Thanks to everyone for your comments and well wishes!
Let's see...where did I leave off? Yesterday when the sun went down, it got bitter cold. So I jumped on the vaporetto and rode up to check out the new bridge. It is so very beautiful at night with the way it is lit up, but I want to check it out in the day time too. Then since I was there and it was time, I went to Mass in the church of the Scalzi. Got back on the boat and headed to campo San Barnaba where there are about five very good restaurants and I walked around to check out all the daily menus. Ended up at La Bitta because they had potato, leek, and gorgonzola soup, perfect for a cold winter night. Cubbies, I thought of you and Fred since that is where we all had dinner last year. Wish you had been there with me!
I said that I was going to make myself stay awake until 9 pm....well, I ended up staying up to midnight! When I got back to the Locanda, I ran into a couple from the UK....this is the third year in a row we have crossed paths here in Venice! So we hung out with these two nice ladies from Ireland and talked...it's fun to talk to other Venice obsessives, and we were playing games like "What is your favorite Titian in Venice?" Oh, and they are all overjoyed about Obama, so are the Italian folks here at the locanda.
Then I took a bubble bath and crashed. Slept 8 hours straight and woke up this morning on Venice time.
The big news here at the locanda is that Barbara the owner has a 9-month old Maltese puppy named Romeo. I met him at breakfast this morning and oh my gosh, what a doll baby! Having a pet here makes this an even better place to stay!
It was raining pretty steadily this morning so I went over to Basilica di San Marco and spent about two hours in there. I have never seen Venice so quiet. I guess the combo of the flood and a global recession is the cause. But when I got to the Basilica, there were only about 20 people inside. I spent a lot of time walking around looking at the floors which I could see so well because the church was empty. I was there when they turned the lights on at 11:30 and it is always so amazing to see that place turn from gloomy to gold. Then I went to Mass and after that, the rain had turned to drizzle and I started walking. Not a good day for taking photos though.
About the pigeons, earlier this year the city banned selling bird seed in the piazza to try to get the pigeon population under control. Well it has worked. There are still pigeons around but not quite so many although I did see five of them inside the basilica! And I saw many in the park in Castello this afternoon. They all look fat and happy....even though the tourists can't feed them anymore, the Venetians are feeding them. I was walking down a calle and saw a lady throw some stale bread out her window and a flock of them descended on it!
Tonight I'm going to a free concert in the church of Santo Stefano....GOSPEL music! In Venice! The Joy Singers and the Soul Shakers band! What a hoot.
Okay, better sign off now, some other folks want to use this computer. More later and thanks again for the comments!