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Pizza, Piazzas & Planes! My adventures in Italy, London, and Ireland with my beautiful best friend!

Happy New Year!

ITALY | Thursday, 1 January 2015 | Views [326] | Comments [2]

Happy New Year!


Well, welcome 2015! How crazy is it that I rang in 2014 in Ecuador and 2015 in Italy! Who knows where I’ll be next year!


Yesterday, Natalie and I spent the morning trying to relax and organize a bit. We slept in, had a delicious breakfast, and repacked our bags a bit. It’s funny how it all fit originally, and now it seems to have expanded.


Around 12:30 we decided to head into the city. We bought an unlimited bus and water taxi ticket. Best decision ever! We took the bus into Venice, and hopped onto a water taxi. We wanted to get to San Marco, so the #2 took us around the outer shore of the city. What incredible sites we saw!

Once we reached our stop, we headed to San Marco! We saw the basilica, the bell tower, the plaza, and the Doge’s palace. Included in those sites was the Bridge of Sighs. It was so beautiful! And there were people everywhere! As we maneuvered the crowds, we did a little window shopping and decided to find some food. As we were walking all the sudden something hit my face, next to my right eye, and only for a split second. A bird hit me as we were walking! It was so shocking and so hilarious! I am lucky I didn’t get hurt or scratched. So that’s going to make the memory list.


We chose not to pay to enter and tour the sites. They were so beautiful from the outside that we decided to save the money and just enjoy the views. We stopped at a café for a hot chocolate (for me) and a cappuccino (for Nat). Then we stopped for a salami sandwich and mini nutella desserts. So cute & so delicious!


We hopped back on the water taxi, and took it down the Gran Canal. It was fun to see the Rialto Bridge from the water instead of the street. Venice is just such a beautiful city! Each corner is a surprise and even more beautiful than the last.

On these water taxis, we normally chose to sit in the far back, outside, to get some great views and shots. But by this point we were freezing so we went into a grocery store to warm up and find some water. (And I bought some kinder! My favorite chocolate!) We then took a water taxi to the Island of Murano. It is known for its famous hand made & blown glass. As we neared it, dark was falling, and it seemed pretty dead. So we just road the boat back and forth. Then we took another boat back to San Marco. Our plan was to eat and then stay for the fireworks. However, as we struggled to find a place that wasn’t ridiculously expensive, we realized that we were dead tired. When we finally sat down for dinner, we had a plate of delicious pasta and a glass of wine. Then, it was time to head home.

As we waited for the next water taxi, we waited and waited and waited. Turns out that they water taxi timetables change because of the fireworks show. So we headed 2 stations down and managed to make the last #2 boat back to Piazzala Roma- 5 minutes after the last bus left. So we had to wait for the Nightline bus to show. We stood on the bridge and watched people celebrate. There was a party right on the waterfront, fireworks, and a countdown projected on the bricks. We then saw our bus arrive and raced over to it. So as the clocked turned to 2015, we were on a bus, as the driver honked at the car in front of him, incessantly. Happy New Year! Haha


By that point, all we wanted was to be back to our warm hotel room. The night bus has a different route, so we had to walk a little ways back to our hotel and we have gotten into the habit of telling stories while we walk. So that keeps us entertained J


When we got back to our hotel, music was blasting from the restaurant. The staff invited us into the dining room to dance and enjoy the celebration with them! It was so fun! (At least my new dress was visible for 15 minutes of the day). It’s amazing how music and dancing can bring people of every age, culture, and language together.


Then, it was time for bed.


Today, when my alarm went off, I thought it was part of my dream. So the wake up call was not wanted today. But we got up, ate breakfast, and repacked. It’s funny how things don’t fit the same way in our backpacks. But we made it work!

We checked out, waited (and waited) for our bus (dang these New Year’s schedules!), and got to our train. It was quite the feat with our backpacks and carry-ons. Especially since we had to hurry. I am starting to second-guess my packing decisions. Oh well. 


We are currently racing through the beautiful Italian countryside. It is hilly, then flat, then residential, then commercial, then farmland, then mountains. So fun to see!


We will arrive in Cinque Terre around 5:30 this afternoon. I am looking forward to arriving, and taking the evening to rest and eat a good meal. Plus, the weather will be about 20 degrees warmer!


It’s a tad hard for me to go into each day not knowing exactly how we will get from point A to point B, but we are taking it as it comes and making it work. We’ll get the hang of it shorty, I am sure.


Until Cinque Terre, ciao amores! 

Tags: happy new year, trains, water taxis



Sounds like a full fun adventure for you ladies. I do hope that it warms up for you. It is no fun to be chilly all the time. I saw the water picture you posted, it reminds me of the movie The Itatian Job. Where they are racing on the water after they steal they steal the safe. I am not sure where that takes place, but it looks similar. That is true that the holidays have a different schedule. So glad that you made you connections and got to your train. It is scarey the not knowing part. Be safe and stay together and it will all work out for you. Love you ladies. Your mama

  Mary Jo Jan 2, 2015 2:36 PM


Christine, so thankful for your journals! Love hearing about all you and Natalie are doing. So thankful for this opportunity God has given to you both and that you get to do it together! I knew you two would be a good pair to travel together. I am glad you are both taking time to for the little things along with the big things. Proud of you for asking for help when needed. It is funny, like your mom, Mike mentioned the pics reminded him of The Italian Job :) Praying for a continued safe and fabulous trip!. Love ya both!

  Mom Heggen Jan 2, 2015 4:21 PM

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