I started writing this post in the Venice airport, after a flight delay left me with a bit more time than planned in the airport. It remains to be seen if I will regret not having taken the earlier flight to Germany originally offered since I am now thinking good thoughts for a swift passport control line.
But there was something delicious about one last breakfast in the hotel, getting to chat with writing friends old and new, drinking one more hot chocolate (ciocolatta calda) before taking the somewhat leisurely boat to the airport. (And oops, I got in the wrong boarding line and they had to page me. I swear I would have noticed eventually.)
I did the Venice Writer's Retreat with Rachael Herron two years ago and returning was lovely. I explored the city less this year but in a delightful, look I get to go back to this place and that place kind of way. Although I did find a new to me gelato place that was wonderful. I am still figuring out Euros, and there were times I either confused the coins or misunderstood how best to make it easier for them to give me change.
I wrote pages of words, both from writing prompts and on a fiction piece. I got to recconnect with old friends, make new ones, eat possibly more cheese than was healthy.
(Also it turns out when you are the last one on the plane and someone has taken your seat they are like, shrug, how about that row.)
I opted in for almost all the group excursions, so did a walking tour where I learned about a cursed house, a boat tour of some of the other islands, rowing with wine and snacks (I was declared an okay rowing student, my boatmates did much better), and screen printing. At the end I was happy sad to leave. There had been so many people, so many food delights, so many writing delights, I was so ready to get back to my computer and to work, and also so sad that the next breakfast would not involve writer friends and hot chocolate. That I would no longer hear Italian seagulls cawing. Of course this means it it likely the exact right amount of time. When you are still happy sad and not yet really over everyone. But like the ciocolatta calda, it is a little bittersweet.
(And I made it through the Munich airport in enough time to get my connecting flight, even with passport control and specialized screening. And back in the US when the passport guy asked if I met up with friends while travelling, my smile was very big.)