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Old 02-14-2014, 11:08 PM   #781
Backstage_Gal
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Buzz, good to see you posting! Wow, Tinkerbuzz is 15 months? Where does the time go?

If there is a Dis meet, I want to be invited. Heck, I may even stay on property for the event.

Ponzi, we have more trip reporting from you coming right? I mean, we need to hear the rest of the story and the trip home too.

Happy Saturday!

Marita
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:17 AM   #782
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If there is a Dis meet, I want to be invited. Heck, I may even stay on property for the event.
You heard it here first, folks!

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Ponzi, we have more trip reporting from you coming right? I mean, we need to hear the rest of the story and the trip home too.
Oh, there's more. I'm looking at two more chapters minimum.

As a matter of fact, I have the next chapter already written and waiting to go.
But I've been instructed not to post chapters too quickly, so I'm sitting on it for now.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:56 AM   #783
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Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
You heard it here first, folks!



Oh, there's more. I'm looking at two more chapters minimum.

As a matter of fact, I have the next chapter already written and waiting to go.
But I've been instructed not to post chapters too quickly, so I'm sitting on it for now.
I think you should just blow off whoever said that!
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:52 AM   #784
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I think you should just blow off whoever said that!
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Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



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Old 02-16-2014, 10:51 AM   #785
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I did say that the next chapter was finished, right?
So why did I spend two hours on it last night?

Tweaking.
(No. Not twerking. Believe me, nobody wants to see that.)

The last part of the chapter is not going the way I want.
Oh, you'll see.

Soon.

I'm gonna hold off posting it until late tonight or tomorrow in case inspiration strikes.
But I think I've got it as good as it's going to get.

Maybe.


This has been a public broadcast from the council for extraordinary vagueness.
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP

Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:58 AM   #786
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The last part of the chapter is not going the way I want.
Dude, you do realize that this actually happened in real life? And that twerking with your text isn't going to change what happened, right? (anyone who is friends IRL with pkondz probably should call the guys with the rubber rooms right now...)
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:20 AM   #787
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Dude, you do realize that this actually happened in real life? And that twerking with your text isn't going to change what happened, right? (anyone who is friends IRL with pkondz probably should call the guys with the rubber rooms right now...)
Did you know that in Canada, they allow computer access to people locked up in those rooms?

How do I know that?


No reason.


Nevermind...

(And yes. I just spent another half hour on that last bit.... still not happy with it.)
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP

Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:21 PM   #788
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Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Did you know that in Canada, they allow computer access to people locked up in those rooms?

How do I know that?


No reason.


Nevermind...

(And yes. I just spent another half hour on that last bit.... still not happy with it.)
Well played pkondz, well played...
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:11 PM   #789
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The best laid plans

Some chapters almost write themselves.

Others... not so much.

Sometimes I know exactly how I want a chapter to flow.
Other times the 'flow' occurs when I flush a lousy chapter attempt down the drain.

I've spent the entire TR wondering how I was going to write the chapter on our last day in Europe.
Our last day of Vacation.

Oh, sure. There's going to be another chapter after this one.
Probably two.
Our trip home is not without its moments.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves...

The last day of a trip is always bittersweet.
We've got lots on the agenda for today, so let's focus on today and let tomorrow take care of itself.


Some of you have commented already and asked me if we did that tour, or visited this museum, or saw that church.

Today's reserved for that.
It's our last day and we're going to go out with a bang!

The first thing I was going to do?
Empty out one of our carrions.

Huh?

Believe it or not, this wasn't done because I'd lost my marbles.
You can't lose what you've already lost.
But it was a tactic that I had read about to save ourselves some time.

Remember how I'd promised Ruby that this wasn't going to be a 'Go! Go! Go!' trip?

Well, part of that is... no rope drop.
Yes, we'd get up early if we had to catch a train.
That's unavoidable.
But get up stupid early to see a museum?

Not gonna happen.

But we did want to visit the two biggest draws in Venice.
San Marco Basilica and the Doges Palace.

Hmmm... do you think it's possible that the two biggest draws, in one of the world's biggest tourist destinations, might have line ups?

You're darn tootin'!

So.

We can either get up at the crack of Oh dear Lord...
Or we can use shortcuts.

I voted for 'The early bird gets the worm.'
Ruby voted for 'The second mouse gets the cheese.'

And of course, like any good democracy, I ignored the kids and did what Ruby told me to do.

So.

Shortcut it is.

And that's where the empty carrion comes in.

San Marco Basilica (actually Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco... but that's just too much of a mouthful.)
And I'm not typing all that in every darn time!
As a matter of fact, from now on it's "St. Mark's".

