day 5  july 19, 2003  Venice, Italy
It is Saturday. We woke up to catch the 6:45 am train from from Firenze to Venezia. We lacked knowledge in how the bus system worked, so we left the hotel at 6:04 am on foot with full packs. We powerwalked all the way across town and made it at the train station by about 6:40. We were frantically trying to find the train and sweating like no other because of our powerwalk. It was 6:50 when we gave up trying to find the train. We got reservations for a train that went to Bologna where we could catch a train to Venezia. The reservation ticket upgraded us to first class (Lisa did not intend that but her graceful Italian and hand motions can be blamed or congratulated depending on how you look at it). From Bologna to Venezia we were once again in 2nd class.
When we got to Venezia, we need to get a hotel. As it turned there was a big annual festival going on that night, so the cheapest thing we could get with a bathroom was €90 called Allegro de San Samuela. We met a guy in line from New York who gave Jon his waterbus pass because it was still good until the next morning. We took the waterbus to get close to our hotel.
We had no clue what to expect. We saw the sign and had to walk into a dark, kind of smelly entry way. At the end there was a doorway to the right with stairs going up inside. Lisa went up while Jon stayed down with the bags. The stairs were not even, slanting down in the middle. The thought was in Lisa's mind that this could be a rather scary, in a dirty way, hotel, like in the movie "Just Married." She found the hotel office, and the man was very nice.
He showed her the room, which was quite pleasant and spacious. The bathroom was small but very clean, new looking. The room was decorated very Venetian. Jon came up, and we took a quick nap.
When we woke up, we remembered that supposedly things closed on Sundays, so we needed to see all we wanted today. We went to the Basilica di San Marco, which had high dome ceilings that were all gold, mosaic. If we wanted to, we could pay money to see some bones of a saint, but we didn't care.
Then we went to the Gallerie Dell' Academia. It had some spectacular works of art and ceilings. We used an English audio tour with two sets of ear phones connected to the same tape player. Jon was holding the tape player , and the way we had it set up Lisa was supposed to be on the right and Jon on the left. Whenever we needed to turn though, Jon kept turning right causing Lisa to need to run around him into her position. At one point, as the tour dragged on, Lisa fell asleep.
We then ate a pizza dinner overlooking the Grand Canal. The food was good, but Jon got his arm and sleeve pooped on by a bird. We watched large groups of people beginning to party on boats traveling out to where the festival/fireworks would take place. The most entertaining thing was a boat playing rap with a guy trying to do the rapper hand thing, but he was off beat.
We went to Campo Santa Stefano, where there was a church service going on. Lisa didn't want to interrupt, but we went in for a few minutes. It looked just like all the other churches we went to.
We went to the hotel and rested. Then we went to San Marcos for the festival. We sat on the ground with many others, lawn chairs were nowhere to be seen. We waited for over 3 hours and peoplewatched. Right before the fireworks people started crowding into any open ground space. Behind us was a guy about Lisa's age who squeezed his way in. He had 2 young guys following him. He was speaking in English about how they should have brought their boat from the Bahamas, so they could be out on the water. Then he started talking about how he needed to get himself a double D.
At this point Lisa had been standing up because her butt hurt from sitting. The Italian family that had been sitting next to us the whole time and even gave us newspaper to sit on, had a father that liked to lay down. The annoying guy was now not only standing on Lisa's newspaper but towering over where the Italian father had been laying. The father was just sitting and staring at the annoying guy hoping he would move. Lisa turned to the annoying guy and told him he needed to step back because the man wanted to lay down, and the punk kid was in the way. She held back some of her other thoughts about him being a pompous pig who needs the attention and admiration of younger kids.
When Lisa made him move when she wanted to sit in her spot to see the fireworks, he said to his lackeys, "who the f*** does this chick think she is." Lisa did sit down yet regrets not sharing her thoughts with him, it would have been so exhilarating.
The fireworks went off over the water. People were standing in the front, so people sitting down threw bottles at them bouncing them of their heads. When it made contact, everyone cheered and yelled. Then the polizia came blowing whistles, trying to find who threw the bottles. During the fireworks were Italian flag sticks, many lines of red, white, and green that seemed to float in the air.
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