February is typically the month of Carnival, the festive celebration that takes place immediately before Lent.A� Carnival happens in various forms all around the world, from the debauchery of New OrleansA�A�Mardi Gras, to the famed party of Rio de Janeiro, what began as a religious tradition, has developed into another reason to drink, wear costumes, and have a good time.
One of the oldest standing masquerades can be traced back to Italy and the CarnevaleA�di Venezia.A�A�During the few week celebration, peopleA�walkA�canaledA�streets, wearing gaudy masksA�inlaidA�with feathers and jewels, decked out in flashyA�old century dresses or suits.A� Last March, I happened to be in Venice during the festivities and experienced a weekend of Carnevale celebrations.
I hadn’t planned months in advance for a trip to Italy (when do I ever plan months ahead?A� Barcelona had a day warning).A� ItA�was more that I missed going in the fall, and when March popped up with its new monthly schedule, I saw that I had scoredA�two solid weeks offA�during the madness of march flying.A� Once again the travel gods had smiled upon me.
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My luck continued, as Facebook and I, together, were able to find an adventureA�buddy, withA�free time,A�AND crazy enough to put their life in my travel planning hands.
A jet lagged body and the misty cold of Venice didn’t dampen the excitement and theA�am-I-really-hereA�feeling as Zach and IA�walked narrow streets, lit with the blue glow of lights, strung between closely fitted buildings.A�A� We passed masked people, wondering whether the figure inA�a dress was a man or a woman, and laughed at how disappointingly terrible our first dinner in Italy tasted.
I feel luckyA�to have gone to Venice during Carnival.A� Zach and I had a fun three days, warming up with lunch and cappuccinos at Impronta Cafe, which caused me, forA�the following eight days, to unsuccessfully try and find grilled vegetables and polenta of the same delicious standard, catching Vaporettos through the maze of waterways, and at night, going dancing in a city square that boasted a liveA�DJ and stage.
I’ve been in Florida during this year’s Carnival season, on work’s time.A� As much as I miss Italy, and Europe in general, my whole life seems to be a bigA�Carnival; an embracing actA�of opportunities and fun.
Did I mention that I’m lucky?