Scusi, we have been busy!

Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 01, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Friday, September 14, 2012

Hi all,
We were in Venice and no internet point that we could find so we are now catching up.

First class on the fast train to Venice - wow!!
It went 200km an hour and we arrived in Venice at noon.
Climbed onto the ferry, standing room only and got off at the Rialto stop.
Our landlady Serena met us at the stop and led us through narrow crowded streets to our wonderful apartment, posh in fact, close to everything.  It was even air conditioned so we were ecstatic.  We were 2 minutes walk to St Mark's Square. We had a lovely lunch on the outdoor patio and went exploring through the literal maze of streets.  We could hardly believe we were here.  Later in the day Laurie and Di fed the pigeons in St Mark's Square, apparently a no no as the pigeon nazi's warned us.  The birds are practically tame as they sat on our arms, heads, and shoulders.  Lots of fun.  Becky and Karen sat in SMS with a cappicino listnening to a live orchestra playing waltzes.

The next day we took the Ferry to Murano Island, it was about 40 minutes and cost 15 Euro round trip.  We were thinking of mom and all of her Murano glass which some of us have inherited.  There is a lot of traffic on the waterways and they have lanes divisible by pylons complete with lights for night travel.  We visited a glass factory where they had the furnaces going and were making glass right in front of us.  Of course, they had a "special" showroom with beautiful individual works of glass art - Dianne almost bought a $8000 Euro stunning Bull sculpture.  His last price was $5600 Euro and the salesman said that Di could surprise her husband with such a beuatiful piece (Bill, you were sitting on her shoulder as she didn't buy it).  So far no ticky tacky items purchased.

That night Laurie and Di went on a mystery walking tour through the Cannaregio district.  We learned about many legends, usually deaths, that happened years ago.  We saw St Michael's Island across the water where all Venitians are buried.  We learned that Venice is made up of over 138 islands, everytime you go over a little bridge it is a separate island.  We were on our feet for over 10hrs today, so when we went to bed the bottoms of our feet were burning.

Becky and Karen, wandered the streets and canals and did a whole lot of window shopping.  Mom, we envisioned you shopping at the same stores we were looking at.  Georgeous masks and chrystal and designer fashions (Gucci, Ferrari, Cartier, La Costa, Rolex, etc).  So fun just to look at and dream.

The next day Karen walked over the Rialto Bridge and did some exploring on her own.  The Rialto bridge was done by the same builder as the Ponte Vecchio.  It had 3 walkways and had stores in the middle - very wide.  Laurie, Becky, and Dianne went off to see the Doge Palace (Karen had already seen it).  It was the official resident of the 120 Doges who ruled Venice from 697 to 1797.  It is an elegant Gothic structure with lavish embelishments.  The artist Titian, Tintireto, Bellini decorated the Palace with paintings and sculptures (every surface including behind a fireplace and on the ceilings).  In the afternoon we went into St Mark's Cathedral.  Yes, we were in the long line but it moved very quickly.  The Cathedral inside was all Mosaic tiles. We walked up the extremely steep stairs to the balcony overlooking Piazza San Marco.  We rested our weary bones on the stone benches and watched all the plebes below us.

We had one more day to explore Vencie before catching the 6:30 fast train back to Florence.  We spent it doing the things we really wanted to do.  Karen walked the boardwalk of the Grand Canal and watched the artists.  Becky and Laurie walked down the grand canal to the park.  Dianne went to the Peggi Guggenheim collection of modern art.  Dianne was amazed at the extent of the collect.  Almost every modern artist Di ever studied was there and she was thrilled.

We all met back at the apartment to catch the train and headed back to Florence.

We love and miss you  all.  Thank you Don Bolen for letting me know all is well and glad to hear you are enjoying your bike trip. Hopefuly Bill, your second week of hiking is less wet. Becky was talking to John on the phone who said that mom was doing really well, almost back to her normal self and we are glad to hear that mom keeps working on getting better.

