Italy: Day Thirteen

I always used to think thirteen was a lucky number. But not so much today. For once, I am not going to go into details, but I just felt like today could not have taken a more saddening turn. I cried tears I never wanted to cry. I felt sadness I never wanted to feel. It made me feel sick. Guilty. Foolish. Wrong.
But the only reason I am even sharing that is in the interest of staying at least somewhat true to the no holds barred attitude I have tried to keep since day one of this blog. And that is all I am going to say. There was a period of utter sadness. But I truly hope that it has passed. Because i am being one hundred percent honest and truthful when I say that this trip has been beautiful. Perhaps it was not what we each personally envisioned, but in all reality, nothing could live up to the expectations of perfection we may have all had in our heads. Especially not a two week long vacation!! But aside from a few little wrinklies, for me at least, this has been incredible.
Cancer made me hyper-aware of the things that really matter... not just matter to me, but in life in general. it made me see, feel and just GET that sometimes things are worth it, really really worth it and sometimes they're just not!
One of the things that IS worth it, is family. And friends, who to me ARE family. Part of that realization was kind of the basis for this trip. Time for my mum and I to be together. And time to reconnect with my sister, as well. And one thing that is not important is living up to expectations. It's difficult to let this go, but necessary, I think, to be truly happy.
Anyhow. Today.
Breakfast here was better than Florence but still nowhere near as good as Rome. I was, for the very first time on this trip, the first one to wake up. I showered and dressed and was down in the breakfast room before anyone in the entire hotel. Once we were all up, we meandered (I know I've used that word before on this trip, but in Venice, unless you're on a boat, there is no way to get around BUT to meander) over to see the Rialto Bridge. We checked out... I dunno... Some church... They're all starting to seem the same at this point, and then went on the see the Peggy Guggenheim Collection - a tiny museum of modern art. Lost of work by lots of artists I dig, but I absolutely fell in love with these boxes made by Joseph Cornell. Check out the link if you're interested. We then wandered over to La Fenice Opera House to do the tour there, because I had heard it was one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world - despite the fact that none of our guide books seemed to give a hoot about it. The place was definitely very pretty AND the orchestra was in there practicing, so part of the tour ended up including sitting in one of the boxes and seeing them play. Pretty neat. Definitely my mum's favorite thing so far, music lover that she is!!
After this, we split up for a bit. Wendy did some exploring of the city (although I personally choose to believe she just rode the Number 1 vaporetto back and forth looking for the cute boy that was running it yesterday when we arrived)! Mum and I had a long and tearful chat back at the hotel, and then walked over to sit in the sun by the water for a while. We eventually went exploring again, looking for somewhere good to have dinner, and as we were looking, we ran smack into Wendy, sitting at a cafe, waiting to pay for the glass of wine she had finished probably half an hour before (not service oriented...). We opted to just return to the restaurant from last night, since it was easy, familiar and right there. I did not, however, have the chocolate cake again...
We the rode the vaporetto down the canal all the way to the end of the line, just to see the city again at sunset and try to maybe get some photos. When we got to the end and switched back onto one coming the opposite direction, it only went one stop, to Rialto Bridge, and then shut down for the night. So, on foot, we set to finding our way back toward the San Marco Square, which we did with surprisingly little difficulty. The square at night is just stunning. Mum decided she wanted to treat us to a (waaaaaay too expensive) glass of wine on the square. And who were we to say no! So two glasses of chianti and a beer for mum, and we enjoyed a beautiful evening doing something that felt truly Venetian, while talking about organic farming and dancing and cafes and whatnot until all the booze and free peanuts were gone.
And now we are back at the hotel. I'm missing Ryan and my dogs and my home and am both happy and sad that tomorrow is our last full day here.
And while they say you never get back to the normal you are used to after cancer, I am ready to get back to whatever normal awaits me back in Cleveland. And I'm only panicking like, you know, most of the time...
Xxo, Phoebe

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