Just a Few More Minutes in Venice, Please

Venice is beautiful, rain or shine. The sun was warm and the sky was blue for the 90 minutes I spent there. I was fortunate. The weather changes every few hours.

IMG_8680_Gondola PrepVenice is romantic. If you find yourself in Venice with someone you love, take a Gondola ride. ‘O Sole mio…

Venice is old. Walk the cobblestone streets on stones older than the renaissance. See nightmarish masks on display in the shops. Now worn for carnival, the Medico della Peste mask became a symbol of the  ravages of black death from dark ages.

Venice is sinking. Originally built on 117 islands separated by canals, scientist think the fabled city is sinking by approximately 7 inches per century. It may be that you want to get your scuba diving certificate.

Venice is vibrant. Whether you know her as the Queen of the Adriatic, the City of Water, the City of Canals, the City of Masks, the City of Bridges, or the Floating City, the radiant colors of Venice will entice you to stop for a visit, and, perhaps, to stay for few minutes.

Venice, Italy, 1

IMG_8584_Fresh ProduceThe sun was up, but it was still early. Most of the shops were not yet open. Sleepy shopkeepers were drinking coffee in the morning light–steam rising from their mugs. Tourists were beginning to mill about, anxious to find bargains.

I had to catch a plane in two hours.

I often regret not having enough time to spend in beautiful places. Sometimes that regret prevents me from enjoying what I can see. If you only had an hour to spend in one of the world’s most visited and storied cities, what would you do?

Antonio Vivaldi, recognized as one of the greatest baroque composers, was born in Venice in 1678. He attempted, quite successfully, to capture the Four Seasons in four violin concertos. I didn’t have enough time to listen to them.

So, I took my camera and tried to capture the moment.

At the Beach

We weren’t dressed for it, but we couldn’t resist. We had three hours before our flight. Wait in the airport, at LAX?

I don’t think so.

Before the engine of our rental car shut down, my wife was out the door and on the beach. I carefully took off my shoes and socks, rolled up my pant legs, grabbed my camera and sauntered after. The sand felt good on my toes, cool and rough.

IMG_3734_Beach Tent_webWe have a little saying in our bathroom at home, at home where it’s cold. “If you’re lucky enough to be at the beach, you’re lucky enough.”

IMG_2381_Shadow Lovers_webI must be very lucky. I married a California girl. Like a rechargeable battery, she draws life from the sun, the sand and the waves. I draw life from her. We don’t live in California anymore, so it’s probably okay that I look like a tourist. I wasn’t born here. I don’t live here. But I did, sort of, adopt this place. I’ve lived here longer than any other place.  So, we visit often, to see our children, and, although I don’t feel old, our grandchildren, and, the beach.

IMG_3738_Footprint Pair_webI could mark the years of my life in the footsteps on the sand, but I always lose track when the waves wash them away. The feelings remain as the memories flood in and out with the surf. I could come back here and know that I would be welcome.