About Christina Does It All

Doing it all, One blog at a time

25 Things I’m Glad I Did Before Turning 25

In light of my recently hitting the quarter-century mark, I thought I’d make a post dedicated to twenty-five of the things I’m happy to have had the chance to do before turning 25. The hardest part about writing this post was compressing the list to only twenty-five things, which I suppose is a pretty great complaint to have. I just feel so blessed to have been able to live as big and fully as I have thus far, and I absolutely can’t wait to find out what’s next. Since most of this list was completed in the past five years, I’m also giddy to see what accomplishments can be made and adventures shall be had before reaching thirty years of age. But for now, I’m pretty proud to be where I’m at and to have done what I have with my first twenty-five. So without further ado and in no particular order (Prego brain ain’t got time for that), here’s 25 things I’m so glad to have done before 25:

1. Hosted my own on-campus radio show

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2. Bungee Jumped

3. Parasailed

4. Crowd-surfed

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5. Tied the knot with my very favorite person, adventure buddy and partner-in-crime.

6.  Volunteered frequently

7.  Became a home-owner

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8. Met Willie Nelson. And Chandler Riggs. (aka Carl of “The Walking Dead”) And the former White Power Ranger.

9. Went Fly-Boarding

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10. Ziplined

11. Ran a half marathon

12. Filmed a commercial for a name brand company

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13. Had that same company (U By Kotex) fly me first class to Detroit, where I would have some of the most incredibly surreal times of my life while also filming for a piece shown at concerts all over the US

14. Swam at a nude lake. Nude.

15. Drank Coronas in Mexico

16. Strolled the beaches of Puerto Rico

17. Saw the view from the top of the Eiffel Towervenice2

18. Viewed Italy from a romantic gondola ride in Venice

19. Ran a race for a good cause–In my underwear.

20. Self-published a short story

21. Wrote an article that was published in my local newspapergradday

22. Interned for the American Red Cross

23. Graduated college Cum Laude

24. Fell in love with my job as a social media representative

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25. Made a baby–when I was ready.

It blows my mind that my mom had a seven-year-old (me!) and a four-year-old at the age I’ll be having my first. The older I get, the more grateful I am for all of the sacrifices my parents made to give me the opportunity to live such a beautiful and wonderful life. And now I can’t wait to continue living that life with my own little lady and that sweet dude of mine by my side.

Friends and Olive Oil and a 5k and Baby Stuff. Etc.

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s only April. 2014 has already been pretty packed with lovely things–and we’re only four months in so far. From spending over a week in Italy with my favorite dude to a Mississippi road trip with one of my closest girlfriends to 5ks and media events and all of the BABY things, this year is already turning out to be quite the eventful one. With a full summer bucket list and a little girl due in just TWO weeks now, it seems like it’s probably going to stay that like that. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To play just a little bit of catch up, here are some recent photos that put a smile on my face:

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I ran my third 5k of 2014 on the same day as my baby shower. I made sure I had time to go home and shower before the shower.

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My latest two event blogging adventures have also doubled as free date nights. Both the olive oil and cheese tasting classes were tasty, intriguing and nostalgic of our trip to Europe. Being an event blogger definitely has its perks. As does having a husband who also makes for a pretty awesome best friend and plus one.

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Gal pal dates make me giddy. Said giddiness turns my facial expressions into those of a small child.

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I love weekends at the in-law’s. Always full of laughter, coffee, yummy food and peaceful mornings spent on the front porch with a good book. And sometimes full of neat flea market finds too.

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My stomach makes a pretty comfortable pillow these days.

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Texts from my best dude friend tend to make me grin. Note that he rations my compliments.

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I recently got to pose for a maternity photo-shoot with my favorite photographer. Above is one of my favorite shots. Photo credit goes to the always awesome Andrew Stevens!

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I’m about to pop, y’all! On an unrelated note, my husband really needs a haircut.

