Mommy Traveling Pants

Family of 5 traveling the 50 states before they graduate. We are a close knit family who enjoys road tripping in our 9 passenger conversion van. We have been traveling since our kids were 6, 8 and 9.
Living in: Michigan, United States
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  • Day3

    Al Faro, Jewish Ghetto, Venice, italy

    August 11, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    In the evening, we set out to the Jewish Ghetto, at the Northern side of Venice. We found a little pizzaria, Al Faro. The Ghetto is much quieter with less tourists. We sat outside which is what most everyone does. As we ate, we watched a parade of Orthodox Jews travel to Synagog. It was Sabbath. We ordered Proseccos and Pizza and it was delicious. It was glutin free. Italy is very accustomed to dietary restrictions. They were great. This was the first cheese pizza I have had in years. I have been gluten and dairy free for years. I decided in Italy I was going to eat cheese. I took some lactose pillls and I was fine. I was happy. Happy little cheese eater.

    After dinner, we worked our way back through the Ghetto. To us, ghetto means Detroit. There was no one on the streets. Every once in a while a pocket of locals hung out on corners. We ended up on a dim street with a man a block behind us. Our street sense kicked in unnecessarily, maybe it was just mine, and I made Paul run after we turned a corner. Stupid I know because to be honest, I never once felt unsafe in Venice. My street sense just told me to not take a chance. It’s the dumb ones who don’t listen to that inner voice. We passed through the bar district where the locals sit on the waters edge or on docked boats drinking to loud music. Kind of a cool scene. We made it back safe after a great day exploring Venice. Let’s see what Venice brings tomorrow. Luggage maybe. New clothes.
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  • Day3

    Realto Bridge, Venice, italy

    August 11, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    We set out to explore. It is said that you must get lost in Venice and that we did. We wandered through the labyrinth of walkways and pathways and tunnels and waterways. It is a remarkable place. A place everyone should try to visit. We actually enjoyed the quieter areas away from the crowds, though, we didn’t feel like it was all that crowded anyway. We were alone most of the time and we found restaurants that were more local and less touristy. We had a little breakfast of procuitto and melon and an espresso. I love the taste of espresso but I also love to hold and savor a big mug. This whole sidaling up to a bar for a dolly sized sip of steaming hot deliciousness leaving you wanting more is no way enjoy the morning. They literally run up, order, slam and run. That is probably the only thing they do fast.

    We walked over the famous Realto Bridge and worked our way to the Realto Market with fresh fruit and veggies and fish. Kind of gross really. There were flies and bees all over the fish. Ick. We meandering through the streets and found another quaint restaurant for lunch. We had a Peach Belini which was made almost to a slushy consistency which was refreshing. It was a warm day but not too hot. Hot in the sun but breezy and comfy in the shade. Did you know the Belini was created in Venice. Yup. We also ordered a bowl of mussels. I am so glad Paul and I like the same things. Makes it very easy.

    We worked our way to the east side of the lagoon. We saw our ship already docked in Port waiting for Sunday‘s departure. It is a moderate sized ship compared to the monstrosities parked in Port looming over Venice. You can see them from the west side. Can’t blame these beautiful countries for getting upset by the number of ships that dump thousands upon thousands into their towns, though it helps their economy. They seem a little irritated when serving you.

    We lost ourselves in the streets of Venice some more and found another cafe to stop at for an appertivo. I also wanted to try one of the orange drinks that everyone seemed to be drinking. I think everyone was drinking them because everyone saw everyone else drinking them and wanted to try the same refreshing looking orange drink. So, I asked for the orange drink that everyone was drinking. It is called an Aperol spritz. It is prosecco with Aperol and soda with a slice of orange. I really liked it. Paul didn’t because it has a bitter taste. I also tasted the red version, a Compari. It is really bitter. The Aperol Spritz is lighter in taste. So, we had that and a Caprese Salad. Midway through our afternoon appertivo, we got message that my luggage, “the pink bag”, was being delivered at 5 PM. It was 4:45 in Venice. What would normally have been a straight 15 minute shot is 30 in the winding streets. Thank God for imaps. It still took 30 minutes. Our host at the apartment was communicating with the airport and then us. It was frustrating because the time between communications was not real time. We got back to the apartment and continued to try to figure where my luggage was. Rosella called us to say that my luggage was sitting in a pizzaria down the street. What?! Sure enough, it was. The courier couldn’t find us and left it at the pizzaria. WTF?! I had two one of a kind hand made dresses worth a ton of money in my bag, my jewelry though not worth a ton and my priceless underwear. It was fine but really? So Paul‘s bag was still MIA with 24 hours before boat departure. Delta gave us clearance to go shopping on their tab. “Just don’t go buy Prada.” We aren’t Prada anyway.

    It’s all part of the adventure (Because I got my stuff.haha)
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  • Day3

    Calle de la Colombina, Venice, Italy

    August 11, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    I slept very well last night. I needed it. I woke up around 8. I quietly shuffled through the kitchen, while Paul slept, trying to figure out how to make coffee. There were two things that resembled a coffee press but I had no idea how they worked. I had to look it up on the internet. Now this is science at its best and if i were still teaching, I would bring it into school. You fill the bottom with water, put the filter back in, fill with grounds, put the pot-like top back on and put it on the burner. The hot water boils up through the grounds and coffee brews to the top into the pot and you pour it into your cup. How great! I am going in search of one immediately. I had coffee, a banana, and part of an Udi’s chocolate muffin that I got on the plane while looking out of my living room window. An older couple (literally an arm’s reach across) was picking their basil and hanging out their laundry. Perfectly Venice. I typed up a blog post while absorbing this moment in time. Paul rose about 10AM. I knew he needed sleep. He is crabby when tired. Not me. (Wink).

