Tonight I had an absolute blast.
Tim and Tyson at Sunset Gondola invited me to participate in a group row, a sort of "pilgrimage to Captain Jack's" if you will.
When I arrived at the Sunset Gondola office, there were about 25 or 30 gondoliers and their friends.
After everyone had visited with each other and some folks were getting antsy, we all boarded Sunset Gondola's five boats and we rowed out into a beautiful evening, complete with glassy water and no wind.
After a bit of rowing, the boats grouped together and everyone sang "Santa Lucia" in just about the lowest key possible.
Andrew McHardy was on one of the gondolas with his guitar, and everyone was having a great time. For many of us, this was a great opportunity to joke and laugh with other gondoliers and friends. Most gondoliers love having paying passengers on their boats, but once in a while it's fun to blow off some steam and "play" a bit.
Along the way, we all stopped under a big bridge and people took turns singing songs.
A girl in my boat sang one of the most incredible pieces I think I've ever heard.
Once we all arrived at Captain Jack's - a local restaurant and bar, everyone started talking. Great stories were told (along with a few lies, I'm sure), I made some new friends, had a great conversation with John Synco and it was a great time.
I can't say enough about the folks who were there.
Of course It's easy to identify with people who do the same job as you - folks who share the same passion. But beyond that, these are great people.
I've heard that you can evaluate someone based on whether you'd be willing to share a lifeboat with them.
I'd gladly share a lifeboat with everyone in the group...especially if they wanted to do some of the rowing!
I had to take off early, but I heard that everyone got back the the dock at Sunset Gondola without too much bumping and grinding.
I understand that there will likely be another one of these "pilgrimages" in the coming months.
I'd sure like to be there for it.
Big thanks to Tim and Tyson, Joanna and Dawn, for the invitation and hospitality.
My apologies to anyone who didn't get credited for being in a picture.
If you were there, write in, post a comment.
Say "Hey Greg, you're a jack-ass. I was there and my name is _____".
Tell me what your favorite part was.