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):
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:
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):
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!