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In VeniceMarch 17, 2012

It's been a wonderful, if very long, day. 

I'm sitting at a little table, with Wifi that works, and I'm listening to the water lap in the lagoon outside the window. 

Seriously, right outside (this is from my window):

IMG_3396

Today, in the time that I've been awake, I've gotten off work, driven home and packed, spent three hours at SFO, taken an 11 hour flight followed by another hour-long one, then taken an hour-long boat ride to find where I'm staying, then walked about a million miles, just exploring and getting lost in Venice. I've been up for about 33 hours now (and I only got 6 hours of sleep in the previous 48) so I think I'm probably tired, but I don't really feel it yet. I've had three glasses of wine, and instead of making me sleepy, they've simply stopped my hands shaking (NO, my hands don't shake when I don't drink. Please. But they do shake when I'm this tired) and it's made made me red-cheeked. My slap-faced rosacea always blooms when I drink more than two glasses, especially when I'm tired. You know the only thing that helps? Extremely bright lipstick: 

Photo on 3-17-12 at 8.27 PM

I just got done dealing with the aftermath of forgetting to send a cancel on a reservation (I thought I had! But it was still sitting there in Drafts). So my cheap lodging just got quite a bit more expensive. 

But you know what? I've accepted that. I'm in the place I love best (I do love Oakland, with all my heart -- but my soul belongs to Venice). I realized something today (again): It's good not to worry about things before they happen. See, I dream at least four or five times a year about trying to get to Venice, and I can never quite make it. I get close (to Mestre, or some equally awful approximation) and then fumble around, never able to figure out how the boats work before I wake up. 

So it was natural to try to worry about getting here today. But I didn't. 

I could have worried about the taxi not coming (okay, I did, for a minute, quite violently, but I got over it). It came. Mr. Singh smelled like vanilla and coconut oil, and he drove like a saint on rollerskates. 

I could have worried about not making the flight. But I did, with thirty minutes to spare (that was with building in 3 extra hours, thank god for them). 

I could have worried about the fact that SFO wasn't able to print me a boarding pass from Frankfurt to Venice (Frankfurt is my least favorite airport in the world -- it's HUGE and busy and I've missed flights there before). But when I got to Frankfurt (after a lovely flight seated next to people who were the perfect combo of chattty/silent), I got my boarding pass within minutes, and I was standing at the gate already, on accident, with ten minutes to spare. 

I could have worried about the fact that Christina didn't answer her phone when I called her -- she was picking me up after two more boat rides to take me to the apartment. But I didn't worry. I just got on the first boat. At Fondamente Nuova, I looked for a phone to try her again, but there wasn't one. Period. Anywhere. 

So I asked at a bar. And bless them, they let me phone Christina from there. I hopped another boat, and I finally realized this: even without worrying, I hadn't really thought I would make it here. I never think I'll make it back. And I did. I'm here. 

And I'm so goddamn happy. 

Wanna see where I'm staying? (OH! The ambulance boat just went by, code three, lights and sirens. That's always fun.) 

And just a few more that I shot from the window while I was making dinner (usually I go out at night to eat, but tonight I was just too tired to do so): 

IMG_3467

Aw, hell. I'm just TOO tired to add any more here. In between writing this and posting it, I went for a long, dark walk to try to stay awake just a little longer. I chased after some students who obviously knew where they were going, and I found a section of town I'd never seen. (The Witch's Garden, that's where I'm going for dinner tomorrow night.) But now the exhaustion has set in.  Flickr set being built here. Love to you all -- more to come. Lots more! I'm home! 

Comments

You are gorgeous and brave and wonderful and I wish I were there! You're inspiring me SO MUCH by doing this! Brava!

I am SO happy for you! I know I don't have to say it, but I will: savor every moment. Thank you for sharing with us...I'm dreaming of Venice now, too!

Oh my god, that view is so fricking magical. It makes me choke up. Have a wonderful time.

I'm jealous. Eat some good food!

How wonderful. Enjoy each second and get inspired and also rested.
S

I love that you have gone back:))) and made it safely. Funny, I have never missed a flight at Frankfurt but the longest layovers there. Ahh, you make me want to travel!!

I'm glad you've arrived safely! Now show us what you knit on the plane! (Plane knitting is my absolute favorite. Now that I no longer travel a few time a year for work, I have to enjoy it vicariously.)

Oh. Wow. That is seriously beautiful (the view). All by yourself? Left Lala at home with the herd? Brave. Inspiring. Envious? Moi? Of course! But in a good way. I love that you're living the life I'd like to have some day (my version of it): seeing the world, drinking up its beauty...

BTW, I'm in the middle of "Wishes & Stitches" and it is your best yet. You've really hit your stride.

OMG Rachael!! How exciting....I think you are the bravest women on earth......lol I would be scared to death to travel to Europe alone I am definitely envious!! haha Love the video and love the pictures.....please do more so I can live my dream through yours!!! lol Love you, Lola

How wonderfully exciting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences...we hang on every word and savour every morsel just like we were there with you :) Have a fantastical time!

Thanks so much for the amazing video ~ I'm so jealous :)

Oh wow! We went last May and loved every minute of it. Lucky lucky you :)

Hi Rachael, Glad to hear that you arrived safely in "your heaven on earth". Hope you will have a fantastic trip. Maybe there will be a book set in Venice - LOL. Enjoy the trip for me also - what a marvelous place. The world of Rosacea - me too. I think it is connected with heredity - British background - all the little kids with rosy cheeks! Enjoy...Enjoy...Enjoy...Be Safe. Take care.

wonderful! you, Venice, that you made it! All of the above. Now when you get back you can write a romance including Venice and write off the expense! hugs to you, chica...

ah. yes.
I hope you have a wonderful time, girlie girl!!!

Love the video! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm sure you are having a wonderful time in Venice. I have yet to visit Europe, but it is definitely on the list. And Italy (Venice included) is certainly on my "Europe must see" places.

I kinda hate you - but in the best way possible. Enjoy!

Well you are having an experience some great some panickstricken you will remember it forever :)

Wow, someone else who has ET.....good on ya girl for being..well...so brilliant...
Ellie
(Scotland)

I always worry that I'll miss my flight. I usually stay with friends in San Mateo and they drop me off. We normally stay up till around 2am, my flight is usually around noon, and somehow when they get up at 7am and see me wide awake they know what happened. I stayed up all night worried I'd miss my flight. I'll then proceed to drink one cup of coffee after another till I'm seated on the plane and can sleep

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.

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