To say I was able to celebrate my birthday in Venice was a pretty surreal thing! While Wade’s parents, Garth & Colleen and Tyler’s parents, Len & Karen, were visiting us in Germany, they really wanted to train into Venice for an overnight trip. It just so happened to work out for us to leave on my birthday! Unfortunately, due to Wade & Tyler only getting one day off a week, left them to have no option but to stay behind in Rosenheim. As Wade was dropping us off at the train station, he told me that my present was him sending me off for the weekend to Venice for my birthday! It was a dream to hear those words alone! Jackie & I hopped onto the 5 hour train ride to Venice with our in-laws for an unforgettable trip! This was the first time I had ever experienced sitting in a seat compartment on a train, which ended up being perfect for the 6 of us! We had our own little private party as we enjoyed the endless scenic views, sipping on multiple glasses of champagne!
Our hotel in Venice was irresistibly charming! The building was from the 14th century and was the home to a Venetian painter, Giacomo Favretto, whom was known as a significant artist from the 19th century. The Venetian style interior was filled with plush furnishings and precious antiques with breathtaking Murano chandeliers and various paintings from various artists, showcasing the luxe hotel throughout its time. Hotel San Cassiano Ca’Favretto was such an interesting place to explore, walking around the old halls, exploring what still felt like someone’s home. Between the six of us, we conveniently had an entire floor to ourselves with a large patio sitting on the Canal Grande! It was the perfect experience for us to sit on both during the day and at night to enjoy watching this way of life. We saw many people being transported by boat, and boats that were everything we would typically see by car such as ambulances, police, postal companies and everything else you could imagine. I have seen Venice in the past but only for a quick afternoon while touring through Italy. Having the opportunity to really explore Venice on this trip was a treat as we really were able to understand their unique way of life! We finished our first day having an amazing Italian dinner! Garth ordered a true Italian, 5-course meal while Jackie and I shared pasta, along with ordering a whole fish, bought fresh that morning from the fish market, being presented cooked and filleted right before us. Finishing dinner off, I received a surprise tiramisu birthday cake ordered from my mom back in Vancouver! This was a birthday that I will never forget having the people I was with, along with the people I love from far away making me feel so loved!
Photo Courtesy of © Hotel Marketing by Nozio Business
Photo Courtesy of © Hotel Marketing by Nozio Business
The next day, we explored what felt like the entire city of Venice, yet we probably didn’t even touch half of it’s surface! We started our day by walking to the main square, Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) to view St. Mark’s Basilica. The interior of the cathedral is almost covered head to toe in tiny mosaics, almost all of which are gold, symbolizing power and wealth towards the Venetians. Garth & I tried to sneak up into a hidden, steep, old stone staircase that lead to a viewing point, overlooking the entire interior of the cathedral but were unsuccessful. He became my partner in crime for the day as we both had such a passion and admiration towards the unique and old architecture throughout the city. We willingly got lost throughout the secretive tight alleyways, going off of the touristy path, mostly exploring areas where the locals live to try and get a true feel for their way of life. Almost every opening to both the smaller and larger canals were extremely picturesque! We finished our long day of walking by having drinks on the patio in our hotel, enjoying the canal before heading out for another great dinner!
My in-laws, Garth & Colleen are always an inspiration, seeing the love they have for one another! Spending closer time with them during this trip has only allowed us to realize that much more how adorable their relationship really is! Garth is such an amazing example on showing how a husband can take such great care of his wife! They have some adorable things they do for one another that Jackie and I learned during our trip in Venice. While going to bed, Colleen came into our room to turn our beds down. We thought it was so cute of her and together started laughing. Colleen started telling us all about how Garth does this loving bedtime routine for her every night and bet us that if we walk into their room right now, it would already have been done. She also shared that he will always put her toothpaste on her toothbrush for her every night! So the three of us together, walked down the hall to see if this was true and there it was – her bed was so neatly turned down and on the table, sat her toothbrush with the toothpaste waiting just for her! What a true gentleman! I now joke around with Wade asking why he doesn’t do this nice gesture for me! A couple of weeks later, I surprised Wade for his birthday by giving him a spa night at home. While he was relaxing in the bath, I made sure to turn his side of the bed down while also having his toothbrush ready for him with the toothpaste on it! Once he came into the room and saw the bed, he just started laughing! It’s really amazing to have people in your life such as your in-laws to be such an inspiration for what true love and respecting your partner should be.
My favorite experience in Venice was waking up early the next morning with Garth & Colleen for the 3 to walk to the famous Rialto: the fruit, vegetable & fish markets! The streets had many various stands filled with freshly caught fish of all different sorts and fresh fruit and vegetable displayed! There were also many different cheese and meat delis within the buildings, surrounding the large market. It was such a refreshing feeling and the best way waking up so early, hearing the sounds of Italians singing aloud and hearing them all yell amongst each other in their thick Italian accents. The market was filled with locals, buying all of their fresh groceries for the day. Having no idea what was being said around me, this all just put such a big smile on my face while observing their unfamiliar lifestyle! Since Wade was unable to join us on the trip, we made a point of buying him some fresh, homemade Italian pasta and some mixed Italian spices to make him an authentic Italian dinner. We didn’t want him to miss out on one of the best parts from our trip – the food!
We later celebrated an early birthday dinner for Wade, before his parents went home, by making him the Italian dinner we had brought back from Venice. It was the first time Colleen was able to finally teach me how to make her famous tiramisu that she also learned while she was in Germany. I can now say the same and what better way than to learn it from my mother in-law while in Germany! Together, the 4 of us have had such a unique opportunity creating lasting memories in different parts of the world through Wade’s hockey. We have endless moments in Boston I will forever treasure as well as living in Toronto – having them in our life, there is never a dull moment, for when we spend time together, we have endless amounts of fun with lots of laughter along the way! Their latest trip, visiting us in Germany and traveling through Europe was something we will never forget and definitely stands out from all of the rest of our many travels together!