July 6th-It's Sunday and we go to Mandy's old ward in Bergamo...and yup! It's all in Italian!! I didn't understand too much! I even tried singing the hymns in Italian!! Whew! But I did feel their love and devotion to the gospel. It was fast and testimony meeting so it was neat to see the members go up and bear their testimonies. I was still touched even though I didn't understand every word. We got to meet 2 sisters that Mandy taught and baptized. They are so loving and grateful for her! It's fun to see that, especially since I didn't serve a mission.
The rest of the day was pretty much a normal Sunday. We all took a much-needed nap and then took a walk in upper Bergamo right after a HUGE and QUICK rainstorm. The scenery was beautiful (I didn't bring my camera for this part...so no pics!)! Then, we just chilled on the porch eating a kind of ho-ho thing.
July 7th-Venice!!!! We left early to drive to Venice. Dad wanted to try and find our hotel first so we could drop off all our lugguge and we got lost while doing that...construction made it hard. When we finally get there, they said we couldn't check in for another hour! Lame!! We didn't want to wait so we went to Venice (our hotel was so far from Venice for some reason!!). I did not know that you can't just drive into Venice. You really can't!! You park your car in a big parking garage and then walk into Venice or take a boat taxi. We just wanted to walk all around and get lost! I was surprised at how run-down Venice looked. I guess it's cuz it's all surrounded by water and it's hard to make repairs, maybe? Our first stop was a place to eat (another Chinese Italian place) where a guy played the accordian to us. It was lovely! Then, we found Rialato Bridge. It's a HUGE bridge with lots of little shops on it. Then, we quickly came to our destination, St. Mark's Square and Basilica. So beautiful! We got in line (it was pretty short) to go in. We downloaded free tours from Rick Steves (from PBS) to put on my IPOD. We all got an earpiece to listen to his St. Mark's tour and were shuffling around the Basilica as we listened. I'm sure we looked pretty funny all 5 of us hooked up! There were mosaics of Adam & Eve and Noah which were pretty neat. About 20 minutes before it was going to close, the rain started coming down hard! Luckily, we were in the Basilica and the rain ended just as we were getting kicked out. :)
Next, we just roamed and shopped. I got 2 masks (one for me and one for Brinley) since they are the hot item in Venice. They celebrate Carnaval there. I thought about getting Shawn a Gondola guy stripped shirt or hat but I knew he'd never where it! I also got a stamp picture of Venice and a cute Pinocchio-like marinet puppet for Cambree. Then, we got a gelato and went back to St. Mark's Square to listen to the different orchestras play and watch a few people dance. It was so nice...I was missing Shawn then. After that, we were ready to head home. We had to make our way back through Venice and got a little lost (for real this time). We were pretty tired and my dad tried getting us a gondola ride....BUT we didn't find one that was cheap enuf!! I know what you're thinking! We didn't do a gondola ride in Venice! That is a shame and it is!! But it was 100-150 Euros (pretty much double that in dollars) to get one and my dad is cheap and just couldn't do it! Oh well! I can't really blame him! So instead, we got on a boat taxi which took us down the Grand Canal and close to our car. We walked MILES and MILES that day, but it was all worth it and so wonderful!!
And, of course, we got lost trying to find our hotel again!