To bring you up to date on my last Freakly Location Friday post, visit here 

So after touring the Murano glass factory, the owner of the factory let us use his private boat to go back to the city center.  The driver, understanding that he was dealing with tourists *g*, told us we absolutely HAD to go to St Mark’s Square…so we did!  You’ve seen it on a gazillion things from Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday to the myriad DeBeers’ diamond commercials.  Trust me, in real life, it’s even better!  The famous pigeons are there in all their pooping glory *g*, with kids running amok through them, setting them to wing.  (Geesh, sounded kinda literary there, didn’t I?)  August and I had coffee at a quaint little trattoria, then wandered the shops that surround the entire square (for those of you who have been to Venice in Las Vegas, think the shopping area, but SOOOO much better).

And even tho I’m a girl who’s not big on diamonds and such, the myriad of sparkly things in the windows certainly caught my eyes.  And for August…the eye candy was the Venetian cops.  Picture absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, raven-haired, full-bodied women in form fitting jumpsuits, armed with Uzis and leading freakin’ HUGE German Shepherds.  Yeah, to say he was happy is a bit of an understatement *g*.  And because I’m pretty damned secure in my marriage, I just gave him that condescending “wife” smile and watched him ogle.  After all, when’s he gonna see it again?  LOL.

So we wandered around the maze-like streets leading back to our hotel, and he obligingly “let” me *g* ogle my own eye candy (Italian shoes) for a good long bit before we arrived back at the digs.  We got all gussied up, and then went for dinner at a restaurant right at the base of the Rialto Bridge.  Talk about a romantic scene right out of a movie!!  THEN we went for a ride in a gondola!!  Our gondolier was just awesome, and as his last fare of the evening, I KNOW he trolled around for longer than he had to, because we were out and about at least an hour, peering at all of the cool old buildings (including Casanova’s pad), before heading back.  And the part where I know he was absolutely the coolest guy on earth?  We invited him for a drink at the coffee shop right by where they dock, and when August (who was decently into his cups by then) left our bankroll on the counter (yes, I know…NEVER let a dude have the moola…what was I thinking?), our dude brought it AND our drinks to the table.  I mean, seriously, he could have disappeared out the back door with about $200 in lire and we would have been the stupid Americanos left looking like idiots.  To say that his behavior and total honesty was the cherry on top of an absolutely FABUOLOUS day is a bit of an understatement!

As an aside, I was watching something on the Discovery International channel last week and was totally amazed to learn that gondoliers have to “test” before they can become sanctioned gondoliers…it takes a lot of time (the dude they were profiling studied for three years before he was accepted).  I guess, in retrospect, it totally makes sense!  Okay, next week…our “interesting” train ride from Ramstein Air Base (Germany) to Venice!