Where were we? Oh yes, in Venice staying for free once more on our SPG points. We’d read comments on Trip Advisor that the Westin in Venice treated people staying for free on points badly and locked them in broom closets or something. We suspect those complainers deserved to be locked in the broom closet because we couldn’t have been treated better. They even upgraded us to a room directly over the Grand Canal and the concierge staff helped us with every inane question we lobbed their way.
After a couple days of the heat and crowds we decided to do a trip to one of the nearby islands. One possiblity was Murano where they make beautiful things from, well, Murano , glass. (No one said they come up with imaginative names.) That option was deemed to be too fiscally risky based on Blonde’s glass-buying orgy in Malta on a previous trip.
B&B chose Burano as the island is famous for their lacemaking. We shared our sisterly contempt for lace as we envisioned the lackluster doilies our elderly relatives draped on the backs of chairs and tabletops. Burano was deemed a safe choice as we wouldn’t be tempted to spend any money there.
To get to Burano from Venice is a simple excursion. From our location it took about 30 minutes on the Vaporetto number 12 . As the boat got closer to Burano so did a cloud that looked as angry as Donald Trump talking about Rosie O’Donnell. We stepped off the boat, the rain hit and B&B scampered into the Martina lace store. Make that a lace money-enticing emporium, not mere “store”.
There weren’t any old yellowed doilies. But there were intricate, needle-lace decorative items for the home and, oh dear, unique and gorgeous camisoles with Swarovski crystals stitched into the lace. Who doesn’t need those? Well, two sisters from the States who don’t live have lifestyles that call for lace camisoles with crystals lifestyles. The camisoles were between 187€ and 250€ apiece.
What harm could come from trying them on while waiting for the storm to pass? I think we all know the answer to that. Brunette bought one without crystals and Blonde, being blonde, bought two with crystals. Blonde spent a flinch-worthy 500€ or about $617USD at today’s rates. Brunette, a substitute home-ec teacher in western Pennsylvania dropped a cool 230USD. This from a woman who always gets her clothes on sale at Macy’s and thinks pants should cost about 4USD or they’re a total ripoff.
It’s important to have this key piece of information: Total strangers in the store said we looked nice in our camisoles. We couldn’t not buy them.
Finally the the storm and our credit cards were in pause mode and we asked the now extraorindarily friendly saleswoman to recommend a restaurant for lunch. As we’d spent so much time shopping the place she recommended was no longer serving lunch. So we fortuitously went a little farther down the street and had the best risotto of our lives at Trattoria Da Romano. The risotto is very famous and is made using a fish, known as go, that swims in the lagoon. It’s an ugly little critter apparently, but makes a wonderfully tasty broth in which to cook the rice. None of the flesh of the fish is ever used; its flavor is merely donated to the cooking broth.
Part-way into this memorable meal the storm hit again and we had to grab everything and run inside to finish our meal. The restaurant was also very charming inside even though we were forced to drink wine while waiting for the weather to clear. When it did (2 weeks later) our obliging waiter advised us which vaporetto to take back so the trip would be shorter ; a good thing when the water is choppier.
On the ride back we were not having buyer’s remorse but we were having buyer’s bewilderment. Where would we wear these things? How had we spent so much money on a day trip chosen specifically to be a destination where we would not be tempted to spend a cent? How adorable would we look in our new camisoles? Who would care? Who cares who cares? What was the name of that wine?
But Brunette always make good points and she said it had only happened because the shopping hadn’t been good in Croatia. So we blamed it on Croatia. Bizarrely, they have yet to reimburse us, despite repeated requests. We’re going to see if Hillary Clinton can intervene on our behalf and will keep you updated. Update: Since her concussion she claims she never heard of us. Oh sure. Nice try.