Our last morning on our adventure was pretty typical, or at least as typical as our mornings in Italy had become. We woke up, showered, made sure our bags were out on time to be picked up, and enjoyed our view of Venice one last time from our room.
We went down to have breakfast (which was, again, included) and ate light. After 8 nights of eating heavy Italian, we were recognizing we really didn’t need to eat that much. 😉
We headed out to the lobby to meet our Adventure Guides one last time, and it turned out our Adventure Guide Mike was heading back to the states after finishing up his last Adventure by Disney tour of the season. He would be heading out on the water taxi with us and 2 other adventurers from our group (another Mother/Daughter couple). Mike teased Marco by having all of us wave the entire time we could see Marco from the water and Marco ran as far as he could to continue to wave back to us. We all just took in our last water ride and last few moments of Italy. So bittersweet.
Marco Polo Airport is pretty upscale in comparison to the airports I have become accustomed to in the United States. Mike and I assumed we would be able to pick up something “fast” to eat before boarding our flight- no such thing. Something similar to “fast casual” dining, but no chains like McDonalds, etc can be found. Which, to be honest, was refreshing. Lots of shopping too, again, mostly upscale.
Our flight was uneventful. We watched a few movies, ate a two light meals and a snack. Taking, long non-stop flights home I have found gives me time to reflect and appreciate the trip we just finished.
We talk a lot about the “Disney Differences” and, of course, I didn’t go in to every detail about the trip in case you decide to take this magical adventure for yourself. But, you have no idea how nice it is to have a cold bottle of water whenever you wanted it and even some of the times you didn’t realize you wanted it. In Europe, some public restrooms require a small payment to use them- Adventure by Disney guides pay that fee for you. Not sure how much or when to tip? Again, that is included in your Adventure by Disney Trip- so no need to hang on to small bills or trying to figure out what is appropriate. Have a food allergy? There were quite a few on this trip and they needs were well thought of and taken care of- and as a parent of a son with a nut allergy, this was something I certainly took note of. Three guides were also a huge blessing for us to have on this trip, and the 2 (Mike and Marco) who were with us the entire time were fantastic. These are some of the most incredibly approachable, friendly, knowledgeable, considerate people you will ever get the chance to meet. Adventures by Disney does a fantastic job of hiring some of the most passionate tour guides who love to travel and the destinations they are introducing you to.
This was an amazing trip with once in a lifetime experiences and we got to know some pretty special people too. That is one of the biggest “Disney Differences” I have noticed on my now two Adventure by Disney vacations. You meet people you would might have never been able to before and share experiences that are, in some cases, impossible to properly describe. So, you form this bond with your fellow adventurers and guides that is the hardest to describe. Case in point- in Florence, while walking and listening to our guide (aka- not paying attention to where I was stepping) I slipped and fell pretty miserably. As I was going down, I looked up and recognized the backs of the couple in front of me and reached out to them, with full confidence if they knew I needed help and they could- they would. They felt terrible when they were just out of my reach & apologized all day for not helping me & I assure you there was nothing they could have done (truth be told- if I did grab on to one of them, I would have likely dragged them down with me). They only knew I fell once I hit the ground. My husband, Mike, who was just behind me, had been trying to reach me too and missed. It was crazy- but as horrible as it sounds- I didn’t even bruise from it. I am guessing all of my prayers in all of the Churches we had visited to keep us all safe was beginning to pay off! Later on another adventurer fell (this time in Venice) and the first thing I could do once I reached her was the cup the back of her head with my hands to be sure she wasn’t bleeding. The sense of relief I felt when I realized she was OK was as if she was a close family member. I am not entirely sure I would have felt the way I felt after both falls if we didn’t have such bonding experiences earlier in the trip. These bonds we formed on this trip, are ones we will continue for years to come, I am sure of it. The group of adventurers I was with in Peru in 2012, still keep in touch.
The biggest “Disney Difference”, for me, was the bond I solidified with my husband on this trip. Again, we went to Italy back in 1998 and had been dreaming to go back for several years. But three kids, jobs, and a mortgage got in our way. But, I think if I have learned nothing else, it is that you have to make time for those who deserve that time. Experience life- something will always get in the way- there is always an excuse not to do something. But if you can take that leap, go out of your comfort zone and experience a place that you thought you knew or a place you don’t know at all- the best advice I can give you is to take that chance. Take that chance with your family, friends, someone special and that bond your Adventures by Disney vacation will actually facilitate for you is the most priceless souvenir you will come home with.
Now, are you ready to plan your Adventures by Disney vacation? Of course, I would love for you to book your next vacation with Castle Dreams Travel , but to be honest- I just want you to book with any travel agent, I just took an amazing adventure with nearly 20 wonderful ones. There are thousands out there who are ready and willing to share their knowledge with you. Most of us won’t charge you any more than you would if you would have booked directly with adventures by Disney- but by using a Travel Agent you have their experience and expertise to help pair you with the best one for you. Happy traveling!