Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Cara!

After many takes we somehow managed to have a finished birthday greeting for Cara. We are sending birhtday wishes to Cara on her special day, today she is two!

Have a day filled with fun, family, and birthday cheers.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Party For Our Princess

We are getting ready in Italy to have a party for Cara's birthday which will be coming up soon. Since we cannot get home in time to celebrate so we are having a princess party on my blog.

You all are invited!

The party will continue over the next few days with a special message to the birthday girl and a photo surprise.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Birthday Part II

After we left the island of Murano we boarded the vaparetto and made our way toward Burano, known for its handmade lace. The homes on the island are painted in bright colors so that fishermen can easily find theirs from the water.

Welcome to Burano.

No Music For The Video

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Birthday!

After breakfast in our hotel lobby overlooking a canal, I returned to our room to find that Cyndi had decorated it for my birthday.

Photo taken from across the courtyard of our room.

A house I saw along the way that I thought was really cute; I'd take this home if someone bought it for me.

Leaving Venice on the vaparetto going to Murano.

A demonstration in glass blowing a glass factory.

A pile of glass outside one of the glass factories.

The piazzas in Murano feature glass sculptors: these are two of many.

A visit to one of the many glass shops on Murano and birthday presents Cyndi and Danilo bought for me.

With the temperatures hot Cyndi and I couldn't resist a little water fight at the drinking fountain. It felt really refreshing.

Leaving Murano and going over to the island of Burano; the next post will be about our visit to Burano.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Destination Venice

When we planned our trip to Italy to visit Cyndi and Danilo, plans were also made for my birthday in July. Cyndi asked if I wanted to be in Rome or Venice for my birthday and after thinking for about a half a second I said "Venice!"

I have been fascinated with Venice since reading about it in elementary school. Having seen first hand the beauty of this magical city, I am still in awe and cannot get enough of seeing it.

On July 14 we all were waiting at the train station in Faenza to board for our three hour ride.

Smiling faces as we all head to The Grand Canal for our first photo of the traveling four.

After our vaporetto (boat bus) ride we got off at St. Mark's Square then wound our way through the city to find our hotel.

The view outside of our hotel lobby window.

After checking into our rooms we all headed out to take in the sights.

The Rialto Bridge.

The Bridge of Sighs.

S. Giorgio.

Knowing that we had a full day ahead of us tomorrow (even though we didn't want the day to end), we went back to our hotel for a night's rest. I almost could not sleep with the excitement of knowing that I would wake up in Venice on my birthday and travel to two islands just beyond the reaches of the main city.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mystery Trip

Today was a mystery adventure starting with Cyndi saying that we had a picnic lunch waiting and that we were heading out. Packing the car with food, cameras, and all, we headed out into the beautiful Italian country side. My job of the day was to guess where we were going.

Having traveled the road we were on once before, my immediate guess was Ferrara, but when the car zoomed by that turn, I knew that "Ferrara" was not the correct answer. Heading in a different direction, and even recognizing where we were, I knew right away that we were going to Comacchio. But soon we turned off the roadway to Comacchio, heading in yet another direction, and I realised that I was zero for two in guessing our destination.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a beautiful church tower peeking out from behind a stand of umbrella pine trees and asked the Danilo to slow down so I could get a picture. Either he didn't hear me or traffic wouldn't allow him to slow down because we passed the church without slowing. I was hoping that on the way back home we would travel this road again, so I would have another opportunity to take my picture, when I noticed that we were making a right-hand turn. It appeared that we were heading up a drive way to the church entrance. Yeah! Perfect!!

As we arrived we were told that we were at The Abbey of Pomposa and would have our picnic lunch on the grounds before touring monastery.

The abbey was founded in the 6th century AD and in the 9th century the first community of Benedictine monks began to form.

While stationed at this monastery, Guido D'Arezzo invented the modern musical scale that we use to this day.

Walking the grounds at The Abbey of Pomposa

Inside The Abbey of Pomposa

After visiting Pomposa we headed out in the car for a stop in the fishing village of Comacchio. The day was perfect, though hot, with blue sky, riding in the convertible with the top down, and just being together as a family. Talking with Cyndi in the backseat, I realized that we were not too far from the beach. I did the "please can we stop" thing and sure enough my sweet son-in-love, as he likes to call himself, turned off the main road and headed for the Adriatic Sea. This was a stop spent with three of us rolling up our pant legs and getting into the water as much as we could. A welcome relief to the hot day.

We soon were on the road heading for Comacchio, reminiscent of Venice in its history and known today for its canals and its eel industry.

The Trepponti bridge, spanning two of the town's canals.

In the center of town there is an 1824 clock tower.

Maybe I could earn a living in Comacchio?

At the end of the day we stopped by the feast in Alfonsine for dinner.

The end of a busy day.