Category Archives: Travel

What to pack for venice italy

What to Pack When Traveling to Venice

This winter we were in Venice, as I have mentioned before, and had such a great time. Thinking back on Venice, it was just a great spot and I hope to be able to visit again some day. I shared my 8 must see sights in Venice and now I want to share what you should pack when planning your trip to Venice. It’s such a unique spot and you just want to go with the flow – but there are a handful of items that are very helpful when you are in Venice, Italy.
What to pack for venice italy

WHAT TO PACK FOR VENICE:
 
  • Smartphone with GPS enabled – We did not have any phone or data access while we were traveling, so we turned off our data roaming and cellular connection – but by doing so, and leaving it OFF airplane mode, we still had the GPS feature. This was SO much more helpful and useful than a paper map. We did have a map – and when all else fails, we could figure it out – but the canals and “road” ways are so confusing that a paper map is almost useless.
    venice-004
  • Venice City Guide Map App (offline content available) – Having an offline guide of Venice was really useful since we did not have any data connection on our phones. It helps with maps, landmark locations, hours, times, or just figuring out what the heck you are looking at. Here are a few suggestions for free travel apps to download before you head to Venice: 

venice-001

  • GOOD walking shoes/sneakers – When you are in Venice, you walk walk walk ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT! There really is no way around this if you want to see the majority of Venice. There are no roads, there are no cars, taxi’s, etc. There are barely any bikes. You either walk, or you stay right on the grand canal and that would just be a shame! Bring at least 2 pairs of good shoes – if you are visiting when the water is high, it is very likely your shoes will get wet so having another good pair back at the hotel is good backup! 
    venice-002
  • Layers! When the sun goes down and the air hits the canal – it gets chilly – at least in the off-season. Dress casual too. There are plenty days of rain, fog and cold air – there really is no reason to not dress comfortably. 
    venice-003
  • Woman: Cross Body Purses Men: Small Wallet / Money Belt – Venice is virtually crime free and very safe, except for pick pocketing. The first night we were there, waiting for our night tour and Kyle saw two different people get pick pocketed in the matter of 2 minutes. If you are smart about where you keep your belongs and aware of your surroundings you will have no issues. Most of the pick pocketing happens on the Rialto Bridge and in St. Marks Square (when busy). I made sure I had a cross body purse that zipped completely. In crowded areas I made sure to keep it in front of me. Kyle put his wallet in his front pocket and put extra cash and credit cards in a money belt – just to be safe. We had no issues and it wasn’t a big deal – just be a little aware of it. Don’t be one of the MANY woman we saw that had purses wide open and behind them where someone would just reach in and take a wallet and walk away.
    venice-007
  • Camera – Venice is so picturesque. It doesn’t even seem real sometimes when the sun is hitting the buildings just right or the moonlight is shining against the canal. You will take more pictures than you will know what to do with! 
    venice-005
  • A Big Appetite – The food was SO good in Venice. The pizza – amazing – try the Salami pizza (the best “pepperoni” pizza you will have). The pasta was good, the wine was good, the desserts were to die for and of course the cappuccino and espresso were very needed! Plan on eating dinner late with the Venetian rather than the tourists and you will have a better experience. Walking around the back canals at night after dinner is pretty amazing too. 
    venice-006

Have you been to Venice?
What is something that you would suggest packing?

vermont-05

Our Weekend Escape to Jay, Vermont

This past weekend we were able to sneak away from Texas for a few days. The reason? One of our best friends, Meagan and Dan, were getting married! A little background – Meagan was a friend of mine from the start at College. In the program we were in, there were very few girls, so a friendship started quickly between us. We continued to be friends throughout our 4 years there in Vermont. After college, we stayed in touch and always check in with each other at all major milestones and moments in our lives, even from Texas and Vermont. When Kyle and I got married in 2007, Meagan was our maid of honor. She did a great job and I was honored to be part of her special day as well, this past weekend! Dan, was someone we both knew in college as well – she has even known him for longer. He is a great guy and I’m so happy they found each other. I know they will have a great life together.

