My sister and her husband are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary in Venice this week. Doesn't that sound like the most wonderful way to celebrate an anniversary?! Here is her email to family yesterday:
Hello all! So! I just captured three pairs of shoes at a very reasonable price by Venetian standards, where shoes are crazy expensive. Well, everything is expensive, you just have to get used to it, and enjoy the experience. Actually, all the shoes were in the 50-100 euro range, so it wasn't bad. And other than my glass ring, it's the only thing I've bought for myself. Italian women are very skinny, and I feel like a moose and won't even consider trying on any of the styles in the windows. I even skipped gelato yesterday. Plus, they're just not my style, a little too la-ti-dah.
Yesterday we did a day trip to Padua and Vicenza. Doug rented us a little Fiat, and we set out with a rather limited map from the rental agency. Fortunately, driving is on the RIGHT side of the street here. But by the end of the day, I still was completely FRAZZLED with the hard-to-read street signs, all jumbled up together, displayed at the point of decision making, and in a smaller font than American directional signs. So many times we were having to scan this big display of signage at the point of making the choice of direction. AGGHHH!!! We lunched in Vicenza at a spot that has had a restaurant in operation since the 1200's. Doug had the specialty, which was a type of salt-cod. I had a steak, because they didn't have chicken on the menu (wink, ha!)
Afterward, things went a bit awry as the guy ringing us up insulted Doug to the Italians behind him, not realizing Doug could understand the gist of what he was saying. That stung my tender-hearted sweetie a bit, and I worked hard to cheer him up. But then, we realized we'd misplaced the parking ticket, which meant a mandatory 26-euro fee! So we had to retrace our steps all the way back to the restaurant and there it was next to the table. I waited outside, but when Doug came out with the ticket in hand, he was cheerier, and he must have had a friendlier conversation with the guy.
But truly, yesterday in the car was the low point for me. Remember (mom and Susan) when we were in Puerto Rico and we ventured out that one day in the car? And though we enjoyed San Juan (oh, the tres-leches!), it was nice to get back to our beautiful little resort? That's how yesterday was. And plus, with the rainy weather yesterday to boot, I bottomed out yesterday evening and spent the evening in the hotel in tears feeling miserable. *sigh* only I can go to Venice and be depressed and miserable.
But after capturing the shoes this morning (after thinking about them for the past three days), and heading off to buy some final souvenirs today, I think it will be a better day. Plus, the sun is shining. Yay!
, Doug found a local pub owner who was broadcasting the most important Manchester United/Portugal UEFA game. His name was Oscar, and when we got there, he recognized Doug from Doug's earlier reconnaissance discovery of the place, and in all seriousness said to him at the door as we tried to walk in, "sorry, we closed." Tee hee, I loved his humor! We had a table right in the front of the big-screen tv, and had fun watching the game with Portuguese fans. When we went to leave, Oscar insisted we stay while he made us a special dessert, which was basically flambe'd strawberries with a scoop of vanilla gelato, and oddly, peppercorns. I assumed they were little bits of chocolate and the first one I bit into had my eyes watering and my uvula screaming. But it was good, and we were so grateful for his warmth. We all hugged goodbye and I gave him the double cheek kiss.
we/I spent in San Marco square at the oldest music cafe there, sorry, name escapes me WAIT, the Florian (I bought two little glasses from there with their name/logo etched into the glass). I stayed for three (four?) hours (to maximize my 6-euro music fee charge) and enjoyed the afternoon sun, the people watching, and the beautiful music. Doug left to go make a phone call and do a few quick things, and several hours later he finally returned, having made a wrong turn from the hotel back to San Marco Square (a very simple 5-minute walk that we've made at least a dozen times now!) Oh my, bless his heart, I think we've finally, tacitly, settled the question of who is the better instinctive navigator. Left on his own, he's gotten completely turned around at least twice now, and comes back all sweaty and panting from having run all over Venice trying to get back to the hotel. *giggles* that's my little Norwegian.
Well, I'm down to 3:45 on my computer here, so this is my final missive from beautiful incredible Venice. Pictures to come soon.