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Italy: Venice (March 16, 2002)

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Ah, Venice! Peaceful, quiet… wait, there aren't any cars! That's why! We don't have to watch for cars or worry about crossing streets. There are all boats leading from place to place, and we usually take the vaporetto. Although you do have to watch for the water on the edges.

The first full day we were there, we went to St. Mark's Square where there are lots of pigeons that you can feed or chase, but it's better to feed them. It feels funny for first-timers, but it really doesn't hurt. You hold out your hand with dried corn in it, and you wait for birds to come and eat out of your hand. If you hold your hand up over the bird's height, then they'll fly up onto your hand and eat out of your hand. They can even fly up onto your head.

I had a trick of catching pigeons. I either put my hand up on the ground, cupped sideways away from me, and put another hand on top of that with corn in it cupped, so when they come to peck at it, unless it's from the side, I can grab their legs. Or, I just put corn in my hand and wait for a pigeon to land on the food.

When we had lunch out, we usually get pizza. There are little pizza stands everywhere, although they are hard to find. As in like, since there are all other shops and other things like restaurants all along streets or walkways, the pizzerias are hard to spot. Dad tracks down pizza people and as the number gets larger, that means he's getting nearer to a pizza stand. I usually get pepperoni or salami. There's not much of a difference from the Italian pizza or the American pizza, but the Italian pizza likes spicy stuff. For example, when Cam got a pepperoni pizza, the pepperoni was spicy. And when I got my salami one, it was spicy too.

Every now and then we get gelato. Cam usually gets stracciatella, but I like trying different flavors. I like lemon a lot too, but chocolate is still the best. I also like strawberry, but still, chocolate is the best. There are gelato stands, and it's a maze to get to them. It's usually in a cone for me, but sometimes we get it in a little plastic bowl. Gelato is good over ice cream, but still, chocolate is the best. Once we saw coconut as a flavor. Whenever Cam gets lemon gelato, it's usually bad, or it tastes bad to him.

The Cathedral outside has all different marbles. There was one design where it looked like they were all going into the center, or a spider web. When you go inside, there is mostly all gold, on the roofs and sometimes on the floor. It was amazing. The roofs and floors all have mosaics. The gold mosaics on the roof are baked into glass.

On the pillar tops there were lots of different things. There were animals eating, and there were army soldiers, and well, I can't think of another one. And you know, it's hard for me to think. On the animal pillar, there was a bear eating a honeycomb, there was a lion eating a bird, there was a bird eating a fish, and that's all I can remember.

On our last night, we saw red-eyed cats, dogs, and bunny rabbits. They were being sold by vendors, but they weren't real. They were basically mechanical. Mom saw the dog, which looked like a lion, trying to eat an oversized bunny rabbit. So to mom, it was really funny, because she didn't know that the dog was actually a dog. It looked like a lion to her. So mom just kept laughing and laughing and laughing, and we kept saying, "Huh? What are you laughing at? Huh?" And finally, mom told the story to Cam, and I still didn't understand, so Cam told the story to me, then I understood, and we were all laughing away.

Venice is quiet and peaceful, except for maybe the barking dogs. The cats are quiet, and they only come out at night, so you don't usually see them. Once I saw a black cat, and it was on our last night.

I made a joke about Italy, where Italy is slow, and the people in Italy like to rush. Like, the people always hurry, but Italy itself is slow. I like that.


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