vermont-05

So as I was saying, we were able to escape and spend some time in Jay, VT at Jay Peak where the wedding was taking place. If you are unfamiliar with Vermont, Jay is in the northern most part of Vermont, to the east. You are really only about 10 minutes away from Canada when you are driving around the area. It is where Meagan and Dan both grew up going skiing, where they had their first date and where Dan proposed. It was only fitting to have the wedding there too!

jay-peak

It’ s kind of funny that we ended up at Jay this June, since last year we ended up in Colorado in Vail at another Ski Resort and we don’t ski! I think ski resorts are great in the summer months though, especially when you are from Texas!!

vermont-01They have a new resort and it is gorgeous! I forget the natural beauty that is Vermont and New England every time I’m away for a long time here in Texas. I love Texas, but man, it’s not nearly as pretty as New England.vermont-03So green, so lush and the temperature and weather was PERFECT! Even the cows down the road looked good!

The wedding itself went off really well! Meagan did an amazing job of getting it all together and of course, since she is a designer, everything was beautiful. 
vemront-04 As I’ve said before, It’s important to get away from time to time, as a couple without your kid(s) with you. We had a great time, it was nice sleeping in, doing whatever we wanted and just having fun as a couple rather than “mom and dad”! 
vermont-02

Of course, Lennox had a great time too at her Mimi’s house, as she always does! It was nice to get back to her though – and her quirky / sassy ways. 

lennox-sassy

Now, it’s time to get back to reality. We have a little girl who is turning FIVE YEARS OLD this week!! 

schlitterbahn-01

Our Weekend at Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels

Schlitterbahn, for those of you who are not from Texas, is considered one of the best waterparks in the WORLD, and I would have to agree. There are multiple Schlitterbahn parks now, but the original is located in New Braunfels and it couldn’t be better! This was our second trip down there and it was even better than the first.

First, let me say, when we were heading down, it was raining and pouring, as it has been in Texas for the last 2 months, everyday. I was worried our weekend getaway was really going to be ruined, but thankfully, Texas decided to give us a little bit of a break and we got some great waterpark time in! Of course, the park is open when it rains, you are already wet you know, but t-storms are what close it down temporarily. I’m glad the weather decided to be stay in our favor for the majority of the long weekend.

There really isn’t enough good things I could say about Schlitterbahn to give you the real picture of how great this park is. There are multiple areas, days and days worth of activities and water attractions and they even have on-site lodging to give you an even better waterpark experience!

This time we did stay on property at the Resort at Schlitterbahn – Riverbend Cabins. They are located right along The Falls, the Comal River and near the big slides that open early! Although it can be a bit pricey to stay on property, we really felt it was worth it – as we planned on spending the majority of our time at the water park! If you are going for the weekend and only plan on one day, there may be a better option for you.

We went to the park, all three days, taking advantage of the early entry for resort guests one day. This let us get in a bunch of slide rides before there were ANY lines! We walked right up, got on, and then did it again and again for an hour. Usually, in the middle of the summer, the line could be 2 hours long. That is crazy!

Overall, we had SO much fun and Lennox had a blast. You would have thought she was at Disney World. She would just light up with joy when it was time to get into the water and she was fearless! She went on all the big rides, including the biggest water coaster in the world, the Master Blaster! So much fun! Here are a bunch of photos from our trip!

schlitterbahn-12

schlitterbahn-11

schlitterbahn-10

schlitterbahn-09

schlitterbahn-08

schlitterbahn-07

schlitterbahn-06

schlitterbahn-05

schlitterbahn-04

schlitterbahn-03

schlitterbahn-02

schlitterbahn-01

I will say, even if you hit Schlitterbahn at a busy time of year – there are a ton of rides and attractions to go on that have no line, ever – which is so nice! It’s totally up to you, on how you want to spend your time. So if you ever get the chance to go, GO! We can’t wait for our next annual trip!