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Italy: Venice (March 16, 2002)

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In Venice, people don't drive their cars on the right side of the road. In fact, the Venoids (people who live in Venice) don't drive at all. They take boats. Venice has no cars, because it is actually a group of islands. To get from one place to another, we had to take vaporettos (boats).

Dawn, David and Keegan had taken the train to Venice, so we were on our own. We got all of our suitcases out of the parking garage and onto the vaporettos (after thinking the floating waiting platform was the boat). Our stop was called Palanca. The place we were staying at is huge, probably because it was an old warehouse.

We went to St. Marco piazza (square) where Joss and I fed pigeons. Here, Joss said that it was the Rebel Pigeons, so we didn't chase any. We bought one-Euro bags of corn (bird feed). I started out by putting my hand on the ground with some corn in it and pigeons eating out of it. Soon all the food in my hand was gone. I managed to get pigeons to land on my hand to get the food.

Other than rivers as streets, Venice is like a huge maze. It is hard to find your way around, but impossible to get lost. Sooner or later a little river will pop up and you just follow it out to the main sea. Mom and Dad would sometimes let Joss or me lead our way back to St. Marco piazza.

Venoids also make good pizza and gelato. The pizzas here taste very buttery and the gelato very creamy. Must be the milk. Inside the house, I like pushing Keegan around in on pillows, because the ground is really smooth. I think he likes it, but Mom said that he looked terrified while I was pushing him. We also had Raclette with Dawn and David. As there was no Raclette cheese available, we substituted with Alpine and Provolone cheese. It was not as good as the right cheese, but it worked.

Dawn, David and Keegan then left. It was sad, and it felt very lonely in the big house. We then went to the cathedral at St. Marco piazza. The roof was entirely coved with glass mosaics, with gold baked into them to give it a golden color. We saw the Last Supper, the Great Flood and lots of other things. It would have been useful if there were little train tracks with beds on them so I could have lied down to look at the roof, because at the end of the visit my neck was breaking.

Outside, we looked at the pillars. Dad said that the kind of art used for the outside of the cathedral was called Early Ransack, because everything was either stolen or won in a battle. Then we went to the islands Burano and Murano, where we went to glass and lace museums. At the Glass Museum, Joss and I learned that glassmakers have to melt sand down, mix it with a chemical and let it sit for a few months. We then went to the exhibit, and we saw old glass that was opaque, and we also saw a big glass park. At the Lace Museum, we saw Venetian lace and Burano lace and some old ladies making lace. Mom bought some Burano lace for Grandma.

On our last day in Venice, Joss and I got two gelatos and got to feed the pigeons twice. I got some on my shoulders and then my head. We also went out for a night walk and ended it at the pigeon piazza. There are lots of vendors during the daytime that all sell the same thing: little plastic army men, meowing cats, barking dogs and bunny rabbits. Mom got the giggles when she saw one of the vendors with red-eyed Bunny rabbits, orange-eyed dogs and yellow-eyed cats. She explained to me that the dog (who every ten seconds stands up on its hind legs and waves its front legs) had crossed the rabbit's path right when it did its trick. She said it looked like a lion attacking a rabbit twice its size. Venice had been really fun, and it will be hard to go back to the land of cars.


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