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We left our hotel in the Dorsoduro area and headed for Piazza San Marco and Doge's Palace. There is no walking directly to your destination when you're in Venice. You must stroll, leisurely, looking up and down the alleys, weaving in and out of the shops and catching the eyes and smiles of the passing Italian men and women. It's hard to imagine living in this magical place, having to be anywhere quickly. As a tourist it's so easy to get lost, as the alleys all start to look the same. But this is what the locals do everyday, and they don't stroll. They walked with purpose; it was Monday morning and they were all on their way to work.
As we made our way to Piazza San Marco, we crossed at Ponte de l'Accademia, where we took our morning pictures and watched the water taxis go about their morning. I could have stayed here for hours just watching the boats, listening to everyone speaking Italian and daydreaming about living here one day. (My Dream Bigger Dream is to live in Italy one day. I don't know how, or when, but someday...)
Last night I felt like a little kid waiting for Santa!! I was finished packing; all 32 lbs of what I thought I couldn't live without for the next two weeks, packed snugly into my backpack. I learned years ago to roll everything up and put them into gallon sized ziplock bags, a tidbit of knowledge from my college hippie days when we were illegally backpacking in the redwoods. Good thing too because the second I stepped out of my house to leave for the airport the sky opened up and dumped a few inches of rain, leaving me soaked to the bone. Please baby Jesus don't let this be any indication as to how my 24 hours of travel will go. I've had two hours of sleep and I can't handle any surprises right now.