First Day in Italy: Venice

First Day In Italy: Venice

A guided tour from Venice to Rome


Luckily,we had an early afternoon flight to Venice so we didn't have to be at the airport during the wee hours in the morning. I surprisingly found the airport to be significantly less busy in the afternoon, there were about half as many people as I normally see which I found to be kind of weird but I did not mind it. We got on the connecting flight to Chicago and that airport was packed. It was also incredibly huge and we had about a three hour layover so me and the three girls I went with decided to walk around and see what was there until we had to get on the international flight that was eight and a half hours long. At about 6:30 pm we boarded and got as comfortable as you can get in an airplane seat. If you have never been on an international flight, the plane has three rows of three seats, and they seem slightly closer together than connecting flight seats. However, they have monitors on the back of every seat with a remote (it's also touch screen) and they have a massive variety of movies to watch and games to play. Now, I am a person who doesn't like people seeing me sleep so instead, I watched about three and a half movies. Not to mention it is difficult to get comfortable enough to sleep in an airplane seat. Anyway, the flight seemed both short and way too long. We got to Venice around noon but in central standard time it was five o'clock in the morning. I was tired but seeing as it was noon and light outside in Venice, it convinced me to not be tired because it was midday and I was in a different country.

I went to Venice with three other girls I had graduated with and a mom as the sponsor/supervisor for our trip. We went to France four years prior on a guided tour so we did the same when we went to Italy. We met our tour guide at the airport and when we left, I learned that the main transportation in Venice is by boat. The main waterway is the Grand Canal so after we met our tour guide and another group of people who will be on the same tour as us, we got on a boat docked outside of the airport and rode for about 45 minutes until we got to the destination closest to our hotel. Upon entering the hotel, we met a third group of people who will be on the same tour. Our tour guide gave us thirty minutes to put our stuff away and freshen up before exploring Venice for the rest of the day. We met in the lobby of the hotel, the tour guide gave us a sort of speech which I want to call an oral syllabus. He explained what we are doing and what to do if something happens, like if someone gets lost or something and how to contact him or how to get back to the hotel. After that, we got our water taxi card (like a metro card but for the water bus) and we were off to Saint Mark's Square.

Water bus from airport Brooke Burney

Since it was June second they had flags up in front of the St. Mark's Basilica.

European Independence Day, June 2Brooke Burney

June second is Republic Day in Italy when the public voted out monarchy and made the country republic. We were told that this is the only day the flags were put up in front of the church. After he gave us some information about Venice, we had about two hours to wonder around, so we did. Along the way, we kept eyeing the gondolas but we knew that we could not ride them yet. When the two hours of leisure was up, we met with our tour guide and he took us to this mall-like building. It was definitely a mall but it was filled with high end products like Gucci, Prada, Chanel, etc.

The only thing in the mall I was able to get a picture of is the escalator, I mean have you ever seen one like this?Brooke Burney

All of which was way too expensive to buy, especially on the first day. But the products is not why he brought us here. Instead, he lead us all the way up to the top where people can get on the roof, we stepped out on a huge balcony and it overlooked almost the entire island we were on.

Right side of a canalBrooke Burney

After this, our tour guide walked us through the parts of Venice we had yet to see. Venice is completely man-made with logs under the water supporting the foundation. (If you are wondering why the logs are not rotting it is because they are completely underwater and oxygen has not touched them, therefore they cannot oxidize and rot.) This causes the ground to be somewhat uneven and bumpy.

Anyway, as our tour guide was walking us around, he did so leisurely which gave us time to shop and explore whatever area we were in. We did this for about three hours until we had to go eat dinner at a restaurant next to our hotel. After this, we had the rest of the night to do whatever we wanted until the morning. Arrivederci.

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11 Must-Go To Day Trips In North Carolina

For the wanderers and curious...

It's finally summer, classes are out! There are so many things to do in this beautiful state. There are many small towns to visit. These towns are perfect day trips. From the mountains to the beach and everything in between, there is something for everyone! Pack your car up and get ready for a summer of adventure.

1. NoDa

This is a small hipster district right outside of Uptown Charlotte. Music and art paint this town and it has a very creative energy flow. Amelie’s Bakery, a 24/7 french bakery, is located in this district. There is always something fun and new to try in this cute, artistic town!

