Saturday, May 24, 2008

On the Ship and Leaving Venice, part 1

Note -- We are having internet issues so while I will try to post everyday, I can't promise anything (also explains why nothing made it up yesterday, and I tried, I really, really tried $#%@#%#$%@$)

Saturday morning -- We got up early, had breakfast at the hotel, then headed into Venice and the cruise ship terminal to drop off our luggage. We wouldn’t be able to board until noon, but we needed to return the car by 10:30. Once that was done we wandered a little bit into Venice, just to give the kids a taste.

Supposedly, the cruise ship had free shuttles between the terminal and Piazzale Roma. We waited for ½ an hour, in the blazing sun, then decided to walk it. It’s not a long distance, and mostly downhill.

We checked in and boarded. First stop was our rooms (we were separated by one other room – we wanted the kids nearby but not too close). Our rooms were on the Deck 8 – pros & cons. On the plus side, top deck with cabins, close to stairs/elevators, main dining, pool, etc. Negatives – could hear people moving overhead. No luggage yet, but we still needed to check them out and show the kids around. Because OC was only 14 when we booked the trip, we had to set up the reservations with one adult per room. Since she was now 15, we needed to change things around so all the kids were in one cabin while we were in the other. And the beds needed to be fixed, too. Our cabin had two twin beds, while the kids’ had one queen and one bunk. Not going to work that way. DH and I went to wait in line at the pursers desk while the kids did a little exploring.

After everything was straightened out, it was time for lunch. The ship wasn’t sailing ‘til 5pm, so we had time to relax. And by this time we really needed a break from the monsters children. I swear, all they did was complain, all day – it was too hot, they were bored, they didn’t want to walk anymore, they were hungry, they were thirsty, they didn’t like the ship, they didn’t like their room, they didn’t like the food, why did we make them come on such a stupid trip, etc, etc, etc. And the constant bickering and arguing and nasty comments to and about each other. At one point I made a comment to MC, who had once again come to our room to complain about YC, that there was going to be one extremely pissed mama if we had to change the sleeping arrangements. I was seriously contemplating tossing them overboard. I haven’t decided yet if we’ll ever take another family vacation… So DH and I went to doze in our room and left the kids to their own devices.

Shortly before departure, we went up top to watch Venice as we sailed away. We found the kids and they actually stayed with us, for about 10 minutes. During this time they shared the amusing story of how they got lost and couldn’t find the way back to their room for a while. (The ship is not that big and the ID cards give your room number – not sure how they managed to get lost…). So we all watched Venice pass by as we sailed away. It’s such a beautiful city, and the weather was perfect (last year it had been foggy). I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but a place gets all hyped up and you’re excited to visit, but when you get there you find out the pictures in the brochure were staged, etc and it just doesn’t live up to your expectations. So disappointing. Well, Venice is just like the pictures – it’s visually stunning, the canals, the grand buildings, the variety of architectural details. And considering the number of people tromping through, it’s clean. Yep, I really like Venice.

Once we were out of Venice, DH and I went into the Solarium, where the inside pool is, and just relaxed in the lounge chairs. I slipped in and out of light sleep. DH eventually decided to enjoy the hot tub, and chatted with a fellow passenger. He didn’t think I could hear him, but I could pretty much hear every word as he relayed to this stranger the details of how we met and married, etc. (Hmmmmpppphhhh. I really can’t complain as it’s pretty much what I do with the whole blogging thing.) Before we knew it, it was after 8pm, so we went to find the kids and have some dinner. The kids were taking care of themselves, having already had dinner and then settling into their room. So DH and I had a late meal, checked on the kids, and went to the lounge to relax and have a couple of drinks. I don’t think we were in the lounge for more than 15-20 minutes before MC showed up to complain about YC. I’m serious – no more family vacations.

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