We have a luxury apartment in Venice. By time six of us are in the apartment, there are suitcases by every wall, and barely a way to make it around the kitchen. The luxury apartment has only 2 keys for six of us, so we have to go out in groups. The best part of the luxury flat is that there are 2 gelato shops at our door, and in 30 seconds we can be in St Mark’s Square or over to the Doge’s Palace.
We eat out in restaurants in groups – always regrouping. The first night, all of the lefties had to sit on the same side of the table. The second night all of those who have had colonoscopies on the same side of the time. We have been together too long and who knows where the conversation will lead us next.
The man who lets the apartment told Wyona to book directly with him next time, and there will be a price reduction. Then he marked our map with the direction to go to the closest Coop, and circled the place where there is a fish and vegetable market every morning from 4 am to 2 pm. He gave us directions to a restaurant that serves real Viennese food – fish. We tried a restaurant tonight, after a walk through quaint streets into a section of town that is less touristy and frequented by local people. Moiya asked the server for his suggestion from the menu; he told us to try the fish plate – 5 kinds of fish on one platter for two: scampi, salmon, monk, sole, and sea bass. Moiya and David took the special and filleted their own plate. She was quick to pick up her fork and knife saying, “My dad taught me how to do this when I was little and I can still do it.”
Margaret and I took the special as well. After the presentation, we had our food filleted in kitchen. I have never ordered 5 kinds of fish, caught today – on the same plate. That was a taster platter to die for, the lining up of the fish on the same plate and going from one to the other, enjoying the flavour of the grilling, thinking about the texture of the fish as well as the different tastes. Moiya asked the restaurateur what he would suggest for pizza. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Pizza is pizza,” willing to let her order it, but dismissive of its charm to him.
For touring, we have a transportation pass called Vaporetto dell Arte Canal Grande which takes us on public boat along the canal, offering head phones to supplement the pictures on the video screen in front of us.
The first day we just took the vaporetto tour, getting a feel for the canal. Today Margaret and I visited the “Collezione Peggy Guggenheim”, the personal collection of Peggy Guggenheim herself, who amassed a major collection of Cubism, Futurism, Metaphysical Painting, European Abstraction, avant-garde sculpture, and American Abstract Expressionism, some of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
We spent the afternoon at the Ca’ Rezzonico, the monumental palazzo that offers an insight into 18th Century Venice, as well as a place that houses some of the Venetian masters covering four centuries of art. I was remembering that Catherine told me, just do one thing a day – so today I did two days worth of work and can have tomorrow off.
Moiya, David and Wyona had a more interesting start to the day. St. Mark’s Square was flooded from high tide waters. The board walks that are 3 feet above the waterline were filled with tourists. My relatives rolled up their trousers, took off their socks and shoes, and just tromped through the water to the other side of the square, at which point they put their shoes back on again and went to tour the Doge’s Palace.
All six of us take the Vaporetta del Arte (VA) since it is not full as the public vaporetto. One afternoon the six of us rode up and down the canal at the back of the boat – a private water taxi, sitting in the back, passing the gondoliers, watching the people on the sides of the Grande Canal strolling or entering museums. All six of us whose humble beginnings never would have let us imagine that we would experience the light of the sun on the water, nor the sound of gentle waves on the canal.