October 13, 2018

That Time I Visited Venice...

So I already made a post about the "Time I Went To Venice..." but I only talked about one thing that happened. Decided I should probably write about what else we did there!

We landed at the Venice airport, bought tickets for a water bus and were taken to the island. It was already such a cool city, even from just the edge of it...

From there we were on foot. We walked to our hotel, the Al Mascaron Ridente. It didn't look like much from outside but it was an adorable little hotel once we got inside. There were not many rooms (although it looked like they were adding more, and each room was unique. 
Sitting on the desk was a bottle of prosecco, included at no extra charge! (lol, Italy and it's inexpensive wine.)
I was able to crawl out our window (not sure if that is advisable) and sit beside the canal (and most importantly, take photos). 

Breakfast was included in our stay and had a wide array of pastries, some meats and cheeses, and made-to-order cappuccino and espresso. What I loved best about the breakfast area was that they'd build it by putting in a glass floor over the pre-existing steps that came up from the canal. 

I can't explain why but the whole time we were there (which was only for two days), I wanted to walk down all the stairs into the water. I seem to have managed to take zero photos of them.

Once we were settled we asked the front desk guy for a recommendation for somewhere nearby lunch. He gave us a printed out list of recommendations that included descriptions and locations and pointed out two personal favorites. 

We selected Osteria Ai 40 Ladroni and ordered some seafood. Seemed appropriate as we were right on the water!
Turns out that, for me, this was not the best choice. I need to remember that other countries don't take the shells of of things like shrimp before breading it and frying it. I think there was some fish and calamari that I was able to enjoy. Husband liked it as he is less picky.

We went back to the hotel for a nap as we had left the U.S. Saturday afternoon, arrived in Venice Sunday morning, and pretty much hadn't slept at all. 

Dressed for dinner, we headed out to a restaurant Husband had already selected. We were on foot as there we're really any other options. Not entirely true, but you can't take an Uber there - there are literally no motor vehicles or (almost) anything with wheels. I realized why (aside from that the paved areas are narrow) all of the bridges (of which there are a million) have stairs, not ramps! I took no photos of these either smh.

I did finally see a guy in a wheel chair, and when he and his wife came to a bridge, he got out of the wheelchair, used the railing to help him traverse the bridge and his wife carried the chair over. Sorry, World - Venice is not ADA compliant.

Approaching the main canal, Husband suggested that maybe we go on a little gondola ride before dinner. How could we go to Venice and not be serenaded by a gondolier?
It was fun being driven around the city and our guy pointed some stuff out to us that we passed. It was fun traveling under all the bridges that we had been walking over.
It is a little unsettling being in then gondola because for him to steer it, our weight had to be shifted to one side. But it was still wonderful albeit not the cheapest activity. 
When we were nearly back to where we'd started from we took a little pit stop. 
It felt so private being in the middle of the canal, but apparently it's unusual for a gondola to just stop so a waterbus nearby noticed what was happening and applauded for the occasion. Surprising, but we enjoyed the attention. 

After that we ACTUALLY headed to dinner at La Colombina we didn't have a reservation (which we should have) but they were able to squeeze us in. I couldn't tell you what we ordered by name but it was all delicious. 

We finished the evening with an obligatory and delicious gelato and, exhausted went back to hotel. 
The next day we decided to keep it low key and didn't plan a lot of sight-seeing. The city is enjoyable just to walk around in, that with only one day, there was no need to do much more than that. 

Husband had located Henry's Bar, the place that invented the Belini so that we could get one for ourselves. It looked like it was closed when we got there, but that's just because it was so bright outside, and low light inside. We tried the door and yes, they were open.
This was a pricey endevour but fun to say we'd done it. I decided to opt for just champagne since I like it equally and it was a couple of euros less. I loved the little glasses so we brought some home (calm down, we paid for them) to cherish forever.
After that we headed to the shuttle that takes you to the Marriott which is on it's own small island about 5 minutes away. We thought it would be fun to get lunch there and scope it out in case we wanted to make a return trip for our honeymoon (we didn't I decided I wanted to go to Disneyland Paris instead). 

On the way, I finally walked down the steps!
And then we also stopped at restaurant for a "spritz" because they are originated in Venice. 
I got whiskey in case I didn't like the spritz.
We got on the water shuttle to the Marriott, looking forward to lunch. According to Google, they would be open at 12 and we got there just after that. We found the restaurant and asked about lunch. They said it would be ready at 12:30 so we went out on a rooftop patio to wait. We returned to the restaurant, were told what all the buffet items were and were told to sit wherever we want. 

As we were eating the tables around us starting filling up quickly. Everyone was wearing what appeared to be a conference ID badge. EVERYONE. There was also a drink menu on the table with their logo on it. It became apparent to me that we had crashed the conference lunch! We realized that that means there's no way to pay for said lunch and debated what to do. 

Husband had ordered a glass of wine and it seemed that drinks were not supposed to be included, so he asked about paying for that when we were finished. The server confirmed that drinks WERE included. 

We decided that it was best to just leave as it would have been all the struggles to explain what had happened to someone who doesn't speak English all that well, and they'd probably have told us there's no way to charge us for it anyway. 

My theory is that the hotel had been shut down for the conference and that's why there was no normal lunch being served that day. But there was just no way for us to know that until it was too late. They should have update their Google maps listing to reflect this, and then we wouldn't have accidentally stolen from them :/

So turns out there IS such a thing as a free lunch, and it was delicious.
We took the shuttle back to the main island and pretty much just walked around.

These are some things we saw but I don't know what they were, just that they looked cool.
 Churches maybe?

It seemed obvious to me that we should get pizza because we were in Italy, but apparently Venice does not have good pizza. But we kept seeing pizza shops that looked delicious to me so I talked Husband into getting it for dinner. 

He looked up the best rated pizza place on Google maps that was walkable, Rossopomodoro, and off we went.

I wanted to get a new leather purse because it's something Venice is known for, so we did a little shopping along the way. I couldn't decide between two purses that I liked so I got both. One is a shoulder bag and the other a wristlet which I now use everyday as my wallet (and taught Husband what a "wristlet" is).

We finally made it to the pizza place and it was an excellent choice. The pizza was really good and worth the walk and the wait for our pizza (it was busy so it took a while).
Very excited about pizza.
It was only a 20 minute walk from our hotel, but it felt far as we'd been walking non-stop for two days and were jet-lagged. 

The last thing I wanted to do was get a fish pedicure. I hadn't thought to look up if there was a place that does it in Venice, but then we saw one when we were shopping. We had gotten one when we were in China and I liked it so I wanted to do it again. It's mostly illegal in the U.S. because people are dumb because of PETA so there aren't a lot of opportunities for me to do so. (Seriously, I don't want animals to be abused, but they're FISH...)

We made it back to the fish pedicure place before they closed and had our feet buffed by the little fishies for 10 minutes. I forget how much it cost.
It tickles a little. I like it.
We unfortunately had to return home the next day, but didn't feel like it was a waste to have only been there for 2 days (it helped that Husband paid for our flights with flyer miles),  and came back with some wonderful memories and a little bit of bling for me ;)

I decided that I didn't want to include Venice as a stop on our honeymoon because we'd only be able to get a day or so once we decided that we wanted to do a 14 day cruise and go to Naples for Husband's favorite style of pizza. But we will go back soon - probably for a cruise.

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