Posted by: jeanne | January 17, 2015

okay, we’re in venice

it’s before dawn, and i can see the bare limbs of the trees waving in the increasing wind.  spots of rain.  it’s actually warmer than atlanta.  it’s saturday morning, and we have been in venice since mid-day on thursday, but it doesn’t feel like three days to me, and i’m still not all the way unpacked.

the ordeal.  flying with a child is no joke.  taking one 9 hour flight and waiting around in an airport for two hours for another one hour flight is no joke.  travelling while sick is also no joke, and schlepping one checked bag and one carryon plus one personal item for four people is perhaps the most unjokelike activity ever.

first off, i was sick.  i got sick – just a bad cold, that’s all – the day before the flight, and so i slept in that morning and lost 3 hours of prep time.  those 3 hours consisted of cleaning out the rooms so the new people (sister and brother in law) could move in, washing the bedding and putting it up out of the way of the dogs (who would sleep on it for three months), transferring my phone list to my new daybook (essential, as i had been keeping all my account numbers and passwords there, as well as all my contact information that the computer doesn’t hold).  fortunately i had completed packing the day before.  which was an ordeal in itself, as all four checked bags were well over 50 pounds until i switched and juggled and rezipped and reweighed and unzipped and removed and repacked etc etc.  but i managed.

our ride to the airport arrived promptly – thank you shirley – (more bad luck, because i wasn’t ready and had to stop what i was doing and load bags).  thank god for allison, because she did a lot of the loading and took care of connor while i went crazy trying to get everything done.  bill and becky did the noon dog walk, and i didn’t even get to say goodbye to the dogs because i had too many things going on.  i left the rooms a mess, too, and never got to posting the chores and other essentials on the fridge, like i’d promised to do.  i was going to write it at the airport and send it by email, but i never did that, either.

no trouble at the airport, as i remember.  the nice skycap guy earned his ten bucks (sorry it wasn’t more) wrangling our things and getting the stroller checked.  i don’t remember much after that.  we got to the airport 4 hours early, just so we could sit around and do nothing.  and that was good.  i had fantasized letting them all go to the airport early and following them when everything was finished, but i had all the passports and tickets, and so i was too essential for my own good.  so we were the first ones in the departure lounge, and picked a good spot to sit, so connor could get right up against the window with his spiderman and green goblin dolls, and nobody else would potentially be bothered.  and we sat and waited.  i don’t remember.  then the flight, which was squinchy with tiny seats and horrible airplane food, even tho i had ordered special meals for everyone but allison, who thought it was silly but will be ordering a special meal on the flight back.  the seatback entertainment was entertaining.  i finally got to watch frozen, and don’t know what all the fuss was about.  and i watched 2/3 of another animated kid’s movie called i forget what.  oh yeah, it was about the day of the dead and the fight between la muerta and xibalba.  it was good, as well.  i might have slept for a few minutes.  jim slept most of the way.

jim and connor are the ones who have shown no sign of jetlag at all.  is it because they’re boys, or because allison and i are oversensitive?

we never noticed rome when we flew in.  we came along the coast, it was getting dawn, and we landed, and by the time we took off again i was nodding off and never noticed the ground until we were halfway thru the flight and passing over a great huge sunken caldera with a volcano cone in the middle and a city on the edge of the huge lake.  probably couldn’t find it on google earth if i tried.  italy’s mountains look very raw, very glacial.

but then we were in venice airport, which like dublin’s airport used to be, was sleepy, and pretty much closed down between flights.  customs was as much of a joke as in dublin, which is good.  i don’t want to have to deal with suspicious officials when i feel as bad as i did.   hell, i act like a drug smuggler or terrorist when i’m that sick and stressed out.

now the fun with the bags began.  we couldn’t get a rolly cart because i couldn’t find any euro coins to put in the machine, so i had to roll all the bags.  we put connor in the stroller, with my bag (and computer) underneath, and allison took him and a small bag, and i took two of the big bags, and we walked to a point some way down the walk to the allilaguna water boat, and i left them there and went back to jim, who was watching the other bags, and took two more bags.  then i went back and got jim and the rest of the bags, and he walked the rest of the way to the dock while allison stayed there with connor.  it took several of these mincing steps to get everything in one place, and then connor started acting up, and wouldn’t stop during the entire boat ride of some 20 minutes.  it would have been much more pleasant without the crying, but it was way past his tolerance at that point.

