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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Venice, Italy

Saturday morning I slept in till 10 am which was awesome. The others ate an american breakfast & we decided to leave Lake Como early & head to Venice. It wouldn't be fun unless someone was sick, so this time it was Bri.. We took the train from Lake Como --> Milan, Milan -->Venice. I actually slept almost the entire time while the boys played dice & watched "The League" again. Bringing Jeremy's ipad really came in handy! It's nice cause it would just fit in our backpack but we could use it to watch movies, use the internet, or read whatever Rick Steve's said to do. We arrived in Venice late that afternoon & took the ferry to the main bridge & then walked to our hotel. Carrying luggage in small crowded alleyways & up & down stairs was a treat! Venice is basically a maze but luckily we didn't get too lost carrying all that weight.
Below is the last set of stairs that took us thru the alleyway which our hotel was in.
Our hotel was called Al Piave. Jer & I shared the family suite with the Schouten's, (since Brooke & I really are family :)) Basically that meant we shared a bathroom. The Kilgores had the top room with a little balcony. Below is a picture of our room decor.
Venice like I said before is totally a maze, you could easily got lost. There are tons of little shops mostly filled with masquerade masks.
Of course the most mesmerizing thing about Venice is seeing this around every other corner..
My biggest regret of our whole trip was that we didn't go on a gondola ride that Saturday. I will tell you why a little later.

These pictures make me wish I was back in Venice so badly!
I hardly took any pictures assuming I would have all the next day to snap away.. which didn't happen, so here are some more from Bri. next three photos.
That evening we were served dinner by a frazzled Brazilian. I had some yummy Cannoli. Jeremy claimed to have only ordered poorly once on the whole trip & apparently the ham & mushroom ravioli he ordered that night was yuck.
For dessert we grabbed Gelato. Jeremy had himself two helpings of white chocolate.
 After dessert we walked to the Rialto Bridge.
It was the perfect spot to take some pictures.
After taking some pictures we took the ferry around the Grand Cannal. Venice truly is magical at night.  Jeremy would like me to document that he kissed me on the ferry & I got the butterflies :)
 We walked all over through the expensive part of Venice with all the designer stores as well as all the small vendors selling masks & trinkets. I purchased a black & gold mask. 
When it was getting late we headed to the last stop, but didn't want to wait so we thought might as well walk to the next stop. We were so bummed when we heard fireworks but couldn't see them. :( I would have loved to watch fireworks while on a gondola! Sounds perfectly romantic.. Annoyingly we missed the next ferry because people jumped in front of us & then it was too crowded for us to get on! SO we had to wait 20 more min till the next one. Jake & Bri decided to walk it back while the rest of us decided to take the sure route. Luckily they found their way home & we all slept like babies.
We woke up Sunday so excited to explore Venice, but to my dismay it was raining!! I should clarify it was pouring. I can't complain too much since we had great weather the whole 2 weeks we were in Europe besides this one day. It did however put a huge damper literally on our day. Even though we weren't feeling very motivated the girls bought plastic rain covers and capt. Jer dragged us out in the rain to see St. Marks Vasilica. Unfortunately since it was Sunday we weren't able to go in since they were having mass. duh. So we then headed over to Doge's Palace. Yet again we were not disappointed. 
bottom right: Brooke & I waiting in line for the bathroom. This is a side note but that was the worst always having to use the public bathrooms everywhere. In Europe they even make you pay to use bathrooms in shops & train stations I believe because they have so many tourists. Seriously though I saw some of the nastiest bathrooms even worse than MX!
We all found this old chastity belt pretty interesting.. ouch
After the Doge we did some serious shopping. Jeremy & I came away with a lot of cool stuff including a pinocchio marionette, calligraphy set & wax stamps. I'm so excited to use them. When we were all shopped out I took a little nap & ate a few fries while the others had a real lunch. That afternoon we walked back over to the Doge to try to sell our tickets. Jeremy made some friends while we were there..
Europeans treat birds like pets. It's pretty gross if you ask me since they come right next to you when you eat & poop EVERYWHERE.
That's me in the yellow.. Jeremy's photography skills are very poor as you can see.
Man it was pretty cold all day being wet & all.
This is the closest I got to a gondola ride.. It is on my bucket list & I am determined to do it at one point in my life. Jeremy said he would have gone with me, but I wanted to be able to enjoy it, because how much can you see under an umbrella?
It rained all day though it would lighten up for a short while to take some photos, though it felt like a ghost town with no boats on the water.
We hung out in our room for while to get warm & dry. Just such a bummer the weather was so blah. That night we ate at one of the restaurants by the water. We were all sad that we didn't have more time in Venice.
The next morning I was sick..AGAIN. Last minute Jake & Bri decided to extend their trip so the four of us took the long trip to Switzerland while Brooke & Vaughn made the long trek home. 
Here are some shots Jer & Bri got from the ferry to the train station. (Of course it was sunny with clear skies the day we left!)
We took a train from Venice-->Milan, Milan-->Brig, Brig-->Speiz, Speiz-->Interlaken, & lastly Interlaken-->Grindelwald.
Here is a picture of Milan train station.
I wish we could have had better weather in Venice to really be able to experience everything we wanted, but we still had an amazing time. I hope I can  go back someday & get my gondola ride with firework :)
Next up: Switzerland.


  1. I got so sad looking through my Venice pictures..or lack there of. I am not crossing Venice off of my bucket list. And next trip to Italy we need to do a lot more shopping. I know we didn't come home empty handed but I can think of so many things I wish I had bought... and for that matter, that I wish you had bought (I still have dreams of the mini marionette set).

  2. Is everything about shopping? How about learning about the rich secular history of Venice instead of going in&out of stores ?