Tag Archives: venice

Med Cruise II: Venice 2, Electric Boogaloo

May 25, 2012 – Venice, Italy, Day 2

The next day, Day 10 – Venice (Day 2 of 2), was a little bit more Venice and it was wonderful. We only had a half day as the ship was requiring us to be back on board by 2. The agenda for our excursion was a gondola ride and free time, and that was pretty damn cool. When we got to where the gondola ride picked people up, we saw our first Hard Rock Cafe of the day, which was perfect, as I knew where to go when it was time to buy souvenirs. The gondola ride itself was very nice, and we shared it with a Filipino group, who ended up being very nice and funny. The ride actually went into the Grand Canal for a bit and it was right near the Rialto Bridge, which was exactly where I was hoping to go later on so it was good to see the perspective and figure out where it was.

After the gondola ride, we then had plenty of time to go souvenir shopping, which was fantastic. Found a few neat shops and hopefully picked up enough trinkets, although I really hate that part of the trip, to be honest. Ugh. We also got our last Italian lunch/meal in on the continent, and enjoyed a prosciutto pizza and a dish of spaghetti carbonara. Yum. We then got back on the ship, and after the whole process (boat ride to dock, walk to bus, take bus to the port terminal, process through terminal with passport, walk length of deck to Equinox’s entry, final security scan into ship) it was time to enjoy a half day at sea, but before that, enjoy the view of leaving Venice from our stateroom balcony. The approach in was on the other side, but you leave the same way you come in, so this time we got to see Venice from that amazing perspective. And while we were taking pictures and gawking at the amazing scenery, we heard some camera noises from our neighbor’s porch and saw a white camera that was awfully familiar. Turned out that the guy we met from our yesterday excursion was our neighbor as well! Yep, Dave was our neighbor in this trip. Crazy coincidences.

Larry & I embarked on a sure-fire way to battle boredom and we drank at the Martini Bar that afternoon. That’s when we met Chloe & Christian for reals and got a bit buzzed chatting with them. They’re a lot of fun. Dinner in the Silhouette room followed with another great meal but far too much food, as Larry ordered a second entree to see what their carbonara was like. Ugh. We caught the show (cute, funny magician) and after that, it was totally time to get sleep. Seriously.

Skiff Ride into Venice

Excursion:  Gondola Ride

Visiting the Rialto Bridge

Lunching in Venice

Returning to the Equinox

Leaving Venice

Afternoon on Equinox

2013 Mediterranean Adventure Pics

Med Cruise II: Ah, Venice! Pt 1

I had gone to Venice only once before, and that was with Wendy and Jason over a decade ago, back in 2002.  Even then, it was just for a brief half day, and from what I remember of that time, I wasn’t that impressed.  I know, I know….what the everloving what?  So heading into this two-day destination, I was honestly hoping it was just going to be merely tolerable.  It ended up being a highlight of the trip! I think Larry & I agree that we could easily spend so much more time in Venice, whether it’s for the food, the scenery of all the canals, the food….Ah, but I am probably getting close to repeating myself, as I’m sure I probably wrote something similar in my travel journal which is getting posted below.  Long story short, if Larry & I do an all-Italy tour, Venice will definitely be on it.  Along with Rome. And likely Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast (Portofino!?).    I just want to fly there right. now.  Alright, get a hold of yourself, Barnes!

May 23, 2013 – Venice, Italy, Day 1 of 2

Regarding the end of the day at Dubrovnik, I really can’t say what we ended up doing that night. ACTUALLY, I do remember now. After dinner, I ended up playing Blackjack that night in the casino, and meeting a few fun people and spending quite a bit of time at the table, hanging in there for a long long time. Met the couple, Chloe and Christian, as well as my Wendy-substitute, Jackie. The dealers were a lot of fun too, with a cute Luka and a funny Vladimir. I can’t believe I almost forgot that excitement. Larry watched for a little while but ended up going to bed while I stayed there.

