Ciao! We’ve spent four days in Venice, but for this post we thought it might be fun to combine them into a “Day in Venice” from start to finish, so you can get a sense of our life on the road.
8:45am: Wake up
Schuyler: We wake up late and go to bed late, compared to our regular school schedule back home. Mom and Dad say that we should enjoy the more relaxed bedtimes and wake-up times because we won’t have this flexibility again for many years!
Zoe: I’m loving the flexibility with our schedule. It’s made me feel a lot more relaxed and laid back but still, when it’s time to head out, I am always rushing not to be the last one (I usually am).
8:50am: Check weather. RAIN AGAIN. Venice has been gray and wet. But that sort of makes it an adventure because everything floods when it rains and people put on these funny shoe covers to stay dry and just slosh around in water up to their shins.
Zoe: I actually like the floods. It’s like a game of hopscotch to jump around and avoid the puddles. The rain doesn’t bother me because it’s hard to be grumpy in Venice.
Thayer: I don’t really like the rain and puddles in Venice. I decided to wear wool socks so that my feet would stay warm.
We all kind of eat different things for breakfast, but we try to always eat that meal at home instead of at a restaurant.
Schuyler: We have found soy yogurt in most health markets and I just finished the nut-free granola that we brought from home, so we’ll have to start searching for that now.
Zoe: Mom and Dad always get café lattes from a corner shop, because the coffee in Italy is SO good. Dad’s favorite pun these days is saying “do you want a little or a latte.” Ha ha. I’ve tasted a lotta lattes so far and they are all delicious! And bitter.
Thayer: I love to eat croissants with chocolate for breakfast when Dad brings them from the café. I also eat yogurt and granola, fruit, eggs, lots of stuff! I like tasting my Mom and Dad’s coffee, and their wine (Mom adds, “we don’t drink wine in the mornings… yet”).
Often in the morning we do some homeschooling, and we take time to plan our day before heading out of the apartment.
Schuyler: I have been having fun coloring blank Venician masks that you can buy in any gift shop here. I also have been writing a short story about Nunney Castle since we left England, and I like working on that in my free time as well.
Zoe: I love coloring the masks as well. Sometimes I sneak in a few reading comprehension workbook pages (rarely), mostly I bounce around singing or humming. Dad makes me practice my math facts a lot, and I’m good at reciting them while I jump rope!
Thayer: I spend free time talking on my (pretend) cell phones and playing imaginary games. One thing that I don’t do is my ipad, but I’d like to. I am working on my Explode the Code workbook a lot and my math book as well.
11:00am: Let’s GO!
Raincoats and umbrellas, check. Backpacks with snacks and water, check. Cameras, check. Map, check. Thayer’s fake cell phones, check. We leave our apartment and wander through the tiny streets of Venice. We pass SO MANY gift shops with masks, trinkets, and the famous Murano glass pieces (animals, ornaments, etc.). There are some beautiful stationary stores and of course, leather stores. Anyone need a new wallet or purse? Email us, quick!
Thayer: I got a leather purse with a lot of colorful zippers on it, and I got a toy camera that let’s you pretend to really take pictures. So now I am carrying a lot of stuff around but the purse has compartments for my phones so it’s fine.
Zoe: We have been shopping for masks to bring home to our cousins. It is SO fun. All the masks are so beautiful and bedazzled. There were even some funny animal masks that we tried on.
We walk through San Marco square to the Grand Canal. The square is filled with other tourists and a LOT of pigeons. In the square, we pass the famous Bell Tower and the Doge’s Palace (both of which we visited yesterday).
Zoe: I loved the Doge’s Palace! The prisons were so cool and spooky (of course I wasn’t scared). We pretended to be locked up. Here are some photos.
Thayer: I wore my mask to the Doge’s palace because it was fun to wear it. I mostly liked the prisons and the armor sections. There was armor for horses!
