Day trippin' to Murano

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Venice doesn’t offer a ton of attractions for travelers in their 20s. This is the last year I can identify as being in that age bracket so I should use it while I still can.

Coming after Roma and Firenze, Venezia was a choppy gondola ride of emotions. Rome is epic and has more potential itinerary items than you can list. Florence had a more relaxed pace, but still offered extensive cultural and sightseeing locales.

After half a day in Venice I felt I had seen all I needed to. Venice is aptly described as an old world theme park.

In 24 hours I saw four people crying.

The island comes complete with a Hard Rock Cafe and Disney store, if you should miss the comforts of commercialism. The largest irritant was that nearly no one speaks Italian to you. After day one, I had my fill of Venice.

This morning, in an effort to do something off the guidebook, we ventured out at 5am to see the sunrise. The streets were empty. It was refreshing to not be stuck behind tourist mobs. The emptiness allowed us to appreciate the beauty of the city as the sun rose.

After stopping to see San Marco Basilica, we decided to head to Murano to see glass blowing. We attempted to see a demo near the basilica but the shop only offered tours for groups or if you physically had rick Steve’s book. I tried claiming we left it at the hotel, but the man told us to go get the book and we could see the demo. One problem: that book is back at the library we got it. In the United States. Of America.

Off we went to Murano. The hour plus boat ride took us to another quiet, not über touristy island. I multitasked and fell asleep on the boat. We ran into one problem once at Murano. All the shops close at 4, with none offering demos. It was 4:10. Walking to all the closing shops reminded me of Miss Swan from MadTV.

The only meal consumed today was breakfast; then we grabbed nectarines and had mini sandwiches we made from cold cuts at breakfast. We looked for a place to eat on Murano but all the food appeared to be reheated pizza. We snagged a donut and €3 bottle of water before catching the water taxi back to Venice.
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Could we salvage the stint in Venice and end on a high note? Check back tomorrow for the dramatic conclusion of Andrew’s Euro-Venture.

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Levata del sole a Venezia

Venice

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Play this while reading: I’ll follow the sun

As the day draws to a close in the states a new one is starting in Venice. To my friends back home I offer these pictures to inspire your tomorrow dreams.

I’ve had a goal for a long time to see the sunrise and sunset on an island. Venice offers the perfect opportunity to see both in a day. Thankfully my bladder woke me at 5:04 local time. Daylight was starting to creep through the transparent white draperies as I checked my phone to see when sunrise was. I had 20 minutes to hustle to the sun.

I woke up Leann to ask if she’d like to join. Groggily, she agreed.

“And we can get donuts.” I added.

“Why didn’t you lead with that?!” She replied.

We wandered around and I snagged these shots. The streets were empty, save the runners and dog walkers. A few women opened their window shutters as we walked along the water. One couple was getting gelato.

On our return trip, the garbage men and gondoliers prepared for another day of tourists.

I hope you have a great day ahead.

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Man’s Other Best Friend

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Festival season is upon us. That means fun party games like, “High or Just that Strange?” After a day of condo hunting, walking around the Blues Fest and Old Town Art Fair, I was fascinated by two things:

  1. Why do people bring their dogs to public events?
  2.  What am I going to eat for dinner?

So, inspired by man’s best friend, I turned to my best friend: the cast iron skillet. Continue reading Man’s Other Best Friend