48 hours in Venice

The cat is out of the bag… the mystery weekend away was to Venice! The man managed to keep it pretty well under wraps (despite my investigative tendencies) until I asked for the weather (for packing) and for the airport we were leaving from. I narrowed it down to Venice, Florence, Lisbon, Porto and Madrid…. with Venice at the very top of my list. I didn’t know for sure where we were going until we started lining up at the gate to board the plane… he managed to keep it a secret through passport control and security – amazing. Although, I fear that our attempts to conceal mystery weekend destinations may escalate (horse tranquilizers, kidnappings, etc., etc.,… oh well). I was so excited that Venice was the destination – not only is it super romantic, idyllic and sunny but also I had never been and have been dreaming of going for years!

We arrived in Venice late on Friday night and had a full 48 hours in the glorious city on the water. Saturday morning started with a little lie in and breakfast in bed. When I opened the curtains of our room, this was the view:

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Died and gone to Venice
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We started the day out with a boat ride down the Grand Canal
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Complete with a Rick Steves Audio tour of everything along the way!
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Rialto Bridge in the distance
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So many churches, so little time.
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The sun was shining, the sky was blue!
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The Rialto Bridge
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Under the Bridge we went
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Blonde, babe and bridge
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He has never looked so Italian
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Gondolas and the islands in the distance
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Panorama from the back of the boat before docking near San Marco
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Selfie on the Bridge of Sighs
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Doges Palace
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Paparazzi
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Campanile di San Marco
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Smiling and selfies was the plat du jour
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Too many tourists… required a flat face and duck lips
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We went up the Campanile on Sunday
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Cool clock tower
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The intricacies of the Doges Palace
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Behind every pretty girl is a brick wall (watch the instagram husband video on youtube)
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Another incredible church
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The Lions of San Marco – where every child (and ridiculous tourist) gets their picture taken

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Exploring San Marco
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Views across the water
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Love this picture – captured under the Bridge of Sighs
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Iced Latte on the Piazza
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Singing songs to the pigeons
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Blue skies and gold everywhere
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Bridges on Bridges
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Found the tiniest little street ever
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So had to take some pics
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Tried on a million masks
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This black swan one was my favourite
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More brick, more selfies, more Rick Steves Audio tours.

Needless to say, Saturday was full of churches, exploring, sunshine, walking tours and dodging crowds of tourists. In the late afternoon, we settled into a table on a quiet patio of a wine bar for a few aperol spritzes to recharge and watch the world go by.

After a couple drinks and olives, we started wandering back towards our hotel to change before dinner and a sunset gondola ride. On the way back we came to a dead end – where the sidewalk went straight into the canal. There were steps leading down to the water, so I thought it would be fun to sit on the steps and watch the tourists and gondolas pass through… I take one step, then I hear my man – five steps behind – “Careful, looks like those steps are slippery” – another step… slid straight down into the canal. Luckily I didn’t hit my back or neck or head I had enough foresight to hold my clutch containing my phone and wallet above my head when I fell… so my sunglasses and phone (priorities) were saved first. Then he pulled me out of the water…. my hero. I came out of the water covered in seaweed, drenched in nasty dirty canal water and laughing harder that I ever thought possible. Turns out that my fall was a bit harder than I initially thought or felt… I cut my finger pretty deep and ended up with bruises and scrapes that made it look like I got attacked by a baseball bat wielding psycho. We sloshed our way back to the hotel where I took the longest, hottest shower possible, covered myself in neosporin, iced my growing goose-egg bruises and dug seaweed out of my scrapes and cuts… so romantic.

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Post CanalGate 2016… yes, I made him stop and take a picture…shocking, I know.

Luckily – all was not lost…. we still managed to make it for a sunset gondola ride and finished the night off with carbs (when in Rome or whatever).

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Sunset gondola ride
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Magical, despite being 100 euros for 25 minutes
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The dark canals were quiet and calm
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Just a romantic gondola ride in Venice, typical Saturday night…

Sunday morning kicked off with breakfast at the hotel in the garden (fighting pigeons off) before heading towards San Marco to go up the Campanile.

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We were there for the bells at the top of the hour.
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The views were incredible
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I know someone was thankful for a protective barrier after CanalGate 2016
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Top of the Basilica San Marco
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Doges Palace and the Domes of San Marco
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Illicit picture inside San Marco
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I had to cover up to be let into the church – no shoulders or knees allowed! (Paper bag Princess)
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Inside the Friari Church
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Cover those shoulders – so indecent
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Caprese on the terrace
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Cheese and carb heaven
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Views of the water… what an amazing two days

You may be asking yourself…. (1) will this girl ever stop (the answer is no) and (2) where to next? I am taking a short break from travelling (relatively – okay a couple weeks) but I will be back on in September. Have two weekends booked (Dublin and Reykjavik) and two others in the works (both of which will probably trips around the UK)! Plans are coming together for a couple trips to the States this fall (DC, NYC, Austin, Milwaukee, Minneapolis) as well as a long weekend in Marrakech! Stay tuned cause Lord knows, I am not staying put for long.

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