I didn't mean for this to happen. I set up the easiest to use blog I could find so that I wouldn't fall into this trap, but man, when Julien and I got home it was like we landed on a treadmill dialed up to 10. I haven't been to a gym in almost a year, so I don't really know if 10 is fast, but it seems like a high enough number to represent me having to struggle to keep from falling on my face. Or maybe I'm stuck on the number 10 on account of it being 10.10.10 today. 10.11.10 by the time I post this. Still cool. Where was I?Our last full day in Venice was probably my favorite day of the trip. It was Sunday, we were well rested, and we only had two things left to accomplish. One was seeing my FSD's (Former Step Dad's) sculpture, "Boy With Frog" ( http://bit.ly/d2NQDo ), and the other was to do some gift shopping. After a quick hotel breakfast and cappuccino, we hopped on the bus to take us close to the Dogana on the Grand Canal.
Along the way we passed this book binding shop. Julien had been keeping an eye out for a unique journal to buy as a gift, and I was on a mission to only buy things made locally by skilled craftspeople. This place had both.
Although the big unveiling happened over a year ago, the city was still plastered with posters for the exhibition.
It was awkward out on the point. With security guards, other tourists mugging for photos, and of course the big nudie booty in the center of it all, Julien was ready to split immediately. I got my picture taken, snapped a few of the view, then I got Julien to pause for a minute so we could take it in; standing on this point that we had seen from afar so many times from boats and in pictures.
It was getting close to lunch time, so we decided to wander towards Piazza San Marco, keeping a look out for good eats and any promising shops. Not wanting a repeat of the day before, we decided to stop at a pricey joint rather than miss the lunch window. It wasn't anything we couldn't find at home, but that didn't stop us from enjoying our meal.
Bellies full, feeling content, it was time to mix things up with another pathfinding challenge. I asked Julien if he wanted to head off in separate directions and race back to the hotel to drop off our bags and freshen up before we went looking for some carnival masks. After successfully getting lost, then finding his way again the night before, I not only knew he could do it, I expected to lose this time. My feet were already complaining, but I wanted to take a leisurely stroll on my last day without Julien pushing to move on. Armed with his bus pass, some pocket money, and familiar ground, Julien set off down a narrow street. As I was leaving, I told the older couple at a neighboring table about our race, they laughed and said they thought I would probably win. I waved my phone and said, "GPS!". They had commented to us earlier that they thought we were brothers until they heard Julien call me dad.Back alley traffic jam, Venice style.
Campanile di San Marco.
Shrink wrap. Bridge of What the F? Bridge of Sighs. Sigh.
Waiting for the bus.
See ya Frog Boy.
Mind the pup.
I made it back to the hotel before Julien. While I waited for him to turn up, I asked Carlo at the front desk if he could recommend an authentic mask shop. The first place he mentioned was the shop Julien and I had wandered into on our first day, Ca'Macana! I was thrilled, because I knew where it was, and it made me feel confident that we would support local artists instead of buying imported knock-offs. Plus, Julien already had his eye on a mask there. Then Carlo hit me with some bad news, being that it was Sunday, there was a chance that the shop was closed or would close early. A chill ran down my spine. You mean, while I was taking my sweet time snapping half-assed snapshots, the second goal of the day had slipped away!? And where was Julien? This was the big ticket item that he had been pining for since we made it to the island!To be continued... It's late and I have a plane to catch in the morning. Hopefully I can get back to this on the plane. I want to tie up a few loose ends before I switch gears and start blabbing about Georgia.