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I'm home!

About five minutes after my 7 AM wake-up call yesterday morning, the acqua alta chimes went off AGAIN for the fourth day in a row. But I was able to pull my suitcase to the boat without getting it or my feet wet. A long 20-hour day of travel to get home, but I can't complain since once again, the travel gods blessed me with a not-full plane and this time, I had the middle row of three seats all to myself. The nine-plus hours from Venice to JFK went by so fast since I could lie down and read and doze. I agree with Girasoli, it's almost as good as getting bumped up to first class.

Brunetti%27s%20Venice.jpgI bought several new books that I read on the plane...one is a just published book about the churches of Venice, in Italian but with nice color photos. I hope they'll translate it into English at some point. I also read a book about Giotto that I bought at the Scrovegni Chapel, and my best find was "Brunetti's Venice", a book of walking tours connected to the Donna Leon series. It hasn't been published in the US yet but I found a UK version in a bookstore in Venice. It's quite good!

The December issue of Conde Nast Traveler has a nice article about Venice written by John Julius Norwich (author of the very long and definitive "A History of Venice" and the great "Paradise of Cities"). I agree with many of his recommendations about the best art to see and churches to visit...it's a good read. He says that he's been to Venice over 200 times and he continues to discover new corners and see things he's never seen before. I believe it. The Great Shrine Hunt took me to so many new places this trip, many quiet and lovely courtyards, so beautiful. And I had pretty good success with churches...I found seven new ones open to add to my visited list. I also found a bunch closed up tight but that's par for the course.

I did have to laugh at the cover of that magazine though. It's in Piazza San Marco with this very glamorous couple in evening clothes standing there. They look very chic and the piazza is completely dry. I think they should have put ME on the cover, standing in the piazza in a foot of water, all wet and bedraggled with frizzy hair and an inside-out umbrella and those horrible boots on.

A friend picked the cats up for me because the pet spa closes on the weekend, and I would have had to wait until Monday to get them. So they were here when I got home late last night, and it was so very good to see them. They were not very happy when I left but they are fine and they've forgiven me for leaving them. When I woke up this morning, they were both snuggled next to me, one on each side, and when they realized I was awake, they both started purring. So sweet!

mariaMaria the kitten really grew a lot while I was gone! She's bigger but she hasn't calmed down at all....this morning, she knocked over a vase where I throw spare change, and it made the most horrible loud noise when all the money spilled out on the floor and really scared both of us.

Then she jumped on my desk and found my memory card (which contains my precious photos from this trip!) and knocked it off and starting batting it around on the floor like it was a toy. Thank goodness I saw this happen and rescued it before it got lost or, god forbid, went down the heating grate. I'd be having a nervous breakdown if I couldn't find that thing!

So I'm unpacking, uploading photos, drinking bad American coffee, and listening to my Joy Singers CDs. The Christmas CD is so good, it's putting me in the holiday spirit. The CDs have many of the songs they did when I heard them, like Oh Happy Day! That's my fave. That concert was really one of the highlights of my trip, along with the day at Torcello, the Giotto frescoes in Padua, and the two mornings when I had Basilica di San Marco virtually all to myself. And also all the cool people I met. It was fun to talk to folks from all over the world and hear how truly happy and relieved people are about Obama and not be embarrassed to be an American any more.

I've got that post-trip time warp thing going, not bad but just a bit disorienting. I looked at photos from the first days of the trip (which was only 12 days ago) but it seems like months ago! It's kinda weird. It's about time for a nap. :) I'm going to post some Acqua Alta photos soon.


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Comments (10)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Welcome home Annie! Wow you really are blessed with the travel gods having empty seats on both your flights. Maria does look like she's grown. And so glad you got the memory card before it went somewhere it shouldn't be. Maria is such a whirlwind :)

I can't wait to hear about all your new discoveries and to see all of your photos. Last year I think one day of Acqua Alta was enough for me so I can only imgaine what 4 days of it must have been like.

I'm really glad you had a wonderful trip. It was so much fun to read your blog and I'm going to enjoy all your post trip entries too! Hope your transition goes smoothly! Rest well.

Welcome home Annie! An entire row...I am going to travel with you from now on (but sit in a different row hoping your luck will rub off on me :)

Maria has really grown! They must have been so relieved to see you again.

Can't wait to see you photos. Rest up.

Anne:

I only just now caught up on your blog, but I had you in my thoughts all last week, wondering how your trip was going. Sounds like it was awesome.

Too bad it's over already, but...Welcome home!!! I was blessed with three seats to myself coming home in October, it IS wonderful, isn't it?!

So cute about the cats, they obviously missed their "mommy". Maria is really looking like a cat now instead of a kitten, still gorgeous though!

sandrac:

Welcome home, Annie. I really enjoyed your trip! Hope you did as well!

I'm so looking forward to your photos. And your books sound so interesting, the Giotto book intrigues.

Maria does look like a cat now, rather than a kitty, but yes, very beautiful.

(On a side note, my brother Rob in rural Alberta told me last night that with a vicious cold snap there, he has every feral cat in the region sheltering in his big workshop. Mrs. Cat, the matriarch there, complains bitterly about these strangers coming through her cat door. But Rob just keeps the chow bowls filled and tries not to scare anyone off. Winter is hard on feral cats.)

jgk:

Welcome Home Annie.
I enjoyed your trip; thanks for blogging.
Happy holidays.

I join the chorus: Welcome home Annie! I so enjoyed following your trip and I am sure you now have lots of materials for new posts. I still think you should make a website!!

Loved your description of you in Piazza San Marco with your boots and frizzy hair... :)

Thanks everyone! It's good to be home although it was not that much fun to return to work. :) Thank goodness I'll have some time off for Xmas next week and can spend some time organizing my photos. I want to label them while things are fresh in my mind about where I was.

Sandra, that is so wonderful that your brother is taking care of those cats. I was a bit worried about how the feral cats at San Lorenzo were after the big Dec. 1 flood, but they appeared to have made it thru just fine.

Bentornata a casa!

I love Maria's picture. She looks so grown-up. She will always remind me of Tux.

Kim:

Welcome home Anne, would love to hear more about that Brunetti walking tour book. Sounds really cool.

Thanks Maria and Kim.

Kim, I'll write a review when I finish it...I read bits and pieces on the plane. The author is a friend of Donna Leon's and also leads Brunetti-based walking tours of Venice. Donna Leon wrote the Intro to the book, and it's really interesting to see what she has to say about that great character she created.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 14, 2008 10:17 AM.

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