Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Italy - Days 1 & 2

So the first day of travelling was ALOT of riding on a plane, a switchover in Rome (where Mike and I watched Gran Torino on the hackintosh, HIGHLY recommend!), and then we finally got to the airport in Milan. We had been put on a different flight, and weren't sure when we were going to get there - let's just say I was SO RELIEVED to see my Dad when we got out of baggage claim in Milan! He had already headed downtown, got my Mom a hotel room to nap in by the train station, and figured out the train station and the shuttle bus to and from downtown. So on top of everything (not surprising! but GREAT all the same!). Once we got in showers at their hotel, we checked out and headed to the Milan train station, which was massive. And very cool.
Mom & Dad chill on the train
I cannot say enough about the trains. They were about the best way to get around. Dad spent much of the time ooohing and aahing over the Italian landscape, while I spent time passed out on Mike's shoulder trying not hang my mouth open and drool.

Once we got there, it was super late. We took a water taxi to our hotel and all four of us crammed into the very back of it, marvelling at the sky and canals, all of us blown away by our surroundings. We couldn't believe we were finally in Italy!! We topped off the evening with a late-night snack (of pasta, of course) and wine. Hey, when in Venice... do as the Venetians do, right?

The next day, my Dad was talking to the concierge who hooked us up with a free ride and tour of a nearby glass factory. Here is a pic of the guy making a glass horse, before they realized we weren't going to buy anything and stopped paying attention to us.

After we finally got back to Saint Marco square after the glass factory we did a lot of walking around and taking pictures. We had a gondola tour later in the day, so we just meandered. I bought a "Louis Vuitton" bag from a guy in an alley, and the parents got a super cute shirt for Gracie. We took a small nap, then headed to check out a church across a nearby canal. Then it was time for our gondola ride!

I love this pic. Tiny Italian guy with cane and hat! So awesome.

These are a few of my favorite shots from the gondola ride:

More shots are at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/agstratt/sets/72157619460139982/

The gondola ride was so cool. We had some wine and a tour guide to explain lots of Venice. Two pretty funny things happened:
  • We were in a tiny side canal, and a woman threw open a window in the house just above us. She asked in a British accent where our serenade was. Of course, Dad took that opportunity to break out in song. He has an outstanding voice, so I think she was pretty impressed!
  • Dad then got the idea to pass off a glass of wine to an older guy in a nearby gondola. He filled a plastic cup and passed it to Mike who tried to pass it to the guy but got intercepted by the guys’ wife. She didn’t hesitate, was like “I’ll take that!" We had a good laugh about her heading him off at the pass on the wine.
After the gondola tour, we went to dinner at a Osteria named Vino vino, which had a tiny menu but was very tasty.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel bar (the American Bar) and listened to this Italian guy play piano and sing American songs. He was pretty good; messed up the timing on Hotel California a bit but not bad! Mom and dad danced a bit, we laughed and chatted. Then we stole the stirrers from our drinks (GREAT stirrers, Dad proclaimed) and headed off to bed.

And that was our day in Venice!


Anonymous said...

I so want to go to Italy!!! Thanks for sharing!