Five Birthdays Later

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In searching for the perfect mini-vacation for my 25th birthday, I wanted something far enough out to feel like a nice retreat, but close enough to drive home if, uh, I went into labor. I am only a little over three weeks from my due date now, so things like this must be considered. I had just found a quaint and romantic bed and breakfast in San Antonio–only an hour and a half drive from Austin–when I realized something. Husband had also taken me to San Antonio for my 20th birthday. We’d been dating for about nine months at the time and had just recently gotten engaged. It was my first romantic getaway with a boy and my twenty-year-old self thought that was, like, super cool. Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to go on many vacations and make hundreds of wonderful travel-filled memories together. Still, I look back on that first little trip of ours and can’t help but be filled with the happiest of nostalgia. Five birthdays later, it just seemed right to go back to the place where all of our incredible travel adventures together first began.

2009:

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2014:

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The Luxury. Delicious and eccentric food trailer–with a toy hippo to play with as you wait for your food! My kind of joint.:

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Boat tour of the River Walk:

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We found carnival rides at a giant flea market! This one was sort of like a knock-off ferris wheel:

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We also found this lovely concoction of a dress:

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Breakfast at The Guenther House.:

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Currently, my favorite thing to wear is sweatpants and anything else that does a decent job of stretching. I was a little bit hesitant to try the little black outfit thing for date night at nine months pregnant, but shoot. About to give birth and all, I felt pretty darn sexy in that little black get-up.

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2009:

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And five years later, he is still my very favorite partner in crime.

2014:

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Yesterday was my actual 25th birthday. Robby wrote me a note. I got permission to share.

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‘Happy birthday dearwife. I Love you so much & you are the best wife/friend/mother anyone could ask for. I know you will do just fine with labor cause you’re awesome at everything you take on & now that you’re 25 you will be able to handle it better than a 24 year old. I got you some tums so you don’t have to die. Love Robby”

I am so very lucky to have spent five birthdays with that boy.

Organizing Small Dance Parties

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Shortly after my college graduation, I started feeling just a little panicky about where to go next. It wasn’t that I hadn’t ever done the job thing before. I had worked, sometimes more than one job at a time, since I was sixteen. But what to do with this brand new college degree? From years of an on-campus radio show to event blogging to a social media internship at the American Red Cross, I felt I had done everything in my power to make a resume worthy of a career that I could be passionate about. Still, I didn’t know if that would be enough. Did anybody ever get a job related to their major anymore? Where to draw the line between settling and not being realistic? I had just started browsing admin and receptionist positions, even knowing then that jobs like these would be wrong for me and creatively stifling for my personality, when I came across an available position for a social media representative. At that point, I had gone to a couple of interviews that just didn’t feel right, and had told these companies not to consider me for a second interview. Turns out that, despite discomfort, my stubbornness doesn’t really allow me to settle. And finally, here was something that sounded so very perfect for me. The job description included things like blog-writing, social-media updating and people-interviewing. I loved to do this stuff when I wasn’t getting paid. I tried not to get my hopes up when I got an email reply and then a phone interview for the position, but was still full of butterflies when I went in for the in-person interview. My boss, who lives hours away and was just in town for the day, hired me on the spot.

Now here I am six months later, with a job that is both flexible and fun for me. I get to sleep in and more or less make my own schedule. I never have a boss breathing down my neck, but contrarily have one who gives me encouragement, freedom and guidance only when I need it. I go around taking pictures of and talking to lots of cool people. Last week, I covered my first big work event in which I was able to help raise money to make a high-school student’s dreams come true.

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Yesterday, I decided we needed a ridiculously cheesy video on our social media pages. So I put together a small dance party behind the receptionist’s desk and had a fellow employee film the fun. (Obviously, I needed to partake in said ridiculous cheese.) I somehow get paychecks for doing this sort of stuff.

I’m glad that I often decide not to be too realistic about my goals. That I waited to find a career that would do so much for me than just pay the bills. And that I am now getting paid to organize small dance parties.