St. Mark's, as previously described, is the final resting place for the biblical saint of the same name.
The upper levels of the church interior are decorated in golden mosaics.
The church is also the location for the Horses of St. Mark.
These four horses were taken from Constantinople in the early thirteenth century.
They were then taken to Paris by Napoleon in 1797 and returned to Venice in 1815.
In the 1980s, pollution was causing so much damage, that the horses were moved inside and were replaced outside with exact copies.
You can just make them out in this photo which I posted earlier.



They're just above the main central arch.
Tilt your head to the left and squint.

What? Shortcut? Oh! Right.

We weren't going to get there in time to beat the crowds, but I had an ace up my sleeve.

There are no bags allowed in the church.
If you do try to enter the church with a bag, the bag police will not let you in.
You have to go around to the side of the church to the bag check.
After you've checked in your bag, you'll be given a slip which you can show to the bag cop, who'll let you in.

But there are no rules that state that you have to stand in line first.
So what you do is, first grab a carrion, check the bag, enter the church.

St. Mark's fastpass system.


We also want to visit the Doge's palace.
It's not exactly a priority, but if we can do it, we will.

Again, there's going to be a long line.
And again, there's a shortcut.

You can reserve ahead of time and book a tour (the 'Secret Itineraries' tour).
But since we weren't positive when we'd be there and we weren't really interested in the extra tour anyway...
We didn't book in advance.

You need a pass to get into the palace.
The pass also includes free entrance to some museums.
All those people in line are trying to buy passes.

When we enter the Piazza San Marco, the Basilica and palace are to the left.
To the right is the Correr museum.
You can buy passes at the museum.

So for a quick detour to the Correr museum to pick up passes, we can enter the Doge's palace without waiting in line.

Two major draws.
Two shortcuts.

One of the reasons we didn't want to do the 'secret itineraries' tour was time.
There's only so much time, and ours, on this trip, was rapidly running out.

Why can't vacations end when you're ready for them to end?
I guess that's called being wealthy.

Since I don't plan on winning the lottery any time soon, I guess vacations will continue to end early.

<sigh>

Remember this?



The bell tower of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore offers the best vantage point for views back to Piazza San Marco.

This was the second spot today that I wanted to visit specifically for taking a picture.
Just for you.
Am I not awesome? Or what?

Do not answer that... again.

What's the first spot? I'll get to that in a bit.

Remember when we first arrived in Venice and I had trouble getting Vaporetto passes?
My efforts have already been rewarded with our Grand Canal tour.
But today, it would really pay off.
Not only would we use the Vaporetto to get to and from San Giorgio Maggiore,
we would also use it to get to the little island of Murano.

Venice has long been famous for its glass making.
But in 1291, all glass makers had to move to Murano due to a fear of fire.
Glass making has been going on there ever since.

The island (actually a series of connected islands) lies about a mile north of Venice.
The island is home to glass shops, factories and even a glass museum.

As some of you might know from my previous TR, I love glass sculptures.
But I'm very, very picky.
Imagine! An entire island! Devoted to glass making!

St. Marks's and the Doge's Palace may be the two major draws... but this is what I've been waiting for.

That and going to the best Gelato shop in Venice.


On with our day.

I woke up early.

Just because the rest of the slugs want to sleep away their vacation, doesn't mean I have to!

I had to get up early to get to my first spot to take a picture.
(Remember? San Giorgio Maggiore's bell tower was second.)

I had read that the best time to take a photo of an empty (or almost so) Piazza was early in the morning.
Get there before the tourists arrive.
Before the vendors set up their wares.
Before the scammers, pick pockets and thieves show up.

I don't remember exactly what time the alarm went off...
But it was early.
I woke up... and couldn't see a thing!
It was pitch black in our room.
The only window had drapes and shutters and didn't let any light through.
Nice for sleeping, perfect for smacking shins on furniture lying in wait.

I can navigate around my own home in the dark, but a strange hotel room?
Not a chance.

I grabbed my iPod off the bedside table and turned it on.
The soft glow of the iPod cast just enough light to keep my shins from being devoured by ravenous bed frames and chair legs,
while not waking up the entire family with a brilliant radiance of righteous indignation.

Sleep? Sleep? There are things to do! Places to see!

I made my way into the bathroom, closed and locked the door and flicked on the light.
I almost screamed.
There was a horrible, sleep deprived looking, creature in the bathroom!

Mirror.

I calmed down and looked around.
I had a problem.
I mean, apart from the obvious one that looked back at me in the mirror.

