View from the hotel:
We left the hotel staff to deal with passport issue and ventured out into the city. From everything we heard about Venice before arriving, getting lost was inevitable. So we decided to let ourselves get lost. First, we went to a small cafe in Piazza San Marco. We had amazing and fresh sandwiches (the best part was the cheese) followed by perfectly bitter espresso.
Our first tourist destination was San Marco's Church. While you could pay to enter certain portions, the main area was free.
Next, we went to the Accademia. While Venice is full of breathtaking museums, we wanted to see a building full of ancient masterpieces. After the art museum, we were ready for some gelato. We decided to head to the ghetto and pick some up on the way. Unfortunately, we had trouble finding any at first. We were wandering the Venice alleys, hoping to find a store serving ice cream in December. At one point, we mollified ourselves with mulled wine from a crepe stand. Finally, we found the gelato. There weren't many Italians eating it because they thought the weather was bad (we were loving it when compared to Russia and Scotland).
Spending the day in Venice with Nicole was a great birthday present!