We promised the kids that they could have special week with dad the summer before they started high school. Maggie and I went to McCall, Idaho and had great fun horseback riding through the mountains, playing golf, exploring the area and generally hanging out.
This year it was Michael’s turn, but we had the big Europe trip planned. We went through several idea iterations and Michelle came up with the brilliant idea of us going to Venice Italy. We has been to Venice 7 years ago when Michael was 7, but he only had some memories so it was time to make some new ones.
Early Thursday morning Michael and I headed out to Venice via the Tube, a train, a plane and a boat! Turn out the Venice airport is on the mainland so you have to take a bus or a boat to get there. Who would turn down a boat ride.
The boat dropped us off at a nondescript little dock and we followed a couple of locals who seemed to know where they were going. There were only some twisty little alleys for a bit, but we finally found what seemed like more of a main path along a larger canal.
If you’ve never been to Venice you need to put it on your list. It is a truly beautiful and surreal place.
Thanks to Michael’s young eyes we found our tiny little backpacker hotel (one of us had to leave the room so that the other could change his mind).
Next on the agenda was Michael’s number one memory.
Our plan for the day was wander, so we did. Eventually we did see Rialto Bridge and St Marks Square.
We also saw many beautiful canals and bridges.
We decided to have a nice dinner at a street-side cafe with a great view of the Rialto.
The next day Michael wanted to explore a bit on his own, so I gave him some cash and we set up a meeting time and off he went. Amazing how quickly they grow up.
I wandered through the Jewish quarter and found a lovely necklace for Michelle.
Feeling a bit peckish I was trying to decide if I should sit down for a full meal or just find some interesting snacks along the way. The snacks won out. Nothing crazy, a tiny little pizza from the bakery and some interesting little open face sandwiches from another shop. While ordering my sandwiches who should show up but Michael. He had spent all but 1 euro and was looking for some water.
Michael showed me all his shopping treasures then we headed back to our room. Michael wanted a break from the afternoon heat (it was in the 90s) but I was interested in wandering. So I headed back out exploring the side streets. Eventually I ended up on the edge of the island looking at Murano the island where they make all the famous glass. I had suggested to Michael that this might be interesting, but it didn’t hold much interest for him so I bought a ticket a headed over.
Visually Murano is very similar to Venice except that every store sells very cool art glass. Every store also has signs saying please don’t take pictures…
In any case I got to see a bunch of cool art glass and Maggie ended up with some new earrings.
For dinner that night we decided to keep with the snack theme which went reasonably well although nothing exceptional. We also took a stroll around the neighborhood after dark to see if was any different from the day time, but it was basically the same.
For our last day we headed towards the edge of the island again as we had to catch the boat back to the airport after lunch. We lucked out by visiting a couple of cathedrals as they were much cooler than outside (towards 97 and very humid).
We found a great little cafe right on the water and watched the boats buzz up and down the liquid highway while enjoying clams, mussels, pizza and pasta.
From there we worked our way back to London to reunite with the girls.
Overall a highly satisfying mini-trip.