My Stunning Venetian Toilet Brush
Y’all know the saying that “it’s a small world”, right? Well, one of the gals in my bridge group back in the US has a dear, old college friend who currently lives in Venice. I had promised my bridge group pal that, if I ever went to Venice, I would look up her friend and say “hey”. Not only did I say “hey”, I ended up staying in this friend’s apartment, meeting her husband, going out to her house for cocktails and proceeding onto dinner in their little neighborhood resto.
Keep in mind that she did not know either me or Mr. Big from Adam. I just emailed her out of the blue and named-dropped my bridge gal’s moniker and told her we were coming to Venice and would like to meet for drinks. Y’all. It was ridiculous. From the very first email, I could tell that we were going to be fast friends. She was CRAAAAZY. She With No Filter was firing email questions at me like it was her job. When are you coming? Where are you staying? Where? Oh, God, no, don’t stay there. It’s full of tourists. Park here. Take a vaporetti there. Eat here. Drink there.
We ended up staying in her Bachelorette Apartment because she coerced me into cancelling our hotel reservation. She scared me and y’all know I don’t scare easily. If you could have heard that phone call to Mr. Big, y’all would have cracked up.
Him: Um, working. What are YOU doing?
Me: I’m finalizing our plans for Venice. By the way, you need to cancel the reservation at that hotel downtown.
Him: Huh? No way! I was the last guy to book it on booking-dot-com! It was recommended by 834 other people! It was like neck and neck between me and some dude from Sweden just to get the last room!
Him: WAAAAAH! Why do you do these things to me? Who are these friends of whom you speak and why do I always agree to this shit that I really don’t want to do? Why, why, why, blah, blah, blah. . .
You get the picture. Anyway, we show up in Venice at She Who Has No Filter’s apartment fully expecting to meet, greet, exchange keys and money and be on our merry way. No. We were there 8 seconds and our hostess had dropped the “F” bomb twice, invited us to dinner at her favorite local restaurant and charmed us thoroughly. I am trying to find someone to compare her to. Y’all remember the swimmer on the Poseidon Adventure, Shelley Winters? Well, she was an Italian Shelley Winters.
There were no menus involved. She Who Has No Filter told us what she was going to order for the table and we all agreed to try everything. I ate a whole plate of sardines. It was delicious. In between courses and conveniently timed with the football/soccer time-outs, the restaurant owners came out onto the patio and played live music. A magical, magical night.
In a nutshell, go to Venice, but try not to go in summer. Even though it is surrounded by water, it’s still hot. Oh, and if you have a Venetian connection, run with it, because there is nothing like an authentic Venetian meal in a non-touristy area. And, definitely, definitely, go out to Murano.
Anyway, I was waiting at the pier in Bellagio to get my ferry back to the town where we over-nighting, and I hear, out of the blue, “Trailing Spouse! Trailing Spouse!” (You understand, this person was not actually yelling Trailing Spouse, right? She was yelling my actual first and last name, get it?)
No. Silly me. She was shopping. Of course. It’s how we roll, we Americans. Toilet brushes, leather shoes, Venetian masks, whatever. Nothing, nothing, however, beats the purchase we just made in St. Petersburg two days ago for the grandkids. But that is still two blog posts away, so you just have to wait!