Sunday, May 23, 2010

Murano Island

Visited Murano Island, home to lots and lots glassmakers. Island itself is beautiful (today there was a kayaking event), but the glass is incredible. Much of it was unbelievable. Loved the jewelry, vases, chandaliers, and figurines. Zillions of shops. 

The museum had a wonderful collection of Murano glass--some of the items were from the 15th century. Amazed that so many things were in tact completely. 

Enjoyed a creme brulee by the water. Seemed like a movie watching the speedboats zip along with all the sunbathers. What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Back to San Zaccaria, then to San Marco Piazza for dinner and a couple more pictures. 

Still can't believe how surreal city of Venice is. Architecture is lovely, so much art and history that people take it for granted. Little details were not spared; the smallest items are richly decorated. Favorite part has been walking the crowded, tiny streets. Finding pretty stores is like finding presents. Venice is full of surprises.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lost in Venice

Today more sightseeing. Saw the Rialto Bridge--view amazing, canal like a freeway, lots of wonderful shops and vendors. Ate gelato, walked the narrow alleys. Tons of people on a nice weekend.

Visited the Chiesa dei Frari. Beautiful Titian and Bellini paintings. Then a yummy pizza lunch. Onto the Scuola GRande di San Rocco. My favorite with over 50 paintings by Tintoretto. Vaporetto back and a quick trip to Chiesa de San Zaccarria. Needs renovating, but I paid the 1 euro to go into a crypt with remains of St. John the Baptist's father. It is submerged under water because the church is sinking.

Hotel to rest, then more walking. Yummy, expensive dinner and the to San Marco Piazza to see it lit up at night. Wonderful atmosphere of Saturday night strollers.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Visiting Venice

Enjoyed the first full day in Venice! Drank cappuccino at breakfast. Then we walked over to San Marco Piazza and took in the tourists, pigeons, columns, and music. Meandered through the Correr Museum and enjoyed seeing all the artifacts from Venice's early days.

Then headed over to the Doge's Palace and looked at all 40 rooms on display. Really taken with the grandeur of the Grand Hall (it houses the largest oil painting in the world) and all of the zillions of chambers for their numerous councils. Paintings by Tintoretto, Titian, etc.

After taking a breather, we rode the vaporetto along the Grand Canal to the end of the line. Elegant buildings showing their wear and tear from years of water and flooding. Many seem empty and unused. Can only imagine the cost of maintaining a building here!
Love seeing all the gondolas and black and white striped shirts of the gondoliers. Dinner was outside at a tiny sidewalk restaurant. Menu di giuorno consisted of spaghetti with seafood, grilled salmon, and salade mista. It was delicious!

Evening time came and the vaporetto ride was at nighttime. Not too many buildings were illuminated, but those that were were stunning. Just like in Paris, life continues until late at night, and people stroll the tiny, crowded streets until midnight. Stopped in a souvenir shop to look at outrageously expensive (35 to 1050 euros) masks (just like at Pier 1, M!!), but really amazing. Also, browsed and bought some pretty Italian glass beads, but shhhh, don't tell the girls.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Here I Am!!

Made here to Venice after 3 planes, a bus, and a boat. Flew over Iceland (no delays and didn't see any volcano). Tired, but very excited to see the city. It is beautiful! Liked seeing San Marco, gondoliers, and eating real gnocchi for dinner. People from all over the world here to visit--Japan, China, South Africa, United States, France, Germany, etc. Shops full of dazzling Murano glass, Burano lace, and glittering masks. Beautiful architecture, pigeons, crowded alleys that wind all over the place, geraniums, sidewalk diners, and green shutters.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Week in View

Just a couple of scenes from the past few days: make-your-own pizza night, a couple of homemade dresses, a new cuddly friend, giant (and yummy) cupcakes from our cousin's college graduation celebration, and some new springtime flowers in the backyard.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bye-Bye Butterfly

Today's weather was warm and sunny, and it was time to say good-bye to our friends. M didn't want to because "they are my pets." Actually two of them are still with us because they did not wish to leave yet. While it was a little sad to see the others go, there was something kind of magical about watching them fly away.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hello Spring!

This is from last weekend, but it was a beautiful day and a fun time at the Hawaiian festival.  One of our favorite annual family events.  Just a peek at spring, but also a great way to celebrate K's 10th birthday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Scenes from the day

This was my day:



We did our May Day ding-and-dash a few days late, but as M pointed out, there's never a bad day to leave someone flowers anonymously.

I hope your day was just as lovely.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

How did that happen?

Today is K's birthday.  Not sure how the past 10 years managed to sneak by so quickly, but they did.  It still surprises me how she went from being such a tiny baby to a very independent, self-assured and thoughtful young lady.  Very proud, can you tell?

Anyways, we had our family party two weeks ago because of scheduling conflicts.  But we still had to celebrate some more:

Running with ice cream seemed like tempting fate, but they managed OK somehow.