Venice/London 2005 Trip Jessica, Marguerite, and Betsy Trip to Venice/London in 2005

Jessica, Marguerite, and Betsy Trip to Venice/London in 2005

Marguerite's mother Jessica and Marguerite's sister Betsy and Marguerite decided to take a family trip to Venice and London. At 84, Jessica was having a little trouble getting around so decided she needed to go to Europe before it became too hard. Betsy has not traveled that much and was excited to go and Marguerite is like our dog Zeus. Asking Marguerite if she would like to go on a trip is like asking our dog Zeus if he would like another slice of salami.

Venice Restaurant and Dressed Up Ladies

We spent four nights in Venice at the Royal San Marco Hotel. One evening in Venice, we all got dressed up and went to a lovely restaurant. The waiter took this photo of the three ladies! - MJ

Venice Not Wheelchair Friendly

Betsy and Marguerite rolled Jessica through the streets but couldn't manage the bridges and steps. When they all looked pitiful and helpless at the bottom of the steps, young Italian men always came to the rescue and lifted Jessica and the wheelchair over the bridges!

The Ladies in Saint Mark's Square

Saint Mark's Square was always busy with people. Our hotel was only one small bridge away from Saint Mark's Square. Betsy and Marguerite took a "walking tour" one day that included the Cathedral and many interesting sites. One evening they decided to listen to the outdoor orchestras -- there were three "dueling" orchestras in the square. They took seats and ordered wine -- when the bill came, it was over $30!! -- $12 for sitting in the chairs and $20 for the wine! The Euro is strong and the dollar is weak (one Euro = $1.34) so everything in Venice was very expensive.

Betsy Touring Venice

Venice has beautiful canals and lots of interesting narrow streets with many many shops. Betsy and Marguerite attempted to visit them all!

Betsy and Marguerite at Tony's Restaurant

Dr.Tony Catanzaro, Marguerite's colleague and director of the TB project she works on now, is very Italian. He and his brother made a trip to Italy in 2004 and ate at a wonderful restaurant in Venice -- Antiche Carampane -- Tony told Marguerite about the restaurant and hosted them for the best meal they had in Venice -- a late lunch of tiny soft shell crabs, two kinds of white fish, a couple of delicious Italian desserts, and all washed down with a bottle of white wine. Jessica wasn't up to the trip to the restaurant which was across the Rialto bridge and a couple of others and very difficult to find, but the meal was well worth the effort!

Innovative Wheelchair

When Betsy and Jessica got to the Venice airport, there were no wheelchairs for transport from the terminal to the water taxi. Betsy was very creative in making a wheelchair out of a luggage cart and their two suitcases! Mother rode several blocks in comfort on this innovative transport device! Marguerite got to Venice later and met them at the hotel. Of course, the water taxi let them out some distance from the hotel, so Betsy found a bench for Mother, found the hotel, and then found a porter and wheelchair to accompany her back to fetch Mother! We reversed the sequence, including creating another luggage cart wheelchair, when we left Venice five days later.

Princess Di Memorial Park in London

After Venice we went to London for three days. We stayed at the Thistle Victoria hotel right next to Victoria Station. Betsy and Marguerite also took the "Big Bus" tour of London, and visited the Princess Diana Memorial Park. It is most unremarkable and was closed for repairs. The London folks don't like it very much -- not grand enough for the People's Princess!

Marguerite at Harrod's Department Store in London

Of course, we had to go to Harrod's of London to do some shopping. Everything was hideously expensive but we did buy a couple of stuffed animals -- one for Betsy's first grandchild due in October and one for the son of Gar's very good friends, Rob and Rebecca Walter, who is due in July. The three of us also went to the latest Andrew Lloyd Weber musical -- The Woman in White -- which was very interesting -- music was a bit strange and the story was an adaptation of a famous British murder mystery written in the 1800s. Our trip home from London was uneventful. Betsy and Jessica flew home from Gatwick Airport to Atlanta, then on to Orlando. Marguerite flew home from Heathrow to Washington Dulles, then on to San Diego. A real treat for Marguerite was being upgraded to Business Class for the whole trip -- Gar's Mother's Day gift to her!

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