Venice - Part 1

 

October 28th, 2010

My Stories

Granner

Crunch Time

Putting on the Ritz

Granada and Sevilla

Amsterdam

Tuscany and Umbria - 1

Tuscany and Umbria - 2

Driving in England

Dwelling in England

A Dozens Reasons

In the Hamam

Istanbul Greece Diary

Pearl Harbor Team

Old Girl

Paris

Provence

Grandpa's Cabin

Pay-It-Forward Latte

England and France

N. Italy - 1

N. Italy - 2

N. Italy - 3

N. Italy - 4

Lessons from 4 Corners

Mexico

Going to the Dogs

Don't Embarrass Me!

Letter from Siena

Arrivederci Roma

Joining the Matriarchs

Living History

Newlywed Game

Chaos Theory

Zach on the Road

Huckleberry Season

Stanley & the Sunbeam

I Dare Say

Middle School Relay

Grad Party

Yellowstone

Moving On

Newlywed Couches

Visitors

Old Faithful Inn

Snowbound

Sweet Potato

Mother Bear

Two Blondes in Iberia

Revisiting Spain

Curly's Truck

Old Buildings

Chelsea's

Split Seams

All Nighter

Talent Show

I had to think for a moment what day it was. Somehow we lost Monday on our journey to Italy. Here we are, wide awake in the middle of the night in the middle of Venice. We figured this would happen again, this wide-a- waking at 2 AM. No problem. We’ll catch up later.

Good flights on our way here. We scored exit row from PDX to JFK. Less luck on JFK to Venice but the flight wasn’t full--a welcome rarity anymore--and I got to spread to the empty middle row of three seats for the night. Since I’d been up all Sunday night for our 6 AM Monday flight, I was exhausted. I’d never had any real sleep in a plane in my entire 49 years, but I if it was going to happen, it was on that flight to Venice. And it did, for a couple of hours, at least. Halleluia! That was enough to be not entirely zombie-like upon arrival in Venice, and I was quite grateful.

We took a shuttle bus to the Vaporetto stop at the edge of Venice. Vaporettos are boats that act as buses for Venice, providing the main means of transportation up and down the Grand Canal. Jim and I found the correct Vaporetto station and boarded the watercraft. After a couple of minutes waiting for departure, we noticed our boat companions transferring to another newly-arrived craft. Turns out they were boarding the actual Vaporetto, and we’d been waiting on the floating bus stop. We’re learning.

We’re also learning to make our way around these wonderful maze-like pedestrian pathways in Venice. Jim and I took a map and a sense of adventure for five hours of walking, getting lost only a couple of times. For some reason we kept getting requests for directional help from strangers, visitors of all nationalities. We also got asked to take photos of couples in St. Mark’s Square, a task we were infinitely more capable of than giving directional advice.

St. Mark’s Square had a few platform pathways spread out following recent flooding, something common this time of year after rain. Now that the water has receded a little, the platforms serve more as sitting benches for tired tourists. It was too cold for outdoor dining in the square and the famous orchestras played inside, so the atmosphere wasn’t currently showing to its greatest potential. The scaffolding and large billboards (GUESS!) didn’t help. Fortunately for us, we were more intrigued by the back pathways than the tourist-centered square.

Our only indoor site of the day had flooding inside, too. Saint Zachary’s church has perpetual flooding in the ancient basement and the floodlights give the place an eery glow. Zachary’s body lies ensconced in an elevated glass tomb and we didn’t get scolded for snapping photos like we did at Saint Catherine’s head in Siena a couple of years ago. Jim remains shaken by Catherine to this day, but Zachary didn’t seem to bother him. I told him to prepare for a surprise encounter with another of Catherine’s fingers in Venice this week. A special treat from me to him. I probably won’t tell him exactly when we’ll find the fingers, or he might balk at the door, like Bailey when she hears gunshots or thunder. Some thresholds are tough to cross if you know too much.

Our own fingers grew cold as walked Venice, but the exercise worked well to keep us awake. I purchased a pair of reasonably-priced long blue gloves and Jim asked to borrow one. That left us each with one warm hand and one hand available for photos (Jim) and guidebook (me.) Jim looks pretty cute in his woman’s glove with the bunched up cashmere sleeve. Jim forgot his I-pod so we shared mine as we listened to a Rick Steves walking tour. Our glove and I-pod sharing worked beautifully. As I write this, Jim is wearing my slippers. I am little concerned what he‘ll wear of mine next.

Today we’re planning some serious church and museum time. We should be ready to go by the time breakfast starts in a few hours. More later… Jean