First entry

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 19, 2007

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Flag of Italy  ,
Thursday, September 6, 2007

Greetings the Hotel Monna Lisa in Florence.   I wasn't able to do anything but check my e-mail one time in Venice.
As you know, I left Sunday on a flight to Chicago.  After transferring to the international terminal I arrived at the Alitalia desk where one of the 4 persons in line told me that the flight was cancelled.  I found out later from a young Italian guy that this happens all the time and word is that the airline is going down the tubes.
The booked me on an Air France flight to Paris and the another flight to Venice.  I was leaving 3 hours later but was arriving only 20 minutes later.
I talked with a guy from Turkey and a couple from Houston who were transferring to Scotland.  The Air France lounge has everything-booze, wine, champagne, crackers & cheeses, lite sandwiches, juices and on and on.
The business class seats on AF are great.  They started the service with a warm towel followed by champagne.  Then drinks with cheese and crackers.  Then came dinner.  First the tablecloth, wine, a baguette, poached lobster salad (a wonderful small whole claw) a chose the lamb stew over the tenderloins or snapper, then dessert.
I sat nest to an architect from St. Louis who designs educational buildings all over the world.  He slept-I dozed a little.
The crew on this flight was wonderful.
Landed at 8:30am (6:30 Cincy) and after taxiing for an eternity I had to switch terminals, go through immigration and security all in 40 minutes.  I made it to the plane with 5 minutes to spare after running to it in my socks.
We flew to Venice over the Alps.
Guess what?  My bag didn't make the plane but as everyone told me I had all I needed in my carryon.
I found the hotel without much trouble and, after checking in, I walked to San Marco. The hotel was lovely but the room was very small.  The staff was great.  After that it was time for a little nap.
Walked again and by the end of the day had done about 6 miles.
9/4- I awoke at 5 to thunderstorms.  By the time I got ready and had breakfast the skies strated to clear and it turned out to be a beautiful cool (low 70's) day.
While riding on the vaporetto (water taxi) I met some people from Akron who lost their luggage when the cargo door on their plane opened and dumped a bunch of stuff.  They had to make an emergency landing somewhere in Germany to close the door. 
Walked and walked and walk and when I came back to the hotel about 2:00 my bag was there.  I went out again and then went to dinner right near San Marco .  I sat next to a couple from California who were on their 4th week of a 14 week trip around the world.   He works for a company who gives a paid 3 month sabbatical for every 15 years of employment.  This is his second one.
On the way back from dinner I stopped far a gelato and talked with a woman and her 4 yr old daughter.  Turns out she is from Henderson, KY and has spent a year studying in Paris and is about to go back home next week.
At the end of the day my pedometer said 9.6 miles.
9/5 - another day of walking.  The Rialto produce and fish market, back to San Marco, Lido, the Bienalle Exhibition and much more.
Had a great dinner next to a couple from Wisconsin.  When they left a couple from Michigan sat down.  Kinda like the Midwestern Hayride.
11.5 miles and my feets was a killin me.
9/6 - Today .  Off to Florence.  Took the train.  Fabulous.  Sat across from a couple from Youngstown.  His company did all of the electrical work for that water park by King's Island.  He said the  electrical stuff is having a problem due to the fact that the place uses some sulfuric acid along with the muriatic acid to maintain the pH.  He has done the electrical work for parks in Australia, Korea and on and on.
The Hotel Monna Lisa is beautiful. BIG room.  Big bath. 
Did a 5 mile walk and decided to come back and type this and then eat. 
Have to get up early for a 2.5 hour walking tour at 9.
I have a feeling a may be turning into a Catholic.
Hope all is well.
Love ya,
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