Wow, well first off, let me say we are home now. Just wanted to catch up on our last couple of days in Venice and our passage home.
Monday last week (Nov. 11th) is Veterans' Day in the US, Remembrance Day in many places around the world but in Venice it is San Martino Day. For days previous to it we had been seeing horse cookies in all the bakery windows. It seems these cookies are part of the San Martino celebration. Kids dress up in crowns and red capes (we didn't see these) and march up and down the streets banging on pots, singing songs about San Martino, and begging for candy and sweets (think Halloween). With a school or two just down our calle, there was a lot of action on our street.
Alan bought a couple of the horse cookies. These are the small normal cookie-size ones (yes, one is headless, breakfast!). The larger ones are very elaborate, have San Martino riding on the horse, and are very pricey. Parents will buy these and give them to their children on this day.
We pretty well stayed close to home the rest of the day, Panini from the bakery for lunch, a Spritz for Alan in the afternoon with his friend Ricardo (the violin maker) and then dinner one more time at da Alberto. We couldn't leave without one more meal there.
Here is a view of the statue in Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo as seen from our door
We knew everyone would want to share in at least part of our last meal at da Alberto so here is some food porn!
Seppie in nero
Alan had pappadelle with salmon and manzo with gorgonzola. He was too busy eating to take pictures. We ordered a salad which, thank goodness, she forgot to list. No desserts but Alan did have a glass of gasoline, oops, I meant grappa, of course.
Tuesday was our last full day in Venice. We spent the morning packing (ugh), and then met our friend Christy to give her all our leftover food stuff. The three of us went to Do Mori for wine and cichetti. We had a variety of them (think tapas but even smaller plates). Here is our tiny octopus cicchetti.
We went over to Christy's apartment to say goodbye to Paul and saw this great old door with an electronic lock next door to their building. It could be a metaphor for Venice which has its feet in several centuries.
That night we went back to Alla Strega and Alan had one last plate of fegato alla Venezia and I had a great calzone.
Wednesday Sabrina our landlady came over to lock up after we left and we walked over to the Fondementa Nove to catch the Alilaguna to the airport. One last cappuccino and then a short, easy BA flight to London and an overnight at the Hilton Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Just a quick note about our amazing dinner there. We ate at Mr. Todiwala's Kitchen and had some outstanding Indian food. Cyrus Todiwala is a television chef in the UK who has a restaurant in London called Café Spice. We highly recommend his food (from what we had on Wednesday night).
Thursday we got back to flying, went through security at Heathrow where they pulled our camera bag for a "suspicious semi-circle" that no one could ever find again on Xray. Since we were again using frequent flyer miles to fly first class back over the ocean, we were able to go to the Concorde Lounge and have breakfast there. The flight to Toronto was seven hours long and, I must say, I could easily fly first class the rest of my life and enjoy it each time! BA has truly amazing food and service (at least in First Class) and we were very comfortable, Through Canadian customs, picked up our luggage and then through US customs, all at the Toronto Airport. This was the first time we had used our global entry cards and I was done in under two minutes. Alan got an X receipt so had to be checked out by a person but you go to the front of the line, and it didn't take long. Because of flying First Class, we got down to Customs quickly so there wasn't much of a crowd at all yet. We collapsed in the American Lounge and were basket cases by the time we got to Dallas. Terrible, burnt, dried out food on American's First Class. I think the flight attendant better not give up his day job to become a chef. We stayed overnight in the Grand Hyatt and since it is in the same terminal as our landing, we were there quickly. I had prechecked in there on line and we were quickly in our room and asleep. It was a great idea to break up the trip this way since we would not have gotten to Albuquerque until after midnight and still would have had to drive home.
Much refreshed, we flew out of Dallas to Albuquerque at noon on Friday (no First Class here), stopped for lunch and were home by 4. It is now Sunday evening, bags are unpacked, mail is sorted and gone through, phone calls are returned. Now if we can just get over the jet lag quickly we are all set. We are already making plans for another month in Venice in the fall of 2015. See you there!