I realized last night that I have not yet written about my last concert on the tour, at Reph's Family Winter Wonderland in Nazareth, PA. I cannot be remiss! Especially since it was a great way to wrap up the tour!
I only had a two hour drive between Manheim and Nazareth, so I spent some time in the morning Christmas shopping, then headed over. I was really looking forward to visiting them, as I had been to their house on the 2010 tour. Jason Reph is a young man in his mid-20's who is a firefighter, like his dad, and lives with his folks in Nazareth on Firehouse Lane (of course). I love Jason's sense of humor, and his love of trains and his display, and on that first tour I was struck by how similar he was to Darrel Moyer, another decorator who hosted me in 2010 and who lives only about 90 minutes from Jason. Since then, they have become online friends but had never met in person until the night of my concert this year. I suggested that we all get together for pizza before the show, and Darrel and his parents made the drive to Nazareth. Well, it was like they'd been pals all their lives. The families and I went out to eat at a lovely Italian restaurant where I was treated to one of my favorites, eggplant parmesan. Everyone was chatting away except poor Jason's dad, who was pretty quiet the whole time.
Jason's mom is a hoot. She has lighted Christmas houses just about everywhere inside the house, and with Jason's train layout it is just as decorated inside as it is outside. But oh, the outside! It can't be captured all in one photo, but I tried:
I wish I had taken more pictures, but we spent a little too much time at dinner, and by the time we got back to Jason's it was late!! I ended up starting around 7:20 ish. We had a good crowd, but it was difficult to see because it was just so dark where the audience was. However, I know it was more people than we had the last time I was there, and that's great. It's building! Thanks, Jason, for working so hard on getting the publicity done.
There was a TV crew there and I got interviewed before the show. They did a really great piece, and you can see it here:
Jason had invited Santa, and that's always fun, but I have to admit, this Santa was just a little too clingy for me. He kept coming over while I was singing and grabbing on to me! I mean, I know I've been asking for a van from all the Santas I met along the way, but this guy got a little too close for comfort! (Don't worry Jason, it's ok! I just have a thing about personal space...even with Santa!)
Jason's Mom handed out hot cocoa and once again I had to have one just to keep my hands warm. To be honest with you, the night was a blast but I think it was the absolute coldest I got on the tour. I was so cold that I felt completely ill by the end of the autographing. Luckily Jason and Darrel took care of packing everything up for me and loading it in to the rental. THANKS GUYS!! I told Jason that if he wants me next year he's gotta have a space heater set up like Paul Wood did at Edge-WOOD lights in Anderson, Indiana. In fact, I don't want to be a diva, but I think I gotta make that a provision for all shows where the temperature is likely to get below 35 degrees! I mean, yeah, I'm a New England gal and all that, but that doesn't mean I LIKE freezing! When you go in the house and your fingers and toes are just HURTING because they are thawing out, I don't think anyone really enjoys that!! Plus it makes it awfully hard to hold the pen for autographing pictures after the show!! I know, I know, I asked for it, but I'm learning more about what to do every year, and Paul and Jo Anderson just spoiled me, I guess, with their pretty stage and the space heater!
|That's the heater, as you look to the left!|
Jason and family, thank you so much for a wonderful evening to wrap up the tour. It's great spending time with you guys, and thank you, Moyer family, for making the trip as well. Jason I hope your charity, the Jeff Gordon Foundation, did well that night! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!