The next day was Day 9 – Venice (day 1 of 2)!!! The forecast was for rain and yeah, that forecast wasn’t wrong. We weren’t getting into Venice until the early afternoon, so we had most of the morning to look out the windows and see that the weather had started off just merely a bit cloudy to getting progressively worse. Finally, when we got to within sight of land, it was pretty miserable. Larry & I went to the Sky Lounge which is up forward in order to at least see the approach into Venice, as by all accounts, the view as you enter the city from the cruise ship was fantastic. Well, unless you’re inside the Sky Lounge watching it through a rainy storm. UGH. As we got really close to Venice though, the Sky Lounge got really crowded and I was just like, fuck it, let’s go outside and get our umbrellas if we need to so we can actually get some decent pictures. Then, it happened. The rain tapered off. Then it freakin’ stopped. It was glorious. Right when we got to the Venice area where all the beautiful scenery was, the weather was almost perfect. Not blue skies, but gorgeous nonetheless.

Our Venetian Entrance on Equinox

The cruise ships have to park a bit on the outskirts of the city, so you have to take a tender to get over to the main touristic part. Our excursion for the day was touring St. Mark’s, the Doge’s Palace, and a glass blowing demonstration. We ended up getting in a bit late so the St. Mark’s tour was cancelled, but we did get a fantastic tour of the Doge’s palace, which is what I actually didn’t see with Jason & Wendy over 10 years ago. Loved seeing all the stuff from Assassin’s Creed 2 again. Ended up chatting with a guy who was by himself and was nice – Dave – while on the tour. At the end of the tour, after the glass blowing demonstration which was a lot like the Turkish rug thing in the first tour where they are clearly after your money, we parted from Dave but it was clear he was hoping for some friendship. Felt bad…

Excursion: Touring the Doge’s Palace

Excursion: St. Mark’s Square

Anyway, Larry & I went off on our own to have a dinner in Venice, and it was pretty great. Found a place decently reviewed by Tripadvisor and while the tables were nothing but close quarters (initially with some older French women who knew only a few English words), it was good food and a great waiter, handsome and funny. After that we wandered a bit but when it started to truly get dark, that was when we decided let’s head back to the ship as you never know when or where the “bad” district is. It was really nice to wander the city though, and we found a gelato store manned by quite a cute guy. The area by St. Mark’s had also started to get flooded a bit as the high tide had rolled in. We had heard an alarm earlier, but decided to just find food instead. Through it all though, it was clear that I had misjudged Venice from before. It is certainly a place where you can spend a good amount of time wandering the area and enjoying all the restaurants.

Wandering the Venetian Canals & Byways

Heading Back to Equinox Upon Nightfall

2013 Mediterranean Adventure Pics

Great afternoon for a walk

I’m slightly exhausted but I’m recovering nicely from this afternoon’s glorious walk reinforcing how wonderful it is to live in LA, especially the beach area.  We ventured from home and walked to the beach, then south into Venice, then back inland a bit towards Abbot Kinney, and finally back up Main Street towards our home.  The weather was gorgeous, and plenty to see.

Afternoon Walk

In Venice, it’s always a trip to see all the artists and hippies all hanging out in bliss.  I get enough of the Venice boardwalk after a walk through it every few months or so.  Enough said.  But this time, instead of walking back up the Boardwalk, we headed to Abbot Kinney – which is known for being a trendier place to go.  And so!  It’s got some gorgeous shops and restaurants, along with plenty of beautiful people.  Definitely felt more gay there too…so we’ll have to head back soon.  Went into a Jack Spade store and while I love the stuff there (I have a Jack Spade messenger bag acquired via a Giltman.com sale) it’s fairly expensive and the clerk there totally gave Larry & I the Pretty Woman treatment…and not the happy one.  You could tell he had already sized us up as not his clientele and totally ignored us, while a guy came in a bit later and he was all over him. WHATEVS, bitch.

Anyway, it was a long walk and now we’re back home, relaxing with a few drinks and getting ready to put the grill to work for the first time this year.  Yay for February in Southern California!

And now, some pics from today:

Walking Santa Monica & Venice, Feb 17, 2013