August 29, 2014

Festa del Redentore: Part 1

The Festa del Redentore began as a feast held on the day of the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer, to give thanks for the end of the terrible plague of 1576 that killed 50,000 people. Andrea Palladio built the beautiful church, il Redentore on Giudecca Island, and it was consecrated in 1592. Now the feast is held the third Sunday of July, and Venetians and visitors come from all over the city to decorate their boats, or set up tables along the Zattere, waiting to watch the fireworks at midnight. We had a front row seat right in the apartment! Thousands of people walked across the bridge to see the church.

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After their rowing lesson, we all went to the Rialto Mercato. The boys took off for lunch, while Brad, Shannon, Lea and I bought a ton of food for our special picnic dinner. We had all kinds of meats, cheeses, breads, fruits, caprese salad, green salad, watermelon, and Lea's delicious potato fritatta. There was plenty of wine and cookies and sgropino for dessert. The adults stopped at my favorite cicchetti bar, Ruga Rialto, for a snack and glass of vino. As we returned to the apartment with arms full of shopping bags, there were already many people, setting up tables and chairs by our apartment. We set out our picnic food and took showers, then we took turns walking across the bridge to the church.

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Tomorrow...the FIREWORKS!

August 22, 2014

The Rowing Lesson

When I planned the five extra days in Venice after our group, the whole purpose was to treat Federico to a few days in Venice (his first time there) for his birthday. Deposits were paid on the apartment, and flights were booked. In the original plan, Federico and his family would come to Venice by train with his mom, whoever she wanted to bring, and Federico's friend from Palm Desert would visit him in Pescara for a few days, then come to Venice too. All plans got changed, when Federico's very important commitment for his future got moved up three days, which cut into his Venice time. I was very disappointed, but nothing could be done. They couldn't come early, because our group tour was going on, and our guests were still in the apartment. Lst spring, a second of Federico's friends decided to go at the same time, so Lea came with the three boys. I still had one birthday surprise planned, that Federico didn't know about...a rowing lesson with our friend, Nan.

I told the boys the night before, that we were having a "birthday party" at 9 a.m., and that breakfast was at 8:00. We walked to the marina, and Federico had no idea what the plan was. (I had sunscreen in my purse to slather on all three boys.)

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Nan rowed up in a boat from Row Venice. They had met Nan the night before at dinner, but didn't know she was an expert at Venetian voga, and they would have a 90 minute private lesson! Soon, three shirtless young men (a first for Nan) climbed into the boat with their GoPro cameras, and learned the basics.

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They each gave it a try and off they went!

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August 20, 2014

Venice: Friday, July 18

The morning our group members left was quite busy! Shannon left with Senorina and Jose at 6:30 (EARLY breakfast duty) for the airport, while Brad and I got the rest of the group breakfast. I was over-the-moon excited, because Federico, his mom, Lea, and his two best friends from Palm Desert were arriving! I hadn't seen Fede since last October! It had been 271 days since I'd seen my son!!! WAY TOO LONG!

Federico texted that their train would arrive in Venice in 30-40 minutes. As we were across town from the train station, I RAN to the vaparetto stop, and got there in record time. Shannon got the next vaparetto to the train station with 4 more of our guests who were heading to Verona for a few days, and Brad got Elizabeth checked-in and settled in her hotel near San Marco.

OMG was I happy to see Federico!

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It was wonderful to see Lea, Seth and Dakota as well!

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We rode the vaparetto back to Santo Spirito, and dropped off everyone's bags. The apartment was getting cleaned and new towels and linens were waiting for us. Brad was also excited to see everyone. We opened some gifts, and headed to Campo Santa Margherita for a lunch of tramezzini, and then a gelato stop.

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We did a "nickle tour" of San Marco and sights, the bell tower, and a beautiful cafe break. We returned home to get ready for dinner at La Cantina.

Shannon and Nan joined us for a huge dinner: a platter of antipasti, a platter of seafood, and one of grilled meat and veggies. The wine was flowing, and I was SO happy to hang out with Federico for a long wonderful evening and a great meal.

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August 19, 2014

Vegas with the Sisters

I had a great weekend catching up with my sorority sisters, Connie, Joy and Tammy in Las Vegas. We had lot of laughs, gambling, shopping, and decadent eating. Here we are at Guy Fieri's restaurant at the Linq. Food was so good (and so BAD)! Pictured are a French
dip, "Street Tacos", and the BEST spicy salami-wrapped breadsticks with a bowl of 4-cheese fonduta with Italian sausage!

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August 14, 2014

Back on Monday!

I am taking a few days off. I'll be in Las Vegas with my sorority sisters, but back on Monday to begin the last 5 post-group days in Venice with Federico!

About Me

I am a Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist with a private practice in Palm Desert, California. My passions include travel, especially annual trips to Italy, food, and all things Italian. I drink LOTS of coffee, love to cook, entertain, shop and decorate. Read More
Living Better at 50

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