A week or so ago my wife and I took a trip to Venice. In lieu of our upcoming move to Las Vegas we felt it wise to visit some places in Europe while they were still pretty close by (and a lot cheaper!)
Plus, as we are moving to sin city, I thought it was a good idea she see what Venice REALLY looks like, rather than basing her ideas on The Venetian hotel on the strip. We’d already visited Paris the year before and she’s already been to New York, so the only one left – that the Las Vegas strip had ripped off – was Venice.
And before you mention The Luxor, friends of mine have been to Cairo and apparently it’s a shithole; so fuck that.
Anyway, I want to tell you about our trip.
But, Headinablender isn’t a travel blog, nor will it ever be unless something weird, wonderful or funny happens. I’m not about to go on and on about the beautiful canals, the crippling expensive food and drink, the amazing architecture or the overpriced gondolas driven (driven? Is that right?) by uninterested Italians with an oar in one hand and their phone in the other.
No, i’m talking about our actual experience of getting there and back; literally ‘the trip’.
There are certain moments in life when you realise you’re now ‘a proper grown up’ These include hosting a dinner party, paying rent/mortgage, choosing curtains and, in the case of our trip, checking in at an airport.
I remember going to the airport when I was a kid and just following my parents around while they organised tickets, passports and luggage. It was just a thing they did until it was time for all of us to sit on the plane. I never considered the effort that had been put in before we’d even got to the airport.
The thing is, no-one pulls you aside at school and shows you how to book a holiday, you just ‘wing it’. Nowadays it’s pretty much all done online. There seem to be two types of holiday companies; those you’ve heard of, and those who are cheaper. Either way, you select your holiday, type in some stuff, pay some money and it’s done. Apparently.
No tickets, no paperwork. That’s it.
Then you find out you have to go to the airline’s website and enter your passport information and pay extra if you want to take a suitcase.
Still no tickets or paperwork. Just faith that all will be OK when you get to the airport.
So, when we arrived at the check in desk and the clerk took our passports, checked us in, took our luggage and handed us our boarding passes, I felt like a proper grown up.
I felt like turning to an imaginary 5 year old me and winking, but I decided against it as I didn’t want to appear twitchy or weird and I wanted to actually be allowed on the flight.
Anyway, fast forward to the departure gate.
We were walking down the tunnel to the plane and there were a lot of people in front of us, and more coming in behind us, including one couple who had a little boy that kept running up and down the tunnel.
“Elliott! Elliot! Come back here darling. Elliott! Elliott!”
His name was Elliott.
After we (and a lot of our fellow passengers) had enduring Elliott’s delightful stomping and kicking of our hand luggage, shins and patience, we finally boarded the plane.
Then, after waiting an eternity for people to put their hand luggage in the overhead lockers and actually sit their fucking arses down, we took our seats and relaxed.
This relaxation was short lived as, sat noisily behind us, was Elliott and his fucking family, comprising of mummy, daddy and younger sister Imogen. How did we know their names? It was all…..we fucking heard…..for the duration…..of the fucking……flight.
Mostly from ‘Daddy’
“Elliott, try not to kick the seat in front”
(my wife’s seat; Elliott was playing a very dangerous game)
“Elliot, please sit down”
“Elliott, please let Imogen look out the window”
“Elliott, please stop crying. Look out the window, can you see the clouds?”
“Imogen, please stop crying. Look out the window, can you see the clouds?”
“Imogen, let Elliott have a go with the colouring book”
“Elliott, please don’t throw the pens on the floor”
“Elliot, please try not to kick the seat in front”
(this was a popular one. Notice the word ‘try’)
“No Elliott, you can’t sit by the window now, we’re about to land. No, please stop crying”
And then, once we’d landed and taxi’d to the gate, we were treated to this moment of absolute fucking lunacy…..
“We’re here! I’m going to get you an ice cream for being such a good boy”
You had to be shitting me!
Once the ‘Fasten Seat Belt’ sign had been switched off we stood up and joined the rest of the plane, who had already stood up a long time ago, to retrieve our bag from the overhead locker.
This was my opportunity to turn around and get a proper look at these people who had made our two hour flight feel like ten.
The parents looked like death. Gaunt, tired and dead behind the eyes. They almost looked grey; drained of all the colour in their lives by the little prick jumping up and down on their laps.
So that made me feel better.
To be honest, the best part of the flight was shortly after the wheels had hit the tarmac.
We were sat over the wing, so as the plane was still hurtling down the runway we were able to see part of the wing lift up; creating more drag and slowing the plane.
I smiled, turned to my wife and said “Flaps”.
We both laughed.
It was all we could do not to strangle (H)Elliott with his seatbelt.
Speaking of seatbelts, have you noticed the crew walk up and down the plane to ensure you’ve fastened it, and THEN show the demonstration of how to fasten your seatbelt? It seems as redundant as showing a pregnant woman how to lose her virginity.
Anyway, we left our woes at baggage claim and went on the have a great time in Venice. What a beautiful city. If you ever get the chance to go, go. Photos don’t do it any justice, it truly is stunning.
By the end of our stay we were looking forward to our flight home. We had chosen a late night flight to ensure we got as much time in Venice as possible and we could also enjoy a nice sleep on the plane.
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
We had the ONLY drunk person on the plane sat behind us, sprawled out across three seats kicking us both in the back for the entire flight whilst he snored like a baboon being sawn in half. We lost count the number of times the cabin crew had to show him how to use the seatbelt.
If anyone needed to pay attention to the safety brief and seltbelt demonstration, it was this guy. Mind you, he was having problems blinking both eyes together so it’s unlikely he’ll be able to successfully operate a life jacket.
Also, we were lucky enough to have three incredibly noisy Italian kids on the row behind him who were the ONLY people on the plane making a noise; everyone else was sleeping.
This is the reason they don’t allow guns on planes.
Still, two amusing things happened during our stay in Venice that i’d like to share with you.
My wife really wanted a new purse/bag, so I said I’d buy her one. Big mistake.
I was dragged into almost every bag store in Venice, and when you consider that shops in Venice only sell either Bags, Gloves or Masks (yes, masks)…..that’s a lot of fucking shops.
I noticed a lot of the bags had ‘Vera Pelle’ written on them. Never heard of her. This designer was everywhere!
My wife pointed out that ‘Vera Pelle’ means ‘Real Leather’ in Italian. I could be forgiven for my mistake, but i’m half Italian!
And the second funny thing was this: