So, I'm not really the queen of arranging pictures on this page, but you get the idea. We went to Venice. It was cool. Actually we were too stunned to do anything except wander around and eat gelato and plan on coming back on a wintry day when the lines aren't insanely long to actually go in an see stuff. It's a cheap 45 minute train ride from Vicenza, so it won't be hard to return. The sun was blinding, as usual, so we took a nap on a bench in the royal gardens. What Americans...go to an incredibly culturally rich city, and we go to sleep. I don't have any insights into this great sinking city, but I can tell you that the pigeons go for your face. And, I recommend City of Falling Angels ('nonfiction' of sorts) and Venetian Stories (fiction) for an American's and a British expatriot's views of Venice. My favorite moment was when we were walking back to the train station we came across an accordion player in some alley playing Donauwellen (the song we danced to at our wedding). It was charming.
Nathan's been spending slightly less than half his time away training. I'm wondering if this on-again off-again thing is making it harder or easier to adjust to married life? I can tell you, though, that Ikea makes it easier }:-> We went to Ikea in Padova (the next city over to the east) and agreed that we disliked almost everything we saw there...unfortunately, our likes didn't overlap much. But we agreed on a TV stand and a matching bookcase, so we bought them immediately. Wise, huh?
There's a good Army community here. It's small, like William & Mary in a lot of ways--you see the same people around, even if you don't know them. There are cool wives especially, who let me tag along on their shopping trips to places like the Vicenza market (and McDonald's downtown, where my friend & I were promptly hit on by some soldiers who clearly don't know that any American women here are taken), Nove (they make the ceramics you buy in places like Williams Sonoma), and Sommacal (south of Verona--an antiques store the size of a couple airplane hangars where they sell things for your Italian villa--like boudoirs as big as my kitchen, and beds the would fill my bedroom). Sommacal is a fascinating place for looking. (But if Nathan asks I'd like the smallish chest with wood inlay of a lion killing a serpent.)