Friday, November 1, 2013

Pics from the surreal city of Venice

From the moment we arrived to the city in a water taxi. (basically what we would call a ski boat), the city of Venice is surreal and hypnotic.  We spent our last two days of our Italian vacation in Venice and it was amazing.

We were fortunate to stay in a lovely hotel right off St. Mark's Square.  St. Mark's Square is the piazza in front on St. Mark's Basilica.  A church becomes a basilica when a saint is buried in it.  According to the Venetians and our tour guide, the body of St. Mark is buried inside the church! 

Our first day in Venice was spent going on a tour of the Doge's  (Duke" Palace built in the 1400s, as well as the connecting Bridge of Sighs (the bridge connecting the prisons of the palace to the place where the prisoners met their sentence.   We also visited and shopped in a store famous for their handmade glass.

Prisons & Bridge of Sighs

I almost forgot.....we went on a gondola ride at sunset!

We were serenaded!!

Venice was famous for their masquerades.

Our last day, my birthday, many of us took a trip to the neighboring island of Burano, which is famous for their handmade lace.  It was a gorgeous town where all of the buildings were painted in bright colors.  We shopped and had a delicious seafood lunch of many, many courses, some of which were risotto with shrimp and spaghetti with clams.  It was all wonderful and an amazing way to spend my birthday.

Taking a ferry to Burano

We went past other mall islands.

Other towers lean here!

Can you tell what this is?!!

We ended the evening with farewell drinks (or ice cream) on the square.  Normally it cost a fortune to sit on the square, but this was Globus' gift to us!  My mom and I agreed that we had a wonderful time and we met lots of wonderful people.  We had made it an early night because we had to take the water taxi back to the mainland by 6:00 am in the morning.

ciao bella città! Spero di rivederti!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Photos from Florence & a Cheech & Chong-style taxi `

I've been back home for 6 days and my time clock has adjusting amazingly well.  My students have been sweet and things have been smooth sailing. (for the most part)

Italy was great!!  I only took my Ipad and a small keyboard and it just wasn't very convenient to blog while I was there!!  Besides, we were kept very busy!!!  There was so much to see and do!!!

I'm going to pick up where I left off....our second day in Florence.  Our first night, we went to a dinner in the Tuscan country side.  The next day we saw Michaelangelo's David,   It was amazing to say the least.  My mom and I decided not to go on an optional tour, so that meant we had to walk back to our hotel.  It was sunny and in the high 70's.  We probably walked almost a mile, and that was a bit much for my mom.  She decided we would take a taxi back to the Piazza de Santa Croce when we had to get back for dinner.

Here's more pictures from Florence.  We were walking back to our hotel with some of our tour group, and several were complaining about walking, when a crazy 70s psychedelic painted taxi appeared out of nowhere.  You would have thought we were hallucinatin.  Inside it was covered with shag carpet, and stuffed animals and bubbles were blowing.  Four of us shared the taxi and we had a big laugh. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of it!!!

A replica of the statue of David on a hill overlooking Florence. (see view above)

Cars are tiny there, so many people ride bikes or scooters.  Gas costs about $7 a gallon!!

walking to our tour


The author of Pinocchio was born in Florence.

It's a big deal to get a table on the piazza.  Many places charge extra!

My mom shopping for a purse.

If you look carefully, I'm standing on the steps!!

Worth much $$$

Dinner here tonight

Santa Croce Square by night

I ended up having to take all my pictures with my phone.  It did pretty well considering, but some didn't turn out, including our crazy taxi!!

Arrivederci per ora!!!