120 Pounds of Lobster Happiness

  No, No, No!
   Why was I throwing a temper tantrum? Because I did not want to go to the ball!
   I am a tom boy. I am most comfortable in jeans and a tank top with a ball cap pulled low over my face and my hiking fanny pack full of bug spray, SPF and band aids.
   Why oh why did I agree to put on a strapless bra and a tight fitting ex prom dress and attend a Carnevale Ball four years ago?
   I did it because my best friend told me to.
  And she might have made promises of lobster.
  As in, if I pay two hundred dollars to go to the ball, they might serve lobster with the dinner.
  I informed every one who would listen, 
  “If I have to fork over that much money to wear a strapless bra all night, there better fucking be lobster!”
  Oh boy did I get my wish.
   I was visiting Venice, Italy just in time for the cities annual celebration of masks, sin and good times four years ago with a group of other Americans. It was four days of wandering the alley ways of Venice and stuffing ourselves with all the Italian food we could find. I’ve never been a big fan of Italian food, but the food in Venice blew my mind.
   My favorite part of dining in Venice was Cicchetti, the small plates of appetizers we would eat in Venice’s many bars in the evening. Cichetti were the Venice equivalent to Spain’s Tapas.  Cichetti are all kinds of tasty treats like marinated baby octopus, olive snacks, aubergines (Eggplant) with anchovy, castraure (Marinated artichokes) and all kinds of cheeses. Not to mention the beer and wine in Venice was phenomenal. That is when I discovered I like white wine. That was after an evening of wine tasting on the streets of Venice. After that I am all about Pinot Grigio, no more Cabernet’s for me.
     Our main goal for our Carnevale Venice trip was to attend a Carnevale Ball. A huge party did sound fun, but renting a four hundred dollar costume did not sound like a good time to me. Luckily, Mimi lent me an old velvety prom dress and I bought a fancy cape and a awesome feather covered mask. I was good to go! Every one else spent one afternoon trying on and then renting elaborate costumes. I have to say, our group looked truly awesome as we strolled up this huge staircase into the ballroom on a February Friday evening.
   Even the process of buying the ball tickets was a fun experience. While the sale of our tickets at this majestic hotel was being processed, the hotel manager told us to help ourselves to that hotels complementary breakfast buffet, where I indulged in more free lattes and a ton of biscuits smothered in Nutella.  God bless Europe! They love their Nutella!
    Now full with our second free breakfast of the day, (our hotel also included free breakfast ) We wandered around St Mark’s Square, taking pictures of famous Venice attractions, Harry’s Bar home of the Bellini and all kinds of masks and Carnevale propaganda.  After ordering our tickets, we had a leisurely morning of meandering the streets of Venice before we had to make our way back to the hotel to get ready for our big evening out on the town.
   We were planning to get the hell out of Venice the very next morning, as Saturday was the first official day of Carnevale and we were warned that the city would turn into a tourist encrusted mad house over night.
    My friends took a gondola ride around the city and I opted to wander around and explore and take pictures. I had a great morning capturing my Venice memories forever. It was a great walk, although I did get desperately lost at one point very far from my hotel and had to try and get my point across in English and get help back. I did eventually find my way back to the hotel.
   I made my way back towards St Marks Square and stopped at the little market near our hotel where I was so happy to see boxed wine! So happy as we had not brought a corkscrew with us. It might seem a little ghetto to be drinking boxed wine while traveling in Venice, but as my friends started trickling back into our rooms and we began showering and curling our hair for our evening out, we discovered the boxed wine was really good stuff! Much different from cheap California boxed wine.
    Our bellies full of wine, hair curled and elaborate costumes on, we were ready to hit the town… or the cobblestone streets, so to speak. As a group we made our way across St Mark’s Square, a short stroll to the hotel, only ten minutes away. Wine, drinks, appetizers and all the food was included in our admission price.  We had a great time mingling with some other Americans we met, also in great costumes in the lobby, as we sipped Bellini’s, Venice’s signature drink and nibbled on snacks. Well, some of sipped on Bellini’s, some of us chugged them, like Jess, a fellow traveler in our group, who had her heart set on getting really drunk that night.
    I was trying not to fill up on Pinot Grigio and delicious appetizers, as I was very hopeful that our meal would include lobster. When we made our way upstairs to the ball room I was delighted to see an all you can eat seafood buffet… and a whole lobster covered table!  That’s when I declared, I would eat my weight in lobster that night! Everyone else was taking in the lovely ball room, the live band and our private table in the corner, oh yeah and a now drunk Jess trying to make out with the British girl who was traveling with us. I had my eyes set on that red shelled table of deliciousness.
    Luckily for me, no one was paying attention to the fact that I ate five whole plates of lobster (Thanks Jess for distracting every one from my pigging out with your ridiculousness!) butter probably dripping down my chin. I seem to recall the rest of the seafood buffet was really good, but all I really remember was that lobster, I was in buttery goodness seafood heaven!
   The sad thing was, the free Pinot Grigio was flowing all night long, but I was so full of lobster, there was no way I felt even slightly buzzed. I’m sure I looked awesome in that skin tight velvet dress too, with a little lobster baby in side of me. After the lobster dinner, there was dancing, and tiramisu that I some how fit in, and then we ended the night being invited to a private Venetian night club. It was an epic night, that ended with me screaming at drunk Jess at two A.M. but that’s another story.

  

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