(Location: Venice, Italy)

(In 2000, I was commuting from Raleigh to Austin for work most weeks. Due to corporate policies, this meant flying via Dallas or Chicago, and usually home on Thursday nights. Most weeks, flights were overbooked and the airline would ask for volunteers to take another flight in exchange for a voucher. After a few weeks of playing this game, I had accumulated enough for two round trip tickets to Italy.)

The next stop on our Christmas vacation was Venice. This is where we learned that getting lost is a good thing. The farther we wandered off the main paths, the better it got. We were lost half the time, but stumbled into some wonderful local restaurants.

Our room at the Hotel Galleria overlooked the Grand Canal. It was right at the Academia vaporetto stop too which was very convenient. St. Marks Square at high tide was an experience!

Next stop: Interlaken