A few months ago my Mum had her 70th birthday, and my Dad took her on a cruise round the Med followed by a week in Venice. This had something to do with when they were young I think. Anyway, this was a lot more successful than my Dad's 70th when we had all booked to meet in Hong Kong, and a couple of months beforehand he fell over and broke his hip. We toasted him from the 28th floor of a restaurant in Kowloon.
The plan was for my sister and I to surprise the old dear by simply turning up in Venice on her actual birthday. In the event I went by myself as my high-flying sister had an unavoidable work meeting in Asia, but the surprise part worked a treat and as it was only me I got 100% of all the brownie points on offer....
I infiltrated the city under cover of darkness, sneaking into their hotel just before midnight. Having failed to establish what time they would be heading down for breakfast I got up extremely early and went down to the restaurant. It was closed. I went down every half hour for the next two hours until finally I saw them through the door. Dad clocked me peering in and whispered to her that he had organised a surprise. I love it when a plan come together. Expecting a cake or flowers or something I then appeared at her shoulder, whereupon she burst into tears. I have this effect on people.
Anyhow, she recovered swiftly, it is after all the kind of thing I would be expected to do seeing as it involved getting on a plane etc. We then had a lovely day wandering slowly round Venice, taking boats, drinking coffee and wine, and having leisurely meals. It is a wonderful city, and in the autumn it is not quite as crushed by the weight of tourists as in the summer months. We found areas that were less visited and even people-free, you do not have to go far from the beaten track to feel as if you are perhaps somewhere else entirely, but then you look around and of course it can only be Venice, a unique place. I've been a couple of times before, once on a school trip, and once with my youngest a few years ago. It was as fantastic as I remember it, and this was a far more relaxed trip which afforded a the time for a few photos, including a couple with my funky 10x neutral density filter that blurs water and sky - see below.
My parents think they look awful - very old etc - so I am not allowed to post any of them, but the city is apparently fair game. Of course if they are that old then that means I must be very old too...
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