Early Saturday morning I said my last goodbyes to Jena and Amy and met Kelly and Alyssa at 6am to walk to the Falmer train station one last time. It was a good thing they were with me, because I had all my luggage with me and it's hard to toss 100lbs over the gap between train and platform. I stored my luggage at Gatwick Airport for a price that was twice as expensive as I had expected, but it will be nice to have it there waiting when I get back to England to fly home. Because I hadn't slept at all the night before, I fell asleep the second I got on the plane and didn't wake up until we were flying over Italy. We made it to Venice without any problems and took a bus into the actually city where we walked down the Grand Canal (and across it a few times) to find our hostel. The hostel was actually a cute but inexpensive little bed and breakfast, and we were the only guests. We had to wait a bit for the owner to show up but it was nice to finally be settled in. Despite being rather tired, we decided to go exploring and ended up seeing the majority of the city, including Piazza San Marco and Ponte di Rialto. There was also plenty of shopping and our first Italian gelato. We had pizza for dinner and then went to bed super early.
Sunday we woke up (after a good 13 hours of sleep) and had breakfast waiting for us. Nothing too exciting, apparently the Italians like carbs for all of their meals, so we had a lot of bread. We walked to a boat that took us to the nieghboring island of Murano, known for the glass it produces. We shopped here the majority of the day, and had lunch at a small cafe on the island. The boat ride back was long but we squeezed in a little more shopping on the mainland before grabbing sandwiches to go for dinner.
Overall, Venice was gorgeous. We did a lot of shopping and had a relaxing time. It was a bit chilly though, and we saw our first snow of the winter as we were getting on the plane the next morning on our way to Rome.