Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter break cruise!

Spring Break Cruise, embarkation city: Venice
   Last week was our Holy Week break from school. For all practical purposes, Euro Spring Break. For my week off, my mom met me in Venice and we went for a cruise in the Mediterranean. We hit the ground running like we always do- mapping out each day, consulting our travel bible (tour guide), walking our guts out, and just plain seeing everything. Traveling with the Dean girls is not for the faint of heart. Aside from all our preparation, Venice is one of the rare places on earth where you actually want to get lost. Each side street is so inviting. It's an explorer's heaven. We arrived to our hotel in Santa Elena, by the public water bus. Santa Elena is a little further out from the main drag, but a few stops on the water transport to San Marcos.
  To orient ourselves, we spent a nice hour drinking overpriced coffee in the San Marcos Square and reading up on all the sights. Already booming with tourists, this plaza serves as a primo people watching spot. Saving the museums and churches for the next day, we started hiking in the direction the Rialto Bridge. We didn't get too far because we discovered shopping. We were drawn into the stores, checking out all the Murano glass items- and we liked it all! Going from store to store comparing prices, we stocked up on Murano glass wine openers, stoppers, and flower vases. By the time we reached the Rialto Bridge, it was already dark. This was partly due to the shopping, and partly due to the fact that I could not manage how remember how to get there from San Marcos from this summer. We traced and retraced our steps over the same handful of streets before finding paper, hand-written signs pointing the way to the bridge. A nice gesture by some poor local tired of being asked the way.
   To conclude our first night of the grand adventure, we found some cute pasta restaurant to have our quintessential Italian meal. Day one, success.

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