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Splish Splash!

May 18, 2007

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As the sizzling heat wave continued in Italy and Venice beckoned, we decided to sneak one more session of tubing in before leaving this piece of heaven near Florence. Check out time is usually around noon, but they always seem pretty flexible about this with campgrounds, especially when they are not crowded and more than once we have left a few hours later.

Venice is around 300 kilometers away, so our typical easy drive, thus we thought we had time to add a little more of this addictive water play. DaVinci and Mozart are crazy about it. I considered giving it a try, but again had concerns about my bad knee as the last thing we would need would be for it to go out. Maybe next time I will give it a try. Mozart thinks that this would be a good way to celebrate her birthday in the fall, but we will have to see how this tour unfolds and where we end up close to that date.

We did have a VERY big event before we made it out to the pool. Mozart lost another tooth! She pulled it out by herself after she woke up as it was barely hanging on. This makes the third country in which she has lost a baby tooth, first France, then Spain and now Italy. She is really giving the tooth fairy a work out.

She has been wanting to have a blog of her own as she knows several kids around her age that do. I was thinking about calling it “I am taking my parents around the world, but now I might consider Losing my baby teeth around the world!” It looks like she will lose the next lose one in Greece or Turkey. I thought the top ones were suppose to come after the two center bottom teeth, but she is losing them on the bottom on the sides of the ones she first lost. She always does like to do things her own way.

The morning went too quickly for the tubing maniacs and they had a blast so it was hard to leave, but we had to rush back to hit the road. I fixed some sandwiches quickly, we gobbled them up and headed out.

The country side to Florence was glorious, stereotypical of all the images of Tuscany that we all have ingrained in our brains. I do see why Tuscany and Provence are such popular places as the beauty of
both just take your breath away. Of course, as northern Californians, we are spoilt when it comes
to natural beauty in awesome landscapes.

Unfortunately the traffic got pretty bad close to Florence and beyond which was pretty miserable in the heat. We had to sit in very backed up, non moving lanes for long periods sometimes due to road work or other delays. There were sections where there were more trucks than I have ever seen together and it was amazing how many different countries they were from.

The land gets very flat as one approaches Venice area and it started to get cooler with the sea breeze which was much needed relief. I finally got a picture of those beautiful red poppies that one sees so much at this time of year in Italy. I had seen many a postcard-like view of them, but quite another thing in trying to capture that as we zipped by. What I got was not great, but at least I got something and gives  a taste of this special charm one gets in the spring in Italy.

We decided to split up our stay in Venice between two campgrounds. One is really close to the ferry
to Venice, so we stayed there first. It was a perfectly lovely place and much smaller than most of the campgrounds in the area with only 150 pitches (compared to several down the street with 3000 pitches).

But we have gotten a little accustomed to the four star campgrounds, so this little two star one was a disappointment and let down after Tuscany. It was shocking that they were the same price. Nevertheless it was only a quarter of a kilometer to the ferry and since we would be spending most of our time in Venice instead of the campground we would use that to our advantage. There was regular bus service to the ferry, but it was also walkable which is real handy when the buses stop running at seven in the evening.

When we were ready for some water play and more luxury (and a gigantic place which of course has
its own disadvantages) to recover from the touring, we headed up the road to the famous Union Lido (www.unionlido.com). Both campsites were dominated by German and Austrian campers, although there were also some from Netherlands, UK and Italy. Once again, no Americans.Both campgrounds were also along the Adriatic coast in an area called Litorale del Cavallino where there are many campgrounds as it is one of the best ways to visit Venice.

Sorry about the tooth close up, but Mozart wanted to make sure that Grandma, Abuelo and Aunties BJ and Julie get the full scoop on the missing tooth since she can not show them in person. She loooves that picture!

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