T minus 3 days

We have the biggest logistics issues of our upcoming trip well in hand now, with airfare and hotels covering the getting-to (and from) places and a bed for each night. Now we’re focusing on details, which I find the most enjoyable part of planning a trip. It’s like I get to do the trip twice: once in the planning stages, and then again in person.

Today I went to booked tickets for a day trip to Venezia. I have to type in “Venezia” and not “Venice” because, on the Trenitalia website (where one books such transport) there is no such place as “Venice”. That only exists in America (and possibly the U.K., though I’m never sure of these things.) So I’m practicing using all the Italian city names so I don’t get lost, or at least, don’t offend anyone in the process of getting lost.

I’m very excited about the day trip. We did not use the train much at all back when we visited in ’99. I think we did take a subway into Milano once, but it was all of three stops and I’m pretty sure we didn’t even have to buy a ticket. This trip is on the FrecciaBianca train, which translates as “White Arrow.” It required a rather pricey ticket but compared to gas and tolls, it’s probably slightly cheaper (and infinitely more relaxing) than driving. The Freccia fleet are the high speed (and superfast) trains. I guess FrecciaRossa, or Red Arrow, is the big one. It’s super expensive (twice as much as the Bianca for base tickets), but it goes up to 360 km/hr. Too bad it doesn’t go to Venezia. But even the wimpy Bianca goes an impressive 200 km/hr, and makes the Milano-Venezia run in just over 2.5 hours. That’s the same amount of time as a car, but unlike a car, the train dumps you off at S. Lucia station, much further in than cars are allowed to go. I hope we still get to ride the vaporetto, though.

The thing I am most looking forward to doing in Venezia is completing a treasure hunt with the kids. S8 and I found a little book online, called “Kids Go Europe: Treasure Hunt Venice“. It’s a tiny little book, 3″x5”, which is just the perfect size for slipping in a backpack. The idea behind this little gem is to engage kids in exploring and learning about this really cool city. You get points for completing certain activities, and prizes once certain point levels are reached. Of course, the scorekeeper (read: mom) gets to change the game as necessary to accomodate the ages of the participants and the amount of time they players will be in the city.

Time to start counting winged lions…I get five points once I spot 50 of them!

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