etc etc.  finally we were there, and the landlord was waiting for us, and we got in and saw how everything worked, and managed to pay him most of the rest of the rent (problems with the cards and the bank).  and then we were here.  allison and connor went straight to sleep; jim and i went out for a walk and to find a grocery store to get dinner.

that was on thursday, and it’s saturday night now.  after writing the above this morning, jim and i got up and walked to piazzale roma, where there are actual cars and busses, and bought ourselves a resident’s transportation pass, which means we could afford to take the vaporetto back home, which was a good thing after the TWO HOUR WALK.

actually, allison and i bought tourist vaporetto tickets yesterday so we could go get a charger for her phone.  they cost 14 euros, and we got to rialto and then to campo san bartolomeo where the phone store was, but by the time we got there it was closed for lunch, and we were out of money, i had forgotten the pin on my credit card, and she used the last 5 euros to buy cigarettes because when you’re addicted you need that more than food.  instead of waiting the 2 hours until the store opened back up, we found a chinese store, with a chinese guy who spoke italian but no english, and bought a 5 euro charger that didn’t work at all when we got it home.  and we had to walk back from rialto, which took an hour or more.  poor girl isn’t used to that, so she complained a little.  and i assured her she’d feel much better after she got over jet lag, so she went straight to bed.

and there are things about the house.  we don’t know how to open the windows, how to lock the doors, how to turn on the stove, how to plug up the bath, how to make american coffee with an espresso maker.  learning curves everywhere, and i’ve actually lived in europe.  so we broke the door to the garden first thing.  turns out if you turn the handle one way, you open the door the way doors are supposed to open.  but if you turn it the other way, the top of the door comes away from the doorjam and vents, the way some windows do.  so we tore it off the track and had to call the landlord.  fortunately allison figured how to fix it (she was the one who broke it), and we’re good on that.  as for the american coffee, i found a french press in a store window on the way to get our pass this morning, and bought it, but then broke it on the way home by bumping it against i don’t know what.  so we’re drinking espresso diluted with boiled water out of little bitty cups.  that’s another thing to get – large coffee cups so we can sit in bed in the morning and drink coffee the way we’re used to.


when we came back from our trek this afternoon i went straight to bed, and jim joined me for a long nap.  when we got up, he took one look at the sky out the window and grabbed his camera and tripod and dashed out to get pictures.  i put a coat on connor and we took him with us, and then took him to via garibaldi, the closest shopping street, where we got an armload of groceries.  and then he wanted to be carried.  which caused a lot of trouble.  and then we went past the luna park, and he had absolute fits when i told him he was going to have to wait until tomorrow to go on the rides.  there were a lot of rides, it was about a 2 block trip past one brightly lit amusement park ride after another.  but finally we were past it and i could let him down to walk and take the groceries from jim, who was beginning to stagger.  he’s in bed now.  we’ve had dinner, and instead of an after-dinner walk, i’m doing my blog post and jim’s reading his book.

tomorrow i’m putting everything away and finishing the rearranging of the whole apartment.  i’ll set up the studio and print out some of the pictures jim and i have taken over the past few days, and we’ll start working.  or something like that.





    But so glad you´re all safe and sound and getting adjusted!!!!! I can´t help but think of the movie, Enchanted April * *

    Hope EVERYTHING goes smoothly while you are there!!! Have FUN on this adventure Jeanne!!! It´s meant for that, fun and good memories!!!


    Diretora Academia Cristã Morada da Colina Volta Redonda, RJ Brasil (24) 3343-9099


  2. omg. How absolutely harrowing. It will only get better. Can’t wait until you are all recovered from the trip and illness. It will be glorious. Thanks for sharing all the difficulties as well. Makes me feel like I’m there with you. MORE PICTURES!!!!!!


  3. […] okay, we're in venice | an irish travel guide's before dawn, and i can see the bare limbs of the trees waving in the increasing wind. spots of rain. it's actually warmer than atlanta. it's saturday morning, and we have been in venice since mid-day on thursday, but it … […]


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