Surrounded by Love. And Presents. And Cake.

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Last night my husband and I were snuggled up in bed when he suddenly and softly said, “We’re going to have a daughter.” I laughed and confirmed. “I was standing in the nursery and it all of the sudden seemed really real. In a good way.” he told me, and as tends to happen when Robby speaks, my heart melted a little.

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We’re five weeks out from my due date now and I still can’t entirely wrap my head around it all. Somewhere around five weeks from now, we’ll be holding the baby girl that we made in our arms. Babies never seemed so insanely, miraculously amazing until I took part in creating one. It blows my mind a little, knowing that I am carrying around a little lady that is not only a part of me and my family, but who is also a part of Robby, his parents, his grandparents. Generations past whom I’ve never had the chance to meet in both family lines, and my daughter is a part of them too. Despite the obvious knowledge that I am unable to asexually reproduce, it is still a little mind-boggling to realize that there is someone growing inside of me who is already so much more than just who and what I am.

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Also mind-boggling is that she’s about to be here. Little one has made this pregnancy very easy on me, which has caused most of it to fly by. I didn’t suffer from morning sickness, and I’ve been comfortable frequently traveling throughout the past 9 months. Weight gain has been pretty minimal, I haven’t had any swelling yet (I literally just knocked on wood) and the fact that I can still fit into my pre-baby clothes is saving me a lot of money. I’m still jogging daily, but considering the 5+ pounds of baby I’m currently carrying around, I am proud of myself for that one. Peeing every two seconds and heartburn from hell aside, the past months have mostly been wonderful ones. Easy pregnancy = Easy baby? I shall get back to you on that one. I knocked on wood again.

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Despite fluctuating hormones, if there is one feeling that has stayed with me the most over the months, it is how blessed I feel. I feel so very blessed. To have a husband who I am so completely smitten with, who I adore a little more as each moment fades into the next, and to know that those feelings are reciprocated. To have in-laws who go out of their way to constantly help out in whatever way that they can. To have parents who throw me a lovely baby shower, and to feel so overwhelmingly loved and spoiled by so many at said event. To even have a friend fly down for the weekend from New Mexico, just so she could be present at my baby shower. To spend that same evening with my cousin and her four-month old baby girl, and to plan out her and Brynlee’s best friendship before one of them is even born. To know that if they are anything like the two of us were and still are, that there will be countless nights of giggle, mischief-filled sleepovers, and then hysterical laughing about sleepover memories 15 years later. To have a family as close as mine, and to know how fortunate that makes me. And Brynlee too. Oh my goodness, she is one lucky little girl. To be completely surrounded by so much love and to not even know it yet. But she will. I sure do.

More baby shower pictures: (Some are from my photographer grandma’s camera and some are from my iPhone, so do forgive the different photo qualities)

Gal pals -

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Miss Katie, the sweet lady who flew from New Mexico to celebrate my growing family -

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I really loved that cake. -

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Having a little chat with my five-year-old sister -

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All of the baby things! -

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Game playing. It would appear that Robby’s mom is cheating. -

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My daddy and sister. D’aww. -

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So much cousin love. -

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She’s almost here, y’all!

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“Why Not?”–Mississippi Road Trip 2014

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If you know me, you probably know that one of my absolute favorite things to do is to travel, and that I try to do so on a pretty regular basis. It doesn’t matter where to or how long I’m gone; Just the promise of new places, scenery and adventures is enough to make me excitedly pack my bags. So I am always a little perplexed when someone will ask me why I am going somewhere. Of course, no one really ever asks me why I’ve chosen to go to places such as San Diego, New York, or Venice. When I plan for travels like this, I’ll often hear remarks like, “Lucky.” or “I’m so jealous!” But tell someone you’re going somewhere like Oklahoma or Arkansas? Blank stares and crickets and, “Why? What’s over there?” This confuses me. Why wouldn’t I want to see and explore every inch of this earth that I possibly can? I don’t know what’s over there, and that exact fact is the very beauty of it all. Some of my fondest memories are of my husband and I road tripping to the previously mentioned states, staying up late, lodging at quaint bed and breakfasts and exploring cute little towns. I’ve found that some of the world’s best treasures are hidden in the places that no one ever really thinks to look. That there is loveliness to be found anywhere and everywhere, if eyes and mind remain wide open. That there is so much joy and wonder in learning to wanderlust over the path less traveled. And that there’s a whole lot to be missed out on in this big, beautiful world when the question Why?” is posed in place of “Why not?”