Dianne, Karen, Becky and Laurie

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Sandra on

Oh my- so many gorgeous photos of you all enjoying every minute of every day. You've already done so much!! I just love to click on the blog and see what you've been up to! Big xoxo

Norma on

It is obvious from the smiles on all your faces that your trip is going well, Great pictures! I have been waiting to see how your visit to Venice went. It is certainly an interesting place and it looks as if you,ve not missed anything. Your apartment looked very nice...quite modern.
Would love to be there but after seeing the pictures of Laurie with the birds attacking her I know that I would be needing a lot of therapy when I got home.
Look forward to hearing about your next adventure.

Bill on

----and that's no bull! Remember the "rule"----Buy nothing that hangs on the wall or sits on the table.

Terrific summary of your experience in Venice and en route. What a wonderful experience for you.

The pictures are outstanding---well done!

I am off to the Cotswold's tomorrow Saturday. Hiked over 75km in the past six days.

Sue on

How fabulous a trip you guys are having and like everyone has commented the photo's are awesome. How does one ship a giant glass bull? Diane, a Rolex or a Louis Vuitton handbag are around the same price as the bull and way easier to carry. We are heading to London tomorrow to see mum again and are staying overnight with some friends who are also heading to London. So we will see mum both Saturday and Sunday. xoxo Sue

Lynne on

I missed hearing from you for a few days as I recapture our Italy trip with your great pictures. Venice is a lively place with so much to see. Aren't the people friendly! You will never forget this trip.

Don young(er) on

Hi Laurie the bird woman. great pics! Jerry left for home today. Keith and I are heading for South Dakota. Miss you!!!

Bill on

-add-on comment.

Beautiful pictures. Make certain that you get a few pictures of the four of you together.

Robin on

All is well in London--no, Mom...I'm not engaged. lol. Steph and I laughed at your question. :) Glad to see you have lovely weather and are resting your sore feet when you get the chance! I'm just getting over my first cold in years...Jay and I will go for a ride on his Harley to either Grand Bend or Bayfield and enjoy the beautiful weather we've been having. Carpe diem...xoRobin

Don V; on

Greg called....took him to Boston Pizza for dinner...he was in good spirits...sat on his porch and chatted..tickled OF..Greg enjoyed the printed blog and pics..played the Penny auction with you mother at 'the home, yesterday..she is doing quite well...hopeful that you will bring her something from Italy...I'll be home until 11:00a.m. on Sunday morning(6 p.m Florence if you decide to call...I saved your Friday call so that I cn her your voice regularly.

stephanie on

hi mommy, it was good to hear your voice the other morning. you know how paranoid i can be given all the criminal stuff i read and watch! travellers overseas going missing while on vacation and all that. nothing much to report here. dad and i went to the fair the other day. sadly we only had 2 hours, so there was no time for cotton candy or rides. :( but we did see the animals, which was fun. got to pet a snake, kiss a horse, pet lots of animals.

i've sold 4 of my textbooks via amazon in the last couple weeks, so it's nice to get rid of them. got a haircut and booked a pedicure for convocation. it has been intermittent warm/cool weather.. past couple days it has truly felt like fall, so i've been enjoying some hot apple cider. made some homemade soup the other day. we will have a nice dinner with robin when you come home. me and dad are going to go apple picking sometime soon.

glad you all had a wonderful time in venice. i thought venice was in austria for some reason... ha! there's a reason i was always terrible at geography! the gondola ride looks awesome. the seats look really cushy.

ps- i love the picture of laurie with the birds!

stephanie on

pps- what were those blue buttons you were all wearing in previous photos?

Don B on

Hi Laurie
We are in Rapid City SD safe and sound. Keith and I had the privilege of riding smack dab thru a herd of buffalo. Keith got it all on video. I am heading home tomorrow. I should be home by Friday. I will try to post comments letting you know I am safe, but if do not hear from me, dont worry, just enjoy your time with your sisters. Love you and miss you!!!

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