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My credit union is having a photo contest and I entered. It’s called Best Memory Ever & I submitted this photo of my first trip to Venice.

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Europe 2013 Trip Report Depository

This post is just a collection of all the parts of my Europe 2013 Trip Report.  If you’ve already read it, thank you; and if you’re new then welcome.



Part 1 – Beginnings

Part 2 – I’ll have a full English

Part 3 – The Bells of St. Paul’s

Part 4 – Finally some rain in London

Part 5 – A Magical End to Our Time in London


Part 6 – Wow, That’s Pretty Big

Part 7 – The View From the Hill

Part 8 – They Take Their Shopping Serious Here

Part 9 – Moms and I On Our Own

Part 10 – Where I Geek Out About French Cars

Part 11 – The Mustard Store

Disneyland Paris Resort

Part 12 – What Did I Get Myself Into

Part 13 – A 5 Minute Wait!?!

Part 14 – Disneyland Paris Gets Unique

Part 15 – A Disney Dream


Part 16 – I’ve Never Been So Scared


Part 17 – Bellissima Venezia

Part 18 – A Peaceful Walk Through the Streets of Venice


Part 19 – I Guess Tossing A Coin In the Trevi Fountain Works

Part 20 – Beneath The Vatican

Part 21 – Food So Nice We Had To Eat There Twice

Part 22 – Pain, An Accident, & Arrivederci

Europe 2013 Trip Report: Part 18 – A Peaceful Walk Through the Streets of Venice

Our arrival in Venice can be found here

We woke up the next morning with no concrete plans.  We knew we could just catch a train at anytime so we weren’t in a rush.  When we last visited, Jules and I had woken up early one day and went for a walk with not many people around.  It was great.  We were up fairly early this time and figured we’d keep the tradition going.  Last time we travelled east and ended up walking by the hotel we were staying at this time, so we continued east again.  A lot of people who visit Venice arrive on cruises and tours and only stay for part of a day.  When you stay longer and actually stay on the islands then the night time and early mornings give you a feeling like it’s just you and the locals.  Walking through the narrow streets with locals going about their daily routine is one of my favorite experiences.  We ended up making our way towards the Arsenal, which used to be the shipyards in Venice’s power days.  It was closed, but still looked impressive.  From there we headed towards the lagoon and eventually back towards the hotel.

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Europe 2013 - 389 - DSC00408Europe 2013 - 390 - DSC00409 – elaborate masks
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Europe 2013 - 392 - DSC00424 – Arsenal
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Europe 2013 - 395 - DSC00451 – St. Mark’s
Europe 2013 - 396 - DSC00452 – Santa Maria della Salute
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DSC00482-Edit.jpg – I almost fell in going to take this photo

When we got back Jules and I had breakfast since everyone else had eaten by then.  After breakfast, we all went our separate ways to get some souvenirs and look around.  We agreed to meet back at the hotel in an hour.
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Europe 2013 - 401 - DSC00490 – the Venetians know what’s up.

After adding more things to our luggage we decided to get a water taxi to take us back to the train station.  Taxis in Venice are not cheap, but this was a nice experience.  The vaporettos are fine, but can get crowded and take a long time.  This was a nice relaxing alternative.  The driver went out towards the north part of the lagoon and went around the islands before heading back in towards the Grand Canal.  Cuz and I practically monopolized the rear exterior position to get the best views.
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We got back to the train station and were in line to buy tickets when the train was leaving so we ended up with another short wait for the next train.

Let me rewind for a sec.  We weren’t in Milan long enough for me to really get a feel for it.  It’s not high on my list of places I’d go back to though.  I’d like to see The Last Supper and definitely eat at Luini’s, but I’m not sure if I’ll attempt to conquer the Duomo’s roof again.

The time we spent in Venice this trip was criminally short.  Venice is amazing.  We’ve had people tell us it’s smelly and you can see the highlights in a day.  We’ve yet to experience the first point, and the second part is technically true.  The thing is Venice is a city you just want to get lost in.  That’s part of it’s charm.  Even if you have a map, you’re kind of just walking in a general direction to get where you’re going.  A longer stay is a must for me sometime in the future.  I’ve never been to a city quite like it and I whole-heartedly recommend staying there for a couple days.

