Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break

by Julie Hyzy


We took a break from cleaning the basement to visit our daughter who's studying in Europe this semester, which is part of the reason I've been super quiet online as of late. I had a big deadline to meet, too, and that's kept me off the Internet.

But now we're back and I thought I'd share a few pictures from our trip. We were to meet her in Florence, which we eventually did, but our first stop was Venice. We'd been there once before and loved the city so much that we decided that "since we were so close," we'd go back.

Despite the fact that it was chilly this time, and a little rainy, it was a great decision. We hadn't been able to get into St. Mark's last time, nor the Doges Palace. This time, we did.

Here's the view from our hotel room. Well, one of our hotel rooms  ----->

You can't go on a trip without an adventure, right?

We arrived at the pier at St. Mark's via water taxi and had to walk to our hotel. Problem was, one of the wheels on one of our brand new suitcases had broken in transit and my husband had to drag the thing the entire way. Not fun. But we dealt with it.

Our hotel location was fabulous. Just steps away from St. Mark's. We loved that part. What we didn't love was the fact that at 1:00 in the morning on our first night, water started dripping onto my husband. Two things: We weren't on the top floor; and it wasn't raining. Let's all say "eeewww" together, shall we?

The staff at the front desk got us a new room on the first floor and we tried to sleep. Gotta tell you that getting dressed in the middle of the night and repacking kinda blew that idea. But we managed.

At the Doges Palace we were able to cross the
Bridge of Sighs. Way cool!
The next morning, they offered us a mini-suite. We loaded our stuff and moved it ourselves (dragging the blasted broken suitcase) to the new room on the fifth floor. It was spacious, for sure. And the bathroom was huge. But... no shower. There was only a bathtub. Um.... no thanks.

We told the front desk that we'd rather remain in the tiny but with-a-shower first floor room. They asked, "You don't mind the smell?" and we misunderstood, thinking they were talking about the water dripping in the third floor room. We hadn't noticed a smell in the interim room.

But later we did. Oh boy, did we. I think we may have been directly over a sewer. Or where they store their garbage. Not exactly ideal.

The hotel was full and we didn't feel like moving yet again, so we decided to roll with it. Sleeping with the windows open (even though it was darned chilly outside) helped a lot, so that's what we did. Plus, we were only there for two more nights.

On our last night, at about 2:00 in the morning, I remembered something. In my next White House Chef mystery (recently turned in), Ollie happens upon people who have been killed by poison gas. A gas that smells a lot like what we were smelling. A gas that is naturally occurring and highly toxic. Sometimes having a vivid imagination is a curse. I opened the windows wider and stayed awake, keeping an eye on my sleeping husband all night to ensure he kept breathing.

I'm sure whatever we were smelling was safe, but... yikes!

Any trip adventures (or misadventures) you care to share?