Schuyler: When we get to the Grand Canal, we decide to take a water taxi (instead of the vaporetto) over to Murano, which is our destination for today. Water taxis are like a taxi at home (in boat form) as opposed to the vaporettos, which are like buses at home. We use both here. But it’s rainy today and we left the apartment a little later than expected so we decide to take the taxi.
Murano is an island about 15 minutes from Venice where the famous glass blowing takes place. We are going there to watch glass blowers do their craft, have lunch, and pick up a few souvenirs or gifts from this special place. The island was so pretty! We explore the streets and then go to the factory where a glass blower named Diego shows us his trade. We really like watching him work and learn a lot about glassblowing.
Zoe: The glass blowing is incredible to see. I watch Diego shape a stallion in about 2 minutes! They make it look so easy but I can’t ever imagine myself doing that. If the glass cools too quickly it will shatter. The leftover glass that is still hot but not needed is put in a big barrel and collected over the course of each year. Then, in January, they re-heat it and mix all the colors together, then add something I can’t remember, so that it turns jet black. Every piece of glass they blow for the month of January will be black. That is the only month that they make black glass pieces.
Thayer: I got a glass cat, owl, and key chain, all very small. Oh, and I got a small family of glass horses. Mom says she has to find a post office now to send them home. We saw a garbage boat in Murano and watched it crunch the garbage!
Schuyler: We leave Murano via Vaporetto back to San Marco square. The ride takes about 20 minutes. Then, along our walk home, we encounter the pigeons in the square in a more intimate way.
Zoe: I LOVED the pigeons. At first, I was nervous to let them land on me. Mom finally got brave enough and held bread out and then this happened:
Schuyler: So we all got brave and then this happened
Thayer: It was fun to have the pigeons on me until a man put corn in my hand and then there were like 10 birds on my arms and head and I felt weird and frightened! I cried.
When we get home we all have an hour in our own rooms to unwind. We have to read or do workbooks or journaling for the first 35 minutes and then we are allowed to color or watch a show for the last 25 minutes.
Zoe: This downtime is so Mom and Dad can get a break from us I think. But it is nice to catch up in my journal and do some coloring. Ok and maybe watch a show. Or two.
Schuyler: I write in my journal about going with Dad to the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit at a local University yesterday afternoon. He and I went just the two of us. We brought our sketch books and got to draw like Leonardo!
Thayer: I read books to myself and make phone calls when Mom isn’t listening.
6:45: Dinner time
Zoe: I love Rosi’s soup. She is a really good cook and I have been having fun cooking with her a lot. We bake muffins and make soup, chicken, and mashed potatoes. Delicious!
7:30pm: Out again!
Schuyler: Dad and Rosi took Zoe and me to see a play about Venice. It was really neat to be out in Venice at night and see the lights along the canals, with the Gondola boats floating by. Sometimes we saw RATS scurrying along the alleyways or even swimming in the canal!
Zoe: We went into the square after the show and danced to the Venitian orchestra playing outside a famous restaurant there. We waltzed and clapped along to the music and I felt really Italian, like I fit in!
Thayer: I stayed home with Mommy when the girls went to their show. I had so much fun and I swept the floors and sang a song from Annie, pretending I was an orphan. Then I got to cuddle with Mom and go to sleep.
Schuyler: We have to get some sleep, because tomorrow we are taking a 4-hour train to Rome. I have to do some homework along the way before I can watch a movie.
Zoe: Travel days can be long but those are also some of the only time we get to use our ipads, so we have something to look forward to, to get us through. For the most part, I don’t like travel days but after we get to our destination I always think back and say if I hadn’t traveled all day, I wouldn’t have gotten to this new exciting place! So it’s worth it.
Thayer: I am happy to go to Rome and eat more pizza and gelato. I like the train because we can relax. Also it goes really fast! Here is a picture of me trying not to share my pizza with Zoe. I think I eat pizza EVERY day in Italy!
Ciao and much love from the Demers Family in Venice! Rome, here we come…