We said we could have skipped Venice. Too far away from the other cities we visited. Too tiny and claustrophobic. Too rainy, too dark.
But then I think of spending thirty minutes in a store full of masks, trying on gold ones, silver ones, red ones with Megan and pretending in front of the store mirror that we just arrived to a masquerade ball.
I think about looking for our hostel, “Venice Lagoon House,” which we found was a regular house outside of the city owned by a man named Luca. He had a couple of bedrooms, and when it got full, Luca slept on the couch next to the kitchen.
I think about Megan and me buying 4-euro pizzas from the pub two blocks from Luca’s and walking back to eat the boxes while watching Spiderman on Megan’s iPad.
I think about how excited we were to finally have a room we didn’t have to share with other people.
And when it was time to sleep, we were so delirious that we had a laugh attack. I don’t remember what was so funny, but we laughed until our stomachs burned.
I think about trying to weigh a peach at the grocery store and when I couldn’t figure out the Italian weight machine, an old woman came over and showed me how to print out a receipt sticker by pressing the button with the fruit name on it.
And when I said “grazie mille” to her, she took my face in her hands and said “Ohh, ohh” followed by cutsie Italian words.
I think about puddles and umbrellas scratching on brick walls as we tried to walked through tiny, busy streets.
Looking back, Venice was a dream.