all ashore

The cruise is over. It’s time to get off the ship and go home. I don’t know how Kaitlyn is going to handle not having Kids Club to go to every night after dinner!

The cruise ended in Venice. I didn’t have much of a plan for this stop. We didn’t want to stay overnight because we wanted to be home all day Sunday to recover. (Sad that you have to plan a day to recover from your restful vacation.) Our flight out is at 5:30, so we have a few hours. I figured worst case, we drag our suitcases to a cafe in Venice and sit while Kaitlyn chases birds.

When we got off the ship, Bill noticed a little room off to the side marked “baggage storage.” For something like 5 Euros we could leave our bags while we went into the city. The guy even said he’d have a cab waiting for us when we got back to take us to the airport. Perfect.

We waited in a long line to get on a ferry to St. Mark’s Square. As soon as we arrived, Kaitlyn remembered being there and immediately asked to feed the birds. Once she’d finished that, she wanted to shop. I took her in a couple of shops and she was determined to buy a mask. We’d bought her a mask last summer when we were in Venice, but I put it away in the display cabinet so it isn’t really hers to play with. This time she wanted one on a stick. Things you can wave around in other people’s faces are always more fun. She picked one out and it was 38 Euros. So I took her out to the square and one of the cheap souvenir stands set up where she picked out another one that looked pretty similar for 10 Euros. She was content with that… for a few minutes. In Venice you can go into a couple of old buildings which we’d already been in and which had crazy long lines today… you can drink Italian coffee… you can feed the birds… you can ride in a gondola… or you can shop. Kaitlyn wanted to shop. For a while she was content looking in windows. But then at the window of a music shop she had a meltdown because she wanted a guitar. Even if I were going to buy her one (which I am not), I am certainly not going to buy it in Venice then lug it home on the airplane.

Finally, we were saved by lunch time. She must have been getting hungry to have gotten so cranky so quickly. We knew where we wanted to eat; we just had to wait for it to open. We went back to the restaurant we’d discovered last summer with Patrick… the night he was so determined to get chicken cordon bleu… and ended up with a plate of spaghetti that tasted just like what our grandma used to make. I was a little afraid going back that it wouldn’t be as good as I remembered. But it was every bit as good or even better. I have been trying this whole vacation not to eat until I’m stuffed… but today I couldn’t help but do just that. And Kaitlyn must have been hungry. She ate Bill’s big bowl of tortellini soup, some of his fried shrimp and three-quarters of an entire pizza.

Despite eating lunch, she continued her “I want to buy something” mantra. It was making us crazy. We finally dragged her to a cafe so I could have a coffee, telling her it was Mommy and Daddy’s turn to do what we wanted. (We’d even tried going to a park but there was no grass in the park, just gravel… which she tried using to build little castles but that was just getting gross.) The two cappuccinos we ordered set us back 17 Euros. That’s about 24 bucks for coffee. But at least she stopped asking to buy something.

We ferried back to the dock and picked up our bags. As promised, the guy had a taxi waiting for us. We didn’t even ask what the charge was to get to the airport. It sort of didn’t matter, we had to go. It was a white knuckle ride, with the driver spending more time in the lane for oncoming traffic than in our own lane. Bill said it didn’t seem bad to him. Kaitlyn sang and played with her stuffed octopus from Kids Club the whole time. (I think he was another scavenger hunt prize. She was carrying him in the backpack she won at a bingo game there.) When we got to the airport, the driver said it would be 40 Euros. Bill tried to give him a tip, but he wouldn’t take it… saying our bambino made his day. Gotta love Italy. Even without a plan.

One Response to “all ashore”

  1. D.A.D. says:

    Turning down a tip because Kaitlyn made his day??!!! Boy, she must have been dazzling on that ride.

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