Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Wrap Up

We had a lovely Christmas for the most part.

Mom had oyster stew on the 23rd for us so we could leave for Rochester early on the 24th. The stew was yummy! The oysters were HUGE ( i, of course, stayed away from them)

The morning of the 23rd I had to take Francis to the vet for an emergency visit. He'd been throwing up. When we got there he got an IV for dehydration, two shots of antibiotics, and a throat culture. I checked to make sure he wouldn't be contagious since we'd be seeing his doggie cousins in Rochester.

Nick put his Santa hat on the Pooper. You can tell he's not feeling well since he didn't shake it off ASAP. He did very well being strapped in for the ride.

Think I went a little overboard?

Who wants to go fishing with me??

Nick, Christy and Kurt were really happy with the 5x7 collage print I made and framed of our trip to Chicago.

The tiger t-shirt got a thumbs up!

Lyle and Audra Kae really really enjoyed the family scrapbook I made for their 50th anniversary. It included wedding pages/photos for their parents, them, and the three boys. Each family also had two pages and I did a page for each of the nine grandkids. There were some other misc pages, too. It was a lot of work, but well worth the pain in the butt it was to see them so thrilled.
We came home in the dense fog on the 26th. We stopped at the vet to pick up more antibiotics since Francis' throat culture showed tonsillitis and we stopped at Urgent Care where Christy tested positive for strep throat.
Now the kids are gone til the night of the 4th. Kurt's been gone 2 nights working and I have all the Christmas stuff put away.
Bring on the new year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Freezing my A** off

It's been a cold, cold, cold dull weekend. Overnight Thursday we got 8 - 10 inches of snow so of course there was no school on Friday. The kids don't go back until Jan 5.

Saturday the weather forecast said blizzard warnings for late Saturday night and all day on Sunday. Kurt, my parents, and I went to the Amanas to see the play Nuncraker. It was snowing a little when we left. We took the truck. By the time we got out of the show at 5 pm it was a full blown blizzard. We only had one super scary episode when we hit a patch of ice and fishtailed. Mom and I shrieked and Kurt kept it on the road. It was a long tense ride home.

Friday night I fell down the front steps in spectacular style. I hit my tailbone, my butt, my butt, my back, my back, both wrists and my ankle before face planting in the snow. I've been bruised and stiff all weekend. Today I can't bend or twist. Kurt is being very patient with me.

Kurt's been reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows all weekend. I've been channel surfing and taking advil. I also made a pumpkin pie and peppermint bark.

So overall my weekend has been as dull as this post :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

A winter scene

I'm supposed to be disinfecting/cleaning our bedroom, but instead I'm watching a pair of cardinals hop around in the snow outside my bedroom window. I'd like to get a picture but am afraid that getting up and going past the window will wake up the dog and scare the birds away.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Venice - Final shot

We had a great time. This is on the Rialto Bridge spanning the Grand Canal.

Venice VIII

Santa Maria Della Salute - This church was built the thank Mary for sparing the lives of 1 in 3 Ventians during the Plague

High water

The sun does shine in Venice!

Kurt on the downside of Accademia

Venice VII

The Accademia Bridge - we crossed this numerous times a day

The canal in front of our hotel from our balcony

A detail on a building

Another detail

The Grand Canal

Venice VI

Above the door way that goes to the Doge's palace. Perhaps, a Doge kneel before the lion - symbol of Venice and St Mark
A rainy afternoon on the Piazza San Marco

The horses that stand on St Marco. These are the originals. The ones outside on the balcony are copies.

San Marco from the Piazza. The flood waters were to the tops of these chairs the day we left.

A view of the horses looking toward the clock tower

Venice V

WOW! This is post # 501!

The following images are of San Marco's Basilicia and the gorgeous mosaics inside

The Holy Family

St. George slaying the Dragon

Various saints and angels

Jesus - Byzantine style

Venice IV

On the balcony at San Marco

One of the many canals and bridges we crossed - constantly!

On the balcony at St Mark's. The Doge's Palace on the left, the column with the lion looking out toward the lagoon.

Prociutto at the Christmas Market.

Yummy THIN pizza. It was soo good!

Venice III

The front of the Fenice Opera House. It's really exquisite inside. Lots of guilding. No wonder it took them so long to rebuild it. I can see why it was next to impossible to fight the fire. It's in a very small, confined area. It took us almost three days to find it! It's hard to decipher maps in the rain and navigate the narrow streets or tell what direction you are going.

A view of the Doge's Palace. We toured it. We were there probably 4 hours.

The courtyard at the Doge's Palace. Notice how it was light when we started and dark (see above) by the time we came back out? The Doge's Palace is right next to/attached to San Marco Basilica.

