Welcome to Venice

It is always nice when your hotel includes breakfast, but it is always nicer when the food offered looks good…and includes the local pastries!  This is the spread at our hotel in Lisbon.
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I grabbed a few things, and as usual, picked at each of them.
Then we headed to the airport.  What is the one thing all Americans living on the island like about the Lisbon airport?  McDonald’s!  Actually, since I don’t eat hamburger, this has never interested me, but Ryan and I decided to go ahead and do the one thing we really can’t do on the island, and that is buy in to American fast food.
When I opened my fillet of fish sandwich, I was a little scared.  It looked too perfect and a little plastic, but yes, I ate it anyway.  The good news is that the portions here are about half the size of what they would be in the US.
After that adventure, we embarked on another.  It was time to board for Venice!
Fly, fly, fly… and then we landed at Marco Polo airport.  I thought this was so cute at the airport baggage claim.  This is an ad" for the casino in Venice.  I think it would work for gambling too on your baggage.
After we headed outside and decided to catch to boat to the hotel, we could hardly believe the boat was just closing up and they would not wait for us.  So instead we went to the cafe and sat by the water while we waited 30 minutes for the next boat to arrive.  Turns out we were hungry!  This was our first food/drink in Italy.  Not too exciting, but definitely needed.
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Here is the boat we took in to Venice.
Here are some shots as we went from the mainland to Venice.
Someone’s house, which was kind of cool.
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Here is our first glimpse of Venice.  For starter’s, the did a good job on the Venetian hotel because this is really what it looks like, and then secondly, we were surprised at how much it looked like a movie set, almost fake in a sense.  How about surreal, which is a much better word to describe this.  It was a very cool sight.
When we got to our stop we started walking around and found the street name, but no hotel.  So, we gave them a call.  Seriously, we walked right past the NH Manin hotel because it was right at the hotel.  We did not even think we would be that close to the water bus stop.  It seemed too good to be true on locations.
Check out the lobby.  Look closely and you will see that the hotel opens up right on to the Grand Canal.
We had an amazing room, and will probably be spoiled for the rest of our lives.
After a quick washing up, we headed to St. Mark’s Square to get something to eat and meet up with my Aunt’s friend, who was there on a trip too.  As we started off, we found this tower, which appears to be leaning.  Watch out Pisa!  You may have some competition, LOL!
The scenes here are just breath taking.  The city is so old and so amazing that there are just building right in the water.
On the way we took in all the sights and smells…mostly of pizza.
Here we are in St. Mark’s square.  Lots and lots of action going on here.
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Ryan and I split some pizza and a panini type pocket sandwich with tomatoes, cheese and olives.
We met up with Holly, my Aunt’s friend, and chatted with her and her friends for a bit.
Then we listed to some music in the square as we enjoyed the setting sun and the evening experience of St. Mark’s square.
Obviously, the night would not be complete without some gelado.  YUM!
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As we were headed back to the hotel, I spotted the Hard Rock.  Some of you might remember for last summer that I collect Hard Rock shirts.  I have been doing this since high school, when I decided to collect them after hearing a girl on Jeopardy say she collects shirts, and when he asked her which she would probably never get, and she said Reykjavik, I knew I had to collect them too because I was headed there (in Iceland) the following week.  That started my collection.
Plus, this was so neat that the front step was right on to the water with gondolas in front.
Walking home was a challenge, but not impossible.  Ryan was a good navigator.  I took this picture for my step sister.  Her name is Carla.
We passed by a church.  Seems like there are a lot of those around here.
This is the part where we wandered and wandered and wanted something else to eat, and something to drink and everything was starting to close.  We kept finding places and asking, but they were closed.  So in the end we stopped in to the hotel next to ours and ordered a Bellini.  Ever heard of a Bellini?  This is a peach juice and champagne drink, which is a specialty in Venice.
Here I am with my Bellini.  Yes, I am very happy.  I am happy because I will soon be enjoying what will become the most expensive drink of my life.  This drink cost 18 euro.  Yes, you heard me, this was 18 euro. 
We also ordered a pizza.  You know what?  It was so worth it for some peace and quiet, late night, by ourselves on the grand canal with a drink and some food.
Good night!  What a long, but very awesome day.  More to come.

QUESTIONS:  Ever been to Venice?  Ever heard of a Bellini?


Unknown said...

yummoooo! I love how the hotel is literally on the water, that is nuts! I have been to Italy, but never to Venice. I do love a Bellini :)

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I went to Venice when I was about 4, and I actually remember a little bit of that trip. Definitely want to go back! And, yes, I have heard of Bellinis and will definitely get one when I go back to Venice! :)

Sounds like you really enjoyed Venice! :)

Emily said...

Venice looks amazing; I've never been to Europe, and I'd love to visit. :)
Interesting that McDonald's portions are smaller than they are in the US, too.

I have heard of a Bellini and had one before (just not from Venice). :)

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Next time, pack me in your luggage :)
Everything looks so beautiful. Heck, even the "plastic" McDonald's sandwich looks a little better than here in America, ha!
And when you're in Venice, a late-night pizza is a must!

Special K said...

A few highlights 1) your hotel room...that is NOT normal. 2) Bellini's....yep, I've had one in St Mark's square, with May weather and the music and the sense that life can be uplifting and hopeful and 3) finally! you get to soak in the Europe you've been hungry for. I am very happy for you (although I wish we could meet up!)

Hotel Venice said...

I am a bit sad to see so much fast food, But I'm really glad that you tried that fabulous gelatto and made some room for true Italian pizza. Next time you should gets some pasta specialties or may be some seafood.

pheobe22 said...

I really love your write-ups guys continue the good work. Piazza San Marco

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