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Lucky for me, I have great friends who share my same mentality and love of adventure. Last weekend and just in time for my eighth month of pregnancy (Baby is already quite the little traveler even before birth.), Becca and I road tripped it up to the new-to-me city and state of Natchez, Mississippi. It was such an enchanting mini-vacation. The long drive was filled with great conversation, fun pit-stops and plenty of laughter. Once there, we relaxed at an adorable bed-and-breakfast, ate cake from a nearby bakery whilst laying in bed, explored an eerie never-to-be-completed Civil War time’s mansion, took a historic tour around Natchez in a horse-drawn carriage, chowed down on our first alligator cheesecake and watched a gorgeous sunset at Bluff Park. So much magic beginning with two little words. Why not?

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Things I like a lot

Some things I like a lot lately:

  • I only ever post to Instagram for work, but I do have my own account just to stalk my friend’s accounts sometimes. There’s a couple of things I love about the below post from buddy Becca.beccains

1. Being referred to as her “adventurous pregnant friend.”

2. Having fun, wonderful people in my life who say yes to the whims of their adventurous pregnant friend.

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  • For Valentine’s Day, I requested Krispy Kremes instead of chocolates. Prego craving. Husband came home with flowers, a dozen donuts and a big box of chocolates. He sure knows how to woo a pregnant person.

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We decided to avoid the crowds this year and opted for a night in with a heart-shaped pizza. Please note my sexy socks and sweater. Such sexiness would probably be frowned upon in a restaurant setting anyway.

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  • Farmer’s market and catching up with long lost friend Emily. And buying homemade strawberry jam. Drool.

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  • Chili-fest with the husband. We got to judge our favorites while enjoying a beautiful, Texas day and eating endless cornbread and chili. Yum, y’all.

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  • I’m 8 months pregnant! Ah!! Can’t believe how soon we’ll be holding our own little person in our arms. I’m nervous and excited and terrified and giddy and about a thousand other feelings all mixed together. But mostly I just really can’t wait to meet her.

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  • My latest food tasting for the event blog was at my local SmashBurger. Usually at tastings, I’ll be given smaller dishes of each meal to try, and still leave completely stuffed. Well. At this ‘tasting’, I was given five (FIVE!) whole burgers, four full orders of fries and two mouthwatering milkshakes. I brought my husband home a multitude of leftovers, and still almost exploded from the massive amount of deliciousness experienced. AND I got invited to the kitchen to smash my own SmashBurger with special burger molds. Needless to say, they now have a fan for life here. Currently salivating thinking about their Truffle Mushroom Swiss burger and Salted Caramel Milkshake. And also the other billion things I ate.
  •  Below is work friend Peter.

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He’s really good at unique compliments.

Work friend Peter: “You’re still not showing very much. It must be your faerie blood.”

Followed by this post dedicated to me:

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According to Peter, I’m a social media genius with faerie blood. I like the world according to Peter.

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  • A couple of nights ago, I was feeling little lady kick a bunch. I was voicing my annoyance to Robby that I couldn’t view my whole stomach to see where she was kicking. He left the room momentarily, reappearing with a mirror so I could get a full view of the tummy. Every time I look at this picture that I quickly snapped of that moment, my heart melts a little.

I like love this life a lot.

