes of Fatal Car Crashes?

People need cars in order to get around. However, too few realize how incredibly dangerous driving can be. Powering over two tons of metal at high speeds requires sheer concentration. If drivers don’t focus, the consequences can be deadly. Here are the top causes of fatal car crashes.

Distracted Driving

Think you’re good to just check a text for a split second? Think again. Looking away from the road is an absolute no-no. You need to be anticipating what’s ahead. You also need to be aware of what’s right by you. A car could be suddenly swerving into your lane and you might not react in time. You need to be using your vision to the best of your abilities. Check as far ahead as possible and be looking in your rear and side mirrors. To be a great driver, you need to be as alert as possible. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a car accident with a personal injury case (or worse) on your hands.

Intoxicated Driving

When you think of intoxicated driving, you might think of drunk driving. While alcohol definitely plays a large role in driving deaths, it’s not the only one. Substances like marijuana or cocaine can also affect driving abilities. You need to drive with the utmost sobriety. If unsure about driving at all, don’t do it. Driving while intoxicated is incredibly selfish and could cost lives. Have a designated driver or call a cab.

Speeding

Speed limits exist for a reason. You need all drivers on a road to be on the same page. Otherwise, collisions become a real possibility. There’s also not driving fast enough. If you’re driving too slowly, especially on the interstate, you could cause an accident. Pay close attention to the speed limit whenever you’re driving. If others are speeding or driving way below the limit, try to avoid them. You should also report them to the police.

Fatigue

You need to have all your mental bearings when driving. If you feel drowsy, you should not drive. Driving, especially on the interstate, can lull us into a sort of hypnosis. Falling asleep at the wheel is unacceptable. Don’t try to pull an all-nighter to make a point. Instead, you should find a motel to sleep at or let a non-sleepy friend drive.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you are going to be trusted with a license, you have to understand responsibility. By being aware of the dangers, you can make smarter driving decisions.

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Hi My Name Is Alexis And I'm Obsessed With Disney

Eat. Sleep. Disney. Repeat.

Everyone has his or her obsessions or habits that make them who they are. If you ask anyone that knows me, my obsession would be Disney. I eat, breathe, and sleep Disney. It is always on my mind. From movies to the parks to the characters it’s my entire life.

1. Disney is my only vocabulary

I find myself talking more about Disney that I do anything else. I annoy my family regularly by rambling on about Disney and everything it has to offer. The happiness I get from talking about Disney is… magical.


2. Disney movies…word for word? I got it

I’ve seen each Disney movie too many times to count. I know many movies word for word and find myself singing or talking along with the characters. I also listen to the soundtracks from the movies as I drive to work or to school.

3. What do you mean I’m not a princess?!


4. So… do you want to go to Disney?

I find myself going to Disney at least once or twice a year, every year. Once I leave the parks, I feel like I need to go right back. I want to go to every Disney theme park ever made. I have only been to the parks in Orlando, but one day I would like to travel the world and see them all.

5. Career goals = Disney

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to be a princess, until sadly I realized it was not a realistic career option.I used to want to become a teacher and would dream of having a Disney themed classroom and teach off of Disney lesson plans, But at the bottom of my heart, I knew that wouldn’t be what I really wanted.The role of a teacher just didn't seem like the right fit for me.

I know I want to work for Disney, so I switched my major to something that would draw a better path for me to get there. I am now a communication major with a minor in marketing. One day I hope to reach my goal of working for Disney and being in their department of communications and help share the magic Disney has to offer. The magic of Disney never gets old and It is something everyone should experience at least once!


Cover Image Credit: Alexis Wheeler

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