While I love Venice and all things Italian, I could never bring myself to play with these birds (pidgins?). Call me paranoid, but I lived in Shanghai, China during the SARS epidemic and the fear of avian flu is just to strong to deny. Brave souls seem to throw all caution to the wind to have their moment in the sun with our feathered friends. Me? I just love to photograph them!
Ewww! Just what are they thinking? And it isn't just the few and far between that love to cavort with these avian creatures. At any given time in the Piazza St. Marco you can see dozens of people pretending they are human perches. Freaks me out.
The last time I was in Venice was two years ago. I took my mother-in-law from Australia and we spent a few days sightseeing before we met my husband flying in from Portugal. The next day we left for a long anticipated Greek Island Cruise (highly recommend this one!). I didn't do the gondola ride because, well....I was with my mother-in-law and as much as I like her, in my mind, gondola rides are supposed to be romantic. Nuff said.
Eleven years ago I went with my son, then 19. I didn't ride with him for the same reason. So, this time I was with my husband and was looking forward to the ultimate romantic gondola ride in Venice....until I heard the price! Eighty euros for a half hour. If you're not up on your Euro/Dollar conversion, that is $109.00 per half hour. Sorry Giovanni, but I would rather soak that amount into a Louis Vuitton or, in my case, 60 ml of "Eau de Soir," by Sisley of Paris. Which I did the very next day. Hey, a gondola ride for one-half hour versus a lasting and elegant scent? No contest, right?
Next on my agenda was purchasing a Murano glass piece for my living room coffee table which is quite large.
We purchased this coffee table in Jakarta, Indonesia and it is made of coral stone. It is rather large at approximately 4 ft by 4 ft. It has survived countless moves and five different countries (Malaysia, Australia, China, United States, Germany). We love it, although it is extremely heavy to move and coral stone can chip. So far, we have been fortunate to avoid any chips. Since our move from east Munich to south Munich last April, I have changed our decor from red and gold to navy, cream, and shades of teal and violet.
Finding a decorative piece that will fit nicely onto a 4 ft by 4 ft coffee table in the right shade of blue is not an easy task. (No, I did not choose the piece I photographed above. It is a Merano sculpture on the island of Merano in Venice.) Although I did my best scouring both Venice and the island of Murano, I came up empty handed.
This was the intended color:
This was the intended shape (or something similar) but it needed to be very large:
So far, no luck. But I am online searching Murano, E-bay, or wherever I can to find the piece I want. But there was no such animal in Venice or Murano and believe me, I know because I dragged my poor husband into every shop there was to look. The poor soul.
In spite of my shopping disaster and abhorrence for any setting that reminds me of Hitchcock's, "The Birds," I have to say that our visit was everything that we had imagined.
From astonishing architecture to blinding natural beauty, we found Venice to be all that we wanted it to be and more.