Days 21 & 22: Venice & Home to Seattle

We pulled into Venice during the night, so we awoke to a familiar skyline and the reality that our vacation was almost over (but a beautiful sunrise!).

Saying we were ready through would be an understatement. My insides were still very unhappy, we were both still sick, and honestly just plain exhausted after 3 weeks of traveling in the heat. Disembarkation went smoothly, and luckily we knew exactly how to get to our hotel for the night. This was critical as I was running between bathrooms for the final 30 hours of our time in Italy. Not fun. For this exact reason, we laid low at the hotel for most of the day, and then finally ventured out for a “cruise” on the vaparetto. Matt and I rode the main line end to end on the Grand Canal, taking in the sights and awesome people watching from the back seating deck. It was a great, low key way to spend our final touristy time in Venice.

We went back to our hotel to clean up and relax before dinner. On the way there, we found the nearest Coop (our favorite supermarket chain) and bought our version of souvenirs: tuna, coffee, anchovies, pasta and wine. Unfortunately we had a horrible social faux pas and checked out with our massive load in the line that is for 5 items only. And we spoke so little Italian it was hard to apologize. We packed our bags as fast as possible and left in a hurry. Oh grocery stores are a hard place to navigate!

We wanted to do our final dinner in Venice, and of the trip, to be special. We still had one thing on our “must eat” list that we had not had: tiramisu. I was avoiding meat, and matt wanted gnocchi, so walked along inspecting menus for an acceptable combination of choices. We settled on a cute little place right along the Grand Canal that balanced authentic charm and touristy appeal in just the right way. We decided to go all out and order mozzarella and tomatoes, and fish soup (we did want to try seafood on this coast as well), as well as Bolognese Gnocchi (Matt) and pesto spaghetti (me). The fish soup, amazing…we did not leave a drop! Matt’s gnocchi was fabulous too…homemade with a really fresh sauce. The pesto, eh, I should have known better. This is not the pesto area of Italy, and you could tell. Luckily we had plenty of other things to eat! And for dessert: decadent, homemade, perfect tiramisu. We watched the sun set over the Grand Canal, and then wandered home basking in the romance the last evening of our honeymoon in Venice.

Sounds perfect right? Well, it was, until my insides decided to rebel again. Let’s just say it was a very fast and memorable trip back to the hotel. Good thing I married such a great guy who is willing to laugh with me in awkward situations!

The next morning we ate breakfast, checked out, and took a bus to the airport. From there it was pretty uneventful. Busses were smooth, and we checked in with both bags (after a slight reshuffling) just at the weight limit (wine and pasta and tuna weight a lot!). When we arrived in NY, the customs line was out the door, but we were able to bypass it since we had a short connection. Our final flight we had a seat between us, which really helps on an 8 hour flight.

We were exhausted when we got to Seattle. And honestly somewhat disappointed that it was not rainy! After all that heat we were ready for some cooler weather! Matt’s parent’s picked us up and took us home. Boy oh boy, were the kitties happy to have their people home! We shared some quick stories, but were ready to crash. And after being gone for 3 weeks, nothing can compare to being home, snuggled up in your own bed.

Our souvenirs from the trip! mostly canned Italian tuna, wine and honey!


Honeymoon Day 20: Split, Croatia

The only things we knew about Split were that it was a) in Croatia, and b) home to Diocletian’s Palace (queue Matt’s commentary on Roman history). It was a short port of call, but it turned out to be ok because it was a pretty small historic core to explore.

The old town itself was fascinating to look at. Ancient ruins ran right up against new(er) buildings, all being lived in and used. There was no “do not touch the ruins” here. The old palace walls were largely intact, and the main city streets were old ancient cobbles surrounded by old stone buildings. We climbed the bell tower (VERY steep climb), saw the Cathedral of St. Domnius, and eventually made our way out to the public market. We looked for bakery and found two local pastries to try – one savory cheese and the other cherry. We really liked seeing the differences between this market and the ones in Turkey. In Turkey the markets were vendors selling many tables of goods (crops, nuts, spices etc). At this market, each vendor was only at one table, clearly selling just what they had produced at their home farm. Some tables were piled high with peppers and fruit, while others only had a few items for sale. We bought some raspberries to snack on with our pastries.

My day ended early in Split when my tummy stopped feeling well. It is not fun to walk around when your insides are rebelling. I went back and laid down while Matt explored some more.

That night we finished packing, had one last meal, and started planning what to do in Venice before heading home.

Honeymoon Day 19: at Sea

Our final day at sea. That translates into our final day to lounge in the sun! Matt and I were both starting to feel better thanks to the Sudafed. We spent a good amount of time lounging by the pool, then took a break from the sun to play games, pack, and relax in our room.

I took advantage of the spa, and had a wonderfully relaxing pampering session of a mini facial, neck massage and hot stone massage. I had never tried any of these, and hot stone seriously was amazing. Matt was a little skeptical of the facial (isn’t that what face wash is for?) but he kept commenting afterwards how much my skin glowed. He was impressed.

Our evening at Sea was a formal night, complete with our invitation to the Captain’s champagne reception. I put on my silky ivory dress, and Matt wore his wedding suit. Boy did that combination turn heads! We made our way to the champagne reception with the sole mission of downing as much free champagne as possible. Boy did we succeed! We met up with some friend on the cruise, Crysta and Jamie, and plowed our way through at least 4 glasses each in about 45 minutes. Dinner that night was fun!

On the way to dinner we stopped at the bathroom, and I was waiting for Matt and when I got the best compliment ever. I was standing across the hall from an old man dressed in a very sweet suit waiting for his wife. We were each minding our own business as group after group of people walked past on the way to dinner. Finally he looked over and me, smiled, and said, “geez, every single one of those people turn heads to look at you in that dress! No one is even paying attention to me!” We both laughed and so I went over to stand next to him in the hallway and talk. It was wonderful. Since it was formal night, we ate in the main dining room at our special table for two (we had been eating at the Lido mostly since the food was the same and service was faster up there). After dinner we wandered the ship, but ultimately decided to just pack, turn in, and get ready for our final port of call.