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Write a post inspired by your sixteenth birthday.

It was August 7th 1983, my sister and I woke up in the hotel right off St Mark’s Piazza in Venice, Italy. I was very excited because here I was 16 and in Venice, one of the most intriguing cities that I had ever visited then and even now. The gondolas, the canals everywhere, the bridges leading one here and there and the works of art littering the entire city, literally turning your head to the left or to the right and BAM! a work of art. It was heady, spending my birthday in Italy surrounded by beauty and history with my family. I wonder if it means more to me today then it did thirty years ago; I don’t know because I distinctly remember feeling happy, anticipatory and excited on that day, walking around Venice with my parents and my sister. I was wondering what my present was going to be besides being in this glorious city. We took a ride on one of the gondolas and our gondolier was charming and very funny, he dropped us off somewhere and I think that it was at the restaurant that we had a spectacular meal with waiters wearing white gloves and the food was top notch, I remember enjoying everything and I remember my parents raving about how superb the cuisine was and that they had never had Italian cuisine at this level of expertise and talent. I don’t remember any desserts during this time in Venice which is surprising because at 16 years of age and my sister being 12, we were big fans of dessert so I don’t know how I can’t remember any dessert whatsoever but I don’t, maybe we didn’t have any to write home about, I’m not sure. I do know that we had fantastic pasta dishes and one really great calzone. What really stuck in my head was the walking, there was something to see at every turn, Venice was a visual feast and I hope to be able to go and revisit that grand city. The Italian sailors were definitely something, I remember I was wearing a very pretty white dress and a handsome Italian sailor caught my eye or I caught his, either way my mother put a kibosh on that one very, very quickly. I walked with my head turned the wrong way trying to keep eye contact with him for as long as I could, I’m surprised that I didn’t walk into something or someone. Lastly that evening my parents gave me my present and it was a lovely ivory bracelet with gold thread woven around the bracelet, I felt so grown up wearing it, I wore it for a long time afterwards. I treasure all of my memories surrounding my 16th birthday and that entire trip.