photos by Elisa and Greg MohrI use the word parecio here a lot on the Gondola Blog.
If you've got a gonola or two of your own, or are a gondola fanatic, then you know the definition of the word.
Parecio is a broad term that refers to all the removable parts of a gondola.
Anything that can be pulled off the boat without tools or inhumane yanking is parecio.
Taking things off a gondola is fairly easy; as long as it doesn't get damaged in the process, you can make quick work of it.
putting parecio on is another story.
A few items are obvious - you know where they go just by looking at them.
Floorboards and step-pieces however, are like the pieces of a puzzle.
assembling the floorboards of the "Lucia" was a challenge, as was getting the trastolini (step-pieces) in place.
Once we had a safe surface to walk on, Steve and I were able to outsmart the canopy frame. We congratulated ourselves afterward for not dropping anything metal in the water. Everybody knows that water has an enhanced force of gravity and it will do it's darndest to suck things of value into itself.
Carpets and seats were easy to place, and the pusioli (arm-pieces) and cavalli were simple and fun to install.
Placing the five-sided portela and a little brass canon on the bow completed the project and the "Lucia" was ready for her christenning.
Janet Curci did the honors of placing roses and a small Italian flag in the canon, and everybody agreed that the gondola was now "fully dressed".
Champagne was popped for a proper gondola christenning (spraying, not whacking), there was no name change involved, but with the boat back on water after an extended period of time, popping the champagne was the right thing to do.
Gondola christennings in Newport always involve spraying rather than the traditional bottle-breaking which can be quite destructive.
Once Janet had finished spraying champagne on the bow deck (and a little on Steve too), everyone toasted with a good prosecco.
Pouring the Prosecco.
Next, it was time for an inaugural voyage.
We made our way up the Rhine channel and back, smiling and waving to folks in boats and dining at waterfront restaurants.
Rowing the "Lucia" with all her finery alone would have been great.
Having Janet Curci on board made it a blast.
Everyone had a terrific time and on a sunny day in Southern California, I had no doubt that we were creating a memory that everyone would look back on and smile.
After her inaugural voyage, I jumped on the back once more and rowed the "Lucia" to her new home at the Gondola Adventures, Inc. docks. I made the trip with my daughter Isabella on the back with me - spending some great father-daughter time on the way.
Rowing a canopied gondola in the wind is understandably different. The wind likes to mess with you on the water, give it some canvas to grab onto and things can get interesting.
As I write this I prepare for my first cruise with clients this afternoon.
No doubt the wind will be there to greet me,
and I am up for the challenge.
hopefully I won't be back this evening with an embarrassing story to tell.