Up next, we arrive in Rome for the last leg of our trip.

Continue the report here

Europe 2013 Trip Report: Part 17 – Bellissima Venezia

You can get caught up with the previous part here.

The hotel had a breakfast buffet available and we all eventually made our way down to get some nourishment.  I walked around the hotel area a little to take some photos before we left.  There was this church down the street and I wish I would’ve gone inside.  I can’t find any information on it now, so I don’t even know what it was called.

Europe 2013 - 344 - DSC00233 – the church down the street

We would be leaving to Venice out of a different train station than the one we were next to, so we had the hotel call a cab for all of us.  Travelling by train in Italy is really easy-going.  Trenitalia, who seems to run all the trains in Italy, runs trains from the major cities every hour.  You don’t have to worry about booking seats in advance or showing up at a certain time.  You just show up and at most you’ll have an hour wait.  This was us, we just missed a train and had to wait.  We found an area to sit and most of us stayed there while some did some shopping to kill time.
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The train ride was uneventful and I don’t remember much of it really.  I think I slept for most of it or played games.  After about 4 hours we were in Venice.  Coming out of the train station and that first glimpse you get of the city is breath-taking.  We got tickets for the vaporetto, which is a water bus.  It has lots of stops along the Grand Canal and some of the outlying islands of the Venetian Lagoon; plus it would be dropping us off not too far from our hotel.
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Grand Canal
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Europe 2013 - 355 - DSC00318-2 – Saint Mark’s Square
Santa Maria della Salute – Santa Maria Della Salute

We made it to our hotel and only had to cross a couple bridges to get there.  We were staying at the Liassidi Palace Hotel.  The room was a good size and they included a complimentary bottle of Bellini for us.  Nina and fam had booked the upgraded suite on the top floor.  Their room had a separate living room and windows that overlooked a canal.
Untitled – our room
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Europe 2013 - 359 - DSC00270 – complimentary Bellini and chips
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Europe 2013 - 361 - DSC00278 – our floor had this sitting area in the middle of the rooms
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Europe 2013 - 363 - DSC00282 – the upgraded suite
Europe 2013 - 364 - DSC00283 – view from the suite
Europe 2013 - 365 - DSC00288 – the boat dock

We walked around a little bit before getting dinner.  I didn’t get the name of the restaurant, but it had some outdoor seating and we were the only ones there.  This was a great meal.  Moms and Uncle D each got roasted chicken and still talk about how good it was when they see each other.
Europe 2013 - 366 - DSC00294 – a drinking fountain
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mask in Venice
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Europe 2013 - 372 - DSC00322 – Jules got anchovies on her pizza
Europe 2013 - 373 - DSC00327 – gnocchi (mine)
Europe 2013 - 374 - DSC00328 – Nina tried spaghetti alla carbonara
Europe 2013 - 375 - DSC00329 – Cuz got something with clams
Europe 2013 - 376 - DSC00330 – roasted chicken

Everyone was having a good time relaxing with good food and good drink.  I was anxious to take some photos so I went walking about while they waited for the check.
Europe 2013 - 377 - DSC00337 – Bridge of Sighs
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After dinner we did some shopping in various stores as we made our way to Saint Mark’s Square.  At this time, the basilica was closed, but Hard Rock was open and there were shot glasses to buy.  We slowly made our way back to the hotel with some more shopping, a bird pooped on Nina, and gelato was eaten.  It was a good night.
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Europe 2013 - 382 - DSC00359 – Saint Mark’s belltower
Europe 2013 - 383 - DSC00360 – Saint Mark’s Basilica
Europe 2013 - 384 - DSC00361 – Saint Mark’s Square
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Once back at the hotel, we all went up to Nina & Fams suite with our bottles of Bellini.  We sat and talked and just enjoyed being on this trip and getting to experience everything we got to experience so far.  Definitely in the running for best moment of the trip.
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Unfortunately, tomorrow we’d be leaving Venice 😦 and making our way to Rome.

Our time in Venice continues here