5 things you must do in Venice

:: GO TO SAN MARCO'S SQUARE ::

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Yes it is always busy, full of people trying to sell you things, scary pigeons that fly so low you' think they'll land on your head but you have to go. When you think of Venice this is the scene that you picture. We were lucky, although busy, holiday season wasn't at it's peak so it never got too busy. We were able to practically walk into St Mark's Basilica (I read before we arrived that people can queue for up to 3hrs to get in) and we got into Campanile Saint Mark with very little bother. Both were great too; the gold and the flooring in the Basilica are jaw dropping. And the sea of terracotta rooftops once up the tower is amazing. You won't even think that it's 118 islands all connect by bridges; apart from the main canal you can see no water at all once up in the air.

:: WALK AIMLESSLY ::

The best advance I got from people before going to Venice was 'Get Lost' and they were so right. We spent our entire first day walking. We racked up over 18,000 steps and nearly 9 miles of walking. We got to see so many things; and there were so many hidden surprises just by following our feet. It was quite extraordinarily that you could be in a bustle square one minute and a empty area with pretty little bridges the next.

 

 

 

:: SIT & RELAX FOR A FEW HOURS AT A CAFE, WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY WITH AN APEROL SPRITZ OR TWO ::

When in Italy do as the Italians do; take your time. Nothing is rushed. There are no quick dinners, a quick (new word) drink in the afternoon is unheard of. Instead it's about taking time, time to unwind, time to chat to your friends, time to watch the world go by. Alex and I certainly did this while there. Drinks in the sunshine, talking about life in general, our holiday and just soaking it all in. Most of the time it was accompanied by wine but a few times it was Aperol sprintz.

:: ACADEMIA BRIDGE ::

For me, this was the best view of Venice. The stretch of the Grand Canal lay out before and for me it was much more iconic than the view from the Rialto. It was also so much quieter. And the area around it and the walk to and from there was brilliant.

:: BUY YOUR PROSECCO AT THE SUPERMARKETS ::

Another handy hint from a friend before we got to Venice and of course a very important factor too; where to buy your prosecco. We stuck to wine mainly when we stopped at cafes but in the evenings we had prosecco; we were in Italy after all. Instead of €6 a glass we headed to the nearest coop and we able to get a bottle at €3.80!

8 sunglasses you have to have this season

I have a sunglass problem; every time the new season rolls in and that small glimpse of sunshine appears the sunglasses come out. And it gives me an excuse to add to my collection and buy more.

Since wearing contacts it means the addiction has gone as I don't have to spend a fortune on just one, prescription pair.

Sunglasses are the old faithful. The thing that stays in your bag year round; granted from December through to the end of Feb they don't get much use but still they stay in your handbag...just in case. For me, the darker the lenses the better. A way to hide tired eyes, non plussed expressions and hangovers. It's sunshine weather again my friends and these are my favourite ones that I have to try and smuggle in the house without A clocking on.

 

 


 

 

What's cooler?

:: DID I USE TO BE COOLER? ::

I use to think I was cooler; well, at least I thought so. I mean, I'm writing this at 10.30pm in my pjs after taking a break from colouring. Rock n Roll right?

Life used to be about London living; I was out most evenings, laughing with friends, drinking cocktails and hangovers didn't really exist. I wasn't always using London to it's full extent but I was busy. Socialising at night, managing an architectural practice by the day. It was exhausting and fun and so, so different from the life I lead now.

Yes I'm still pre 30, but I'm post 25 and life seems to have just shifted a gear or 2, maybe even 3.

Maybe content is the word to describe life now. It used to be hectic, busy, angry, busy again. And now it's content. I sometimes achingly miss the city. Miss it with every fibre; from the glorious sites, to the convenience of everything. I miss saying that's where I was living, where I had spent 7 years of my life. The London lifestyle; it's easy to be consumed by certain parts of it and it's so easy to miss at times. But then I remember how miserable it was making my family life. London isn't for everyone. Maybe city life in general isn't for everyone. I probably could have stuck it out for longer, but it wasn't making OUR life better.

Life now is about home and what our future is going to be. June is exciting and nearly here and I'll go from Miss to Mrs. And life will change again. It'll grow and that kind of change I'm excited for. It's going to bring about the ideas of what an adult life is. Decisions made because you're doing it together. A and I will have been together 8 years by the time we say I do, but there's something new when it's put on paper. What should we save, what housewares should we buy, when should we have kids? So many questions that for some reason, for me at least, have more weight and importance by the time June comes.

 

Often I wish we were a little closer to a big city; London, Bristol, Cardiff etc. to give me that bright lights syndrome more often. Maybe because I still want the cool factor that cities bring, but if I'm perfectly honest, life fills like it has been meaning now. Like the pause button has stopped working and life is on the go again. That's not to say that I'm out every night, in fact it's the opposite and I'm quite thrilled about it.

It may not be the same as living a 'cool' life by saying I live in the big city but I love this life now. It's about staying in, being at home, cooking, dog walks, meeting friends in the local, being in your pjs, boxsets.

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And now? Well now I'm certainly not a city slicker but I've already travelled more since moving than before, and in general done more because I feel happier, because our life seems simpler and safer. I'd say I'm determined & happy. And if I'm being honest that's the reason for life in the first place right?