Crews Letter #2005 01 Boring is Better
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen:
The winter in Texas is over. Perception is in the water. The weather is unsettled with a good chance of red rain. It is a good day to sit at the nav station and compose a Crews Letter. And Fred’s new computer is back from the repair shop in Athens, so it can be done.
The return trip was Dallas to Chicago via American Airlines, Chicago to Madrid and Madrid to Venezia via Iberia and Venezia to Corfu via Minoan Ferry. The first three legs were part of the AA Frequent Flyer program. It is sad that AA, which is usually a reasonable airline, is partnered with Iberia. Iberia is a sad excuse. We crossed the Atlantic in an Airbus. It was full. The emphasis in the design of that aircraft is more “bus” than “air”. Phyl had an aisle seat. The flight attendants were dead set on destroying elbows and knees with the grocery carts and in-flight shopping center. In an attempt at self-preservation, Phyl kept her elbow inside the armrest after the first attack. They smashed into the armrest with sufficient force to rattle more than just nerves. There were at least three smoking events in the restrooms. Each time the attendants made perfunctory remarks about the danger. No smoke alarms.
By glorious magic, we and all four of our checked bags arrived in Venezia. Venezia is a magic place. We were there in August and November of last year. Fred was there with the Marcum Ski Team in January. And we were back there in March. It has charm that familiarity does not diminish. With a little less than 280 pounds of luggage, we checked into a hotel in Mestre and started the process of recovering from 10 hours of Spanish demolition derby and a 7 hour time change. That evening, we took a bus that was supposed to be a bus into Venezia. A walk through town on the left bank of the Grand Canal brought us to Al Gazzettino. This is a restaurant that we have averaged eating at once a month for the last seven months. Not bad, considering we have only been in town 5 times for an average of 2 nights per visit. The manager/waiter and the waiter make this place a happening. The food, the ambiance and the floorshow make this a place not to be missed. The waiters, Luca and Rado, are the floorshow and it is completely ad lib.
The bad news is, they are taking the chef and leaving. The good news is, they will open a new restaurant and we will tell you the name and where as soon as they tell us.
The Feeling You Get When the Party is Over at Al Gazzettino
After a joyous evening, it was back up the Grand Canal by vaporreto (waterbus) and by land bus to Mestre to the hotel. Our clocks are nearly set.
here; five in the afternoon in Dallas. When was Dallas? Day before yesterday.
A good night’s sleep, a leisurely breakfast and a taxi back to the ferry dock.
Get the luggage to the cabin and we wave good by to the magic city and set our course south-southeast by south down the Adriatic.
This passage was slowed slightly by fog and brightened greatly by a British couple returning to their boat on Corfu for the summer. We had met them only briefly last fall when they docked beside us in Gouvia to fill their boat with potable water before moving to their regular pontoon on the other side of the marina. Kindred fools make good company.
At the ferry dock, we were met by Chrissanthi and Stavros who took us and the luggage to Perception. She was in good order. Most of the stuff was hauled aboard. Then we went to their cabin in the forest not far from the marina. A good dinner and an easy evening.
Most of the weekend was spent arranging stuff on the boat and visiting with Chrissanthi and Stavros. Monday morning they flew back to Athens and work leaving us their car and cabin.
In many ways, we were at home again. Home is Perception.
Steady, as she goes,
Phyl & Fred