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The Clampets Do Italy

...and Croatia! ...and Slovenia!  Yep, they actually allowed Randy & I into each of those countries.  Amazing.  Do you think immigration realized I graduated from Kern (aka Korn) Valley High in a class of 99 people??

We just returned (into UB at 6 am after 2 Aeroflot flights; bleck) from 12 days away--7 days spent on a GIGANTIC cruise ship--and an extra 3 days in Venice :) .  The last 2 full days spent in airports and on flights.

We were gobsmacked the entire trip.  What struck me most about Venice was that people actually live in the midst of all this antiquity and beauty.  Be forewarned; I'm planning to blog this trip in installments.

Venice rocks!  We got there after exactly 24 hours of travel (10 hours in Moscow airport--double bleck) and armed with this amazing book that is now totally dogeared and gelato stained:
Rick Steves' Venice 2011
SO much better than Lonely Planet (and lighter, too).  I got one for Croatia, too.

The hotel in Mastre sold us tickets for the local bus into Venezia  (note:  the Desk Dudes were SO Italian and SO adorable!)  I took this pic thinking the bus was crowded--ha!  Shortly after this, it got so crowded that all I could see was Randy's butt (he was standing, wedged into safety)

Then, we got a day pass to the vaporetti, the local water bus that runs around the canals.  Those were super crowded.
bummer...I'm a euro short...
We saw some amazing sights--angels in the architecture!

Wandered back alleys as we are prone to do ;)

ate fabulous food in one of said alleys
....really...the food was good, here, too ;)
made new friends--kept running into these 2 sisters who we met at the bus stop that morning.  They were hunting down a Dali exhibit--that they actually found!. We agreed to share a taxi to the port the next morning as they were sailing, too, though on a different ship.

Back on the vaparetto, back on the bus, back to the hotel

The 1st of 3 trips into Venice--we were dazzled!
Stay tuned--ciao for now!


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