The actual holiDAY is Aug. 15th, but lucky for them, they can celebrate for a month. The holiday itself celebrates The Virgin Mary's ascention into heaven. This is one of the most celebrated holiday's in Italy only next to Christmas and Easter.
Needless to say, the beaches are packed and the roads to the beaches are insane!!!!! Reamer had a 3 day weekend before he had to leave for his month long training, so we wanted to relax at the beach. We knew what we were getting into and decided it was worth the hassle to be able to relax at the beach for a few days!
We decided to go to a beach that is near Vicenza (Jesolo Beach) and usually would only take about 1 hour to get there. But because we picked the actual Holiday weekend, it took about 3 hours to get there. On the way to the beach, you must drive on a 2-lane road for about 25 kilometers. This normally wouldn't take long at all, but when there are tons of people trying to get to the beach, this becomes more difficult. Reamer and I couldn't believe how insane these people are when it comes to driving. Traffic would be stopped and people would try to pass oneanother with huge semitrucks speeding toward them on the other side of the road. They would literally come seconds from a head on collision just to move ahead one place in the traffic. And don't even get me started on the motorcycles/scooters!!! These people seriously have a death wish! We couldn't believe the crazy things that they would do just to be able to reach the beach a little bit sooner!
Anyways, we finally made it to the beach and happily found a nice little spot to enjoy the water and the sun. We walked around the beach town and had a great dinner. The town was in celebration mode with stages set up for performers, carnival rides, and everyone walking around and shopping etc. They even celebrated with fireworks! What a great day! We wanted to spend the night, but after calling tons of places during the day, we were unable to find a hotel on the beach. We decided to drive about 20 mins away and got a hotel there! We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard! It was so nice and just like an American Hotel! It was wonderful!
We went back to the beach and bought awesome rafts so that we could just lounge in the water for the day. We also rented beach chairs too! (a pregnant lady has to be comfy!) We seriously had a wonderful day. Neither of us wanted to leave!
I think that these Italians have the right idea. Why can't we take an entire month off of work just to relax! I really think that we need to adopt this tradition! We really wanted to tell the army that we were observing the Italian culture and Reamer would not be back until the end of the month! Unfortunately this wasn't possible, so he is gone for training in Germany until the end of September! Booo!! Sure do wish that we could have stayed at the beach instead!
(I will try to do a better job of updating this blog... Sorry I have been so slack about it!)