Day #2 in Venice was a bit drizzly, but nothing that we as (sorta) Oregonians couldn't handle. So we pulled up our hoods, grabbed some pastries from the corner bakery for breakfast, and headed back to San Marco Piazza. We walked straight into the Doge's Palace (no line!) and opened up our Rick Steve's "Mona Winks". The Palace was amazing. Crazy, really. So much gold, so many statues and carvings, no surface left unpainted. Overwhelming - overstimulating. After awhile it becomes "yeah, another Titian, another Tintoretto...what's next?" Well, not really, but almost! You really get the idea that these Venetians wanted to intimidate. Really, really. So many paintings of Doges with angels, with Mary, with Jesus. SO self-important. Even the kids picked up on it. (Griffin liked the bridge of sighs & prisons best. No gold, no paintings, but really appealed to the whole castle- thing that 5 yr olds love.) Yeah, the palace was a good visit.
All of the guidebooks say to spend time just getting lost in Venice, so we did that for awhile. Just winding through the alleys and over tiny bridges, snapping photos along the way. We did some window shopping on the Rialto Bridge then wound our way back to San Marco's and got in line for the Basilica. Gold again! Griffin had a hard time with the idea that the images on the ceiling were made of mosaics. And that each tile was thumbnail sized. He got it by looking at the mosaics on the floor and then mentally shifting that to the ceiling. He wanted to know how they made it stick ;)
We did a little souvenir shopping: cat mask for Griffin, fox mask for Hailey, tshirt for Sean, and gondola charm for me. Then back to the house to think about dinner. As it was my birthday, Todd & I had hoped to go out somewhere nice but...the troops were just a bit too crazy to trust alone. Sooooo, Todd got us a pizza and some beer and some fruit tarts (to stand in for a birthday cake) and we called it a night.
Birthday in Venice - yep, no complaints.