After the dawn march through Venice, Mom and Dad met us at Rialto Bridge to take us to the hotel. We took much-needed showers and took another short nap because we wanted to get up and make use of our time in Venice. (BY THE WAY - why do Europeans not believe in shower curtains? They have a removable/portable shower head in a bathtub and no shower curtain! I did a series of graceful pirouettes to keep the water flow always pointed against the wall so as to not drench the whole bathroom. Michael said "Screw it" and took a normal shower. Afterwards it looked like a saturated sheepdog shook itself out in there.)
The first thing on the agenda was to see San Marco's Square.
See what I mean about how many tourists are out in normal daytime hours?
Then just some meandering around the shops and canals. We ate lunch at such a wonderful restaurant right on the Grand Canal, nestled right next to Rialto Bridge. We all got some awesome Italian food and enjoyed the view. Then, of course, got dessert (gelato). I spent a lot of time debating posting this picture or the alternate, which featured Mom and Shan looking exactly the same as above and me stuffing my face with gelato.
When it was time to head to the cruise ship, we took a water taxi. This is a private (motor) boat that takes you anywhere you want to go. This is definitely the way to travel! We saw such beautiful sights from this unique vantage point and got great pictures!
Under a low bridge:
We even drove right up next to the ship: our new home! When you board a cruise ship, you're usually given a window of about 5 hours to get on board. Last time we cruised out of Miami and tried to board right at the beginning. We ended up waiting around in huge lines and it seemed to take forever because you're so excited to get on the ship. This time we wanted to spend as much time in Venice as possible, so we waited until the last minute to board...and we walked right onto the ship. I really recommend this route.
After checking out our awesome balcony cabin and going over a short safety drill, we ran for the atrium because there was a World Cup soccer game playing. We watched a couple WC throughout the week. First, it was great seeing it on this huge screen but the coolest thing was watching it with people from all over the world. We watched Germany vs. Spain with Germans and Spaniards. That was cool.
But we had to leave the game early because we were pushing out of port and had heard that this view of Venice was not something to be missed. Whoever told me that was SO RIGHT. We were high above the city on the 13th deck, so got to see Venice from a really interesting perspective.
We went to sleep early because we hadn't had a full night's sleep in about two days. And let me tell you, the big king size bed in our cabin felt just fine.
Next up: Split, Croatia!