Sunday, 24 April 2011

Our 35th wedding Anniversary

This was a truly wonderful day. We woke at our wonderful hotel overlooking the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge. The sun was shining as we opened the shutter and let the daylight in.

View out or window on our anniversary morning.

We got ready and had an excellent breakfast. This hotel knows how to cater to American traditional tastes, and there was everything from cereal to meat. We ate our fill, and talked about what to do with the day. Since Bob only had three pairs of pants (we left the rest in Florence) we decided to seek out a coin-op laundry and do some clothes.
We had to carry our laundry and cross several bridges, and walk a goodly distance, but eventually we found the laundromat. Bob urged Rachel to go and shop and have fun while he did the laundry, but she went and purchased some really good beer and came back to drop it off before she went shopping. Bob waited and guarded the laundry while Rachel went out and purchased some needed groceries. She returned within a half-hour or so, saying she would rather spend the time with Bob than run around Venice shopping.  It reminded her of when we were first together and even made going to the laundromat fun.  35 years later and half-way around the world, we still made it fun.

We finished the laundry and went back to the hotel to drop it off.
We then headed over to the Rialto Bridge. It was an amazing feat for Rachel, with Bob's help, to make it up the steep stairs of the bridge but it was worth it!

Rachel on the Rialto Bridge.

Towards the afternoon we headed  over to the gondola docks to see about a ride. They told us that gondolas were not out after dark and we should get a ride soon. We asked about a song or two and they said that would cost an extra 150 euros. They said the gondoliers no longer sang and they would have to arrange for a singer. Apparently there is a separate union for musicians. They introduced us to a young gondolier named Alesandro, who could sing.

Rachel and Bob in our first gondola.

Alesandro was a good-looking young man with a quick wit and quicker smile. He seemed very bright and happy. He reminded both of us of  Antonio Banderas.

An Over-the-shoulder shot of Alesandro

He got us comfortable in the gondola and then explained that most gondoliers can't sing. he can, but he tries not to do it around other gondolas because then their passengers demand a song and the gondolier probably can't sing.

He took us to some out-of-the-way canals and sang quietly. He had a wonderful voice and sang beautifully.

Off to the side of the side canal.

He paused sometimes to point out famous churches and other sights, and at one point said that a particular house was that of his ancestor Don Juan. We'll never know if he was kidding.

Church tower

On return to the docks he refused to take any money for his singing, saying it was a gift for our 35th wedding anniversary. We argued, and finally settled with him to take 50 euros.

We headed back to our hotel and on walking in we had a wonderful surprise.

Surprised Bob!!


      There was a huge bouquet of white roses and purple flowers

                                                             along with a tray of treats.

 A knock on the door brought chilled sparkling wine and limoncello, a powerful new favorite!!

                                                 Grazia Milo AngelaMaria and Salvatore!!!

The Ovidius Hotel clerk had recommended a particular restaurant for our dinner, and that's where we went.
It was called the Trattoria alla Madonna.
We had quite a nice dinner there, and got to eat some things we had never seen before. It was wonderful. Afterwards we awalked around the area looking at some of the night life and noting shops we might want to visit before leaving. Then back to the hotel for soem wine, and to bed.

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