The Ahern family, consisting of my husband, adult twin daughters, college junior son and my husband's uncle, arrived at the Marco Polo airport early. The transfer companies were not quite prepared for so many arrivals at the same time. It was a spectacularly sunny day. We were escorted onto a private teak water taxi that took us through a scenic route to our hotel. We went past Murano, home to all the glass factories and weaved our way through back canals until we entered the Grand canal where our hotel was located. 

The Hotel Gritti is a 5 star hotel and well deserving of it's rating. We were allowed early check in to beautifully appointed rooms.   As soon as we could change our clothes, we headed out for a quick walk to Piazza San Marco. We walked quickly past our last hotel, the Danielli and then to the Rialto Bridge. 

We met for cocktails on the deck overlooking the Grand Canal just opposite Santa Maria Della Salute and watched the sun set. 

Special dinner reservations were made at the Hostaria Coristi, where we had been on our last visit. We were celebrating Father John's 75th birthday and allowed the waiter to bring us the house specialties. We ate outdoors in their small patio area and right before dessert, all the lights went out and the cake and candles arrived. 

The younger generation wandered off to listen to the orchestras playing in the Piazza. What a spectacular day.

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