2. Asheville

This town is known for the beautiful scenery and historic importance. The Biltmore Estate is located here, and it is open for tours every day of the year. It is the biggest estate in America. The downtown area is very artistic, and the mountains make for a gorgeous hike. This is definitely an adventure you don't want to miss.

3. Boone

This small town has a lot of outdoor activities. It is perfect for hiking and whitewater rafting. If you love nature, this is a must see. It is a college town where Appalachian State University is located. The downtown area is very old school and for modern hipsters.

4. Crowders Mountain

This is located in Gaston County. Once you reach the Pinnacle, the peak of the trail, with clear skies you can see for miles. It is a quick four-mile hike for the short one, the view is amazing.

5. Wilmington

This city is known for the beachfront. It makes a perfect day to hit the waves. There are many beach fronts to visit, such as Carolina Beach. Cape Fear Ocean runs through this city. White sand, waves and the boardwalk. If you are a fan of One Tree Hill, it was filmed here.The small restaurants and characteristics give this town a vibrant energy.

6. Serendipity House

This house is from the movie Nights In Rodanthe located on a beach in Avon, North Carolina. It has been remodeled, but the amazing characteristics of this make it a sight to see.

7. Linville Falls

This is located in Linville, North Carolina. Attractions close by are also the Blue Ridge Mountain. To get to the main fall, it is about a mile hike.

8. Outer Banks

Small beaches on the outer banks of North Carolina have wild horses. Corolla Wild Ponies run free, and you can even take a ride on them in the water.

9. Sliding Rock

Located in Brevard, this rock is actually naturally made from a small waterfall. You can actually go sliding down it. It is in Pisgah National Forest also near Asheville.

10. Devil's Tramping Ground

This is located near Bennett. It is a 40-foot circle that cannot grow life. If you leave something or sleep in the circle, the rumor is it will be outside of the circle the next day.

11. Land of Oz Theme park

Located in Beech Mountain, this theme park that was once full of life is now closed and for the most part abandoned. It comes alive for one night a year for an event. This is definitely a place to take a night adventure to...

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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6 Reasons Traveling Is Good For Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.


Have you ever traveled to a new destination and felt your mood instantly improve? Are you like me and feel happiest when you're on vacation? This is because traveling is a way for you to renew your soul and step out of your comfort zone. It keeps you happy and allows you to experience new things.

Visiting new destinations can open your mind to experiences you didn't even know were possible. You can meet new people, fall in love, try new foods, and see remarkable sites all while traveling. There are no limits to the places you can visit, and the things you can see. Currently, I am on a mini weekend trip to Arizona, and being here has opened my eyes and made me realize how impactful traveling really is on your mind, body, and soul. Traveling should be something you do as often as possible and whenever you get the chance. Here's why:

1. Traveling makes your heart happy 

Traveling is something that most people enjoy. It keeps the heart young and childlike. Traveling brings people joy because they get to experience new things that they love with the people they love.

2. It teaches you to embrace every moment 

Traveling can be unpredictable, especially because you are experiencing new things. Although it can be challenging, we learn best from these unpredictable moments. When we travel we learn to embrace every situation that is thrown at us.

3. Traveling relieves stress and improves mental health 

Traveling reduces stress and allows you to relax. More often than not, you take off work when you go on vacation and you focus on renewing your self. You get away from all the crazy things going on in your life, and you can just relax and focus on your own happiness.

4. It broadens your horizons 

Traveling lets you branch out and experience different cultures. You can try new foods, new activities, and meet all different types of people. You learn diversity, and you learn respect for other people and their culture's. Traveling helps you learn other perspectives around the world and lets your mind think in ways it never has before.

5. It keeps you healthy 

Traveling actually plays a big part in your physical health as well. During vacations, you often walk a lot to destinations and participate in calorie burning activities like hiking and swimming. Activities like these are often why you still are able to get your workout in while on vacation.

6. Traveling reminds you what is important 

Most importantly, traveling reminds you of the important things in life. We live day by day forgetting that every moment is remarkable. Sometimes, we get stuck in the same old boring routine and take for granted the life we have been given. Traveling reminds us that memories are valuable and that our lives should be cherished.

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