Early on the 14th of February, gondoliers gather on the docks in Newport Beach in a sort of "welcoming the day" ritual. In anticipation of what is arguably the busiest day of the year, and one which will test every facet of the operation, the gondoliers shout "let the games begin".
What follows is a day full of cruises. The docks are managed by staff who specialize in keeping things running clean. Clients roam the property, often arriving early and enjoying the show.
Many traditions are carried out that evening - some involve the whole group, while others are specific to one or two people.
Whatever the case, we are thankful for the holiday we call "V-Day", and welcome it loudly - much to the neighbor's annoyance at times.