    We set out to explore. It is said that you must get lost in Venice and that we did. We wandered through the labyrinth of walkways and pathways and tunnels and waterways. It is a remarkable place. A place everyone should try to visit. We actually enjoyed the quieter areas away from the crowds, though, we didn’t feel like it was all that crowded anyway. We were alone most of the time and we found restaurants that were more local and less touristy. We had a little breakfast of procuitto and melon and an espresso. I love the taste of espresso but I also love to hold and savor a big mug. This whole sidaling up to a bar for a dolly sized sip of steaming hot deliciousness leaving you wanting more is no way enjoy the morning. They literally run up, order, slam and run. That is probably the only thing they do fast.
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  • Day2

    Venice, Italy

    August 10, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We got off realizing how lucky we really were that we didn’t have our other two 45 and 30 pound bags. You can guess which is mine. Shoes people. We didn’t have to lug our bags down the street and over a bridge. It was a couple minute walk back to our apartment which was right near the ferry stop. Rosella was waiting for us. We had been in communication with her all along because of our delays. We rented the Airbnb from Rosella. You have never met a more lovely lady. Big hug and double cheek kiss. She led us down a little “street”, Calle de Colombina, to her door. Now if you were taken down a street like this to a door like this in the “D”, you would keep walking but she was so proud of her place and it was charming and so Venice. Up one flight of cement stairs to another wooden door with a door knob right in the center. If she wasn’t proud enough of the outside, she was of the inside which was also perfectly Venice. Here, your host shows you around, answers your questions, and shares places to go. In Italian, I might add. She had a little Ipad type thing with Google translate where she would talk into into so we could read it in English. The funny thing was that she would do it while looking at you and smiling like you could understand her. I stood there smiling wanting to understand and shaking my head like I did. I cannot tell you how nice she was.

    Rosella gave us a bottle of Prosecco, a bag of Italian cookies, a full bowl of fresh fruit, some juice and a pretty glass necklace that had meaning but...I couldn’t understand. I took a picture of the translation so I could decifer it later. She insisted on romance in Venice. She doesn’t know Paul. He is a romantic. Funny, too, when it came to mechanical things or “man” things, she addressed him. “Woman” things, to me. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that, if needed, it would be me fixing the air conditioner or radio (which, by the way, played romantic CDs like Pavarotti and some 70s and 80s love songs). I am ok with gender roles especially when it comes to taking out the garbage and carrying heavy things. Wink. I am selective.

    She left and we settled in and decided to just go to dinner and go to bed. It was around 6 PM and we had been up for about 36 hours. We went down by the ferry waterfront to a restaurant and sat by the water. Perfection. The sun was setting over the lagoon where the waterways were set up like roads. It was a disorganizingly orchestrated array of little local motorboats (cars) and ferries and taxis all avoiding each other by a hair. The big boats nearly swamping the little ones with no concern by either captain. Picture Mexican or Italian roadways but on water. Craze. Our dinner was delicious. A starter of Prosecco, procuitto
    and seafood tartar. Then we shared a seafood platter of shrimp (with faces) and tuna. Yummy. Not the faces. I pretended it was just a cute holder of the shimp meat resembling the actual shrimp. You know, like the cute corn holders we use on the ends of corn on the cob. I know, it is a stretch. We were there until about 10 and hit the sheets hard. Let me tell you, the pillows in Italy are not like those we stock up on in the states. No Costco around here? Two king pillows for 20 bucks. These were your grandma’s old pillows she tries to pawn off on you from 30 years ago because she feels guilty throwing them away. Throw. Them. Away. Along with the crocheted itchy blanket. Shiver
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  • Day2

    Marco Polo Airport

    August 10, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We made it to Venice. We were very skeptical that our luggage actually followed us (and the lady at the airline). Our intuition, logic, whatever it is, was correct. Fortunately, because we packed so much and packed it the way we did taking a carry-on for the days in Venice so we wouldn’t have to even open the big bags. Smart thinking. We had everything we needed and baggage claim told us in broken English that our bags will be delivered to our apartment. Grazie Mile.

    So now off to buy ticket to the Alilaguna for our boat ride to Venezia. Easy Peezy. It really wasn’t as crazy and “scary” as in Rome in the train station. I didn’t feel like I was going to be pickpocketed or taken advantage of. We took the ferry across the lagoon to Morano, where they make glass, for a ferry stop and then on to Fondamente Nova which was our stop. What we didn’t realize fast enough was that this was our stop. They literally spent 30 seconds at the stop. Suddenly, we were moving on before we could determine whether we were supposed to get off. The guy told us to get off at the next and walk back. Ugh. Stupido Americanos. It’s like the subway. Doors open. Doors close. Except on the subway, you can actually hear someone say the name of the stop. They move fast
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