June 23 2006, 2:50 PM
Okay, it's not a river. It's only a creek. Still, the Venice on the Creek boat ride I took last night with my husband was very romantic, and a perfect little mini-getaway for our anniversary. But don't wait for a special occassion to check it out. Stop by the kiosk at 14th & Larimer (SW corner) and head below to jump onto one of the long flat punt boats and see for yourself. It's not quite as exotic as a gondola in Venice, but it's the best thing you'll find in the Mile High. We had planned a romantic evening together, but rather than our standing annual dinner date at our favorite restaurant, I wanted to something new. We started off over at Corridor 44, where we made a lovely light dinner out of small plates of oysters, shrimp cocktail, and crab-and-corn flan, all of which we washed down with a nice bottle of champagne. Then we hit the Creek for our private candlelight ride. The boats fit six people -- two in each of three rows -- but for the best experience, get your own. After dark the boats are lit with two hanging lanterns with flickering candles, which reflect off the water along with the streetlights from above. The lock system is fun; think Panama Canal on a super-mini scale, which enables the boat steerer to navigate the boat down the creek and right back up in the smooth, shallow water. After our trip, we wound things up at Cru, where the chocolate fondue dessert is sexy and delish, yet not quite as sweet as our little boat ride down the river.