Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Zig Zag weekend, PLUS The 2nd Annual Most Funnest Christmas Concert E-V-E-R!

I am now in a hotel room in Orlando, FL...and I have vowed to get caught up on the blog tonight!!  So when I last left you, I was in Woodinville, WA on December 5th.  The next day I got up bright and early and got on the first plane to fly back at 7:10am West Coast Time. I landed in Boston around 9pm East Coast Time and I was pooped, but OH SO HAPPY to be greeted by my husband, who spent the next couple of days with me.  We spent that night at our friend Debbie's house in CT, then got up the next morning and made the 8-hour drive to Gloucester, VA for XTRA 99.1's 2nd Annual Most Funnest Christmas Concert E-V-E-R!  Last year, of course, was the first and that was a blast so we had to do it again.  It's been scheduled for Dec. 9th for nearly a year, so I had to work everything else on the tour around that.  Neal Steele, the morning host there, has been a huge supporter of my music for several years and this was the FOURTH time that I've gone down to do a concert there for XTRA 99.1 listeners.  Neal has built up a big fan base for me there by playing my music and having me as a phone in guest on his show, so I knew it would be a great time and  I was so excited!  There were over 500 people there at the Lighthouse Christmas Church and I was but one of several acts who performed that night, including the wonderful Nate Sparks and Ralph Motley.
I recently donated a song to a CD that has been put together to benefit the Children's Education Program at Children's Hospital of Richmond, and the CDs were on sale at the show that night. I wanted them to sell a lot so I offered my CD at a discount to anyone who bought the hospital CD, and that worked out great.
I actually wore a DRESS to perform at the concert...a special red, sparkly one that I picked up at Macy's a few weeks ago just for this event...and I felt really good in it. It's the first fancy dress I've purchased since losing weight, and I felt great wearing it.  Unfortunately, I can't find ANY photos from the concert! I've asked some of the people who were there to send me some, but so far no luck!  If I get any I will be sure to post them here so you can tell me if you thought the dress was a good choice!

It was my shortest trip to Gloucester ever because as soon as all the autographing and stuff were done we had to start driving north. We actually drove until 3am and then stopped somewhere in Maryland...I can't even remember where it was. We were only there for about three hours because then we had to get up and go again to Hyde Park, NY...where I'd been hired to perform at the Breault Family Christmas Party.  That was different....but still fun!  It was great to be part of a family's special Christmas event!
Philip took a little nap in the van while the party was going on, and then we drove a couple of hours more to Cranbury, NJ to the home of Keith Shaw and family. Last year I performed at Keith's on the mini tour but it was pouring rain that night. This year it was a beautiful night and I think there were a couple of hundred people there.  Keith's display is just beautiful...it's all lights...no figures or anything, but he's got a "fountain" of light and a light wall, stars shooting out over the roof and lights ALL OVER the lawn!  You can see some of it in this video.

It was great to be there with Philip, because so many times I get to these magnificent displays and I think, "Wow, I wish Philip could see this."  He was clearly impressed. Still, I don't think I'm gonna get him up on the roof to put Santa up there anytime soon.  :(

My autograph table was right next to the donation box, so I got to see a lot people put in donations for Keith's charity, "He Cares so We Care" which is a community outreach program run by a church.  I hope they made a lot that night!

One of the things I really like about Keith is how proud he is of his town.  He clearly knows a lot about its history and I find it very interesting to be able to learn that much about the places I'm visiting.  Cranbury was an important site during the Revolutionary War, and George Washington even had headquarters there!  It's just a beautiful little town and Keith's display makes it even more so.

Something funny...just up the street from Keith there's a little "Charlie Brown" display with a sign that says something like "Christmas un-spectacular" or something like that. I wish I'd gotten a photo of that. It's pretty funny!

Keith, you are a true gentleman and I thank you for once again hosting me on the tour. God bless you and your family and have a wonderful Christmas!!

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