Tuesday, October 16, 2007

29 and counting

In between my annoying, hacking cough, I thought I would share with you about 5 months of Hotel Susan here in Venice.

When I decided to take this year off from America, I was certain that I was going to remain in Venice and not travel back to the US unless necessary. I also figured I would have a few visitors along the way. Let me repeat the word 'few'.

You know how when you have a party or event and you invite 50 people and expect/hope that maybe 20 will show up? Well, I opened up my apartment and time here in Venice to pretty much everyone I knew. In passing, I would invite people to come visit. It was similar to saying 'how are you'....you dont really expect an answer.

Well, I got a whole lot more than I bargained for. This week I am entertaining guest number 29! Next week my brother comes for a few days from Germany. But he was also visitor number 6 back in May so not sure I should really count him as number 30 yet.

Yep, 29 people. I have single handedly supported Venice over the last few months by bringing Americans here to spend more money than they should! Other than renaming my apartment to a hotel, it has been suggested that I should have had an offering box with my pic and Mr. Peabody's at my front door to help support the utilities (of which I have yet to receive a bill).

I cant complain. I have truly enjoyed all the visitors. Each one or each group was so different from the next. Not everyone wanted to see the same sights or be on the same schedule. Some stayed longer than others. Some wanted to do it all and some just wanted to sit on my couch. I have been blessed by a year in Venice and 29 of my friends and family have been blessed with vacations!

My guests have been more than gracious. I have been fed beyond all belief and care package after care package was brought in suitcases. I was treated to museums and events that I hadnt experienced before. And some have even 'forgotten' euros behind and have asked me to use it toward Hotel Susan.

However, truth be told, I am exhausted. I am an introvert and my down time to rejuvinate has been shortened. But I have survived and all the better for it. After October 26, I will be solo until Carnival in late January. (Feast or famine at Hotel Susan I guess!) Apparently no one wants to visit in the dead of winter--go figure.

I am looking forward to time alone to embark on some of my original ambitions for coming. Time alone to reassess, to figure out what I am going to be when I grow up and a new goal--to lose a few pounds from all the food I have been given! Rest assured, I will be ready for the next round of visitors next year! Come on over......

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