For this trip I had of course already read half of the books that I planned to take in the days leading up to my vacation, so remaining with me for the first leg of the trip were Alain de Botton's charming The Art of Travel and Rachel Cusk's The Country Life. Both were quaint and wonderful. (Nicki and my sister had both raved about The Country Life so I had very high expectations.) While awaiting the final boarding call (why do people queue to get on when we all have assigned seats?), I purchased Turkish Dried Apricots and a small beribboned brown box of Godiva truffles. Nothing is better than untying the bow on a box of fine chocolates when you could be eating a handful of peanuts.
For the journey home--when I wasn't dreaming of the picturesque canal view from the Pensione Seguso--I finished Henry James' The Aspern Papers, a thrilling mystery set in Venice, and started David Mitchell's Black Swan Green. I munched on Candied Ginger (I'd read it was a cure for nausea) and Edmund's Achilles heel, rose-flavored Turkish Delight, purchased en route to the airport via Victoria Station.
More on the middle part later.