Thursday, October 20, 2011

Only five more minutes!

Day two with the in-laws and we are off to Venice! After a great night sleep, everyone was feeling refreshed and ready to go. The first order of business was to stop by the bank so Laura and Mike could get some cash. Well... about an hour and three phone calls later, they were finally able to take out cash! Apparently Wells Fargo missed the memo when they advised the bank about their trip to Europe. After that we had cash in hand, and coffee and brioches in our tummies, so we were ready to get on the road! It only takes us about 2.5 hours to drive to Venice from our house, so we arrived in the early afternoon after checking into our hotel in Padua. 

I could have been cousin "It" that day!
My hair was always in my face...

SIDE NOTE: Word to the savvy travelers- hotels in Venice are extremely expensive! We like to stay just outside of Venice and we usually find great deals in Padua (about 20-30 minutes from Venice by car). You can also stay in Mestre if you don't have a car; it’s the first train stop when leaving Venice (about 10 minutes by train).

In front of the Rialto Bridge

One of the many pigeons Josh photographed that day!

That day a big cold front moved through Venice with storms in the morning, but luckily it stopped raining by the time we arrived. Although the front brought late fall weather with it! We arrived at a wind tunnel and it was super cold!! We weren't prepared for weather THAT cold, but we made it work. Even when it’s cold and windy, Venice is still an amazing place! It was fun this time around because the city wasn't as packed with people so we could walk without feeling herded :) We showed them the Rialto Bridge and did a little shopping, then it was time for a cocktail. There are a bunch of bars/restaurants on the Grand Canal right by the Rialto, so we stopped to have a drink and take in the scenery. We enjoyed watching the Carabinieri go by in their boats, as well as the water taxis that have the wood interiors. Mike and Laura opted out of a gondola ride because it was so cold. Maybe next time?

Shopping on the Rialto
They bought a new camera for the trip-
here they were trying to figure it out!

We didn't have any tickets to see the museums in Venice, but we did go up the tower in Piazza San Marco which was awesome. Originally we thought we would get in some good exercise by taking the stairs, but the only way up was in an elevator. Since there weren't many people in Venice, there wasn't a line to see it (usually there is a very long line). It was great timing because the sun was starting to set and was coming out of the clouds. After the rain that morning, the air was really clear so we could into the Alps! It was so amazing!!! There were white capped mountains as far as the eye could see! Unfortunately it was REALLY cold up there, so we only stayed for about 10 minutes before going back down.

Piazza San Marco

The tower we went to the top of

a band playing at one of the restaurants in Piazza San Marco

Admiring San Marcos Cathedral
Before dinner we walked around the back alleys of Venice and found some really cute residential areas. We stopped at a small "hole in the wall" bar for another cocktail before dinner- after all, we were on vacation! During our little happy hour, Josh called the restaurant we wanted to have dinner at to see if they had availability. Over the phone they told him they were completely booked for the night. We wanted to verify this... so we walked to the restaurant and I went in to ask. The guy I spoke to said they had plenty of availability so we got a table right away. As it turns out, in Italy it helps to be a young, blond woman in these situations!! :) The restaurant was known for its seafood, so of course we had our share of seafood! It was delicious!

View from the tower

After a fun day in Venice, we started walking back to the car with sore, cold feet. On the way Mike wanted to stop for water, but we told him we were only about five minutes away from the car (and we had lots of water bottles in the car). He was extremely parched at this point. Apparently Josh and I misjudged how far away we were because 15 minutes later Mike asked, "Are we there yet?" Again, we said, "Really, it's only about five more minutes". About a half an hour later we arrived at the car. Poor Mike was so thirsty that he took down a monster bottle of water in only two minutes! Of course that was an inside joke for the rest of their trip- "only five more minutes!" By this time we got back to the hotel we were all pretty tired, so we called it a night and crashed.

Next stop: Verona and Juliet's balcony!

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