The skies provided a beautiful opening act, as one of the most gorgeous sunsets ever (and that's saying a lot out here) began the holiday revelry in spectacular fashion.
It seemed like there were less decorated boats this year, but the fantastic lights and decor on the bridges and homes more than made up for it. I'm not sure if we were walking down the wrong canals at the wrong time, but we never did see one big linear parade, just more of a sporadic glimpse here and there. I suspect the parade began in one spot, and then everyone just rowed around doing their own thing. There weren't very many lit up ones, making it more difficult to see them once the sun went down. Our vote for our favorite vessel was the canoe filled with big peas ... in a vision for World Peas. I somehow didn't get a photo of them that turned out, but shout out to the Peas!
Our vote for favorite bridge changed with every corner that we turned. There was a lovey dovey "Kiss" one adorned with X's that was very popular with the lovers present.
My little pal Beckett came out with me to the parade this year, and his proclamation was that it was too difficult to pick a favorite because he loved them all. That's the spirit!
I think Beckett's favorite house was the one with all the lit-up cartoon characters that he knows, and a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was especially exciting. Kids make Christmas even more fun, and it was a joy to see his little face light up brighter than any of the houses every time we saw something new.
The same house featured a polar bear, that I loved because if you saw that video last week of a starving polar bear up in the Arctic, you know how much these guys need love right now. A lot.
There was a house that we called the "When Doves Cry" house, all lit up in purple with doves flying around the front ...
... which was a great lead-in to our friends' house, the Revelins, who fired up their Purple Rain machine to the delight of all the passersby. Thanks also to them for a lovely break for little legs, and the much needed refreshments. Love!
Canal parties were going off, and what we call the "Fish House" made our list for best-lit house, which concurred with the vote of the Venice Canals Association.
The second place house was good too, and also featured a jam-packed house of festive party-goers. 'Tis the Season!
The Venice Canals are always an excellent place to bring out of towners, to know the history of Venice, and to feel how beautiful it is here. The area really shows off at Christmastime though, and is well worth the time to stroll through and feel the joy and peace of the season, as well as the love and hope you can't help but feel when you see "Kiss" and "Imagine" as the themes. It's the perfect place to go caroling (and stay warm while doing it)! With all the reflections on the water, it's also the perfect place to reflect on what YOU can do to make the world a nicer, kinder, more peaceful place.
Thanks so much to all the fun makers and havers for sharing another beautiful holiday event with everyone, truly making it the most wonderful time of the year (after Summer, sorry!)!