Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I left my heart in San Francisco

So, today was a great lazy day. The weather is still very, very nice from that storm that blew in...only about 77 degrees outside and no humidity. I did my errands and laundry in the morning and met a friend in the afternoon for a spritz (local drink here).

We met at the Bauer Hotel--a 5 star hotel on the Grand Canal. Its actually the only modern building in Venice. It was built by Hitler and his crew during the war as their headquarters here. Needless to say, it looks very modern and sort of sticks out when you you are walking around. But, some rich Italians bought it and turned it into a very successful, worldwide renowned hotel.

I dont normally hang out at 5 star hotels...who wants to pay those prices for a drink or food (I looked at the menu and a basic grilled cheese sandwich was 22 euros!). But my friend said she knew the bartender working, was a good friend, and we would get the Venetian price. Again, its all about who you know here!

Luckily for us, it was a slow day on the terrace for the Bauer, so the bartender made us a new drink which he called 'The Claudia' for my friend. It was filled with all sorts of fruit and some Brazilian liquor...quite tasty. We sat and chatted for a while (another round came from the bar) and I noticed this elderly man (close to 80 I guess) in the corner of the terrace painting. His brushstrokes seemed a bit strong so I didnt think he was doing anything real precise. And since we were staring at the Grand Canale, I figured he was just one of the thousands who fancy themselves an artist.

Sitting one table away was a woman in her mid 30's I would guess, reading a book. The elderly man starting talking to her, went over and put his hand on her shoulder and she reached up with her hand and put it on his shoulder as the conversation continued. I whispered to my friend...please tell me they are not dating, please tell me that is father and daughter! Just then he bent down and gave a nice big kiss on the lips....mystery solved!

Then we started discussing the reasons why these woman date these older men. Obviously, staying at the Bauer, he had money. Looking further, I noticed they both had wedding rings on. And then, he looked strangely familiar. Oh...wait....I know him...that's....oh what is his know that last of the brat pack. Yep, it was Tony Bennett as sure as I am unemployed!

He didnt look quite as spry as he did at his concert tour this last year but I imagine make up and a tux will change a man! And I guess he did fancy himself an artist--not only in the singing arena but in the painting. I wish I would have seen the final product. Of course the converstation continued between me and my friend wondering how they met, why they did that (visions of Anna Nicole Smith and that old rich man swam in my head), etc. Perhaps in the end, it was more a bit of jealousy on my part that this woman had landed her future the easy way!

Oh well. There is my claim to fame for today.....much more exciting than when I saw Elton John over Christmas here. Now if I could just meet George Clooney or Nicolas Cage, I would be all set!

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