But let's flash back to May/June and finish up those pictures first, yes?
Can't remember if I posted this one already or not, it was in Florence with the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) in the background. The bridge is lined end to end with jewelry stores.
Here's a little self-portrait in front of St. Mark's in Venice. After our first day in Venice, we (meaning Scott and Sarah and us) decided the next morning to take the water bus to Murano, which is famous for its glass. Back in the day, the guys in charge in Venice decreed that the glassworks all had to be on Murano, which is another island further out from Venice proper, so that if fire should break out, Venice would be spared.
That is one giant glass sea urchin.
Lee was kind of laughing about how he got me back on a boat again after the disastrous whale watching trip.
I don't know why I have so many scenery shots here?
But here's another one...
Ok, last one. Somehow I totally neglected to take pictures of any of the glass stuff in the shops, and I can neither confirm nor deny that Murano glass might be making an appearance under the Christmas tree this year. So anyway, after Murano, we caught the water bus back to Venice and went on a gondola ride.
The Rialto Bridge. I think? Yes, Wikipedia has confirmed it is the Rialto Bridge, in place since 1591. Wow.
Ok, for some reason I can't get Blogger to let me type in between those last two pictures, but here's a funny one. *cue thick fake Italian accent* "My daddy was a gondolier. My brudda was a gondolier. I'm a gondolier, and one day, Georgio, you gonna be a gondolier." We just thought the gondoliers' striped shirts hanging out to dry were kind of funny : )
Unfortunately, our gondolier wasn't all that awesome. Sure, he took us around the town, but he didn't talk to us at all or tell us about any of the buildings we passed or anything. Scott and Sarah had gone on a gondola ride the previous day and said their first gondolier was fantastic, informative and highly entertaining. So I guess it all depends on who you happen to get.
The one time he did talk, he hollered across the canal in Italian at another gondolier. We were betting it was something along the lines of "I found another bunch of suckers to pay lots of money for a boat ride, how about you?"
Still, kind of cool to get the canal-level view of the city.
I'm not sure these pictures are in order (that's what happens when you have two cameras) but one night Lee and I went out for dinner on our own. This is Lee looking a little leery of all those black olives on my pizza. YUM. (Lee hates black olives and calls them beetles when I put them on my food. I eat them anyway.)
All the Coke cans had letters on them so you could spell out Italia if you drank enough Coke.
Random bridge shot from our last day in Venice, and then we found...this:
That, my friends, is the church that Indiana Jones visited upon embarking on the Last Crusade, called San Barnaba in real life. It took us a while to find it, but when we got to the piazza, both Lee and I started singing the Indiana Jones theme music. This may have been my favorite part of Venice, just finding this church. We also saw the manhole cover that Indy and Elsa pop up out of after their adventures in the (non-existent) catacombs!
We didn't get to tour the inside of the church because it was closed in preparation for a da Vinci exhibit (that's me doing my best Mona Lisa impression). Anyway, the inside of the church wasn't used in the movie, that was a set, so we saw the movie part already. Oh, if you watch the movie when Indy, Elsa and Marcus are walking to the church and Indy is flirting, they pass some green awnings. Those awnings are over a boat tied up right next to a bridge around the corner from the church piazza; the boat is a little veggie market stall kind of thing. Lee and I ate at a little cafe looking out over that bridge and the veggie boat, the green awnings are still there. How's that for cool? I walked where Indiana Jones walked!