Sunday in Venice

Woke after a wonderful sleep to a drizzly day but by the time of our rowing lesson, the sun was starting to peek through…and by the tine we finished, it was a beautiful sunny day. After our lesson, we had a wonderful lunch of seafood and then walked to San Marco to visit the basilica …it is Sunday after all. Now back at our B&B enjoying a rest before heading back out. Going to get full value from our vaporetto passes and ride around a bit and find some gelato since we didn’t have room after lunch as the chef comped us a Sgroppino al Limone, my new favorite Italian dessert, lemon sorbet, vodka, and prosecco whisked into a delicious milkshake like drink …yummy

Waiting for Jane our rowing professor.

Jane prepping the boat.

Mike working the oar

And my turn


We ordered the “taste of Venice” appetizer…who knew it was gonna have half the sea? It included scallops, baby shrimps on polenta, potato chips with shrimp, shrimp, tomato and arugula salad and the winner, really really tasty calamari.

We then had gnocchi with crab and Mike said, “Now I understand what you mean when you say Gnocchi are supposed to be like little pillows of air”

Despite being full, we just had to taste the grilled shrimp so we split a plate…thank goodness since it was huge too! Unfortunately I

20130421-182425.jpgforgot to take the picture until we were half finished.
And the sgropinno

And a few shots from our walk and visit to San Marco.






Several folks have asked where we ate. It was called Trattoria 40 Ladro in Cannaregio. It is on Fondamenta de la Sensa, which is one canal closer to the grand canal than the one in front of the Madonna dell’Orto church.

Tomorrow, off to Florence!


Death March

Yesterday felt like our day of buses, planes and trains. Shuttle from aLoft to Dulles, train to concourse A, plane to Paris, biz was nice but not a great sleep and the food was just eh. Glad we hadn’t paid the $12,000 real price! Did take a look at premium Econ, if you get get the exit row on one of the two 2 seat sides, it would be the ticket. Arrived Paris, had to take a bus (really felt like we were gonna drive into Paris, it was a long ride)to the terminal, through security, another bus to our departure terminal, then a small jet to Bologna, a bus to the train station, train to Venice and finally the vaporetto (boat bus) on which the picture below of Mike was taken to the stop near our bed and breakfast, Gio & Gio. Nice place, three rooms, shared licking and kitchen, so far only seen two other guests. After a quick wash of our faces we started what Mike now refers to as the Venitian Death March. I discovers on trip advisor, a group that gives free 1.5 hour walking by locals, I signed up and they told us to meet at the old well at Campo Santa Margarita. I googled directions from our hotel and off we went for the promised 15 minute walk….well it took 30, it is so easy to get lost here…but we made iy with 20 min to spare. No one was at the well, so we shared a 1/2 liter of white wine in a nearby cafe. Of course once the wine arrived so did a number of other tourists at the well. Anyway when we finished our wine, we joined four Brits, two Turks and their baby in stroller so I guess three Turks and two Japanese and our guide Francesco and off we went for what he promised was a THREE hour tour! Yikes. At hour 1.5 we were close to our hotel, so Mike and I broke off and headed back towards our hotel. We stopped and shared a salad caprese and each had seafood risotto. It was really good. While eating we got to see the antics of the foks who graduated university that afternoon. You will see pictures below, they are the ones with the wreaths (“like Julius Caesar our guide told us) around their necks. After changing out of their caps and wreaths, they dress us in strange costumes and their friends throw paint, confetti, etc at them and walk around town sing-songing, “doctore,doctore,doctore”. After enjoying the show, we headed back to our place and were in bed by 8:30 for some much need sleep.












All Aboard!

“Bonjour Mesdames et Messieurs, Air France NĂºmero 39 a Charles de Galle commence au bord en dix minutes. Nos voyageurs premium sont invitee au bord son vos libre.
Bon voyage et Bienvenue au Paris.”

Bye y’all….see ya in Venice!


@the lounge

A toast of French champagne (very tasty) in the Air France lounge. The bartendress was nice enough to pop open a fresh bottle when she learned it was Mike’s birthday. Just not sure why the serve it in a shot glass???

Air France shares the lounge with KLM and Korean Air so when we came in about 1:15, there was a stream of Koreans leaving for the 1:30 flight to Seoul…it’s been interesting to watch the change over. Replacement of all the newspapers and magazines for French ones, departure of Asian food and delivery of banquettes and Brie. The champagne and Jack Daniels stayed!

Here is Mike enjoying a tasty morsel for lunch.


Vacation. Begins.

2:50 pm. Turned on the out of office assistant and forwarded the phone to voicemail and headed home.

3:30 pm. Double checked the door locks, turned off the poorly functioning air conditioning and hit the road.

5:10 pm. Arrive at Wilson’s BBQ in Emporia, Va…has to be the only good thing in Emporia!


5:15 pm. Vacation officially begins! Beer and fried pickles!



Had a great meal of the best beef brisket …yes David this visit confirmed it for me, it is better than that what we had in Texas last week! And the shared piece of coconut pie was good enough to make you slap yo mamma.

9:20 pm. Arrive at the aLoft Dulles north. Interesting lobby, like a LA nightclub, interesting room, low modern furniture but well laid out.

10:45 pm. Post this blog

11pm. Hit the sack. Night.

Good News.

No, not that they returned the A380, that would be Great news, but Mike was able able to check us in-online this morning .and were grabbed the last pair of of seats. One of us will be in the middle but figure better to sleep beside a loved one rather than with a stranger in between. We picked a row with a blocked aisle seat and will hope that it will remain empty. He also was able to check in for our flight to Bologna and got to grab a pair of exit row seats!

So while it won’t be the trip I have been imaging for the last 11 months, it looks like it is gonna all turn out ok!