Monday, June 10, 2013

Oh Venice (Part Two)

Venice part two starts half way between day one and two.  In the middle of the night while we were sound asleep in our third story bedroom overlooking that gorgeous view above, we woke to a bizarre feeling of shaking.  I am a deep sleeper once asleep so I don't wake up easily and definitely do not get up voluntarily at that time.  We both woke up, felt ourselves shaking again, and were quite startled.  We looked at each other, silently confirming that the other felt it, and tried to figure out what was happening.  Ben said, "I think we just felt an earthquake!"  I asked what we should do.  We laid there for awhile, didn't feel anything else, didn't hear anyone else up and about, and just went back to sleep.  As I said, it takes a lot for me to get up at that hour.  I feel sorry for my future children.  The next morning at breakfast Ben asked Marco if we really had felt an earthquake, and our experience was confirmed.  There was a huge earthquake in the Milan area, and Venice felt it as well!
My cute husband where we felt the quake.
We started the second actual day with set plans.  We wanted to visit the Doge's Palace and Saint Mark's Basilica.  St. Mark's Basilica is free (yay!), but we did pay the extra 5 euros to go upstairs.  It is well worth it if you are trying to make that decision.  There's much more to see, and you get to see the actual bronze horses which are inside, not outside.  They date back to at least Alexander the Great, and it was a bit surreal to see something that old and amazing.  The bronze horses you can see from the square are replicas.  You aren't allowed to take picture of the real ones though. If you pay the extra money, you also get to go out on the balcony and see the views.  It's basically a great picture opp.  While at the top, we took some pictures for a group of students, and they took our picture in return. In doing so we started talking about where we were from and the usual generalities.  However, it turned out we actually knew people in common!  One girl was dating the younger brother of a really good friend of mine from college, and the other girl went to the same haircutter as Ben did growing up. His mom still goes there and so does the girl, so they got their picture together, and I believe it is now hanging in the salon.  Small world stories are my favorite.

After the historical sites, we just did more wandering.  Venice is made for wandering.  We also tried the first Bellini's of our life.  For dinner, we ate at a restaurant that was one of the many tourist traps out and about in Venice.  We basically knew it going in so no excuses.  I wanted to go back to da Mamo for the second night, but Ben thought we should try somewhere new.  This place had a good deal even though it kind of looked touristy so we went for it.  It was fine, just not memorable.  We should have gone back da Mamo. :)  Yes, I am a creature of habit.  Another highlight was having my first glass of Prosecco.  Prosecco is my sister-in-law, Jenny's, favorite drink, so when in Venice I knew I had to try some or she would kill me.  I have had Prosecco, but it was always mixed with something else.  Anyway, it was delicious.  One of my favorite things to do now once we're back is to add pomegranate seeds to a glass of Prosecco. It is pretty much perfect.  And so ended our second day in Venice. 
The yellow house that always helped us find our way home.

Bronze horse replicas

Doge's Palace

In the Bridge of Sighs

Taking a picture of all the people taking pictures of the Bridge of Sighs.


Me with Prosecco and Ben with beer.  He missed his beers.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed our time in Venice.  It's funny because while there I went through some different emotions.  I was frustrated by the prices and the crowds, but I was also totally awed by the beauty and history.  It wasn't my absolute favorite location on our trip (yes, that was Cinque Terre as I expected), but once home I actually found myself thinking about Venice more than about any other place we visited.  It just had a magical and majestic quality, and I really hope I will get the opportunity to go back someday.

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