Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scott & Jeff come to Italy: Venice

             Saturday we headed to Venice to celebrate Carnivale. Carnivale is the celebration before Lent…the equivalent to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. During the 1600s and 1700s they used to wear masks and could pretty much do anything with anybody from any social status because no one could tell who you were. Today many people sport masks and costumes and there are tons of activities going on in Venice during Carnivale. It was CRAZY!!! But it was so much fun seeing everyone dressed up in their costumes.

Here are the boys on our boat ride down the Grand Canal. 

There were lots of Gondolas in the canal giving people expensive boat rides. 

In front of the La Salute Church. 

The guys in front of the Bridge of Sighs. This bridge connects two wings of the Doge's Palace (the Doge is the ruling duke of Venice). Supposedly a man condemned to prison would be taken over this bridge on his way to lock up. They would take one last look at Venice... and sigh

The crowds were insane! There were tons of people everywhere. This was crossing the bridge heading towards St. Marks Square. 

These were the crowds on the back alleys. 

More crowds in front of St. Mark's Basilica. 

A man maneuvering his personal boat into his garage.

Jeff sporting his sailor hat.

When we went to Venice for the first time with Autumn, Josh, and Ava we found this artist that has his studio tucked away in a little alley. He invited us in and showed us all around his studio. When we went with Steve and Susan we took them and they bought one of his paintings. We wanted to take Scott and Jeff, but his door was closed. I went ahead and knocked and his invited us in and showed us around. We just love Senor Martina. He remembers us and invites us in every time whether he is opened or not. He did a little charcoal demonstration for us and it was once again…amazing. Here are a few short clips if you would like to watch.

Here are some of the cool/interesting/weird costumes that we saw around town.

Night shot on the canal.

Rialto bridge was lit up in the background. 

The Grand Canal at night. 

Even though it was extremely crowded we had a great day in Venice!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jeff & Scott come to Italy: Skiing & Snowboarding

         Two of our friends, Scott Barnes and Jeff Cocanour, arrived here in Vicenza on Thursday! They started in Athens, Greece and went to Rome for a few days and now are here in Vicenza!

    Here we are eating a dinner of Swiss fondue. 

The next day we headed to Folgaria to do some skiing and snow boarding. The weather was beautiful. 

Let me give you a background on Jeff's skiing attire. Taylor and I have a large box of ski apparel and some how we were able to outfit Scott and Jeff for a day of skiing. We only had one extra pair of ski pants and Scott wore these, so Taylor pulled out some of his army cold-weather gear for Jeff.  Taylor also gave him some gloves that looked like reptile hands and my toboggan. Only Jeff could pull it off.

Jeff in action.

There was this group of American guys that were skiing the Jump Park at the same time as we were. They were listening to their headphones and talking obnoxiously loud so we were already annoyed by them. Just before this guy was about to jump he yelled, "This s#$@ about to get real!" Then he did this itty bitty little jump…and busted. It was hilarious. And the best part was that I got it on video. The first jumper is Taylor, then Scott, then the American guy. 

Best part of the ski trip. 
There are lots of these t-bars here on the Italian ski slopes. As a skier they are really easy to use…you just put the thing between your legs. For snowboarders though it is tad bit tricky. Jeff went for it with all he had. 

Towards the end of the day the fog settled in and it made for some cool pictures.

That night we took them to Vesuvios, our favorite restaurant in Vicenza. Afterwards we went out for drinks at the "Under the stairs bar" which is the American name for one of the bars here. 

Tomorrow we head to Venice...