This past weekend was my husband’s birthday. I always try to include an experience along with his unwrap-able gifts. Examples—one year it was setting up a make-believe campsite in our bedroom, and another year it was having him co-pilot a WWII airplane. The imagination involved is more important than cost.
This year I found a place where we could get a one hour gondola ride complete with a gondolier in Renaissance clothing. The gondola was purchased from Venice and is completely authentic. My husband has been to Venice with his first wife, but has said it is a place he really wants to experience with me. I know we’ll get there, but for now this seemed like a romantic alternative.
As we glided along the St. Croix River, we were surprised by how many people on the shoreline stopped to snap a picture. Most women were smiling, and most men had that “oh great, now I’m going to have to step up” look on their faces.
In many respects my husband and I were floating on happiness. A great blue heron threw its feathery shadows on the softly shimmering water while the gondolier sang to us. The sun watched us snuggle and kiss and then decided the moon should take over. It was a gorgeous time to be on the water… and with each other.
We were still holding hands when we reached shore, disembarked, and headed to our dinner. There was an older woman and her—I assume—husband sitting on a docked boat sipping wine. From appearances they looked like they held the world, but maybe looks can be deceiving. The woman watched us for a bit and then said wistfully, “How do you manage to keep romance alive, dear?” I felt badly for her partner sitting next to her, but said as honestly as I could, “Once you have romance, you simply decide to never let it go.” I believe that to my marrow. What do you think?