We arrived in Venice by train, just before sunset. The water buses (vaporetti) to Venice proper depart from a dock just in front of the station exit. We purchased our tickets and then walked onto a floating platform for the boat to San Marco, along with several other travelers with large suitcases.
The #4 express vaporetto to San Marco arrived, and Rowdy and Jordan pushed to the front of the line. The boys and I stayed back, because I didn't want to be one of those people who can't queue. R and J boarded the boat, the mate closed the gate, and off they went without us. As I waved goodbye, I could see Rowdy's stunned face and gesture of "why aren't you on this boat???"
Keiler and Max were a little bit concerned, but we were able to get onto the next vaporetto within about ten minutes. Our boat, however, was not an express. We were on the leisurely tour of the industrial part of Venice, the Guidecca, and the Accademia, with a lovely view of the sunset. I told the boys that I was not going to let their dad get away with it if he decided to be mad at us for not getting on the boat. After all, I was the one who had been to Venice before; I was the one with the hotel name, address and directions.
Our boat finally docked at San Marco, but not the same San Marco stop where Rowdy and Jordan disembarked. The boys were nervous, and pleaded with me to "just call Dad and find out where they are." Unfortunately, my cell phone had no service whatsoever in Europe. (What a rip! Rowdy's did, and we have the same service and the same type of phone. But I digress....)
I said to the boys, "You guys are lucky you have a smart mom," and proceeded to show them that we could go to the map and see that boat #4 had a San Marco stop just a short walk away, and I was sure that we would find them there. As we walked along the canal, I told them that they were also lucky to have a mom and dad who had faith. I knew that Heavenly Father wouldn't let us get lost, that I had a husband who would have actually listened the million times I said that we needed to stop in San Marco, and who was an Eagle Scout who knew to stay in one place when he was lost.
As we approached the "other" San Marco stop, we heard Rowdy yell, "Max!" Rowdy walked up to us with a big smile, Jordan in tow. He said, "I told Jordan that the first rule of being lost is that you stay put. You don't go wandering around." Then he turned to the kids and said, "Your mom and I--we have a thing between us. We will always find each other."
And with that, we headed as a family to our hotel.