I had my iPod in my hand... and NO WHERE to put it.

No. That is not a euphemism!
Get your mind out of the gutter.

There was a small amount of real estate around the sink, but it was overgrown with concealers, make up, brushes, applicators
and assorted military grade paraphernalia that woman need to make themselves look beautiful.

I think it's a scam. Greater than the ring scam, the string scam and the rose scam all rolled into one.

Women already look beautiful.
Make up is not necessary.

Some of you may disagree.
But I digress.

I can't put the iPod down by the sink.
No room.
I'm definitely not putting it on the floor.
The probability of me stepping on it, if I do put it on the floor, approaches near certainty.

The only place left to put it, was on the toilet seat.
I put the iPod down, then glanced at the shower.

It's very common in Europe to see something that is very uncommon in North America.
Or rather, not see.

Shower curtains.

They don't use 'em.
Or at least not very much.

Sometimes there's a hint of curtain or glass... sometimes nothing.

Do Europeans not splash???

In any event, I started to consider the possibility that I would splash.
Onto the iPod.
Not good.

This is ridiculous!
I've got a photo to take.
Then breakfast with the family.
A visit to St. Mark's.
A tour of the Doge's Palace.
Another picture across the lagoon.
Gelato.
And the piece de resistance... Murano.

Was I going to be thwarted by a stupid little thing like not being able to put down an iPod???

No. Something else.
Something worse.
Much worse.

And my agenda?
The plans for the day that I'd plotted out?
None of them were going to happen.


I had no idea..
No hint. No niggling suspicion.

But in hindsight.... yeah. I see it now.

I bent down to pick up my iPod and as I straightened out I thought, "That's odd."
That's all.
Just, "That's odd."
Not, "Uh, oh."
Not, "Oh, no."
Not even, "Oh prac."

Just, "That's odd."

My lower back was a bit stiff this morning.

I decided to try bending again. Just to see, you understand.


I bent over again.



A horrible, paralyzing pain smashed into me.

This time, I really did almost scream.
I gritted my teeth but couldn't quite prevent a... muffled... squeal.

I couldn't stand!

I gripped the edge of the sink with both hands.
Pain! Like a red hot knife thrusting into me!

I couldn't stand!

I seriously thought I would tear the sink from the wall trying to support my entire weight.

I collapsed to the floor, moaning and hissing in agony.

As I fought off unconsciousness, I remember thinking...
"I locked the door. And I need help."



...
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP

Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:10 AM   #790
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Really? Really? I logged on to DisBoards before going to bed to see if any of my favorite trip reporters had posted something new. "Oh yay", I thought, "a new chapter from pkondz"! It was all going along so well until the CLIFFHANGER - and now I have to go to bed worrying about you lying on the bathroom floor in the dark in Venice . I'm assuming it all worked out okay since you lived to tell us about it! By the way, so sorry about your back - I've been there, and back pain is the worst. Can't wait to hear how you got off the bathroom floor in the dark in Venice.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:01 AM   #791
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Well, that does explain the lack of gorgeous Venice pics in this update. Maybe you found some aspirin on the floor and choked them down dry and continued on your day?
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:22 AM   #792
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyMarie View Post
Really? Really?
Really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyMarie View Post
I logged on to DisBoards before going to bed to see if any of my favorite trip reporters had posted something new.
Sorry, I stopped reading after "favorite trip reporter".

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyMarie View Post
"It was all going along so well until the CLIFFHANGER - and now I have to go to bed worrying about you lying on the bathroom floor in the dark in Venice . I'm assuming it all worked out okay since you lived to tell us about it!
I can officially confirm that I am no longer lying on the bathroom floor in Venice and that I did indeed survive.
Other than that, though....


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyMarie View Post
By the way, so sorry about your back - I've been there, and back pain is the worst.
Thanks. And... yeah. It definitely sucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyMarie View Post
Can't wait to hear how you got off the bathroom floor in the dark in Venice.
Oh, that's another story, all right.
But it'll have to wait for the next chapter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeb144 View Post
Well, that does explain the lack of gorgeous Venice pics in this update.
Yup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeb144 View Post
Maybe you found some aspirin on the floor and choked them down dry and continued on your day?
You'll have to just wait and see.
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP

Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #793
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OMG, what a cliffhanger!

Jill in CO
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:24 AM   #794
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OMG, what a cliffhanger!
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP

Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:34 PM   #795
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OMG, what a cliffhanger!

Jill in CO
OMG, what a NEBOism!!!

I've got to stop hanging around with you guys, this stuff might be contagious...

Hey everybody, Pkondzi's caught the Nebonic plague!
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