We were in Verona from October 30 to November 1.

I had no expectations of Verona. Student reminded me of the Juliet balcony but other than that I was not prepped before arriving. We were in the city during Halloween which was exciting to me since there was what looked like to be a cool amusement park, Gardaland, nearby.

Once we got to the city and checked into our hotel we had a little time before our group dinner. In each city the group would have dinner together on the first night. Let me share this fun tidbit, up until Verona all of the hotels we stayed in were not places I would spend my hard earned money on. But…they were picked for the location and not any thing else. The hotel in Verona was great! The bathroom was nice, TV worked, the room looked clean, and there was free WiFi (some of us paid for WiFi at the hotel in Florence). Dinner was nice but I knew I would be hungry later.

After dinner, I walked around a little bit with Lianne and Katelyn. Some of the guys, specifically Ben, Brandon, and Nate, made a habit of eating doner kebabs during their travel. I would pick fun at them because I thought of it as street meat, going to Ohio University and passing food trucks that didn’t always seem sanitary really got to me since I am a little germaphobe. Cat, one of the students, shared at dinner that there was a really good doner kebab place that had great reviews on Trip Advisor. After walking around a little the three of us got a doner. I must say, it was really good! The men working there found it amusing that it was my first doner but I am glad I went there for my first time!

On Halloween I was all set to go to the amusement park but as life would have it, I had an allergic reaction earlier in the day.

I went to see Juliet’s balcony, it’s very underwhelming. People pay to go up to the top of the balcony and below a friend will take a photo of them. People are supposed to rub her heart for good luck or good luck with love and instead people just put their hands on her breasts. SMH. There was also a wall of hearts with couple’s initials, that was sweet but then I noticed the gum that people would write their initials on…that was gross!

I explored Verona a little bit after going to the Museum di Castelvecchio. After I left the museum I met up with Lianne and Katelyn for lunch and as we were walking back to the hotel we past a Venchi shop. They had a chocolate fountain with cups of fresh strawberries. Obviously we had to get one. I got one with whipped cream because…why not! We all ate the fruit cups so quickly and then Lianne pointed out that I didn’t ask about the chocolate with my nut allergy. Yes, I am allergic to all nuts and no it doesn’t suck. Well once she brought up my allergy, I noticed that my upper lip was swelling up. Great! Just what I needed on a nice sunny afternoon in Verona. I immediately bought a Sprite at some pizza place and took my Benadryl.

After a two hour nap I talked to a close friend of mine, Gav’von, and he told me I should go to Gardaland since that is what I wanted to do for Halloween. I really didn’t want to go alone, but I am pushing myself to do new things. I made my was to the train station and got my ticket there and back. Once I made it to the train station where shuttle would take me to the park and I noticed a ton of children, grade school age, with adults coming from the park. Goody bags and all. I felt like leaving, so I did. I didn’t even make it to the park. Something just didn’t feel right, I didn’t have interest anymore. It could have been all of the children and me going alone as an adult. I think I needed time alone and not time alone in a crowded park.

Getting back to town I went to McDonald’s. Now…you may read this and wonder why in the world would she go to McDonald’s in Verona. The answer is simple, I was tired, the hotel had Law and Order SVU in English, and I was still groggy from the Benadryl. I was extremely overwhelmed in the McDonald’s. There were children everywhere. Adults trying to manage the madness, and teenagers who I would assume were too cool to dress up for Halloween and decided to hang out in McDonald’s instead. To order you used one of four touch screens. There was a family and a couple in front of me. The family, a mother, father, and little boy took forever to order. The woman kept asking the child what he wanted and he was thinking long and hard! The young couple were visibly frustrated so I started looking at the menu so I wouldn’t waste time. I ordered a hamburger, six piece nugget, large fry, sweet and sour sauce, and ketchup (it cost extra and I didn’t even use it).

I don’t think my McDonald’s experience was the highlight of my travels but for some reason it was so nice to eat alone in my hotel room watching Law and Order SVU. Traveling for ten days is tiring and after seeing the same faces, it started to get to me. I am not a full blown extrovert so the time alone really helped me feel refreshed and energized for another day of travel as we made our way back to Riva.

Originally published at on November 6, 2015.

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