Ciao Venice!

In the villa, in Venice, sipping vino – Jay -Z

Imagine riding on a cold train for 14hrs, with nothing to eat or drink, just to pull up into the most majestic city you’ve ever seen, completely surrounded by a large body of water and colorful buildings. That was my experience upon reaching Venice and that extensive train ride was so worth it. When we got out of the Venezia Santa Lucia train station, I felt like I was in a fairy tale storybook. We walked over a bridge that crossed the Grand Canal and down a block to our hotel.

Kydee WilliamsThe first thing we did was EAT! We found a quaint restaurant close by and ate carbonara and a seafood platter filled with squid, octopus, and prawns. Venice food is so good.

Kydee WilliamsKydee Williams

 

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee WilliamsAfter lunch, we went walking through Venice taking in its eloquence. Venice is so effortlessly beautiful.

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee Williams IMG_2596

Kydee WilliamsWe wanted to buy wine and strawberries for our gondola ride just to set the mood. Luckily we didn’t have to search very far before discovering a supermarket where in addition to our wine we picked up Nutella. There was a Gondola man outside of the market who seemed cool and had a gorgeous boat so we did what anyone would do and tried to negotiate the 80 € price down before hopping on.
IMG_2607 IMG_2608
IMG_2609Our Gondola ride was pretty awesome. We sailed along the Grand Canal, snapping flicks and listening to the history of Venice. We passed by the Marco Polo house, only to discover that Hollywood was there shooting a Marco Polo film. It was awesome to see all the actors dressed like they were living in the year 1295. The ride leads us under various bridges and secret passageways that unlocked the mystical charm of Venice. Our tour guide was super cool, until someone got Nutella chocolate on his hat and he went INSANE! He kicked us off his boat cussing us out in Italian. You had to see it to believe it.

Kydee WilliamsKydee WilliamsKydee WilliamsKydee Williams
Kydee Williams
We had one more thing to do for the day and that was to find San Marco Square. Venice has signs on buildings with arrows that points you into various directions and you have to keep looking for these signs…it’s so bizarre and very easy to overlook.
Kydee WilliamsI think the city is a set up for getting lost. It’s something that will inevitably happen to you. We roamed the streets aimlessly sometimes following the crowds and other times just walking into desolate alley ways stopping at Gelato stands and bakeries along the way. Venice is weird like that, one minute you are surrounded by hundreds of people and other times you are on the streets completely alone.

Kydee Williams

Kydee Williams

IMG_2710 Kydee WilliamsFinally, we discovered San Marco Square, the heart of Venice. The first thing we did was go inside St Marks Basilica. I walked to a pew and kneeled on the stand praying to God and thanking him for his blessings and traveling mercies. I then put holy water on my head and walked out. San Marco Square was filled with tourists, pigeons and amazing architecture.

Kydee Williams IMG_2722 Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee WilliamsTrying to find our way back from San Marco Square to Santa Croce (the neighborhood of our hotel) ultimately meant we would get lost, yet again…only this time we were really lost. I guess I can cross Get Lost in Venice off my bucket list. We walked across the Rialto Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in Venice. It was massive and the sun was setting over it which made it look extra magical. We then walked through a few alleyways, turning left and another left, walking straight down a path, crossing a bridge and walking along the Grand Canal until finally, we saw something we recognized…BURGER KING! In Venice, there was only one McDonalds and Burger King. It just so happens that our hotel was close by. We could finally breathe easily.
Kydee WilliamsThat night we had free cocktails at our hotel bar and talked candidly with the staff. It was after 10PM so we knew Venice had completely shut down but we found a restaurant close to our hotel who cooked us seafood spaghetti and carbonara. Magnifico!
Kydee WilliamsKy’s Verdict: I love Venice but I probably won’t be visiting here anytime soon. All I needed was that one day to experience this beautiful city but after that, I can see it becoming boring.

Oh Paris, How I Love Thee!

Excuse my french but I’m in France- Kanye West

Paris is everything and more, Ahhhh! I could barely contain my excitement. Once we got off the Eurostar we needed to catch the 1 train going to Louvre-Rivoli, which meant we had to transfer trains with all our bags (the horror). Anyway, the train ride from Gare Du Nord wasn’t that bad and once we got out of the station, our hotel was literally one block away.

Kydee Williams Kydee williamsI will never forget that feeling of walking onto the streets of Paris. It was absolutely stunning and everything I’d ever dreamed of. We got dressed in our “Paris Outfits” and headed across the street to the Louvre.

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee WilliamsThe Louvre was absolutely breathtaking and I don’t believe I have the words that will do this museum any justice. It’s so vast and beautiful.

Kydee Williams

Kydee Williams

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee WilliamsKydee WilliamsWe headed back to the hotel to get our jackets because it was getting chilly and took the metro to Champs Elysees. This boulevard was beautiful. Decked in striking lights, lively people and amazing shops, I was so excited to finally be on the avenue that I had learned about for so many years in French class.

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams

IMG_3342

IMG_2090Aux Champs Elysee was the hymn my French teacher would sing to us and I couldn’t get it out of my head. You know when you make up your own words to a song because you have no idea what the artist is saying? Well, I did that for years and recently googled the actual lyrics…what kind of song was this?

Aux Champs Elysees

Aux Champs Elysees

Y a d’la cocaine

Des prostituees

Et de l’herorine a bon marche

Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux champs elysees

Kydee WilliamsWe found a cute restaurant and experienced french food at its best. I had Smoked Salmon Pasta which was Tres Magnifique. We finally got to the end of the Champs Elysees and encountered L’Arc De Triomphe. It was beautiful but under construction. All roads lead to the arc, it seemed.

IMG_2078 IMG_2747Champs Elysee was “the spot” and we found ourselves back there later that night when we went to Club 79. To make a long and pathetic story short, we couldn’t get in. There were over 200 people waiting outside and we were four of them. We tried to pull our “But we’re American” stunt but they were not having it.

IMG_2101

Kydee WilliamsKy Tip: When going out, be on time. Other countries don’t operate like we do in the States. It’s best to be the first one at the club rather than the ones trying to get in. Try to be out of your hotel at 8PM the latest

I could care less about being in a club, I was in Paris and in complete awe by how edgy and cool everyone is. Cigarettes, wild hair, red lips, and a black ensemble seemed to be the style. Parisienne’s style was some! That night we took a cab home and sang “Drunk in Love” as we drove along the Seine River. Oh, What a night!

 

%d bloggers like this: