Since 2008, John Kerschbaum from Minnesota has joined us here in Newport for a week - five of the six past years.
His operation, Gondola Romantica is a fantastic servizio, but with a frozen waterway, he can justify rowing with us here and helping us cover the cruise load during the Valentine's Day period.
John was one of the team on the Hudson River Expedition, and it's been great reconnecting with him each year. Today I passed him in the canals and snapped a couple shots of him rowing the Phoenix - the very boat that he and I rowed down the Hudson River back in 2007.
Look at that smile.
That's the smile of a guy from the north who gets to row in winter.