"so many remarkable things" happening within them were many.
This photo is but one simple example.
To begin with, after two days of crazy schedules that involved late night bar visits followed by early morning rowing events...people actually showed up for a breakfast cruise! Really, that was amazing.
That cruise was hosted by Gondola Getaway - in twenty years this was the first invitation I'd received, and I was glad I came.
As luck would have it, two of my very favorite gondoliers were rowing the boat I was on (Andrew McHardy - closest to camera and Mark Schooling - standing on bow).
On board this boat were the owners of six gondola operations:
(clockwise from bottom left)
Tim Reinard of Sunset Gondola
Mike O'toole of Gondola Getaway (wearing black visor)
Joe Gibbons of Gondola di Venezia in Boston, MA
Sean Jamieson of The Gondola Company in Coronado, CA
John Kerschbaum of Gondola Romantica in Stillwater, MN
and me (not pictured...because I took the picture)
To add to the experience, we had the first and third place finishers in the solo distance race:
Stefano (glasses and beard in blue jacket),
and Ricardo (blonde hair with glasses in purple shirt).
Solange - winner of the Spirit Award was seated between Stefano and Ricardo, and the guy to the right of Stefano was Michael McBride - General Manager at Gondola Getaway.
I don't want to say it was a "United Nations" of gondolas, because that brings to mind a bunch of nations in potential conflict.
Really, it was a remarkable grouping of enthusiasts - all of whom love the gondola and the business that surrounds her.
Friendships were made, food was enjoyed, and another great memory was carried away with everyone who got off the boat that day.