Posted by: jeanne | March 6, 2015

kay and i do lunch

this morning we all went out.  it was a beautiful morning, but cold – colder than yesterday which was actually kind of roasting.

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we could see all the mountains, all day long.  kay and i wanted to get a bit of fish for our dinner, and we also wanted to walk around together, so we took jim and connor so they could bring the food back – nobody wants to schlep around for hours carrying fish.

so we all went up to rialto market on the vaporetto.  today the vaporetto was very crowded, so we all stood out on the deck, nicely situated in a nook where jim could lean against the wall and connor could play with the mooring rope between stops.  which he did, declaring after every stop that the vaporetto guy liked him, because he got a smile from him every time.

we got off at rialto market and cruised the stalls, looking at the vegetables.  finally we made our way to the fish section, where every vendor saw us coming and started showing off their fish at us.  i left the decision up to kay, who comes from a long line of fisherfolk, and she finally chose something she thought might be hake.  the vendors weren’t much help, because their words for fish are not in english, and the labels on the fish were scrawled and nigh unreadable.  she got a kilo of the fish, tho, which is way too much, but she suggested we freeze the rest.

then she decided she needed some vegetables to go with the fish, so we shopped the vegetable stalls for tomatos, and salad greens, and some apples for connor (who we picked up so he could choose – he picked fuji apples), and some green beans, and a bit of ginger.  the ginger was hard to find, but we found it.  kay actually had to bring turmeric with her from ireland, because i couldn’t find it here at all.  now, with the ginger, i can make the medicinal drink i use as an antiinflammatory.  thanks, kay.

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we filled the bottom of the stroller with our purchases, and then when we were finished we bundled the boys back onto the vaporetto and continued on our own.

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our first goal – breakfast, or at least some coffee and something to nibble on.  kay is celiac, so we had to find something for her to eat that didn’t involve wheat, and this proved impossible, as all the cicchetti and all the pastries involve flour, and even the boutique vegetarian place we found told us they use flour in the back and everything they offered was contaminated with it.  so kay kindly offered to starve, and we returned to the little bar we have traditionally frequented ever since we found it, right on the street parallel to the market.  they don’t have fritelle anymore, it being lent, and so i was forced to take my coffee with a tiny croissant filled with apricot jelly.

i started my day with a pulled muscle in my neck which i know from experience develops into a migraine, and so to ward off the stiffening of my neck muscles and the inevitable dislocation of my cervical spine, i had the bartender add a shot of grappa to my caffe latte.  it helped.

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so we climbed the stairs of the rialto bridge and ventured at random down one of the streets leading out of campo san bartolomeo.

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and wandered.

this time i was careful not to take a way i know, so i wouldn’t be tempted to act as tour guide.  and this time we ended up on routes kay had taken on one of her rambles alone.  there was a great linen shop that we stopped outside, drooling.  we went into several leather goods places, as kay is on a hunt for the perfect laptop bag.

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oh yeah, now that it’s spring, the new shoes are appearing in the window – very cool, even tho i traditionally shun shoes.  but these were really creative, and really brightly colored, and the ones in this one window had very sensible wide toes and no heels.  if they hadn’t been hundreds of euros apiece i might have been more interested…

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anyway, we ended up without much trouble going around the back of san marco and finding the same shop where i’d earlier bought a couple of really nice scarves made in india (not china) from silk and wool and cashmere (not acrylic and viscose).

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so with not much prompting, i picked out two of them, and kay insisted on paying for them – thanks, kay.

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so i bought lunch.

we made our way to the back of the fenice opera house, where the restaurant marie took us to hides out next to a bridge – vino vino.  it was well after noon, but we were the only customers, and we got the youngish waiter we had the very first time we were there.

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i ordered two glasses of that great wine – geodoro – and we both got salads, her the mediterranean one and me the greek one (the difference, i got feta, and she got mozzarella and tuna – and then gave me all her mozzarella).

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the wine was great, the food was good, the waiter suggested that we tip him separately in the same smarmy way he did the first time, even tho the menu was very clear about a cover charge and a service fee.  i refused to tip him extra, but kay addd some change to the plate.  thanks, kay.

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and then we wandered.

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both kay and i are good with directions, and knowing where we are, so we threw away the maps and headed off toward home by dead reckoning (just go straight).

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first we cruised thru an almost pleasantly empty san marco, where i took several pictures of tourists being themselves.

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then we went around the back of san zaccaria, because on its little island there’s no other way around, as most of the island is taken up by the property behind the church.

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again we ducked into a shop, this time one selling costume jewellery, because even tho i detest costume jewellery i just had to have a gander at this wonderful blue bracelet.  18 euros, if i understood the woman correctly.

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the way we went seemed to have a lot of carnival things of quite high quality in various shops.

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there were some costumes, and several good mask shops.

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the light was so good that i constantly stopped for photos, but because kay and i talk nonstop,

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i only took 300 some photos today, instead of the 800 i usually take on a trip out.

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and again, many of the photos were of places i’d already taken, but when the light changes in venice, everything is different.

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tho at one point we were well on our way to the north side of the island, eventually we started running into the battlements of the arsenale at the end of every vista, and after that i knew exactly where i was, and we headed home.

but not before entering where we should not have been – twice.  the first time was because we found an open door into the city of venice owned part of the arsenale, which will be exhibit space for i guess the biennale, which starts up right after we leave in april.  we found ourselves in a street that ran right up to the docks, and found another open door leading into one of the warehouses.  so we went in.  and were astounded at how large the place is, and how far back it went.  and got a few pictures before being chased out…

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the second time was when we found the main gates of the arsenale open (the military part) and i waltzed in because i saw a picture window overlooking the basin, and took several shots before the nice policemen in the security office noticed me and chased me out.  oops.

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and then a bridge and a few alleys and we were back on via garibaldi, and a random turn and we were on the riva of 7 martyrs, and two bridges later we were home.

my headache was back, so i took a nap, jim and connor went out to play on teh swings (jim reads, connor runs around like a banshee), and later on we made dinner, with a small pause for jim and me to go out and catch the sunset, which was the nicest one we’d had in awhile.

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dinner was the fish with some sauteed fennel in an oven dish with sliced tomatos on top, baked, with one of kay’s signature salads, and leftover rice with turmeric and onions.

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and now, it being a full moon, i can’t sleep and so i figured out i’d write up the day’s events while i’m up.  if my stomach wasn’t so full i’d make myself some turmeric and ginger and milk and honey with spices.  and i’d do it in the morning if it weren’t for the coffee we drink instead.  kay and i will be going off to the mainland and the panorama store tomorrow in search of lamb, which we’ve only begun finding here at rialto market (and we’d have had to buy a whole leg and half a loin as well.  we saw it hanging in the window (along with whole skinned rabbit that kind of freaked connor out a little), but it was a bit small for kay’s taste.  i’ll probably write that up after tomorrow.  who knows…

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