Friday, October 30, 2015

Beautiful Burano

Burano was such a visual treat!
No need to play with tones in the processing.
Vivid, jewel-box colors everywhere.
Even the alley-ways were stunning.
And it was all made better by sharing with good friends!

All photos taken 30 September, 2015 on the island of Burano in the Venice lagoon.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

TBT: Lazy Day

A lazy day in front of Trail Creek Cabin
Yellowstone Nat'l Park

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall From My Window

I just spent a perfect fall weekend in the lovely village of Parisot at the Parisot Literary Festival. What could be better than enjoying gorgeous fall color, blue skies, and warm sun in a picturesque medieval village listening to famous authors talk about their books and their writing processes? Such creativity and dynamic passion! Kate Mosse and Helen Dunmore filled the Parisot salle des fetes with avid fans of their novels. We weren't disappointed! 150 people joined the authors for a catered dinner in Castenet for more literary and not-so-literary conversation over a lovely dinner and several glasses of wine. I came home Sunday evening exhausted, but inspired! Color my world happy and blessed.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Fish...all sizes, all varieties, all fresh. I loved the fish market!
We didn't try these...maybe next time?
Greg decided on shrimp for his first course. Here are our giant gambas being scooped up by the fish vendor.
And here's a video from Venice for to give you a taste of morning at the market.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Market Day

Produce and fish market by the Rialto Bridge
We saw so many beautiful things in Venice and visited many interesting places, but one of my favorite activities of whole trip was buying ingredients for our evening meal. We made the short vaporetto trip to the Rialto open-air market in the morning to purchase fish and vegetables for that evening. The produce was lovely....

I especially liked the clumps of little, orange, yellow. There were some even displayed  like flowers in vases...
Christiane and Greg volunteered to cook. Here's Christiane buying our vegetables for the meal...cauliflower and broccoli...while Ankie, Greg and Jean supervise. We'll visit the fish side of the market in the next blog post.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

View From the Top

St. Mark's Square, Venice
Greg and I went to the top. It was cold and windy, but the views were spectacular!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Everything by Boat

One of the hardest things to get my head around in Venice was the fact that there are no roads at all....everything moves by boat! In this case, laundry....
Store goods and wine....
Household goods and 'stuff'...
and in some instances, even sewerage! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Florian's on St. Mark's, obligatory stop for anyone on the Grand Tour back in the day, charming...
Music to sip coffee by and watch the crowds milling around in the Square....
Over-priced coffee drinks, but so yummy!
Sipping over-priced, but beautifully presented coffee, listening to live music, people watching at Florian's on St. Mark's Square in Venice with good friends....priceless!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rising Water

There were several things about Venice that surprised me. This water in St. Mark's Square was one. I had read about the acqua alta flooding that happens when a storm surge and high tide coincide, but didn't realize that just a normal high tide causes water to rise up into the Square, too. This water was ankle-deep in places making it impossible to walk across the Square without taking your shoes off. It covered some of the walkway along this arcade and seeped into a few shops as well.
Tourists standing in line to enter the Basilica and the Campanile weren't deterred at all by the water. They simply stood on the portable walkways provided for these high water events. We actually saw stacks of these walkways all over the city...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Greg's 'Church'

Greg along the canal by Campo San Giovanni e Paolo
While we were in Venice, we went with Greg on a little pilgrimage to Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the largest squares in Venice. Greg has a beautiful old oil painting of the canal and one of the buildings that line the square. It was probably painted from the little bridge you see in the photo.

This is the view from the bridge. The large white building which we called Greg's church really isn't a church at all...never was. It was originally built in 1260 as the seat of the Confraternity of San Marco. Confraternities were religious brotherhoods, each with its own patron saint, that became legal entities.They worshiped together, held their own commemorative Masses, assisted their members with legal matters, cared for sick members and  buried them. This Confraternity was a Scuole Grandi, meaning it became of the largest organizations. It had high political connections and was under the control of the Council of Ten, the Doge's henchmen. In the 1800s the building became an Austrian hospital. It remains a civil hospital today.

There is a church on the square which adjoins the white building on its right. It's the Basilica of St. John and St. Paul. Twenty-five Doges are buried there.
Here's a photo of Greg's painting. I like the canal less cluttered with boats, don't you?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Night at Peggy's House

We found this event on the Peggy Guggenheim website and since a visit here to see her fabulous collection of early 20th century art was on our 'to do' list, we thought this might be a fun way to kick off our visit in Venice. The evening was sponsored by the folks who make Aperol, Greg's new favorite aperitif. For an admission price of 12 euros, we received two Aperol spritz aperitifs, sandwiches, 2 hours of live jazz and access to Peggy's collection. Not a bad deal when you consider a daytime admission ticket costs 14 euros.

It was definitely a young crowd. Most guests looked to be well under 30 years old.  The special admission price for those holding a Young Venice pass (under 29 years) was only 5 euros, making it a very popular venue.There were a few oldies like us, tho, so we didn't feel too out of place! We nibbled on sandwiches and drank our aperitifs while listening to the great jazz combo in the garden. Afterwards, we wandered through the collection which focuses on artists from the early 20th century. Picasso, Calder, Man Ray, Dali, Chagall and many others were represented. I especially liked this Picasso in the entry. And I love Calder mobiles.

The featured artist was Jackson Pollock. Photos were not allowed in his room which is really okay since I don't much like his work. I concentrated on Picasso instead. I did learn, however, that Pollock is from Iowa. Who would have guessed?

The special Aperol evenings are finished for the year. If you see them on next year's event list, it's a good idea to book your ticket online...saves standing in line with the 'kids' and gets you in sooner.
We voted the event a great way to end our first day in Venice. Even it you don't like modern art, the aperitifs, sandwiches and jazz are worth the price of admission. And you get to mingle with a crowd of vibrant young people!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

First Things First

After an easy flight to Venice and settling into our cozy apartment, we went shopping for supplies. Dinner, yes, but first things first...we must decide on wine! We stocked up on prosecco and Aperol for spritz aperitifs, a bottle of red and one of white. We were set for one night at least.

Our local grocery store was a three minute walk from our apartment along this little canal. When's the last time you took a photo of your trip to buy groceries? Everywhere you look in Venice there's another photo op!
After dropping off our purchases at home, we continued to wander....
Somehow they all seem to maneuver without crashing in to one another....
Everything took on a glow as the sun went down. Our next destination was the Peggy Guggenheim house in Dorsoduro. Our evening's adventure there will be my next post.