Saturday, May 4, 2013

The "Third Wheel" Gets Comfortable

photos by Derrick Johnson
While out in Texas recently, I took out my friends Kevan and Penny out
on a gondola, and they brought their young son who we will refer to here as
the "Third Wheel".
He really didn't seem to feel like a traditional third wheel most of the time
(ok, maybe a little bit when Mom and Dad were kissing under each bridge).
Arriving on the scene, the "Third Wheel" inspects the gondola.
Kevan and Penny settled right in and were relaxing and enjoying the experience as we pushed away from the dock. 
It was an absolutely perfect day, and much appreciated; we'd experienced all sorts of weather in the two weeks leading up to this day.
It had been cold and windy, we had rain and hail, there were plenty of days that were not the kind of days you'd like for a cruise with friends.
This day, however, was the kind that makes people want to live there.
Overhead view of our lagoon in Irving, Texas.
Notice the bright new fleet of pedal boats?
Special thanks to Joe Gibbons for helping make that happen.
We shoved off and began our voyage.
The "Third Wheel" settles into his seat.
Sunshine in Springtime.
Our small traveler seemed to be enjoying his perch at the front of the boat,
and what's not to like? He had the whole divan to himself.
He could watch the gondolier do that weird rowing thing off the one side of the boat.
Mom and Dad were certainly enjoying themselves.
As we approached the canals of Lake Carolyn, young master "Third" kicked his shoes off and took to camping out on the front seat.
"Camping" in action.
He discovered that the notch in the middle of the seat-back
was a perfect fit for his chin.

The canals of Lake Carolyn are so perfect for gondolas; they really lend themselves to creating those "perfect moments" we all try so hard to create in our line of work.

If these two photos look familiar, you may have seen another photo from this sequence in my post "Just the Photo - Surface Reflection".

Jutting off the main canal here and there, you'll find four small canals that end in dramatic waterfalls.  On this cruise we took a short detour up to Glatter Falls.

All the above photos were shot by my Texas manager Derrick Johnson
(who did an excellent job of stalking us). 
I snapped these next three images with my cell phone while rowing.

The kid has definitely gotten comfortable.
As I turned the boat off course and in the direction of Glatter Falls,
I made an announcement that we'd be visiting a waterfall. 
The "Third Wheel" got very excited.
The falls come into view.
I'm not sure if he was afraid that we might be going down a waterfall,
or if he just liked waterfalls.
Either way, the little guy in the front seat perked up.
Of course, I should mention that every time I approach one of these waterfalls, it's like I've had a double shot of espresso.
There's energy, a sort of electricity in the air.
I'm sure there are lots of people who can offer facts or opinions as to why,
all I know is that there's a heck of a lot of positive energy there.
Glatter Falls after the turn.
One other thing about these waterfalls - some of them have wall contours just wide enough to turn a gondola around.  Glatter is one of the tightest.
It makes for a fun challenge - even moreso when placing a message-in-a-bottle in the water for pickup.
All-in-all, everyone aboard had a great time.
My passengers totally enjoyed the experience.
I may very well have enjoyed the cruise more than my passengers...
it's been known to happen.

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