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Day 7: Happy Birthday to Me!

November 18
WooHoooo! Today is my 50th birthday. Happy Birthday to Me! It’s going to be a wonderful day. For the last two years I’ve been trying to decide where in the world I wanted to be on the day I turned 50. I had narrowed it down to Rome and Venice, but couldn’t decide which one. I finally decided on both… I’ll just have it all. I’ll begin the day in Rome and end it in Venice.
I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning in Rome. It was a little cool outside…enough to wear my jacket, but not cold. It was the perfect place to begin the next chapter of my life.
We took a slow Intercity train to Venice. The train took 6 hours, which gave us the perfect chance to take a little break between adventures. We had a hard time finding our seats on the train. There didn’t seem to be a seat for Marc’s reservation, so we just sat in seats that were close. My reservation was next to a cranky little old lady that kept shooing people away when they tried to sit next to her. I wasn’t about to show her I actually had a reservation for that seat… that might have sent her over the edge. The train was full of mostly Italian people, so there was a constant hum of Italian being spoken, which added to the charm of the train ride. This is the Italy I came for.
We sat back and watched as we passed vineyards and small hilltowns. The land was still very green, with warm shades of gold, brown, and red, sprinkled with he occasional castle ruin. The most beautiful area was between Arezzo and Bologna, because the hills were very tall and there were houses built all over, from the top of the hills down into the valleys. The colors of the houses fit just perfectly with the colors of the land…absolutely beautiful!

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Here is a picture of me showing off my birthday present. Marc gave me a Rolex! It has a two-toned band and a blue face with diamonds. WooHoooo! Happy birthday to Me!
At about 5pm we reached Venice. When the train first approached the water my first thoughts were “Don’t drive into the water!”, because I was a little shocked to see water all around me. I got over it.
We walked out of the train station and into another world…Venice! It was dusk and the lights were beginning to come on and the church bells were ringing. I felt like I was in a movie in some far away exotic land, but this was real. It was gorgeous! We took a water taxi to the Accademia stop in Dorsoduro, and walked about 4 minutes to our B&B, Ca`Centopietre. After we settled into our room we went out to explore for about 2 hours. Venice has beautiful old street lamps, so the light in the evening has a soft glow. It started to drizzle slightly, which made the atmosphere amazing. There were people strolling around, but it was quiet and peaceful. I love Venice!
At 8pm we went to see the opera La Traviata at the Musica a Pallazo . The opera was performed in a palace. The music was performed by 4 people, and each of the 3 acts was performed in a different room. It was a small audience of about 40 people, so we were very close to the performers…sometimes only 3 feet away. At that distance I could feel the power in their voices. I loved it.
After the performance we capped off the evening with dinner across the street from our B&B. I had a very good lasagne. By the time we finished dinner it was about 11:30pm, so we went home. What a glorious birthday! LIFE IS SO GOOD!

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