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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 27, 2017

Friday wrap-up and Saturday's brief bit

After our very full sight-seeing schedule Friday (and very enjoyable), we headed back across the lagoon, picked up some panini style sandwiches and, oh joy, a bag of ruffle potato chips and headed back to our hotel for lunch.  I was pretty well tuckered out by then and decided to stay in and try and catch up on the blog while Chris went out to see more.

When he got back around 6:00 and after relaxing a while, we decided to try a restaurant Chris had noticed because it had black spaghetti (squid ink) in the window.  So off we went.  They had an extensive menu and it took me quite a while to figure out what to order and for some strange reason I went with something to do with crab.  He explained to me what it was but we were sort of coming at it from two different ideas.  I wanted to know if it was a whole crab and he said "yes" and then, of course, I wanted to know if like a whole lobster there was green stuff inside which tickled him but he said no, no green stuff, so I decided okay, I'd live dangerously.  And it turned out to be probably one of the best dishes I've had in my visits to Italy.  It was absolutely, succulently, delicious.  The reason he said it was whole was because they remove all the meat from the shell, shred it very finely and mix it with whatever deliciousness they mix it with (although no pasta was involved that I could see).  It was wonderful and I ate every single bite and mopped up the juice.  We again shared a bottle of wine and so were quite ready to head back to the hotel where we packed up for our Saturday departure, I blogged a bit and went to bed.

SATURDAY...

We had to catch a 2:15 train to Florence but we managed to hit 2 more spots before we left.  Checked out of the hotel and left our luggage and then started our trek to our destination.  I got a couple of nice photos during our walk...

This picture shows the back of our hotel and the hotel's garden which we peeked out on but it was too cold to sit out there.  They were getting to decorate it for Christmas on Saturday.
 A view of two bridges from a third bridge where we were standing.  That last bridge that is enclosed and up high is the Bridge of Sighs I posted about following our Doges' Palace visit.
 And below is the passenger portion of the interior of a pretty fancy gondola.  Not so fancy gondolas are also used for deliveries and other business purposes although so are motor boats.


We visited the Santi Giovanni and Paolo basilica which is very old.  The congregation and first building were established in the 3rd century!  And the current building was completed in 1343.  When we got there, it turned out they only took cash and we didn't have enough on hand so I waited while Chris took his pictures.  That's why I don't have any pictures of the church.  The church is, I think, somehow connected with a scuola which I thought was the word for school but this turned out to be a medical library connected to a very large hospital/medical compound.  You only go in the library of course, but there are all the typical departments that a large city hospital has and they are all in various buildings around the scuola.  I did get a couple of pictures there of the (wait for it) ceiling and books.  But I'm only posting one of the ceiling and one book because the picture that I thought included a drawing of an almost sawed off arm and was pretty gruesome did not include that drawing.  The books were on display in glass cabinets which also displayed the tools necessary to saw off arms and other medical procedures.They're all antique of course, and it really was an impressive and interesting place.

Here is the ceiling...
The glass cases hold the books and tools...and below is one of the books open to some pretty painful looking treatment or condition or something.

We're pretty certain this is Mary and the babe but it sure looked like Mary Poppins to me.  No idea why it's where it is, but it's kind of dear.

So that was it.  Got ourselves back to the hotel to get our luggage and walked back over to the water bus stops, got on ours, got off right at the train station (a miracle - no bridge to cross!).  It left right on town and was the quietest and smoothest train ride I think I've experienced.  We got to our hotel probably between 5 and 5:30 and the young man who was there to check us in wanted to tell us all about Florence which was nice but went on a little longer that it needed to.  I wanted to get to the room and do my "nesting".  :)  Can't remember dinner that night - that might have been the night I had ribollita (a thick, hearty and filling vegetable/bean/bread soup that is so good and Chris had a dish (can't remember what it's called but it's another Tuscan classic) of bread and very pureed tomatoes with garlic that just sort of turns into a delicious mush as it cooks.

And I think that was it for Saturday.  I don't remember anything else after that.  And I'm still 2 days behind on my postings and it's making me crazy cause I lose track of things, forget things, etc., but maybe not that I'm in a place I know I'll do a little bit better.

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