Italy, 2014

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I feel like I’ve been hoarding my memories of Italy to myself for long enough. Where to start?

There was that first day in Milan, where we hung out at a quaint café next to our hotel until check-in time. We were definitely desiring a little sleep and hot showers, and this was the perfect little haven to relax and drink a cappuccino in until then. Later this afternoon we would come back to this same café for another delicious cappuccino, and the barista would, with curiosity and humor in his tone, ask me why I was ordering said drink. Apparently cappuccinos are not ordered in the afternoon in Italy–I remembered reading about this only after making the mistake. Despite his amusement, he sweetly made me my requested beverage. Looking back, I love that I had the chance to learn by being that silly American accidentally breaking a cultural norm in Italy.

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(Venice, St. Mark’s Square)

There was the gondola ride in Venice. The gondolier sang and told us about the area, and the husband and I held hands whilst taking in the many incredible sights and sounds of Italy. It was like a storybook or a sappy romance film, so perfect was this ride around the gorgeous Venice.

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(Gondola Ride and our gondola dude)

There was huffing and puffing our way up 463 steps at Florence’s Duomo, only to have our breath taken away again once we got to the top. That view was more than worth every single step it took to get there. (And, honestly, even getting up there was kind of fun. Despite being seven months pregnant and feeling a little panicky climbing up such a narrow, never-ending space….It was an adventure. And I love me some adventures.)

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(View from Florence’s Duomo)

There was the best pasta of my life in Milan and the most delicious pizza in Florence. There was strolling the streets of Venice in the evening, eating gelato and checking out the corner shops, as the pretty hanging lights twinkled above us. Everything in this city, it seemed to me, was made of magic.

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(Florence’s famous Ponte Vecchio bridge and the bronze doors of The Baptistery of St. John )

There were the typical tourist sights, from Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica and the surrounding St. Mark’s Square to Florence’s Ponte Vecchio bridge to the Sforezco Castle of Milan, all captivating and seemingly too lovely to actually be real. I found that it was nearly impossible to turn anywhere in Italy without being astonished by the beauty of this country.

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milan8(Best pasta ever, Duomo and creepy baby-man in Milan)

And then there were all of the moments in between. The moments that can’t be found on any top sightseeing lists that have turned out to be some of my most treasured. Early morning, sleepy-eyed hotel breakfasts of orange juice, croissants, salami and plenty of Nutella. Shopping at a narrow-aisled Italian grocery store; My husband happily purchasing cookies to eat as a late-night snack back at our hotel room. Every corner, shop, alleyway and café of Venice; Each one able to leave a hauntingly exquisite impression on my memory. Holding hands and sharing quick kisses and constant laughter as we excitedly explored our new surroundings. Laying in bed at night, cuddled up and chatting, exhausted in that mesmerized way that only foreign grounds can exhaust a person. The lively and delightful Italians; The hotel clerk who, upon our checking out and hearing my husband’s accent, started singing a song about a cowboy. Standing on our balcony in Venice, enjoying the view of the canal and the calm stillness of the night. Attempting to figure out the quaintly ancient hotel elevator in Florence. Being both amused and fascinated by the shops, talents and eccentricities of downtown Milan. Train rides to and from Milan, Venice and Florence; Whether reading a book, looking out the window while trying to capture to memory all of the stunning views, or falling asleep on my husband’s shoulder, these train rides completely enchanted me. There was just something magical about leaving one place, still entranced by the charm of the last city, and heading to another, with the childlike excitement of wondering what we’d find next.

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I could post a hundred more pictures, write a thousand more words, and still it would not be enough to explain how incredible our trip to Italy was. Nor could I properly explain how blessed I feel to have had the chance to explore this part of the world with someone I adore so completely. I’m sure more memories will come to me, more inspiration will hit, and more blogs will be written about all of the moments that made up one of the best weeks of my life. Words will never suffice, but still I will write them. I’m reminded even now of my husband noting, on our last evening in Italy, that we had unintentionally spent our first and last night eating at the same gelato shop. It seemed right that my trip should come to a close in the same way that it had started–with a full tummy and heart, next to the boy who never fails to remind me of just how beautiful this big ‘ole world can be.

