Venetian Dreams

Day Ten

I woke up this morning at 6am panicked that I would oversleep. We were scheduled to arrive in Venice around 6am and disembarking would begin at 8am. I looked outside to find that I couldn’t actually see anything. We were sitting in a heavy fog. I figured I would head back to bed for a bit. At 7am the Captain came on the loudspeaker to inform us that due to the fog the Venice harbor was shut down. He was hoping that by noon the fog would clear up.

Suddenly finding ourselves with a lot of time on our hands, Barbara and I headed to breakfast. We tried to get into Versailles, but they had already stopped serving. That left us with O’Sheehan’s or the Cafe. We chose O’Sheehan’s which offered a view of the atrium and the pandemonium of guests who were now missing their flights. Today I decided to be wild and crazy and ordered two breakfasts! Scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, oatmeal, an assortment of pastries, and a pot of tea. We decided to hang onto the pastries for a snack.

Back in the room, we settled into our beds for some television. Only a few of the channels were working so we ended up with a movie in Spanish. Fortunately, there were subtitles and occasionally some of the dialogue was in English. I actually really enjoyed the movie. It was about Cantinaflas, a Mexican comedian.

The Captain made another announcement updating us on the fog situation. He was hoping to be able to dock by 2pm, however, if we were pushed out any later we would have to wait for a sailing regatta which would receive priority over us. With that news, we decided to go to lunch. This time we were able to get into Versailles. I ordered an open-faced beef burger with pulled pork, which ended up being a regular hamburger with pulled pork on the top. I guess describing it as open-faced makes it sound a bit fancier. Whilst we were dining we received the good news that we could proceed into the harbor! At first, I wasn’t sure why we had been cleared to move as the fog was still really thick, but as we got closer to Venice it thinned out to nothing.

We returned to our room to watch the ship dock and all of the preparations made to see us off. After the first group disembarked, we said a final farewell to our stateroom and headed to O’Sheehan’s to wait for our turn. It seemed like there was a bit of chaos as people left the ship and were searching for their bags. I’m curious if it is always that crazy or if it was simply due to our late arrival.

Arriving at the people mover, we were met with more chaos. It seemed people were incapable of calmly purchasing their tickets. We squeezed onto the train and were deposited at the bus station. I soon found myself getting into a vaporetto. I couldn’t believe that I was in Venice! After switching one vaporetto for another, we found ourselves at our new home. A quaint studio apartment right on a canal.

Setting out to explore a bit of the city before dinner, we walked back to the train station and boarded a vaporetto for San Marco. The city truly is beautiful! Standing in front of the Dodge’s palace, I again found myself amazed that I was there! With two hours until our dinner reservation, we started to make our way back to the apartment.

Barbara had selected a seafood restaurant that had received good reviews, Il Paradiso Perduto. We only got turned around once on our way there. We have been told to get lost in Venice but decided this would be best done in daylight. We found the restaurant and were met with a huge crowd. Apparently, this was the place to be. The atmosphere was electric with loud music and even louder conversation. Barbara was starting to get a little frantic with the crowd, music, and the wait for our table.

Once seated, I struggled to find something to eat on a menu full of fish. I ordered the only thing with the word beef in it and hoped for the best. The tables were family style, and we soon found ourselves with a mother and her son as companions. It was funny, I don’t know any Italian, but I could tell she was telling him not to play games on his phone while he was at the table. Their food arrived first having skipped the antipasti. Barbara commented that an American kid his age would never order a heaping plate of seafood. I was quite impressed with his selection. The loud music was replaced with a live band comprising of a violinist, cellist, guitarist, and drummer. They were very talented and far more entertaining than the previous music. Our food arrived shortly after, and I was pleased to find myself with a steak and a heaping pile of grilled vegetables! Halfway through the meal, Barbara could no longer help herself and asked our table mates if they spoke English. The mother could not, however, the boy could. He claimed he learned by playing a lot of video games and from the internet. His name was Enrico, and he was in what would be equivalent to the 7th grade. We discover he likes to ski and that he and his family would be visiting Orlando next spring. Barbara taught him a couple of riddles and told him to study math instead of playing video games. Enrico translated for his mother who emphatically agreed about studying more. Having finished their meal our new friends wished us well and said goodnight. We followed once we were able to get the check from our waiter who did not stop frantically moving about the restaurant.

We took a different route to return home and managed not to get lost! Having kept Barbara up way past her bedtime, we called it a night. 

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