Just a quick hey say from the ship just off the coast of Croatia as the anchor’s being raised at Dubrovnik where we just spent a marvelous day and now and we’re on our way around the heel and toe of Italy’s boot for a full day at sea before coming into Rome.

It’s been a marvelous trip so far. Susan and I had Venice for a couple days and nights in the marvelous Hotel Al Gazzettino just off a small canal in the “downtown” of the San Marco district, pretty much equidistant between the famed Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal.

To finally see Venice was a dream come true for both of us and it seemed very much a dream to stroll through its network of crooked streets over bridges and down tight alleys and discover what a magical place it is. We walked at all hours: 2 a.m., noon, 6 a.m., and  took literally hundreds upon hundreds of photos of as many nooks and crannies and sights as we could cram into the time we were there.

Tuesday at noon we boarded the boat and spent another night in the port of Venice and on Wednesday we joined an excursion that visited the islands of Murano, Torcello and Burano — all three marvelous places, each with their own unique characteristics that take quaint to a whole new level.

I’m sorry I don’t have a random selection of images to show you but wi-fi connection issues with the laptop have forced me to use one of the computers provided by the ship and these desktops don’t have firewire ports so it’ll be a chore involving transfer of hundreds of images from the iPod to the laptop to a flashdrive to these desktops and that’s just a route I’m not in the mood to take at the present. Maybe tomorrow.

Once back onboard from our island hopping yesterday we disembarked at about 3 p.m. saying a fond farewell to Venice for the open Adriatic and this morning we dropped anchor outside Dubrovnik for a tour of the walled city before boarding a replica 18th-century sailing ship for a one-hour cruise to the Croatian island of Lopud where we enjoyed a fisherman’s lunch and then a hike across the small island. Some did it for the secluded beach at the other end in which to take a dip, I did it for the exercise and photo opportunities.

Back on the sailing ship we were brought back to Dubrovnik and Susan and I filled a couple hours walking through that enchanting place, eventually making our way up onto the tall walls that surround the city for the breathtaking vistas to be found there.

And now we’re back on the ship and the sun has set and further adventures and a whole mess of calories await us both onboard and off. Being off the grid and away from news sources until yesterday I didn’t hear of the Griffith Park fire or the high temps baking Los Angeles in their own ways. Check-ins from our pet sitter indicate that all is well with the animals at home and I hope the same for any who’ve dropped into this dormant place.

 When I’m not up on the deck poolside tomorrow, I’ll find time to get a sampling of pix up here or on Flickr tomorrow.