Venice, Italy

Trip Start Mar 15, 2006
Trip End Apr 01, 2006

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Friday, March 24, 2006

What a great day. We left our hotel and headed for Venice, with rain clouds still hanging above. But they didn't stay around long, yielding to the blue sky and warm spring sun - exactly what we needed on our first visit to Venice.

At first look, I was not impressed. We took a train into the heart of the city where, upon arriving, we were greeted by what seemed to be a never-ending state fair midway, lined with carnies pushing crappy souveniers on the droves of tourists. All I could think was "this is not my kind of place." But, within a short time, Laura had led us far away from the common tourist track where we found a glimpse of true venetian life. We found an incredible old basilica that wasn't even on the tourist map. We found a really inexpensive and tasty lunch, taken at a table in a narrow street where locals passed and congregated, and children headed to school. We found some awesome ice cream. And we found Venice.

Later in the day, we rejoined the tourist trap, but it was better - I could still see recognize the character of Venice everywhere we went, regardless of the crowds and hype. We really can't complain about the crowds, though. From what we are told, we are here at the best time of year for weather and crowds, and I can easily imagine this place packed like disneyland on the last day of summer vacation.

Laura and Dylan had a tough time with dinner tonight. Sometimes when you are in a foreign country, after about a week, nothing sounds good except food from home. Laura settled with a salad, but Dylan insisted on ordering two bowls of french fries (and about 10 packs of ketchup) for dinner. The stuffy waiter was a little confused on which courses each order of fries should be, but both he and Dylan made through the meal smiling.

So the weather was great, and tomorrow is supposed to be even better. We are thinking about maybe taking a trip to Verona in the morning, but we'll keep our base here in Venice until the morning of the 26th. We are taking alot of pictures, but can't seem to find a convenient way to upload them yet. More tomorrow...
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