April 29, 2014


There should be an underwater tour of Venice. What is happening under there? I'm told that all those buildings, the entire city, is built on wooden piles. I need more time to process that. Maybe an entire lifetime to process it. (Structures was never my strong point in architecture school.)

We took every opportunity - save the ninety euro gondola ride - to see Venice from the water. There were vaporetto rides zig zagging across the Grand Canal and a couple water taxi rides to and from the airport as well as the walk along Giudecca with all of Venice in view. That's where I took the above photo; standing outside Andrea Palladio's Il Redentore looking back at Venice. I'd venture to say that it's a city to be looked at, not lived in, at least now in it's tourist trap state. 

Alice in the sculpture garden at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. 

It was Easter Sunday, hence the bow. Venice is not known for its green spaces so it was nice to have a moment where we could let Alice out of the carrier to explore on her own a bit. Shortly after I took this photo she tumbled and the happy calm was broken. It's part of why I like this photo though, the quiet before the tears. 

Travel for us used to be so much about finding good authentic food. Now it's about finding a restaurant near the hotel that will do take out. Thankfully we found one and ordered the same pasta dish every night: fusilli with cream, peas and proscuitto. It was good, not great, but with a little babe sleeping in the luggage nook it was about what worked, and not about the hidden gem of a restaurant on our Venice to-see list. She's worth it.

I could have taken an entire roll of this corner of San Marco. The colors! The patterns! The detail!

I'd also appreciate any tips you have for traveling with a baby/kids. What's the best type of vacation - resort, city, countryside? 

April 26, 2014

venice preview

Once you settle into a routine with a baby it’s tough to venture outside of it. But then what? Then you’re stuck at home every weekend, doing the same thing you do every other weekend. Which is fine, but we’ve found that we need to get out in order to appreciate where we are. I’m sure you’ve felt the same at some point. Venice might not have been our first choice (I’ve already been there twice), but the wave of we-need-an-adventure came over us quickly and with friends already headed that way we decided to head that way too.

I have some tips for traveling with a baby, but most of all we've learned that you need to set appropriate expectations for how much you're going to see and do. There's no sense in having a pound-the-pavement attitude because you'll end up exhausted and on the other side of town with a cranky baby and no clear way to get back to your hotel. That happened to us on Saturday. We walked to the Jewish Ghetto by way of the Rialto Bridge and pretty much as soon as we arrived we each had our own mini breakdown - I was hot and hungry, Zach was getting sunburnt and Alice was tired of being in the carrier.  Eager to just get somewhere and quick we jumped on a water taxi headed in the direction of our hotel, but of course it took the long way home, typical. Anyway, we made it back, and stayed in the hotel the rest of the afternoon and devised a new plan for the following days: we'd let Alice nap at the hotel and we'd take little excursions into the city between naps. It worked remarkably well. Accustomed to leaving the hotel and not coming back until bedtime I enjoyed having moments throughout the day to regroup and relax.

We enjoyed Venice, but I think our next trip will have to be somewhere a bit more kid friendly. It was difficult to put Alice down in Venice; there were no green spaces and the courtyards were all stone and quite dirty, not to mention filled with overly friendly pigeons. (Why oh why do people insist on feeding the pigeons in San Marco? It makes me want to gag just thinking about pigeons pecking there way up someones arm.) I think I'll look into some beachside spots, with Sicily high on the list. More Venice pictures to come in the following days. 

April 10, 2014

a few film shots of Alice

I had forgotten how deeply film photos pull you in. Your eye surveys the scene and instantly you're transported, bathing in the rich colors and ethereal light. If my Boo is in the photo you can be sure I'm gonna take a nice long bath.

I picked up these photos from the shop yesterday and I can't stop looking at them. Mostly it's the light that I'm drawn too, it's light unlike anything in a digital photo, or at least anything I can capture in a digital photo. I put my film camera away shortly after Alice was born favoring the quick and easy iPhone and digital cameras over the slow and steady film. I think it's time for a switcheroo after seeing these photos. Yes, there are a lot of duds in the roll - blinks, grimaces, blur - but the ones that come out well are worth the twenty odd ones that come out badly.

I've also started taking a few on a Fuji instant camera. 

And here is one of my favorite photos of Alice, a film photo, taken when she was only two or three days old. I took the same photo on my digital camera and it's not as good, not as true to the moment somehow.