"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Benvenuto a Venezia bella

Here's the view Mrs. Toast will be enjoying in about six weeks:

We had waited until my doctor appointment last week to be sure I would be "in the clear", so now that we know that I won't be going under the knife for a while yet, it's safe to announce that she is proceeding with her plan to visit beautiful Venice.

The way this trip came about is sort of interesting. Mrs. Toast has a very close friend who is like a sister to her. (Since her friend has -- more or less -- successfully raised two teenage daughters, we will henceforth refer to her as "Psycho-Mom". Any parents reading this will readily understand.) Mrs. Toast and Psycho-Mom are close to the same age and both sets of their parents were best friends long before they were born, so it was only natural that they grew up together. Even though P-Mom now lives over 500 miles away, they still stay in close touch and see each other regularly.

Last Christmas, Psycho-Mom received an unusual present from her husband ("Psycho-Dad"). You first need to understand that P-Dad is a big honcho in the Texas oil bidness; indeed, I suspect that at minimum, at least two cents of every single gallon of gas you and I buy goes directly into his pocket. With the booming price surge experienced by the industry during the last few years, P-Dad has therefore reportedly had to rent secure storage space in order to keep the huge bags of cash that have been piling up around their house. In fact, he can barely walk down the street without leaving a trail of money behind him, hundred-dollar bills falling out of his pockets like leaves blowing in the wind from an uncovered lawn trailer as it's being towed down the street.

OK, I'm exaggerating -- a bit -- but the point is that P-Dad did have a pretty good year in 2006, and in a spirit of largesse gave his wife this present: a one-week all-expense-paid trip anywhere in the world for herself and three friends of her choosing. Fortunately, all those years of friendship paid off, as Mrs. Toast was invited to the party. We don't know the other two women who will be going, but I suspect they will all become good friends very quickly as much Grappa is consumed. It's gonna be one hell of a ladies night out.

I am, naturally, somewhat jealous that I won't be able to go along, but this is tempered by the fact that I visited Venice by myself during my Great European Train Tour of 2002. I'm using the knowledge of the city I gained during that trip to help Mrs. Toast plan her visit; I have maps, travel guides, and personal recommendations on sights to see and fun things to do, and will experience the city again vicariously through her. We're all very excited, and I'll post updates and perhaps photos of my previous adventures (if I can find and scan them - this was before I had a digital camera). In the meantime, when you next fill up your gas tank keep in mind that in some very small way, you're helping to buy my wife a tasty gelato as she strolls through the Plaza San Marco. We sure do thank you.

P-Mom tells us that the decision to select Venice as her destination didn't require a lot of thought, as she has always wanted to go there. There's no question that it's a lovely, fascinating place that everyone should visit once in their lifetime -- but what about you? If someone offered you a week anywhere in the world, where would you choose, and why?


  • At 4/03/2007 04:48:00 PM, Blogger April said…

    WOW, thats quite a gift, and its awesome that Mrs. Toast gets to enjoy this once in a life time offer!

    To answer your question, I would proably go anywhere in Italy or maybe Australia.

  • At 4/03/2007 10:50:00 PM, Blogger Daisy Martin said…

    I am always on the look out for new friends and would hereby like to volunteer to be Psycho-Mom's newest best friend. Talk about friends with perks! Seriously though, I hope Mrs Toast has a wonderful time.

    I would choose Germany as my week's vacation just to see my daughter again. I spent 2 weeks over there with her this past December. She lives on an Army base in the bavarian region of Germany. her hubby is currently deployed. If my daughter weren't in Germany my choice would be england (I love castles) or better yet France (Normady beaches since I am a huge WWII buff).

  • At 4/04/2007 07:03:00 PM, Blogger Sphincter said…

    Good for Mrs Toast!

    As for where I would go:
    If I really had that chance I would probably fall to the ground and short out with joy before I could go decide to go anywhere.

  • At 4/07/2007 08:41:00 PM, Blogger Marie said…

    wow, this will be an amazing trip for these friends!!! how often can you get an all-expense paid vacation.....to venice???? does Ms. Psycho Mom still need one more friend to complete her entourage? i'm always available! :) :) :) Pls. tell Mrs. Toast to have fun in italy!! i'm sure she'll have a great time there!

  • At 4/09/2007 06:31:00 PM, Blogger bossann said…

    Greece. I don't speak Greek but the film "Summer Lovers" springs to mind.

    Since I'm getting older and probably wouldn't have much luck in Greece (although I'd love to try!) Italy...Roman ruins, Opera at La Scala, the food...yep, Italy would come in a very close second.

    What a lucky lady Mrs Toast is!


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