Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Woodinville Wonderland

December 4th was an easy drive from Fruitland, ID up to Woodinville, Washington.  The weather through Snoqualmie Pass wasn't too bad...I remember the last time I went through there, in 2010, I was really gripping that steering wheel hard...but this time it was mostly rainy with just a few flurries.  I got into town in time to go over and have a nice dinner with Mark and Tracy Zembruski, my hosts for the next night's concert.  Their house is so beautiful. Mark has one of the biggest displays I've ever seen and he's put together a great program.

 This year he had his Peanuts characters up on the roof...last time i was there, in 2010, they were out on the lawn...but up on the roof is better....you can really see them and the Angel Sally looks awesome up there.  Mark has the soundtrack from part of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" playing during part of the show and he has the lights set to show on each character as they "speak." It's lots of fun to watch and you can see the awe on the kids' faces as they watch it.

The inside of the house is also beautifully decorated with lots of animated decorations and several things that Tracy Zembruski has created.  It's clear these two are a match made in heaven when it comes to the love of Christmas!  Like lots of the other decorators I've met, they have more than one Christmas tree, and the one in the main room is GIGANTIC. Tracy has so many ornaments packed on her trees I don't know how she got them all on there, and yet when I was there she was opening up a package of more lights that she intends to put on next year!
The next day was another good day to get caught up on stuff before heading over to the Zembruski's house.  I actually took some R&R time and went over to Barnes and Noble, where I found the new Christmas CD by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.  I'd been eagerly awaiting that so I was just happy as a clam to get it and listen.  I'm a dedicated JT fan...have been since I first saw him on "Welcome Back, Kotter" when I was just 16.  I had both of his record albums back then, and I love to hear him sing.  He's not the best singer, but he puts a lot of pizazz into it so he's fun to listen to.
Mark and Tracy had another good dinner waiting for me when I arrived at their house, and also another Decorator with a capital D, Keith Thomas of "Christmas in Kent" Washington. Keith took on the job of videographer for the evening, which was difficult because it was kind of rainy.  Nonetheless, a crowd of hardy souls came out for the fun, including a fellow children's musician, and JUNO Award winner (the JUNOs are the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys), Charlie Hope.  I only had a short time to chat with her, but it was nice and I'm grateful that she came put to support a fellow musical road warrior :).
I was also delighted to see a bunch of the Special Olympic athletes from the North Shore Wranglers team that Mark's display supports. I hope you guys all had a good time!
As you can see from the videos, I sure had a good time!

http://youtu.be/QrCmywCPVFY   (Mrs. Santa Claus)

http://youtu.be/uAV4ddFkvSw  ( Blessed be God)

http://youtu.be/BShh3j87gNs (Candy)

One last thing...Mark and Tracy had a rough year plagued with the illness and loss of Mark's beloved mother, Tracy's mother's illness and Tracy's horrific accident when she broke her arm and ankle.  I'm sure they are glad to see 2012 go.  Mark probably didn't even feel like putting up the display this year, but he did anyway and also created a special tribute to his mom within it that was very beautiful and heartfelt.  I think that's a wonderful expletive of strength through adversity and I truly admire it.  Mark and Tracy, thank you for making the young and young-at-heart happy in spite of your difficulties.  God bless you both ... And thank you for once again allowing me to be part of the magic of Woodinville Wonderland!!

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