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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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November 21, 2017

And we're here!

I'm writing this at 7:00 p.m. Venetian time which is 1:00 p.m. our time so I have now been up for 31 hours!  And I've been so dead tired so many times in those hours that I'm hoping I will sleep like a log for a nice long spell tonight.  Am planning to go to sleep somewhere between 9 & 10.

Most of those 31 hours were spent in travel - drive to the train station early Monday morning, take the train to Newark, take the plane to Paris, take another plane to Venice, then a water taxi(!) to the main island,  and walk, walk, walk in between.  I can't imagine how many miles we've walked in that time.  And, write it down - I said after my first horrific experience that I would never again go through Paris's Charles DeGaulle airport and, of course, we did this trip and this time I really mean it - if I have to go around the globe to get to my destination while avoiding that airport, I will!  It was, once again, a truly horrible experience.  I DO have to go through it once more to get home but that's it.

So, now we're in Venice settled in for the evening.  We had to walk a fairly short way to the hotel from where the water taxi dropped us off, so I caught my first glimpses of the city then and it is truly unique - not a road anywhere so, of course, no cars, buses, etc., but lots of boats including the gondolas.  One can only imagine how beautiful it must have been in its prime because it is hauntingly lovely now.  Chris pointed out one very large palazzo (houses of the rich along the Grand Canal) that in its day was covered in gold mosaic.  That's all gone now of course, but all those palazzos and the churches and just any buildings the Venetians built back in their heyday are still a sight to see.

After we got to the hotel and got settled in, we went and had lunch at a place nearby and by then I was feeling like, yes, I could walk some more so we did.  I know I'm enjoying it more being with Chris than I would alone because it is such a warren of little passageways, wider sidewalks, large piazzas, etc., that I feel like it would probably get the better of me.  But since all I had to do was follow him around, I could just enjoy the view and take pictures.  So here are the ones I took today - not too many really - we didn't finish lunch til sometime after 2:00 I think.

The winged lion is the symbol of Venice and you see them everywhere.  This plaque was on the side of the building on the left of picture below and the prettiness of the design appealed to me.



This is a large piazza in front of a huge building that used to be a government building and is now shops and such on the ground level with a

I'm sorry to anyone who gets this far - I just found out that the majority of this post disappeared - pictures, text, etc., and I can't rewrite it all.  I will post the remainder of the photos I took that day and you can think "gee I wonder what that is" (although if I remember, I'll let you know!)

 San Giorgio Maggiore Church and it's bell tower behind.
 A temporary, floating pontoon bridge to take the visitors going to the Festa Della Maria Salute across the water.  It is such a huge and popular event that they have made this bridge to help get people over there.
 Another tower...
 A view I really liked - the slowly decay of the buildings along a lovely, quiet canal and a bridge at the end.
And another beauty slowly fading...I liked the different phases shown on one building, loved the pinkish color with the white quoins (the corner stones) and its beautiful door (see below)
 It's a dark (but not this dark) green with lovely white molding around it.  I'm typing this on Wednesday night (due to the truncated Tuesday post) and we visited a museum shop today and there were an artist's rendering of this door and also one of the very corner of the building so I patted myself on the back for my "discerning eye". :)
And this was a pretty wonderful view also...

So, that was my picture taking for my first day in Venice.  I'll now get started on today's post and will really have to whinny down the number of pictures...


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