Friday, June 27, 2014

The TamBrahms take Venice!

Having been to Venice so many times over the past decade, it is always fun to witness people who are seeing for the first time - through fresh eyes...

This was my inlaws first trip to Venice and it was really interesting to see it with them.

Going to Venice was a lifelong dream for them. Shortly after they got married, my inlaws went to see a Bollywood movie that took place in Venice. My FIL whispered to my MIL, "Someday we will go there...." And he never forgot about it. He had wanted to see Venice - in particular - more than any other place in the world. He considered it one of the great world wonders - a city floating on water - how could it be?

Before our trip, he had so many questions. How does Venice not sink? How is it possible that it was built?

They arrived in Venice by train, and anybody who has been there knows that the train station is right on the water. You come out of the station, and it's like "wow....Venice.." on the doorstep. We took a water taxi from the train station which took us through the grand canal and my inlaws were speechless. The view of the city from the water taxi is quite intimate. You're on the canal level, looking up at all these details.

My inlaws also really liked the apartment we stayed at. It looked over the little canal so my MIL was always looking out the window at the gondoliers drifting by. There was a Chinese family staying opposite us, and the smell of fried something totally got my MIL's taste buds going!

The first night we went to a little restaurant around the corner and we had fresh vegetable risotto. Throughout our trip, my inlaws were really impressed by how fresh the food was.

The next day, we went to Torcello for Maya's birthday, and it was perfect. My MIL said that was her favorite day - all of us being together.

The next day we took them to visit the Rialto area, and we went to the market and made friends with the Bangladeshi fruit vendors. Both of our groups couldn't understand each other's Hindi, but we managed! Then we took the Traghetto across, just for fun! My MIL was a bit scared going across - being so close to the water with no life vest! That evening we did a lovely sunset gondola ride. The gondolier explained historical facts of the city, which my FIL loved.

The next day we took them to the grand San Marco square where we fed pigeons. My MIL loved feeding them and their pecking from her hand kept tickling her, which broke her infamous "grumpy cat" expression and I got some great pictures of her smiling! We also went to the Basilica and my MIL loved the Byzantine gold on the ceiling.

We also showed them the Bridge of Sighs, and they went up the Campanile di San Marco. At first they refused, saying they already had gone up so many towers in Italy - but I pressured them to go up this one and I told them it was totally worth it. In Venice, the towers give an amazing viewpoint of the top of the churches and the canals. It's not your average tower...

The next day we took a water taxi out to Burano and walked around the little town. We had lunch at this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant. That's where my inlaws discovered Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe (oil and pepper) and fell in love! The great thing about Italy is you can walk into any dingy dhaba and have fresh food - much like India!

The next day we took the Vaporetto (water bus) from San Marco to San Giorgio Maggiore island and went up the tower. Then we returned to San Marco and toured around the magnificent Doge's Palace. My inlaws were amazed at the craftsmanship of the ornate ceilings. My MIL kept saying that she wished she knew something about Christianity to understand the paintings. I said I didn't know it either, and she felt better! Being an avid mystery reader, she also loved touring the ancient prisons inside the Palace.

(Eating Tiramisu)

In terms of food, my inlaws had LOTS of new discoveries. My FIL loved all the fresh green salads. My MIL loved pesto pasta and Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe. She loved Panella - which was like a pakora. Her Indian sweet tooth loved Tiramisu, Ricotta Gelato, and Mandarin Sorbet. And both my inlaws were crazy about the strong Italian espresso.

Husband ji had only been to Venice once prior (last year) but he knew his way around like a pro. My FIL is notorious for never getting lost, no matter what country he is in, but even he was too confused by the Venetian streets. It was like a maze to him. He was pretty impressed that husband ji knew his way around so well. Like father, like son...only better!

I loved seeing my inlaws tour a new place for the first time and try out new things. I think my MILs fear of both water and Italian food has greatly reduced! It was nice to spend time with them in a different setting (ie. outside of Canada and/or India)

It was an unforgettable trip!



  1. @alexandra

    This one the most romantic bollywood songs short in Venice. No wonder Venice is romantic city

    1. I think that was the movie they saw, that was right around the time they got married! It is interesting to see the city in the video back then, 30+ years ago. There is so much more traffic on the canal now! The song was great though, no wonder my FIL wanted to go!

  2. Alex,

    Love all these pictures! Sandhya is so cute, her expressions are priceless. Love her smile and your father in law is hilarious too with his fingers in the air, I think this was such a memorable trip for everybody. You all got to see lots of historical sights there, I have to make a trip there myself someday. I know Maya just loved having both sets of grandparents there. Love the boat ride with you, Maya and Sandhya. How nice.

    Have a great weekend.


    1. Thanks Melissa, Hahaha my FIL was over the moon! It is a lovely city, you have to go someday. Really magnificent. Maya loved the attention from the grandparents, she was in heaven!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Lauren! She is really sweet :) I love her a lot.

  4. Awesome pictures and the stories that go along with them. But I am mostly impressed by how after taking thousands of pictures you were able to post only a select few. This shows great judgement and even greater restraint. Considering how a lot of people just empty out their vacation memory cards on the Internet with pictures of the same shot from different angles. Seriously, my respect for you just increased ten fold!

    1. Thanks Roo! OMG it was so hard to pick just a few, all the pics turned out great!


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