One great thing, among many, about living in France, is the ability to visit other European cities easily. When a friend recently told us about her last minute trip to Venice, Maurice found out which hotel-it is off season and during the week prices are down-and how she got there and, before I knew it, I had a trip to Venice as a present for my up coming birthday-my favorite sort of gift.

The first photo I took of a slightly leaning church tower seen down a canal.

This was our hotel. We had a fabulous view from our window but the hotel itself needs some refurbishment.

Just a lovely building with stairs seen while wandering around.

Gondolas abound. I feel like they are too expensive so we passed on the experience.

I loved this ravioli stuffed with eggplant.

The second day we were there, it poured. I found out that my raincoat is not water proof and, of course, my umbrella was not in my purse. It was sort of miserable out in the rain, as we were here waiting to get into the Basillica, but we mostly managed to stay under cover. There was water standing around the cathedral requiring these elevated walkways here and there.

We went to the top of the tower to see St. Marc’s square down below.

The gondolas went out in the heavy rain with everyone using umbrellas. I guess if you are only going to be in Venice one day, you can’t let rain keep you from achieving a dream.