"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, November 17, 2016

home by way of venice

Returning cars out of the original country of rental can be a headache and pricey. 

Our plan had been to rent when we first landed in Florence and travel up the coast toward Switzerland, beeline to Austria, curve around to Slovenia and then head back to Florence to return our rental cars before flying home.

We had an extra day and I begged and begged that we get out early enough to get to see Venice by way of our return to Florence.

I mean, we may never be here again so why not?

Everyone was eager at the prospect and did their part to get us on our way.

We just knew that we would love Venice when we found wild blackberries growing on the roadside as we walked to the ferry.

Venice is built on water and I've heard it's touristy, crowded and maybe even a little dirty. So, we didn't know what to expect.

It may have ended up being our favorite city by far. It's definitely one that we all said we would come back to see again one day.

Those little walking paths leading into secret alleys were so quaint and romantic.

The streets were lined with beautiful carts. The kids were begging to pick their own purchase of fruit.

Who wouldn't want one of everything?

Look how these bundles of peppers are arranged so beautifully.

We were even drawn to the never before seen.

These garages sure were interesting.

And these two again.

Being waved at by a classroom of preschoolers across the canal.

Newel and I decided it would be a pretty great place to return, just the two of us.

And if we do, I'm gonna have to try one of these fish pedicures. The girls were dying that we just didn't have enough time to squeeze that in.

And I think we left having soaked in a very quick but full day, falling in love with Venice.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

on the lake

In the midst of rainy days, we spent some time exploring the lake. A gorgeous walking trail circled the perimeter. We didn't even mind the rain because it produced some beautiful low hanging clouds and rainbow sunsets.

We decided to grab some lunch then take a couple of boats out to the island monastery.

These two had been striking up a heartwarming connection.

We walked the perimeter of the lake.

Charlotte begged to be carried and Christian didn't mind a bit.

That water was so clear.

We couldn't all fit in one boat so divided into two. Those faces were concerned over Christian's ability to keep the boat upright .... especially with the fish in the clear water. I'm not sure there was much confidence.

But he did a great job.

We docked and walked the monastery island.

Those steps were so old, they were being held together by iron staples.

The church itself was packed and we didn't want to chance another downpour so we unhitched our boats and rowed to the other side of the lake for some famous Slovenian cream cake.

Had to have a little race back to the docks.

We took a rest back at our house during an afternoon downpour but headed back out into the clear evening to walk the lake.

Again, little legs gave out and I loved this boy's patience.

And moments like these two chatting away.

The lake is used for regatta practice producing so many Olympians. We didn't see too many teams practicing as all of them had already headed off to Rio, Brazil for the summer Olympics.

It sure gave us a thrill to root for their team since we felt a connection having been on the lake of blood, sweat and tears to compete at such a high level.

These guys finally got brave enough to jump in that cold water with those fish.

The sun set and a light drizzle began and I wish I could have captured the magic of the evening better.

And then it was time to finally turn our direction toward home.