Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Venetian Thanksgiving

As many of you know, we spent our Thanksgiving holiday in Venice!  Thanksgiving morning we hopped on the tube and rode out to Stansted Airport to catch a plane to Venice.  We arrived in the afternoon, checked in to the hotel, and our time in Venice had begun!

This is the hotel that we stayed at.
For our thanksgiving dinner we first had a couple courses of gelato.  My first course was lemon, chocolate, and stracciatella (chocolate chip).  I then went in for a second course of lemon and maro (blackberry).  The maro, while still good, was not quite up the the standard of the others.  The chocolate was divine and tasted like brownies.
We were lucky to get to the gelato place when we did because thanksgiving was the last day before they closed for the winter (the sign says "Last Day").
Then we went out and had pizza for desert.  I had artichoke pizza (yum yum yum).  This pizza is what caught our attention.
This is a nice picture of one of the bridges spanning the canal in Venice.
And, of course, there was a Hard Rock Cafe (that we didn't go to unfortunately).
This is a picture of me, Dad, Beno, and Bro. Seely standing by the statue of the *Tetrarchs.
This was a the window of a shop that we found.  Venetian glass is very famous and glass shops are one of the three types of shops to be found in Venice (glass shops, mask shops, and clothing stores :) ).  These are tiny glass sculptures of insects.  On the other side which you can't see in the picture were cute little hippos and elephants and all sorts of other kinds of animals.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to find the shop again, or I would have bought some.
Then next morning, it was raining like crazy, and we were warned that the water would be past our ankles in some of the streets.
  Fortunately our hotel provided Wellies for all.
Brellies and Wellies
It turned out that the water was indeed up to our ankles, and beyond.
St Marks square is the main square in Venice.  That day, it was more like a pond than a square.
Mom and Yours Truly.
Here is Mom on one of the many duck boards erected for those who didn't wish to wade in ankle-deep water.
More duck boards
Sloshing around in a shop.
A cute little kid.
The **bell ringers
San Giorgio church located on a little island.
View of Venice from San Giorgio bell tower
The place to lodge complaints anonymously (mouth).
The next morning sported a welcome blue sky after the floods of the previous day.
An impressionistic shimmer on the canal
Dad, Beno, I, and Bro. Seely went to a church while the girls shopped.
Another nice shot of the church interior.
And more glass.
A beautiful blue sea to greet us.
In Venice there are police and fire boats as well as ambulance boats like the one shown here

Glass blowing on Murano island.
The grave of Igor Stravinsky on San Mishele island.
Another impressionistic scene.
And after the day was done, we bid farewell to Venice.

*Probably the 4 co-rulers of Rome in its last days.

**These were the first robots to kill someone.  Someone was up there working in the 1700s and they knocked him off.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Parades and Remembrance

This week has been a very busy week.  Yesterday I was woken up at an unearthly hour and told to get dressed for our tour at the houses of parliament.  After the tour was over it turned out that it was the day of the Lord Mayor's parade through the city.  We first made our way home, and then to the parade.  Now enough blabbing.  Time look at pictures!!!  Oh!  Also, we've been having remembrance ceremonies around here because of remembrance day.  The first one was at Trafalgar Square.  It was amazing.  We participated in the 2-minute silence, and to hear noisy London completely silent is an amazing experience.  Pix below.

Here is at Trafalgar Square during the remembrance ceremony.  Here we listened to some singers, participated in a 2-minute silence out of respect for the dead, and threw poppy petals into the fountain.
These are just some cute school kids "bunking off school" to see the remembrance ceremony.
Here is Dad throwing some poppy petals into the fountain at Trafalgar Square.
OK, now we are into the parade.  These guys are the royal artillery.  You can see the caissons rolling along in the foreground. 

 And here is the big man himself in the carriage that is only taken out of the Museum of London for this occasion.
 Here is one of the many marching bands.  I included this particular one because it lets you guys see the traditional hats that the soldiers wear.
 Here is a random potato harvester that came through.  You can see the potato guy up on top.
And lastly, the steam bus from Yorkshire.  Driven solely by steam.

Well, sorry about the ridiculously long wait but hope you enjoyed the pics.  No videos because of the terribly slow internet connection.