Untours Cafe

Michelle Vaden
  • 72, Female
  • Seattle, WA
  • United States
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Michelle Vaden's Friends

  • Amy Valentine
  • Karen Susman
  • Yvonne
  • Eric and Sue
  • Elizabeth Elliott
  • Lynanne Guynn
  • Ann Cockerill
  • Linda Paplinski
  • Mary Lou Grier
  • Marlene Hench
  • Powen Shiah

Michelle Vaden's Destinations


Michelle's Musings and Meanderings

Profile Information

What is your favorite place in Europe so far?
Venice, Italy
Where would you most like to go next?
Just returned from Venice. I want to go back
Tell us about one of your favorite places to stay on an Untour. Do you have a favorite host? Apartment? Village?
Casino apartment in Venice! Yes!
Do you have any special interests or hobbies that you follow when you travel?
When you upload photos to Untours Cafe, you are also giving Untours permission to use the photos in their promotional material (with credit to you)
I was looking for the alemenatari and got directions where I bought post cards, she said (in Italian which I repeated in English to make sure I had it right) to turn right at the fountain, over the bridge and I would find Billa there. I was looking for my idea of a fountain which is something in the middle of a square with carving and water shooting up in the air. What I found was a water pipe coming out of a wall. Oh, I did eventually find Billa also.
Which Untours have you already done?
What advice would you give others considering an Untour?
Go and enjoy!
What is your favorite Untour? (so far)
Venice. I want to go back.

Michelle Vaden's Photos

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Michelle Vaden's Blog

Blogging from Venice

For anyone interested I'm blogging from Venice now on my blog "Meandering with Misha" which you can find at 


It's not an Untour but it is an untour as I'm on my own without any group or real itinerary. I just love being a temporary local. People are beginning to recognize me in my neighborhood and ask me where I'm from. People start talking to me in Italian...even though I'm carrying a…


Posted on November 25, 2012 at 3:25pm — 6 Comments

35 Days...

...until I land in Venice for a month for my birthday 12-12-12. Not an untour but a lovely apartment in a quiet area of Castello. I've  created a personal blog and hope to be posting pictures if the internet connection works as promised in the apartment.

My blog is "Meandering with Misha", is mostly about Venice and can be found at www.mishaimelda.wordpress.com .


Posted on October 14, 2012 at 8:58pm

My Love Affair with Venice

I wrote this up for a friend and decided that since it was Untours who introduced me face to face with Venice that it belonged here too:

The story of my love affair with Venice:

I think I have always been intrigued by the idea of a city built on water . I knew I would go there someday. But life happened and Venice waited.

Sometime in the late 90’s a friend came to visit her cousin in Seattle and also spent an afternoon with me. Dorothy and I had met in a writing class in…


Posted on September 17, 2011 at 11:12pm

Venice...the Dream Continues Trip report

I just realized I had not shared my trip report from Venice in March. Here it is for the Venice lovers to enjoy. Unfortunately this time it was not with Untours but my apartment was in the same neighborhood as the Casino apartment so I was right at home. Note: this is copied and pasted from TripAdvisor.com

Here is my trip report from my visit…


Posted on September 5, 2010 at 10:00am

Venice...The Dream Continues

Yes, I went to Venice again, this time on my own since my Untours plans were cancelled this year. I couldn't stand not going and a friend said she would be there in March, then another, then another. I made my own arrangements and stayed in an apartment only a very short walk from the Casino apartment where I stayed in the fall of 2008. Even Atilla the local cat seemed to remember me when I called him by name. This is just a short note because I'm trying to post some of my favorite…


Posted on April 24, 2010 at 8:05pm

Comment Wall (21 comments)

At 10:20am on December 31, 2007, Powen Shiah said…
Dear Michelle,

I like how you've customized your page already! Also, congratulations on booking your first Untour. I'm sure you'll have a grand time.

Thanks for joining the Untours Cafe! Take your time to explore all the photos, and videos. If you like, you can even post a question or start a discussion in our forum, though I see you've found them already.

