Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ciao, ciao! It was a lazy day today. We rode out to the island of Lido and Eileen and I stolled along the sand and picked up shells. It was kind of cold so we didn't stroll too long before we headed back to Venice. The rest of the day was spent strolling the streets of Venice. These are just a few pictures of the beach (Adriatic Sea) and the scene around town.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Burano and gondolas

We started our day with a trip to the colorful island of Burano. Most of Italy is painted with the muted colors of the tuscan sun but not Burano. It is wonderfully colored with pinks and purples and blues and greens! These Italians must have had FUN at the paint store. It is a happy Italian Island. After we got back to Venice, we decided to have a gondola ride. We rode through tiny quiet canals and were serenaded by our gondolier. What a treat to have on such a beautiful day. I hope you enjoy my pictures.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

movie stars and master glass blowers

It was a beautiful day in Venice, Italy. We took the water taxi out to the island of Murano to see the famous glass blowers and buy a few choice pieces of that fancy shmancy glass! We all found a goodie or two to bring home and we even found an Italian murano glass dollar tree! I guess people love Dollar stores all around the world! The excitement of our day was that we ALMOST saw Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie! They are filming a new movie, The Tourist, here in Venice and Eileen and I just happened to walk upon the set and No, that is not Angelina in my photo lounging outisde the set on the steps, that is just me :). I couldn't help but ham it up a little bit! I may have to sneak back around there to see if I can see Johnny Depp!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

ash cloud

who knew that our trip to Italy would be consumed by the two words "ash cloud"?? We have watched a whole lot of CNN and BBC but here is the bottom line-nobody knows. We just hope to get home.
Today we hit the Trenitalia Eurostar and made our way through Firenze and Bologna to Venice. We arrived safely in Venice and had dinner sitting along the grand canal followed by a vaporetti ride down to St. Marco square. Our hotel is classic Venice. I told Eileen that I have dubbed our room the "Elvis Suite". It is quite ornate!! I am sure that we will sleep like queens in these fancy beds. The Internet is charged by the minute in Venice, so our blogs will be short and sweet. Say a prayer for us that the ash cloud goes away before Saturday!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

tired of Rome yet?

Today we decided to go to the train station in Rome to get our tickets for Venice tomorrow. WOW! This volcano has really put travelers in a pickle. The ticket line wrapped around and about and out and then a little bit farther. We were lucky en ough to get a ticket from a machine and only spent an hour in the station while others, that were having to wait in the lines to speak to a representative, had an all day wait. I just pray that the ash moves out quickly and we can get home on Saturday.

After our tickets, we went to church. They were still observing mass when we got there and were able to watch a bit of a real Roman Catholic mass. The church was incredible(of course everything in Rome is incredible) It was filled with gold from ceiling to floor. The gold was taken from Peru and the Conquistadors. Quite impressive!

Next we took a leisurely stroll down the ancient Appian Way. Pass the church of "Domine Quo Vadis?" This is the site where Jesus was said to have appeared to Peter as he was fleeing Rome. Peter asked, Lord, where are you going? Jesus told him that he was going to be crucified. Peter returned to rome and martyrdom. It is quite moving to walk on a path that was once walked by Jesus.

Next we ate. When your feet get tired and you need a rest - EAT! We have done our share our eating. Tonight, we had CHINESE!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

flash mob italia

One small post note before the day ends in Italy. Eileen and I got to watch a Flash Mob today. We were strolling through the Villa Borghese Park today when we noticed a crowd beginning to assemble and each person had what appeared to be a pillow. We stood and sort of scratched our heads for a few minutes before we heard a horn. They were indeed pillows and suddenly all of these people were involved in a giant pillow fight! One of the pillow fighters came over to tell us that it was a flash mob. We had to look it up to learn more about it, but it sure did look like lots of fun!

Friday, April 16, 2010

a volcano!

I knew it! I knew it! For those of you who followed me to Italy last year you may remember my history with natural disasters. They follow me. Last year there was an earthquake a few days after I got here. I joked that I should skip Pompeii because the volcano may erupt. No volcano in Italy has erupted but one did erupt in Iceland causing major air travel problems. I think I should stay at home!
I'm not putting on any pictures up tonight because it took me over 2 hours to do it last night. So frustrating. Also, we had several taxi rides today and my stomach is still a little roly poly! Riding in a taxi in Rome is like riding a combination of really bad carnival rides. We have decided that there isn't a speed limit over here. Traffic lights are far and few between and you can drive or park anywhere you want. Oh, and if you decide to go the other direction, no problem, just back up in the middle of the street and turn around. We learned today that you can even do this in a giant double decker bus. I suggest that you go to Sam's Club and get the mega pack Tums if you are planning a holiday in Rome!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Michaelangelo sho could paint!

We put on those walking shoes and did us some walking today. After a hair-raising taxi ride to the Vatican, we set off to see the Pope. He must have had something come up because he never did make it out to see us but we did enjoy his home. We did not wait in the hour long line to climb the cupola but we did head down to the basement to have a peep at the popes that have passed on. St. Peter's was fabulous. Every inch of the building is covered in marble or gold or statues. We stood in awe of the size and detail of everything. Next, we were on to the Sistine Chapel. That was quite the experience. We found a small sign in an obscure corner that had an arrow and sistine chapel written on it. We followed the arrow around and around and around and around and finally,what seemed like 5 miles later, we found the entrance to the Vatican Museum which houses the Sistine chapel. We march in and slowly find the ticket booth. Eagerly we skip towards the entrance only to find that it was not the Sistine Chapel. It was, however, a wonderful museum full of fantastic treasures and antiquites. We saw Egyptian mummies, incredible 15th century tapestries, and lots of statuary. As we moved from room to room, we laughed about how we were CERTAIN that the next turn would be the chapel. One ornate room turned in to another and another and another! Don't get me wrong, each room was was a history class in itself, but we started to feel like rats in a maze desperately seeking that glorious hunk of cheese. We carried on. and on. and on. Almost 2 hours and 1,000,000 steps later, we found the chapel. It was worth every step but we were almost to tired to enjoy it when we got there. We simply stood in awe. It was beyond magnificent. The pictures are from St Peter's and The Sistine chapel today. Eileen and I had an early evening walk to the Trevi fountain and made a wish followed by pizza and wine and we are off to bed. Sweet Dreams