Thirty-One Years And The Passing Of ‘Team Robby.’

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Thursday my husband turned thirty-one. I feel pretty fortunate to have spent nearly six of those thirty-one years with him. When we met, Robby was newly twenty-five. He was coming out of a party phase so intense that I have heard these days referred to by his friends as the “Team Robby” days. From what I’ve been told, I met him at the ideal moment—Even party-animal, nineteen-year-old Christina would have had a hard time keeping up with this Team Robby they speak of. I like to think that I contributed to his growing up, and while I do think we were a good match, realistically I also believe that great timing played a big part. He who was never able to handle a job or relationship for more than a few months time has now been with the same company for over six years and in the same relationship for almost as long. That night we first locked eyes, at a party in a garage filled with too many Jell-O shots, he tells me now that he knew then he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. This is when the psychology portion of my degree comes out and I proceed to tell him that this is just his hindsight bias talking. (I’m such a romantic, y’all.) Though his sweet words never fail to make me swoon, it seems more plausible that we met at a time when he was just ready for more than he had ever been before. But Robby is the ‘Love at first sight’ mentality to my ‘Timing is everything’ frame of mind. I think our different life perspectives is part of what makes us such a great team today.

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(Dating, 2008)

This isn’t to say we didn’t have crazy days of our own. When we first started dating, we partied a lot. We probably drank too much. We moved in together too soon. We fought frequently. As good as we have it now, I forget that it wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies with the two of us. I once threw an ironing board at his head. Looking back, it’s amazing to me that we made it past those very early days. Even more incredible that fighting is now such a rarity, and most definitely doesn’t include the throwing of ironing boards. (Or anything, ever, for that matter.) Being each of the other’s first very serious relationship, neither of us had the slightest idea what we were doing. Both of us made it up as we went along. And now, somehow, here we are.

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(Engaged, 2009)

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(Wedding day, 2009)

Countless adventures, travels, parties and shared life experiences later. In the living room. As I blog, Robby is working on his aquarium, which was recently moved out of his former office to make room for baby. I’m more than 30 weeks pregnant now, and little lady is quite the active thing–Currently one of her favorite pastimes is kicking my ribs. Or bladder. Judging by the strength of said kicks, I have a feeling she’s going to have more of the Boudreaux thighs and less of the Cirotto chicken legs. We had a detailed ultrasound this past Monday in which we were able to see her adorable face and find out that she weighs approximately 3 pounds, 6 ounces. I find it both crazy and fascinating that I am carrying around almost three and a half pounds of a mini Robby-Christina. The doctor said she was gorgeous and perfect and that we were the easiest ultrasound he’d had all day. He may say this to all of his patients, but beaming parents that we are, both of us ate it up.

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(Honeymoon-Cancun, Mexico-2009)

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(‘Babymoon’-Venice, Italy- 2014)

Team Robby was years ago replaced with a dude who would rather stay up late to tackle projects around the house, the guy who now cheerfully works overtime and comes home for cuddles-on-the-couch time, the fellow who can melt my heart simply by smiling at me or by loudly speaking to my stomach, “HELLO BRYNLEE!”, the father-to-be who gave up drinking in support of (and much less mournfully than) his expecting wife.

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(Today)

Who can really know for sure? Maybe it was a meant-to-be-love-at-first-sight sort of deal that late May night, years ago. Or maybe it was a mix of instant attraction and perfect timing. I guess it doesn’t really matter. Because here we are. Coming home from a picnic in the park on a beautiful February afternoon. Getting very close to meeting the small fry in my stomach. Preparing to bring a new life into the world as we celebrate the thirty-first year of the best dude I’ve ever had the chance to know. He totally never deserved to have an ironing board thrown at his face. (I missed, if you’re wondering.)

