275.April 1

Venice, Italy

We got off the night train, sat on the marble bench outside our train in Venice and ate our last prepared baguette from last night and finished off the remainder of our red wine. We checked our luggage. I went to the WC to put on contacts and brush teeth. Then we headed over the bridge to follow all signs that point to Per San Marco. This took a long time, and we wandered through many arms-width streets and passed hundreds of buildings standing empty that would have been the most stately buildings in Minnesota or Iowa. We bought food and took it to San Marco.

Lars keeps asking me "Now where are they from?" He's quizzing me on the accents of Germanic speaking peoples. My choices are Austria (slow and sing-songy), Swiss (normal speed, but a little sing-song), or German (just right). Then we went to the dock and Lars rolled cigarettes for us. We took a few timed photos and portraits, and then we smoked them.

The cathedral, which I had seen in a portrait in the Ruskin Gallery in Sheffield, where I had thought it was beyond a doubt the most beautiful building ever. It was being worked on now, like all the cathedrals seem to be, so that we could not see its full splendor sitting at the end of that huge square. We looked at all the beautiful mosaics on the ceiling, covered with gold.

More walking throughout the city, going down streets that ended in water. Many mask shops, glass trinkets and lingerie. The fish market was amazing, but very smelly. We took a boat ride around part of the island, but then went looking for stamps and eventually the train.

Our next stop was Padova, the setting of Romeo and Juliet. I looked up Montegue and Capulet in the phone book, but they must have killed each other off. The buildings and squares could have all fit the movie. The market building was intact. The cathedrals were huge, and having services while we walked through them. We ate lasagna with seafood and then pizza. I need to go back to Padova someday. It was incredible. We got on the train at 21:00, found a cabin after much struggle, and fell asleep.


We made a commercial for an arts program tonight at YOOH. Sarah filmed it, and Mark, Jacob and I played Elvis, Einstein, and Picasso. Rachel found us costumes and did make-up. The script was very bad, but it was a fun process. Afterwards, I started a fire outside and we drank bad beer...Hamm's was actually the best beer there, and hung out until past 23:00. The wind whistled and blew the ashes all around. I grilled brats when we got home from work, and I'm very excited to spend the weekend outdoors as much as possible.


Rachel and I both worked from home today, and she made me an excellent asparagus and egg breakfast. I might be pushing the number of espresso's one man can carry with him throughout a day. The chickens were all very love and friendly today. I picked up Eloise and Anita for a while, and we shared the warmth of our mutual existences. It is Maundy Thursday, so Rachel played two church services this evening. In between them, she stared some chicken breasts, and though it took her hours to return from the second service, I waited and took down our ever present Christmas tree and most of the ornaments that decorate our house, boxed them, and prepared for Easter. She arrived when I'd all but eradicated the holiday known as Christmas from our household. She had requested a wine, and Alexa suggested (last of all of her excellent suggestions) a Merlot, so I pulled a 2017 Maryhill Merlot from the racks. We watched the last two episodes of season one of "Ted Lasso", which we both adore, as it ticks all of the needs we have ask Anglophiles from America.

I did more research on tearing apart the transmission hydraulics of my VW Golf Mark 4, a 2005 TDI, and plan to do the work sometime in the next week. We are on Vacation next week, and though we have planned a trip to Missouri, we discussed tonight doing local trips instead and getting things done around this area without as much road time. Plus, I get my second shot of the covid vaccine next Thursday at 14:30, so I would have to shorted our trip by a day anyway, making a long drive that much less appealing. We might do a night in La Crosse instead at a fancy hotel. We'll see.