Well as you can see from the picture taken at dusk of the Grand Canal, we finally made it to Venice. Although we couldn't stay at a monastery like we wanted, we did find a jewel of a hotel (the white one on the right). Besides being in a great location, it is very historical in that it was one of the first lodgings in Venice and it dates back to the 1490s when Columbus barely started exploring the new world.
It was however an adventure getting here. It took us forever to get out of the outskirts of Milan because of the insane Italian drivers, the heavy traffic and those roundabouts...always those damn roundabouts. Aargh! It was like driving in the Long Beach Grand Prix with cars speeding by you on the left and right or hanging on our tail like we was towing them. The only difference is that the Grand Prix drivers don't give you the "Pa Fangul" as they whiz past. Don't ever drive in an Italian big city, it's insane and scary! Now, we are safe in Venice where even the boats are not allowed to go fast because they make a wake. But before we got here we played hell finding a place to park that didn't cost as much as funding your child's entire college tuition.
This place is gorgeous and the old buildings are like works of art inside and out. The pace is slow and it's relaxing taking an evening stroll on the cobblestone walks and over the numerous bridges that cross over the canals. We also hoped we could walk off some of the Pasta Bolognese we had for dinner. We were tempted to take a gondola ride because Sheila thought some of the handsome gondoliers looked as gorgeous as Fabio. However we balked at the hefty 75 Euro price tag plus another 20 if you want them to sing "O Sole Mio" for you. For that much money they better give Sheila a kiss on the lips...shoot maybe me too!
We will be here for three relaxing days by the Adriatic Sea before we hit the road again and head west towards the Mediterranean coast and on to the French Riviera. With all the experience I've gotten competing with these loco Italian drivers I'll be ready to drive in the Monaco Grand Prix. Hey...me and my trusty six-on-the-floor Opel could do it I tell you!