We had no problems checking in for our 8:40 PM red eye flight out of JFK to Venice. We arrived at the airport at about 5:15 and got through the process pretty quickly since we wen't checking bags.
I gave each of the kids a surprise present that I had gotten for them: a leather journal to keep during the trip. They each eagerly started their first entry.
Soon after getting through Security we met up with my sister and brother-in-law who are traveling on the same flights as us. We had dinner together, then boarded the plane where we all fell asleep pretty quickly, although it was a light, broken sleep.
When we arrived at the Venice airport we got through customs very quickly, easily found the transportation window, where we bought 24 hour Vaperetto passes with transfers to and from the airport on a ground bus, and caught the #5 bus to Piazalle Roma in Venice.
From there we took the #2 Vaperetto to the Rialto Bridge where we walked to our hotel, Pensione Gueratto.
It's a quaint place. Not fancy at all but clean, and oozing with charm and old-worldiness. The woman who greeted us was very nice, and my sister instantly took a liking to her Pug.
After dropping our bags and throwing some water on our face we took the Vaporetto #1 to St. Mark's Square and set off exploring. We got lost and it was great. We found little dead end walkways and cute little bridges.
For lunch, we found a cheap panini cafe a few blocks from Saint Mark's Square. Abby learned there that US toilets are not the only kind of toilets.
After lunch we took the elevator to the top of the Campanile. The views from the top were awesome. We thought it was going to cost us 32 Euros, but the guy at the ticket window only charged us 20. Maybe the kids are cheaper? Either way, it was worth it.
By then, we were exhausted. We walked back to the room through the main shopping drag between St. Mark's and the Rialto Bridge. Along the way, we took a quick peek in the Disney Store.
Abby and Michael picked up postcards to send to friends. I was very proud of Abby. I gave her a Euro to pay and let her buy the postcards herself. She completed the transaction without using any English.
We asked the receptionist at the hotel to recommend a reasonable place to eat. She drew us directions to Birraria, a short walk away in Piazza San Polo. After relaxing in the room for a while, we splashed water on our faces and went to dinner. It was decent, but nothing spectacular.
By the time dinner ended, we were thoroughly exhausted. I'm sure every one of us could have gone to bed right then, but we decided to make our way to St. Mark's one more time to see it in the evening. We walked through the east side of Venice and over the Accademia Bridge and stopped along the way for Gelato. If you've only got one day in Venice, you'd better make the most of it, right?
When we got to St. Mark's, we sat on a step for a while listening to the Quartet at Cafe Florian play. Serendipitously, the first song they played was "It Had to Be You", the song that Lori and I danced to at our wedding. So, of course we danced. That was pretty cool.
The day ended with a Vaperetto ride back up the Grand Canal with Venice bathed in a warm nighttime glow. Fabulous.
We showered and crashed. Tomorrow morning we fly to Naples and make our way to Sorrento to meet up with the rest of our family that we are spending time with in Italy.
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Location:Fondamenta Riva Olio,,Italy