Determined to not be on planes and in airports nonstop, I studied a map of Europe. The ultimate goal of “Sheila’s Excellent Adventure” was to visit Ethan and Steph in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (Watch for my story in the November issue of Desert Leaf).
I had six flights in and out of Istanbul. Venice was only a two-hour flight. Italy was high on my travel list and I had never set foot in the land of delicious food and wine, art and history.
I loved getting lost walking Venice’s maze of streets, sipping on frequent glasses of $3 Prosecco (the best bargain), admiring the distinctive buildings. But it was way too crowded. And it was late May, not even summer yet.
My evening spot close to the hotel, so I wouldn’t get lost. I wrote at this perfect little desk, watching people who knew where they were going walk by.
While I’m on the subject of food…breakfast at the homey Hotel Alla Fava included freshly squeezed carrot/orange juice, homemade honey/wheat croissants and coffee cakes primped by the in-house baker. And of course, my choice of cappuccino, latte, or espresso.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection called to me with its incredible view, its Magritte paintings, and a peek into a life of elegance and upper-class privilege, so unlike my own.
Wait. a. minute. I. was. in. Venice. Magic land. I did it. I was so proud of myself!
Still, I needed more quiet, fewer people. So I hopped on a boat to the outer islands for a day, which made me feel at home. I spent three nights in Venice before setting out across the Atlantic, back to Boston where Dan would pick me up and we would head to Southwest Harbor for two months.
Since I’ve been home I’m often struck by how places remind me of other places. Take a calming boat ride in Venice, or catch the ferry to Little Cranberry Island behind my house in Maine. My trip made me feel more a part of the whole big world. I like that.