Posted by: jeanne | February 15, 2015

connor’s couple of days out

connor has filled much of my blog posts, and he’s well worthy of writing about, being 3 and full of life.  we’re very glad we took him to venice with us.

yesterday we dressed everybody (but me) in their carnival costumes, and went down to san marco before dawn.  that meant getting up at 5:30.  which connor wasn’t having.  so we got him up at the last minute, told him what we were doing, and mostly dressed him in his costume – a pirate costume from costco (minus the swords and daggers) plus a white wig and a cloak made to match grandpa’s.

we stuffed a little bread down our gullets and got on the vaporetto, the only ones in costume.  we got funny looks.  you’d think we’d be used to that now.  as the only one not in costume, i took up my accustomed place out in the breeze and only came into the cabin to snap a photo of the costumed trio.


when we got to san marco, there were only a few costumed figures out and about.  you could tell even from a distance by the flashbulbs going off.  the photographers outnumbered the costumers by about 20 to 1, and they mostly had top of the line equipment blah blah blah.  we used our normal camera, and i used the cellphone at times, and the hell with the macho camera posturing.

marie disappeared for awhile, taking her own pictures of costumed figures, even tho she was in full costume herself.  i stationed jim and connor under a streetlight, and started in with my own set of photos, and soon there was a small crowd taking pictures along with me.


then a funny thing happened.  they started ignoring jim, who was in a rather makeshift costume, with steampunk anatomical bone leggings on, his hiking boots, his winter coat, his cloak, his beard, his mask, and a padre hat.


but connor was in period dress, and the crowd went wild.  they started kneeling to get on his level; a few of them lay down on the pavement to get low enough to shoot him full on.  and more and more.  i didn’t count 2 dozen photographers.


jim moved away, and they continued to come to photograph my grandbaby.

who ate it up.  he stood still for a very long time, made gestures, looked at the photographers straight on with his solemn gaze.


it was surprising, because he doesn’t usually stand still for photographs.  in fact, he likes to move just as you’re taking the picture.  but he seems to be a born ham at this point.

so we took photos under the lamps until the went off at the stroke of 7.


and then we moved into a position with the basilica behind us, and i took some group photos.


the wind came up, and connor’s hat went flying, but by that time we had more photographers taking his picture, and at this point one of them came forward to replace it on his head.


but he was beginning to flag, and started acting up.


when he flung his hat and wig on the ground, i figured he’d had about enough, and so marie and i escorted the boys back to the vaporetto to go home, and marie and i continued to wander, she in full costume, me with the camera.  that’s another blog post, about the herd effect.


today, marie and jim went off to take in a few museums, which we knew connor wouldn’t sit still for (after going to the cemetery island yesterday afternoon and having the devil’s own time keeping him quiet and decorous.  nothing fun was allowed).  so he and i decided to go to far off pellestrina and take in the carnivale per bambini.

so we put him in his costume and got on the boat to lido around 1 pm, and then just missed the number 11 bus to pellestrina, and had to sit at the bus stop and wait half an hour for the next one.  the bus went to the end of lido, and then – surprise surprise – got onto a ferry. by this time connor was crashed for his nap that he wouldn’t take while we were still home.  he slept thru the ferry ride to pellestrina island, and then the bus continued down the way.  i asked another passenger where the palazzeto dello sport was, and he told the bus driver to let me off, and gave me directions (go straight 100 meters), and i wheeled connor on the wrong side of the road (to see the crazy italian drivers before they hit us) until we got to a large gymnasium and sports field.  he was still sleeping when we entered the gym, so i wheeled him to a seat and sat there watching him sleep for about an hour.  we were way early, anyway.

the place had 4 large bouncy houses, two huge slides and 2 houses with obstacles in them and small slides.  i watched with concern as someone went around putting up signs – 8+ on the two large slides, and 0-7 years for the two small ones.

and then the people started trickling in.  they turned the music on, more kids came, and i started messing with his head to wake him up.  he came to slowly, actually going back to sleep for ten minutes, and then it was showtime.

i made him go pee so that he wouldn’t have an accident, and then let him go on his first choice, which was the large slide.


of course.  he loved it.  he would come off the slide, find me and give me a big hug, then go right back up the stairs.  here’s a video.


there ended up being over 100 kids there, and at some point adults began to be stationed at the foot of the slides, and at the top, to make sure the smaller kids didn’t get creamed.  since connor was the smallest of them, but also the most intrepid, they had to yell at me several times to make him stop going up.


we stopped for some water for a moment.  he didn’t want any of the fritelle, so i ate a bunch myself.


after another pee, he went back for more bouncing, only this time restricted to the smaller houses, which he enjoyed just as much.

i tried to lead him away a couple of times, and got him interested in dumping confetti on other kids.  you’d think he had a language barrier, but they only were bothered for a moment because they didn’t know him.  he knew them, tho, and went right up and started scooping up confetti like they’d known each other since birth.


finally i got him away, but only by promising him a kinder egg when we got home.  then we had to wait half an hour for the bus, because we just missed one…


so i let him climb the embankment up to the seawall,


and then we went over that and i let him play on the rocks for a moment, but that was pretty sandy,


so we went back to make sure to catch the bus.

on the ferry, we left the bus and went to the top of the ferry to see what it looked like.  he was pretty impressed.


you could tell he was tired on the bus thru lido, because he just sat there and looked out the window.  and i had him up on the luggage rack while we took the boat back to sant’elena.

he had his egg, and he’s had his bath, and now he’s going to have dinner, and he’ll sleep well on the sofa bed.  tomorrow we might well go off to the children’s carnival program at arsenale.  and tuesday is the last day of carnival.


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