Off to Venice - Day 11
It's hard to believe my week long visit to the Tuscan Countryside has come to an end. It has been an incredible experience and now, we are off for a new adventure in Venice!!
My day began with a smooth and easy departure from Il Borghetto, the amazing countryside vacation villa we stayed at, right outside the town of San Gimignano. This lovely Tuscan retreat felt like home for the past week. Having written to Simona, one of the family owners, for several months before arriving, this segment of our trip also felt like we were staying with long-time friends. I will be writing more about this wonderful location in the coming weeks!
In any case, it was a warm and bittersweet goodbye since I felt so at home at Il Borghetto!
Fortified with meticulous maps and directions given to us by Sandra, one of the of our other lovely hosts, we were on our way to Florence where we needed to return our car and then catch our afternoon train to Venice.
The drive was great - made it there within 40 minutes, returned the car and headed to the train station. The train ride went by very quickly. The kids were well behaved playing on their electronics. Mom and I were busy gabbing and before you knew it, the announcement said "Venezia, Santa Lucia."
All I can say is WOW!!! When we exited the train station and looked out on the Grand Canal, we were all awe-struck! What a gorgeous city!! It was all a little mini adventure - from waiting for the water taxi, to riding in it all along the Grand Canal, to taking pictures of all the buildings, water taxis and gondolas!!
I really didn't know what to expect but it is just so different than any place I've ever been. The kids were pretty tired so we just took a short walk over to the Rialto Bridge and around the immediate area of our hotel. Of course, we had to get gelato before heading back to the hotel!!
See you back here tomorrow.
Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water. - Frida Giannini
Brussels - Day 11
Here I write to you while on rail from Southampton, as I’m watching the fields of lavender pass by. Thoughts of Provence, France come to mind - but that will have to be another trip! lol
We disembarked the Emerald Princess this morning, after spending a wonderful week aboard the cruise ship and visiting the very beautiful county of Norway! I can definitely see a return visit in the future!
Now on our way to catch the Eurostar from London to Belgium! Today will mark yet another of the anticipated highlights of this trip - seeing the Tapis de Fleur…
This evening we’ll find ourselves in Bruges. It should be absolutely lovely!
I chose to not stay in Brussels, because I couldn’t find any hotel properties suitable to my standards. And as Bruges was the next destination city on our tour and with several beautiful 5 star properties to choose from, it was an easy choice to make (yet a difficult one for someone as indecisive as myself, in that there were too many choices that I approved of)!
Yesterday we had enjoyed a relaxing day aboard the ship while heading to Southampton on the North Sea. The water was very slight and we celebrated our 5th anniversary watching screenings and shows, shopping and eating, reviewing a gazillion pictures of us from the previous formal night photo shoots and giving/receiving 5th anniversary and 60th monthiversary gifts!!! Not to mention placing our deposits for a future cruise aboard Princess Cruise Lines! Ya know me, always looking ahead and even planning future trips while still on vacation!
Just to give you a brief idea, I’m looking at doing a Panama Canal Cruise, a Mediterranean Cruise, South America Cruise, Eastern Caribbean Cruise (this one will be our 6th Anniversary cruise), a Canada Fall Colors Cruise, another Alaskan Cruise, and that’s just to name cruises trips that are on the front burner, as of course there are others on the rear burner. And of course there are plenty of other trips that are land only…the world in a big place and I am a WANDERLUSTER!
As I would assume that you already realize, I’m having a great and busy trip so far. And there’s plenty more to come! Dave equates it to the likes of being on the Amazing Race!
I do hope that you are enjoying keeping up with myself and Elisa, while we are both abroad. Please send us your feedback in the comment section and if you aren’t already…be sure to subscribe!
There will always be plenty of fun happening here on Travelin’ Cousins!
In addition, I should not be having any further internet connection issues and therefore be able to post plenty of pictures for you to check out and take a peak of my visit here to the UK & Scandinavia!
And lastly as I promised, look for the rare Saturday edition of Foodie Friday right here later this afternoon!
Hope you are having a wonderful Saturday to kick off a fantastic weekend!