Along the lagoon. That's another little island across the way. I believe that's San Giorgio than you can see. We didn't make it over there.

Venice II

I'm just going to post pictures. I don't have the energy for a blow by blow...plus I don't think anyone really cares :)

What's the deal with blogger not posting images in the order you upload them? Anybody? Bueller?

Our first yummy meal! Kurt's tagliatelle with swordfish, olives and eggplant.

And to think I went to photography school! Can you say "clash"? This is our comfy bed in our former palazzo hotel.

Lighting candles for safe travel at St. Stefano's

My delish vermicelli and clams

The view out our hotel room. We stayed at the Hotel American Dinesen on the Campo san Vio.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I made chili this afternoon. I taste tested a cup this afternoon. It will be fine for dinner. I'm baking peanut butter star cookies right now. I may have broken into the bag over the weekend. Still, there were plenty of stars to stick in the cookies.

Kurt and I both have low grade colds. We didn't do much over the weekend but lay around and watch movies. We rented Casino Royale so we could relate it to Quantum of Solace. Again, I say oh la la to Daniel Craig.

We also watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It was decent. It had some funny bits. I like Mila Kunis - Jackie from That 70's Show. We squeezed in White Christmas and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Not much got accomplished around here.

I got the Tales of Beedle the Bard on Friday. It was short at only 107 pages with rather large double spacing. It was cute. I think JK Rowling must have been exhausted from writing the last HP book since this one was so very short. All the $$ is going to a children's charity to I don't feel bad about spending the $ on it.

And so it begins.....

School let out an hour early today due to impending weather. Ugh. I hope they have school tomorrow.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Venice - Day 1

I have to say I really like late morning/early afternoon flights. It was very nice to not have to leave home at the crack of dawn. We flew through Minneapolis then Amsterdam to Venice. Our flights were good and on time. The Amsterdam airport is HUGE. We taxied for over 30 minutes before we got to the terminal. It was prettily decorated with Delft style ornaments. There were lots of cheeses and flower bulbs for sale. I passed.

Our flight to Venice was about another hour and a half. Flying over the Alps was gorgeous. They were all snow covered and pointy. It looked like Meringue. I was sitting on the right side of the plane so I was treated to a breathtaking view of all of Venice as we flew in. I could see the Piazza and the towers and so many churches. It got me so excited for our trip.

All of the guidebooks, websites, and my mother had said Venice was terribly expensive. That was an understatement. It's probably the most expensive place I've ever been! We took the vaperetto (water bus) to the city. It was 12 Euro each ($15.25) and took an hour and a half. It was very scenic though and really neat to approach the city that way. One of the stops was at Murano. The sun was actually shining. Everything was beautiful and sparkly. We wouldn't see that again! We could have take a faster water taxi directly to the hotel but that would have been 90 E each ($114).

It was an easy walk to our hotel the American Dinesen. It's situated on a small canal just a few blocks from the Peggy Guggenheim museum and the Accademia bridge. Our room was nice and comfortable. We had a little balcony overlooking the canal. We had a short nap.

We woke up around 5 pm. Bad news. The Italians usually don't eat dinner until 7:30 or later. Most restaurants are open from 1130-230 then close again until 7 or 730. The guy at the front desk was very helpful and recommended a great restaurant that was open. It was about a 10 minute walk. We went up and over the Accademia Bridge for the first – and nowhere near the last – time across the Grand Canal and through the Campo St Stefano. We had a bottle of white wine. Kurt had tagliatelle pasta with red sauce, swordfish, eggplant and olives and I had vermicelli with clams. The waiter complimented us on ordering Venetian food rather than eating like tourists!

It was still early so we decided to explore. Our first stop was at St. Stefano's church. It was beautiful inside with Renaissance masters art, marble and candlelight. I do love old churches. It was a 4 Star! We headed through the narrow streets and over the canals to the Piazza San Marco. it was gorgeous all light up. Plus there weren't any tourists (or pigeons) to block our view. We decided to tour it first thing in the morning. We got some gelato - delicious Italian ice cream - chocolate and something called Doge's cream. Fantastic! We decided to make our way back to the hotel.

We had read John Berendt's City of Falling Angels a few months ago so Kurt wanted to find the Fenice Opera House. It looked easy enough on the map. We wandered and wandered and asked for help and still never found it. We almost walked to the other end of the island. Venice is confusing. The guidebooks said the thing to do is to get lost. Check! We got that accomplished right away.

We managed to find our way to a cafe so Kurt had some cafe au lait and i had a pastry. It was a great way to end our first evening in Venice.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Just in Time!

We left Venice just in time. Mom emailed and told me about the flooding. We hadn't heard about it since I've pretty much been in nap mode all day. When we left Monday morning I commented on how hard it was raining and blowing. Little did we know!