Last night it started raining and never let up. The storm relentlessly shook our hotel, which didn’t seem that stable to begin with, and kept many of us up for much of the night. The caffeine in steph’s dessert, left her with insomnia for the next 35 hours and made for a whole lot of silliness. Sandra did her hair in pin curls to see how curly hair would do in the humidity. Wow was that a mistake! Her hair was saved by a well placed scarf. We headed to the dock for our water taxi to Venice, in wet air and a slight breeze. We all sported the rain gear, jackets and umbrellas, for this wet day on the 128 islands they call Venice.
It covers 4 square miles in total. Venice is built on large logs that are petrified under water with the lack of oxygen. The population has dropped from 160,000 to only 60,000 and continues to shrink. They live on tourism. The waterways are the draw to Venice. The bridges are charming and individual. Without landmarks we got turned around in the tiny walkways. Each island has its own church, 148 churches in this small area not because they were pious, but because they were lazy. Our tour guide, Manuella, explained the history and stories of Venice with American humor and sarcasm. She was a “by far” for the trip.
St. Marcos Square: Piazza, the most recognizable place in Venice. St. Marcos church, Doge’s Palace, State buildings, and a target for pigeons to dive bomb Amy’s head. Our tour included a glass blowing demonstration. We sat fascinated by the speed for which they made a beautiful pitcher with a smancy handle and an arched cat. Lunchtime came quickly and we found a nice sandwich place with Caprese Sandwiches, which we now call “The Tanya Sandwich” because she ordered everywhere we ate. Tanya made us memorize the path to this shop so that we could make it back for sandwiches later. She brought it up several times. (We made it back without an issue).
Next our tickets got us into the palace where we walked up and down and through, checking out artifacts and taking pictures where they were allowed. Steph used her bendy tripod to take a group shot, then we took a picture of the camera because it looked like an insect. We left gimpy Ali behind to rest while we checked out the next floor. Tanya, Amber, Sandra, and steph got lost in the dungeons while on a time limit. While backtracking against traffic steph spoke in French so the other tourists didn’t think we were stupid Americans.
After several views of the outside world without access, we found one we could exit. Whew. Utah reunited outside the palace, some upset, some grateful to be out, and all ready for their gondola ride with Texas. Our group split, Tanya, Amy, Ali, Amber, and Amanda went on the first gondola while steph and Sandra joined Texas. We spent most of the ride on the small waterways, but did take a trip on the Grand Canal. We walked through the streets and the noise levels were high, but the canals were peaceful and unusually quiet. Our gondoliers, Angelo, kept to himself except when Theresa asked if one of the buildings was important, “all of our buildings are important in Venice” was his reply.
Tanya, steph, and Sandra took a trip through the museum while the other girls spent their free time shopping. Our meeting place was by the yellow and red chairs in the piazza. We met up after an hour to head to Tanya’s sandwich place, and it did not disappoint. Of course we found some gelato and rested our feet on the stairs of a church. Ali took a photo shoot of steph and of the each of our profiles, some good and some not so flattering.
The weather cleared up and made for a perfect day. We met the tour group and rode the water taxi back. We passed a pirate ship with sails, but we were not attacked. Back at the hotel we met in Sandra and steph’s room for “by fars” and quotes because the wind made going to the beach unappealing. The girls lounged in the lobby until dinner time. Dinner: pasta with ham and tomato sauce, pork cutlets with mashed potatoes and bread. Sandra stealthily snuck the oil and vinegar for to dip our bread, though we ended up sharing it with the other ladies of our group. Dessert in Italy is a fruit cup, so we enjoyed it. Tanya, steph, and Amanda spent the next hour on the beach stretching in yoga class. The kids ran past and disappeared into the blackness of the sea. We kept an eye on them as they played in the darkness and ended up several yards down the coast.
Blinkers going out left and right - steph
Did you say nipples? - amanda
What's the forecast tomorrow: cold today, hot tamale - pat
Enzone - Ali
I'll let your imaginations work on that one - Manuella
Don't touch me!!! (bird attack) - Tanya (lasanya)
Hook me up, I want one - Amy Z
I drink water like you eat meat - steph to lasanya
It feels like a lump in your boob - amanda
(its like when you squeeze in a fart) - amanda
mmmm...you should listen - sandra to ali
Hot chocolate/croissants at breakfast. Tanya’s bird friend. Enzo’s soccer arm. Enzo’s ta-da bow. Peaceful gondola ride. Today’s weather: thunder rain sun wind. Manuella’s wit and wisdom and big finish (st. Marcos square). Getting lost in the dungeons. Bird boy. Tanya’s sandwich and shop. Steph’s hair, post boat ride. Glass blowing demo and sales pitch. Tanya and steph’s boat ride home. Steph’s tripod trial photo shoot. Spring coil in Sandra’s pillow. Oil and vinegar. Yoga on the beach. Steph’s “perfect pillow”. Ali’s bambino.