Wow, is this place for Real?

Trip Start Oct 29, 2010
Trip End Nov 17, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Sunday, November 7, 2010

When we disembarked in Venice, we were amazed immediately. Our hotel was only 200-250 meters from the station and folks there were excellent about pointing us in the right direction! Yaaay. Got to our hotel, no problem with check in and took a load off for about 15 minutes before adventuring out into the community. The place is lined with stores, no vehicles!!! And water, water, water. Some of the roads are only 2 meters wide (like the lane to get to our hotel) and everything is old. There was so much to see and so many beautiful pieces of glass which is what Venetians are renowned for. Simply put, gorgeous work. We were surprised at the amount of people on the main road cause this is low season. But the numbers dwindled as time drew on. We walked around for a couple hours taking in all of the sights, then decided it was time for food. So many restaurants to choose from and they all want your business. Had our first glass of red wine! Num num num...

Decided to head back after a great meal and basically sauntered the whole way. We're very, very grateful everything indoors in non-smoking, so it made life so much more pleasant, especially when enjoying a meal. Managed to grab a lovely one scoop of gelato not too far from our hotel which was the perfect ending to an evening. By the time we got to our room, we were pretty pooped from traveling, walking and taking it all in. I guess a glass of red wine didn’t help either. All of us slept like babies the first night after enjoying all the beautiful fresh sea air!

The next morning we got up relatively early and enjoyed the hotel’s breaky.  Strong coffee pretty much woke me up fully, as did the super powerful shower. Even managed to lose control of the damn thing as I turned on the shower component. Grabbed that snake in time I tell ya. Got a bit of water out of the tub area, but not near as much as I could have – I couldn’t stop chuckling. Filed that one away so the next morning wouldn’t be a repeat.

Realized it was raining, so we all had to buy some umbrella’s and start heading towards our tour meeting spot. Well, when we got to the St. Mark’s Square it was flooded! Was high tide. During the walk towards it we noticed a variety of tour groups and thought, you know...we’ve walked around so much on our own, not particularly interested in doing a group thing. We’ll only miss out on the history of the place. They had all these 'catwalks’ setup along the way so you could walk through the place without getting soakers, but it was far too late for me.

We probably walked about 10 km’s this day, just checking everything out, taking pic’s and doing what all the tourist info suggests – get lost in Venice. That is really the way to go! It’s easy to find your way back and people have no hesitation in helping you out if needed. We decided to take the water bus back closer to our hotel area. You don’t really need to take a Grand Canal tour when you ttake the bus, especially if you score seats at the very back in the open air – makes it very easy to grab some good photos.

So we’re shopping away and someone taps my ass, followed by chuckle. If we didn’t run into our traveling companions (Chris, Grace, Tina, Terri-Lynn, the girls, BA and Marty). Decided to meet up with them for supper near the Rialto bus (boat) stop which was a good 4 hours away. We sauntered our way back towards the hotel and get some shopping in. Grabbed some souveniers for family, yeah cause it’s not like our friggin bags aren’t heavy enough.

Got back to the hotel and decided to check e-mail in case Ron did decide to fly out and he was waiting somewhere for us. Did a quick facebook update and checked e-mail for any potential emergencies back home. All was good, so we rested for about 30 min’s and decided to head out around 4:30 so we could check out more stores along the way to our meeting point. Well we made it by 6:06 and all headed across one of the smaller canals to a restaurant. Sat outside as they had heaters going and had excellent entertainment by Mia and Kaylie and the rest of the group.

Power went out and a few folks were getting a little impatient so we (others) got the guy to hurry it up a bit. Our little group was far too relaxed to be uptight about something so minor, but we played along fully realizing that some people don’t have as much patience, or might be tired, or not feeling well.

Walked around a bit more then decided to hit up a little place and have a night cap, share some stories, laughs and then we all proceeded to head back to our respective hotels.  This was a very, very full day and we knew it would be no problem sleeping the night away. We were in a quiet area too, which was a huge bonus considering we were off the main road.

Yep, slept like a log again. Up early, more breaky and one last little shopping and walking and had a great chuckle with an owner of a coffee shop we popped into. Lots of folks walking their dogs, all complete with rain jackets and all. Lots of places you can bring your dog inside with you, like several restaurants, cafe’s and bars, plus some shops. Very neat. Even saw a cat staring down a dog and the dog was skittish, so obviously must have had a band encounter. I’ve only seen a few cats around, but many a dog – mostly small dogs.

Headed back to the hotel, finished packing and checked out. Proceeded to the train station, located our train. Grabbed a quick, small bite to eat, then headed to our coach and seats. We paired up with placing the luggage up onto the racks cause all of our bags are heavy. Thinking we’re gonna ship some stuff back home from Florence to lighten the load a bit. You’d think we’d learn to bring less stuff. But nooo. We did well when traveling in Asia, but did expect it to be a bit cooler here.

On the train and enjoying the ride – another different train  - we’ve been on 4 different styled trains now.
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