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March 12, 2002
Ciao, baby (Russell)

020312m.jpg (394746 bytes)
Cameron holding Keegan, after weeks of practice (Dawn was flabbergasted when she saw this photo)

March 12th was our last day with Dawn, David, and Keegan, so a good part of the day was spent tying up loose ends.  Everyone had intended to get an early start, but Dawn woke up with a pinched neck (she and David sleep with Keegan between them) and required the magic touch of Russell's acupressure massage fingers.  Russell took advantage of the occasion to show her our DVD of the making of the "Lord of the Rings" movie, which she knew nothing about (with her new baby, Dawn has missed most cultural trends in the last six months).

We finally got out of the villa at 9:30 AM and caught the vaporetto to Venezia.  Dawn and David took us on a long walking excursion to show us where they had found an Internet Point, as well as a store that sold "Lord of the Rings" game cards (Cameron and Joss' favorite game, which they play at least every other day), during one of their previous walking explorations.  They dropped us off at the Internet Point, giving Russell his first chance in a week to update our Web site, while they continued on.

After an hour on the Web, we continued back through the Ponte di Rialto to Piazza San Marco.  We stopped along the way to get pizza for lunch, feed the pigeons, get gelato for snack, and buy some small presents for Keegan (a rubber penguin and two straws -- Keegan likes to hold and "chew" on straws).  Today, Cameron was put in charge of navigating us around, and by sheer luck during a wrong turn we bumped back into the rest of our family.  By now it was mid-afternoon, and we all returned to the villa.

For dinner that evening, Dawn and David brought home some cichetti -- different types of pub foods that can best be described as an Italian version of Chinese dim sum (tea pastries) or English afternoon tea.  Keegan, after tiring himself out playing with the straws, took a nice long evening nap.  This left David free to play some long-promised board games with Cameron and Joss (Carcassonne and Chinese Chess), while Dawn and her mother went through the hundreds of photographs we've taken over the last two weeks to decide which ones they want copies of.

As the evening drew to a close, Dawn and David turned to the reluctant task of packing.  Their flight leaves Venezia tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM, so they will get up at 3:00 AM in order to catch a water taxi at 4:00 AM.  While they will return home to expand back into their normal lives, we will continue to live out of our suitcases for another three months.  (Joss requested -- unsuccessfully -- that he be able to go back to the US with Dawn and David "just for a month," but got a little vague about what would happen after that.)  Cameron and Joss will miss their little nephew very, very much... as will his grandparents.

Our time with our daughter and her family was not without its challenges -- it was more stressful than we imagined to spend two weeks in confined quarters with so many people, especially with children of different ages on different schedules -- but it was wonderful to spend the time together.  Keegan is even more cute than we anticipated, and it's hard to believe that when we next see him he will be close to one year old.  In the meantime, we will continue to follow his growth and adventures through photos and emails, as Dawn and David continue to follow ours.


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