Venice In The Rain

I haven’t made time to blog about Italy yet because it seems to me a very daunting feat. How to adequately sum up one of the most amazing, magical, awe-inspiring weeks of my life? It truly frustrates me because I wish the beauty and wonder I hold in my head and heart for this country could translate directly onto paper–or blog. But since it can’t, I figure I will just start small. Instead of trying to cover one whole week in one post, (Impossible.) I’ll start with just one night. Our first night in Venice.

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It took me two whole minutes after stepping out of Venice Central Station to know that I had found my favorite place in the entire world. I was instantly and completely smitten. It didn’t even feel like I was living real life anymore. We had stepped out into a fairytale. A fairytale devoid of cars and instead centered around a lively and lovely canal. A city full of bridges, cobblestone roads, enchanting shops on every corner and hundreds of alleyways and turns that were just begging to be explored. Our hotel was minutes from Central Station and fit right in with the magic of Venice; An old, homey building filled with friendly folks and knick-knacks, it had more of a bed and breakfast vibe than that of an ordinary hotel. We lucked out and received the only balcony, which gave an absolutely gorgeous view of the canal and was perfect for late-night or early-morning people watching. (That didn’t sound as creepy in my head.) Feeling the wind in my hair, watching boats pass as the night sky reflected on the water, and listening to the waves and Venice chit-chat from that balcony quickly became some of my most cherished Italy memories.

After we checked-in and got settled in at Hotel Canal and Walter, husband and I decided to do some Venice exploring. I had heard and read multiple times that getting lost in Venice was simply a must on the Italy to-do list, so that’s exactly what we set out to do. It wasn’t a hard task. One road nonsensically turns into the next, street signs come and go, dead ends are abundant and one bridge over water looks identical to another bridge over water that was encountered miles back. Even if we would have had access to GPS, which we didn’t, it wouldn’t have done us much good anyway. So get lost in Venice we did. And that was fun and wonderful and we were a wide-eyed, in-love couple aimlessly wandering the breathtaking streets of Italy.

And then the sprinkles of rain that were oh-so-romantic turned into droplets. And before we knew it, those droplets turned into a massive downpour of water. It was raining, hard, and we were now rather lost in Venice. Husband had had the foresight to buy an umbrella stores back, but this wasn’t really made for two people. Robby would maneuver his way under the umbrella occasionally, but for the most part he was just getting drenched from head to toe. I was staying a bit drier, though my boots were sloshing and soaked through from the puddles on the ground. Our picture-book perfect moment in Italy had quickly turned into a bit of a misadventure. My feet were cold and my poor husband was getting poured on and we were not-so-successfully trying to find our way back to our hotel in the dark. And then I just couldn’t help it. I started laughing.

Robby, who tends to have a happy disposition even in less than ideal situations, smiled and asked the appropriate question– “What’s funny?”

“I’m just tickled.” And I was. I knew how humorous this would all seem in retrospect. I knew even then that the moment—That moment where we were completely lost at night in the unrelenting rain of Venice, would probably be amongst my favorite moments of the trip. And I was right. It was. Because though we were lost and cold and tired and getting rained on, we were lost and cold and tired and getting rained on with each other. In Italy. We were getting uncomfortably wet and disoriented, side-by-side, on the confusing yet charming streets of Venezia. How lucky to have had the chance to be sopping wet and totally misplaced in a beautiful country with the person you love most in the world.

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Eventually, we found a café where we were able to dry off a bit, collect our thoughts and order a delicious tiramisu. The rain had eased up a bit by the time we left, and my husband, who has an uncanny sense of direction, eventually found our way back to the hotel. For the rest of our incredible stay in Venice, the skies stayed much clearer and we, much drier. Still, looking back on that evening will always bring a smile to my face and a rush of nostalgia to my heart. I never will forget that very first night of Venice in the rain.