Friday, September 12, 2014

Honey, I'm HOME!

 Remember my travel companion-Alexia the cat? I love traveling with Alexia...and my family!

 Yes, it's true ....I was away to Italy, Greece and Turkey! And that was the reason why I was not part of the Simon Says Stamps STAMPtember Blog Hop.

Just the night before my trip, I came across with this article: 9 ways you will fall in love with Italy. We started our trip back on Aug. 23 in Venice and from there, we took a cruise with Holland America to visit Greece and Turkey. 8 cities in 17 days. We just got back on Sept 9, Tuesday! I am still soaking in, processing and digesting all the fun and exciting things we experienced and awe-inspiring sights that we saw.  To say that I am overwhelmed is an understatement.
We got lost wandered a lot, I mean A LOT....this is the only way to get to know the place you visit.
 We love to go through the small and narrow alleys/streets in Venice. The private water taxis are only for our important transportation (such as airport and boarding the cruise ship).

This was me on our first day ---taking the private water taxi from the airport to our hotel. It was a short 25 minute ride for 4 people (with our large luggage). This little joy ride set us back 110 Euros ($ 150 US)--cash only! And that is the standard fee listed right at the pier.

We did use the Vaporetto (public water taxi) a few times. But most of the time, we had to put our LEGS to work whenever possible! We got quite lost wandered aimlessly in the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Each of these outings is an eye-opening experience! I love getting terribly lost...as long as I can find my way (with my kids' help) back to the hotel/ship.

Before my trip, I can already relate to a few things in the article: 
~Like Italians, family first. 4 of us always travel, enjoy food and sight-seeing as a family unit. We do know how to do this best
~ We want to experience the way of life in Venice just like thousands of tourist there
~Do I have to mention Gelato, Pizza and pasta?
~We definitely want to see Venice before it sinks....

this is where it all begins...
balcony views from my hotel
(Instagram photo credit: Stephanie)
(Instagram photo credit: David Lu)

My big kids' smiley photo says it all.
 During one of the evening walks, we came across this piazza and this was what we saw...
video

One of the many highlights of our Venice visit

a romantic gondola ride at night
video

I will be sorting through a few thousand photos! David has 1573 photos on his camera....and we are not even counting Dr. John's and Stephanie's SLR cameras...). I am confident that I will be able to pick some great photos to share with you! Let's do a little virtual traveling together in the next few weeks...shall we?

If you like to see more Venice photos, you can visit my daughter Stephanie's Flickr photos here

You can almost always find something interesting to look at in Venice....even the candies are calling my name!

(photo credit: Stephanie K. Lu)
Thanks for stopping by!

29 comments:

Rahmat said...

Your pictures are exactly what we have here in Macau, the Venetian hotel has created a lookalike Venice....It is very important to get lost in new places from time to time to rewind ourselves....beautiful pictures of you and family! Stay happy, craft, and blessed Virginia!!

Jennifer said...

Wow! It looks amazing...definitely on my list of places I would love to visit. Welcome home to you and your beautiful family!

Vicky said...

Love the photos!!! Such an amazing trip you had!! Can't wait to see more photos ;) HUGS!

Dawn Turley said...

stunning photos Virginia. I was just reminiscing with my hubby as we were there 4 years ago at the same time of the year.

Clare said...

I didn't care for the stinky water, but I LOVED getting lost in Venice! It's such a fun city!

Sarah Gray said...

Glorious photos - glad you had such a fabulous trip! I look forward to seeing more :)

Lynn said...

Oh absolutely wonderful Virginia! Can't wait to travel more with you!

Lisa's Creative Niche said...

wow, this looks amazing! Someday I will have pictures too, but for now I'll just dream by looking at all of yours! Thanks for sharing with us!

Deepti said...

Wow Venice looks amazing and you have beautifully captured it :) glad u had so much fun !

Catherine Pooler said...

Absolutely amazing, Virginia! oh my word...we missed you and glad you are back, but so glad you got to take an amazing trip!

Susanne Vargas said...

Welcome back! We were in Venice earlier this summer and your pictures brought back memories! It is so beautiful there!

Lin said...

Always love seeing your travel photos, Virginia - keep them coming!

Sheila H said...

I knew your photos would be great - they always are! Thanks for sharing :)

Miriam Prantner said...

Great photos! Looks like you guys had an amazing time, so nice that you are able to take these trips together!

sandie said...

what wonderful photos, the joy on your faces is just lovely to see x

conil said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again...Magical City. Who wouldn't want to get lost in Venice? Gorgeous photos.

Annette Allen said...

oh wow what a fun trip.. looks like you all had a great time.. thanks for sharing..

Barb Ghig said...

Thank you so much for sharing all of these beautiful photos and videos with us, Virginia! I missed you very much, but I'm really glad you and your beautiful family had such a wonderful vacation!
I can't wait to see more photos, too ~ Welcome Home!!!

Shelly said...

Looks amazing! :) Thanks for sharing!

Julie C. said...

These photos are brilliant! Love your trip and would love to see more! ^_^

Harriet said...

Lovely photos, lovely smiles, imagine strolling only to find lovely music.

Greta said...

What an amazing trip, Virginia! How wonderful all of you could enjoy this together!

Laura Norris said...

Oh- I am so excited to see your travel pictures!! Your posts are always so much fun to read and the pictures are amazing!! I feel like I am right there with you! So happy you are sharing with us!

~amy~ said...

WOW...I love all of your travel pictures. You guys are such world travelers! What has been your favorite trip?

Melissa Bove (SCS ~ Melissa1872) said...

Beautiful photos Virginia! What a fabulous trip! I'm sure you created some amazing memories for your kids! And for you and hubby! Thanks for sharing them with us! :)

hugs...

alexandra s.m. said...

AHHHHHHHH...At last I get to travel thanks to you! Yes! I have enjoyed your post so very much my dear Friend! Thank You so much, it must have taken you ages to put it together!

So happy you are home safe and sound!

Hugs~

Kelly Griglione said...

oh my, the photo of you and Dr. John in the gondola at night is priceless!! And I'm right there with you on family being the #1 priority ... you are such a great example, Virginia!

Cris G said...

Venice is beautiful and very romantic, as you and Dr. John just proved. With so many pictures, you will have a lot to scrapbook :). Can't wait to see more pictures. You should visit Portugal to see some of the beauties in the world :)... just kidding. It is beautiful, though, and we have amazing gastronomy.

Laura B. said...

Oh my gosh! I have so much catching up to do over here!!! How about those candies with your name???? Oh this trip looks so heavenly!