Friday, August 21, 2015

Day 8: Traveling Back to Berlin

The retractable-ceiling of the dining
area of our hotel (with rain on it)
Early rise, breakfast, and pack. Venice decided, last minute, she really did want one more item (a "Murano" drinking glass). We found "the one" but the store was closed. It seems most stores open around 9 or 9:30 and our taxi was arriving at 9am, so it wasn't going to happen. We're crossing our fingers that a souvenir store at the airport will have one...

We had planned to take a gondola ride while in Venice. We thought, perhaps during one of the our days there. But it was so darn hot, sitting in a black boat just didn't sound appealing, or we were too busy doing something else. Then, we decided, we'd pay a little extra and take a gondola road in the evening, last night after dinner. But the rain came and we all decided that we'd rather not sit in the boat in the pouring rain.

And today we're leaving. The thought of another body-to-body boat ride did not sound good. Chris decided to splurge on a private taxi to the port, which cost as much as a gondola ride. So we decided to pretend our taxi rides were "just like a gondola" ride.
Taxi ride to the port.
You'd think we'd have security down by now, having gone through several in the past week. But Chris beeped, not sure why, as he didn't beep in the past and isn't wearing anything different. Weird. Update: There WAS a "Murano" drinking glass at the airport souvenir store. Not quite the colour scheme Venice wanted, but close enough! And I saw a few watercolour images on the store's walls (part of the decor, not for sale) that I would love to try to copy someday (I've been wanting to learn watercolour, so here's something to aim for!). So I took photos of the three images, which got me strange glances from the woman running the shop. Whatever, I'm leaving!
A new bridge (about seven years old?), very modern.
We bought a few sandwiches and snacks to tide us over, since we'd be traveling during lunchtime. We ate them in the terminal, watching for our plane to arrive. Everyone was relaxed and happy to be returning home. And we all called our apartment in Berin, "home"! Going to Berlin first, to set up, and then to Italy, accomplished what we had hoped. This schedule created a sense of "home" in our apartment and we were all ready to take a break from "tourism" in our new digs.

Random photo of someone wearing "my" shoes.
After a while, Xander decided to go check the gate and came back running, "They're boarding and it says 'Last Call'!" What? We grabbed our backpacks, ran to the gate, and sure enough, he was right.  There was no line and we sailed through our ticket check-in. As we hustled down the stairs, we came out onto the tarmac and saw a bus, fully with people. Oh yeah! We have to take a bus to the airplane. We now remember that we got off our plane, upon arrival, and got onto a bus that took us to the terminal. DOH!

We squeezed onto the bus, and about 6 more people came after us (so we weren't last!) Phew. Made it. Side note: I'm so done with the smell of smoke (people smoke everywhere, ugh) and the smell of B.O. (although, that smelly person might be me, I'm not fairing well here in Venice!)

Fun tidbit: On Air Italia, they offer you a drink and the choice of, "sweet or salty"? On the way there, the salty choice was a type of Frito, but on the way home it was more like croutons (I was a little disappointed, needless to say).

After returning to our apartment (it was still there, hadn't burned down or flooded or anything, phew), the kids rested and Chris and I went out to get some groceries. He showed me the ATM that is less than a block from our home, then we went to the market to buy as much as we could carry.

Funny story. We were thinking of making baked potatoes and we like sour cream with these. So we thought of sour cream. But, we also know that's somewhat an American thing, so we were going to look for crème fraiche" instead. We found the dairy part of the market and found TONS of yogurt and milk and such, but I couldn't find the crème fraiche. So, resorted to asking and practicing my German. I asked a worker, at one of the dairy cabinets, "Where is the crème fraiche?" (in German), and she paused and said, "Crème fraiche?" I said, yes... and she pointed, right in front of her. Sigh. Most embarrassing. We bought it and then promptly did something else with our potatoes, so didn't even need the darn crème fraiche.

Back home, we cooked our first home cooked meal since we left for Italy. We even had time to read a chapter or two in Ready Player One, our current read-aloud book.

Nice to be at home.

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