In you run into any problems or have any question, you can send me a message or ask my colleagues, Marilee & Kim. We're here to help!
At 4:25am on January 11, 2008, Marlene Hench said…
Having travelled with Untours to Italy, Switzerland, Bavaria, Rome, and Paris, I just know that you will love your Untours trip to Venice. Untours is a great way to travel.
Frank nd I will be looking forward to seeing some of your pictures after your trip.
At 9:57am on January 11, 2008, Michelle Vaden said…
Thanks for your thoughts. I feel like I've joined a global traveling family. Believe me...there will be lots of pictures.
At 5:44pm on July 27, 2008, Eric and Sue said…
Hi Michelle, I was just thinking of you yesterday as I was perusing the Cafe, and how your trip to Venice is getting closer. I know how we were counting the months, then weeks, then days before we left. If I can figure out how to do it, I will try to post some exterior and interior photos of the Casino apt. before long. Do you have any questions I can answer for you about the apt.? I think I told you how much we liked it-so very well equipped-a nice CD player, but limited selection of CD's, so bring a few favorites, a wonderful bookcase chock full of books, most in English, lots about Venice, of course. The TV is not cable, all stations in Italian-it was fun to watch the local news and try to figure out what they were saying by observing the pictures, though we did discover a channel that frequently showed MTV -ugh-in English, and if you are up at 3 am you can see Anderson Cooper for about 30 minutes in English. That's about it.
Lots of extras in the kitchen that we haven't found in some other Untour apts- salt, pepper,sugar, coffee, tea bags, olive oil, plastic and foil wrap, garbage bags, dishwashing liq, clothes detergent, and lots of cleaning supplies.
Be prepared to light the gas cooktop with a match-we were there a week before we realized the oven was electric!!
Guess that tells you how much cooking I did.
The first day we searched for the dish drying rack, only to discover it was mounted on the wall at eye level directly above the sink, and the newly washed dishes drip into the sink, though we had stored groceries on it, but soon found a place to relocate them. The Italians sure use space well.
Planning is so much fun-I wish we were going back!
At 3:33pm on July 28, 2008, Eric and Sue said…
Michelle, I am curious about homefoods. I have never heard of it- how does it work? is this just available in Venice?
Don't worry much about the Italian-it seems everyone in Venice speaks some English-even the French and German tourists! We traveled with several Italian dictionaries and hardly ever needed one, except in a small market to figure out what some ingredients were.
The only person we encountered who we could truly not communicate with was a young college student we met on the vaparetto who spoke only Portuguese. I've often wondered how he managed, as not many Portugese speakers in Italy.
At 4:49pm on July 29, 2008, Eric and Sue said…
Hi Michelle, I looked up homefoods as you suggested, and what a neat concept. Wish we had been aware of it when we were there, it sounds like something we would have very much enjoyed. How convenient for you one will be in "your"neighborhood while you are there. Guess we will just have to make a return trip one day to experience it.
How I wish!! There are so many places still left for us to visit, we haven't allowed ourselves the luxury yet of returning,
At 1:06am on August 15, 2008, Lynanne Guynn said…
Hi Michelle,
Before you go to Venice, get a copy of Fodor's "Venice's 25 Best", if only for the comprehensive map that is included. AND get a little compass. With the narrow calles that twist and turn, it's easy not to know in which direction you're going. I still carry mine each time I go there.
Aack!! I can't find mine :-((. That's the first order of business in the morning. But I'm positive I got it from Rick Steves' catalog, and I think it came with a stretchy wrist strap.
Hope you can find out if my little dog house is a little cat house!
At 11:16pm on August 16, 2008, Michelle Vaden said…
Well, I created a nice little blog post to add but for some reason my computer has that little "done but with errors on the page" icon everytime I long into the cafe since last week and won't let me add a blog post. It does comments just fine but I wanted to do something longer. Ah, well, guess I'm going to have to break down and invest in high speed instead of my lovely dial up...that might have something to do with it. I don't know.
Anyway...it's now two months and counting till I'm off to Venice. I did pick up a copy of Fodor's "Venice's 25 Best" with it's lovely map this morning as recommended. And I also got "MapEasy's Guidemap To Venice" just because it was faily large print, has cute drawings and notations on the map such as "this waterside cafe is superb" they are referring to the one at the Hotel Gritti Palace which is probably out of my price range but you never know. I still plan at least a cappucino and a pastry at Cafe Florian just to be able to say I've been there. Ciao!
At 5:49pm on August 30, 2008, Eric and Sue said…
Hi Michelle, I finally figured out how to add photos to the Cafe, and just added 8 of the Casino apt. Thought you might find them interesting, though they don't look much different from those on the Untours website. Be sure to click on the description/title, of each photo, as it gives a bit more info. I have some more, mainly of the garden area, and will try to add those another time. Wanted to see how these did first.
We have had computer problems ongoing for about 3 weeks, hope we are fixed, but who knows. Things seem to work well for 2-3 days, then it is trouble again. We retrieved our computer yesterday from it's second visit in repair-guess the next stop will be for a new computer!! Ours is 5 years old, and Eric's editor told him that is like 105 in people years.
At 7:21am on August 31, 2008, Eric and Sue said…
Hi Michelle, glad you enjoyed the photos of the apt. Now that I know how to do it, I will try to add a few more.
The wire chicken on top of the stove hood is probably an egg basket-we never used it.
Though the photo doesn't show it, on the other side of the kitchen is a long granite countertop that runs almost the length of the kitchen, with drawers and cabinets below and shelves and cabinets above, containing dishes, pots, kitchen utensiles, etc, so there is loads of counter space. There is room at the end of the counter closest to the laundry room for a small chair, but no table, so it is not eat in.
I will probably recall more tidbits to share as I review my photos more.

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