Friday, December 9, 2011


We were so excited to make it back to Italy!  It was our second time visiting Italy and we were excited to be back (me, mostly for garlic noodles and gelato) We found that we were staying outside of the actual city because it was so expensive to stay there.  So, we stayed about an hour outside of Venice.  At first, I was kind of disappointed.  This was, after all one of the most romantic cities in Europe.  My disappointment however, was quickly disband when I found where we were staying.  It was a quaint little hotel called the Hotel Jet, right on the Adriatic Sea.  We were a stones throw from the beach (and a gelato shop!).  We had a beautiful view!  Fabulous!  We settled in that night, found a place to eat, which had my favorite, garlic noodles. 

Here's the recipe CAUTION!  To those people who have to measure, this is not the recipe for you!  At least mine isn't!

Spaghetti Aglio e Oglio

1 Pkg. Spaghetti
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Pepper
Fresh Parsley
Red Pepper Flakes
Fresh Parmesan

Boil the Spaghetti, then add to taste all the rest of the ingredients.  Some people like more red pepper than others, and the same is for the ingredients!  Hope you enjoy this!

We spent the next day in Venice, which was fabulous.  We entered Venice by boat, which was a very beautiful ride.  We had a nice chat with other travelers from Indiana while enjoying the ocean view.

We entered Venice, hoped off the boat, and headed to a glass blowing demonstration.  This was one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.  Blowing glass is truly an art!

We spent the rest of the afternoon running around bustling Venice and holding our bladders!  It costs around 2 Euros to use the rest room!  Just to use the restroom!  Visited Doge's Palace.  Ate Gelato. Ate more gelato. Couldn't rationalize another gelato.  Regretted it later that night.

Ponte De Rialto, the bridge just over the Grand Canal in Venice

Venice was beautiful.  There are no streets, only canals. So everyone walks or takes a boat.  There aren't really front doors, more like front docks.  There are no bikes in the city limits.  A house in Venice can cost close to a million U.S. Dollars.  And when I say house, I mean a flat in an apartment!

A gondola ride.  How could we not go?  We decided to join some friends from our tour group since it was so expensive to ride one.  Its 80 Euro for just the two of us, so we decided to split it and save the money.  Sadly, this was anti climatic.  The gondola ride was more like a ride at Disneyland than it was a romantic ride through Venice. The scenery was beautiful, but our gondolier was anything from nice.  He kept yelling who knows what to the other gondoliers.  I doubt he would sing, even if we paid him.  We were back to back gondolas, almost crashing at times.  And the Grand Canal.  I felt like a gold fish in the ocean! 

After a busy day in Venice, we headed back to the hotel by ferry earlier than we had wanted.  There was a marathon that night close to our hotel and the roads were going to be shut down.  We decided we better play it safe and return to our hotel with our tour guide.  The next morning, as we visited with our travel buddies, we were sure glad we did!  One group had stayed late, couldn't find a ferry back, ended up hitch hiking a boat ride with a Venetian man and his beaux, tried to catch the bus back to our hotel (none were running because of the marathon), started walking, walked around seven miles before they got lost, and then after a few other mishaps, made it back to the hotel around five in the morning!  Phew! Glad we played it safe that time.

We spent the night sitting on the beach, and eating gelato.  Sad to be leaving but excited for our next adventure.

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