Posted by: jeanne | February 12, 2015

the first day with marie

it started early, with me up in the middle of the night tracking her flight.  then, when connor got up – always at sunrise, sunshine or not – i looked up the flight, and she had just landed, so i texted her, and for the next few hours followed her progress from rome to venice, to teh alilaguna stop and all around the north end of the island to lido, and from there to sant’elena.

we all got out to the boat dock just as she was texting me her approach.  she waved like katherine hepburn.  now, marie is usually a light packing traveller, but this is carnival, so she brought her costume, and a hefty portion of camera equipment, meaning checked luggage, a carryon, a packpack and a camera case.  poor baby.  and she was jetlagged, so we just dumped everything in her (newly spruced up room (i even washed the mirror of connor’s grubby handprints)) and asked what she wanted to do next – a drink, lunch, a nap, unpacking?

she wanted to go straight out to pick up the mask she had ordered months ago from ca’macana, one of the only venetian-made mask shops in venice (read: china for most of the others).  this is the shop responsible for most of the masks in ‘eyes wide shut’, which i haven’t seen and probably won’t (tom cruise).

so we got dressed for going out, which was a bit hard to judge yesterday, as the sun was out and it was well over 50F.  once on the vaporetto, tho, the smart money is on hats, gloves and scarves, anyway.  a little crisis – on the way to the vaporetto, jim discovered he didn’t have his pass, and we spent a good ten minutes searching for it, in turns, until it appeared on the pavement near the house.  obviously the work of fairies, perhaps the ones marie brought with her.


on the vaporetto, jim and connor disappeared inside to the seats, as usual, and marie and i hung out on the deck.  she found a good seat up front, and i joined her, highly amused as she took all the same photos as i had my first couple of weeks here.  instead i could sit back and soak up the tiny details that i am getting to know, and watch the tourists, so many more of which are here day by day.  i really hope there’s a lull after carnival and before the weather gets warm enough to float those enormous cruise ships into port.

we got of at ca’rezzonico, and i was surprised to find a public walkway right thru the ground floor of what is now the museum of the 18th century.  and that’s as far as we got, going thru one end and out the other.  it’s quite impressive at any rate, and we’ll go back, maybe even while marie’s here.


SONY DSC (don’t touch anything, connor.  okay, i won’t.  he said)

and then, tho marie was certain where the shop was, we managed to overshoot it and ended up down a canal with a wonderful old old house or two that jim and i were happy to photograph.


but the rule here is that you get lost even going somewhere you’re familiar with.  the other rule being that everything takes twice as long as you think it should.  and the other one about expenses, similarly.


when we found the shop, it was really cool.  everything in there is hand done, and comes from venice.  you could smell the fresh paint.  connor found a spiderman mask, and the lady didn’t lose it when i took a picture of him in it.


they had a nice selection of steampunk masks, also, and even some guernica masks, which i thought was pretty cool.


after collecting her mask, we wandered.  taking pictures.


at one point, we lost jim, near ca’foscari, so marie went back to get him, and then we lost her, too.  and connor and i were struggling past tourists taking selfies on the bridge when we noticed their shining faces coming up the steps.  so i wheeled around with the stroller and clomped down the stairs to wait for them inside a courtyard i had passed that looked interesting.  i left the stroller outside the gate and couldn’t much care if they lost me this time.


but they didn’t; it was a cool courtyard, and we spent five minutes taking pictures while connor ran around screaming and having fun.


they’d ducked into a paper store, as it turns out.  i may have to go back there, because the guy was doing bookbinding, which is one of allison’s crafts.  i may have to go into it myself.


connor was getting cold, and wanted his hot chocolate, but i couldn’t find a suitable bar/cafe to stop into.  we found a delectable chocolate shop, but the hot chocolate was being served in styrofoam, so i kept going.  finally i found a little pastry shop with nothing to drink, and got 4 fritelle con crema to eat at home.

and then it was a quick jaunt to the san’toma vaporetto stop,


IMG_4923 the charming lady was charmed by connor.

and to home,


where we filled marie full of prosecco and peach juice, a fritella, and then in short order, fried beef cutlet, 4-cheese ravioli, and spinach, adn then tried to put her to bed.  but marie’s philosophy about jetlag is to not stop moving until 11 pm, and then crash.  unfortunately, we go to bed around here closer to 8, so she revised her goal to 9, and we left her to it.

this morning she and jim got up at 5, made something hot and caffeinated to drink, and headed for the vaporetto to san marco, where they spent several hours photographing people in costume, because marie had found out the best time to photograph them was at dawn, or before.


there were 20 photographers to every costumed poseur, and several of the photographers stopped to take a picture of jim.


we plan to all go down there in costume tomorrow morning, and i’m anticipating that the photographers will want to take pictures of connor, so he’ll be especially happy until he’s had enough posing and decides to run around screaming.


we’ve decided he’s the loudest child in venice.


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