Christmas Letter 2017

Merry Christmas from Bonnie and Greg!

We are currently in Southern California and will visit family and friends in the Los Angeles area for Christmas.

We have had quite the year!

Driving

Greg was driving a Town Car for Rocket Norton and other a chauffeur. See Rocket Town Car Service.

Greg drove a lot of interesting people, including Anne Hathaway, Raquel Welch, Robert Wagner, Elijah Wood (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency), Andie MacDowell, Catherine Bell (Good Witch), Missy Peregrym, Beverly Elliott (Once Upon A Time, …), and many more actors, directors, writers, producers, and business people.  Most fun and interesting people.  A few Greg would like to hang out with for coffee some time if their paths ever cross again.

Shortly after watching the first episode of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Greg drove actress Fiona Dourif, who plays the Holistic Assassin on the series. There is a huge trail of bodies behind her in episode one, and she kills an entire army in a later episode.  I said to Fiona that I hoped the Holistic Assassin was off the clock.

She just smiled and said, “We will just have to see, won’t we.”

I lived to tell the tell, so I guess she was off the clock 🙂

Unity

Bonnie was working as the administrator at Unity of Vancouver.  There are some great people there and some of the guest speakers and special events were amazing!

Dancing

We were taking West Swing Lessons and then saw an opportunity to be part of the 2017 International West Coast Swing Flash Mob . Practice Practice Practice. Greg watched the video at least 20 times to find out we were doing a move backwards and so solved our dancing challenge! Sept 2 and 10 we were able to participate and boy it was a hoot!

Wedding

We were engaged to be married in February, then got married at Unity of Vancouver on September 30, 2017.  Reverends Austin and Mary Hennessey performed the ceremony. I think they called us Bonnie and Clyde a few times during the ceremony. Great fun!

The ride to Unity of Vancouver was truly over the top. Bonnie and her Dad Sam were chauffered by Dale Crump and Margrett Donley in their 1959 Oldsmobile beautiful turquoise and white. It was raining but stopped just as we were picked up and drove to the ceremony. So fun!

We were blessed to have Tom Arntzen, Andrea Menard, Dave Barrett ( Torrance,California), and Linda Kidder perform songs during the service.  Beautiful.

The whole service is in the video. Bonnie’s Dad Sam Andrus 86 years young came all the way from Cantil CA to give her away. Sister Brenda Brother in Law David and Nephew Christopher flew in from Sunland CA .

Greg’s son Kael daughter in Law Andrea and Greg’s grandson James 18 months flew all the way from London England for the Wedding.

Also attending Greg’s Sister Linda from Haida Gwai flew down, Brother Doug and Sister in Law Dona from Merritt,  and  Brother Jim and Sister in Law Sharyn from Vancouver Island made the journey to be with us.

About 150 people came to help us celebrate. We appreciate each and every one that did.

The dancing while Linda Kidder sang her song was totally spontaneous. Tom Arntzen’s solo was simply sublime.

We were touched that so many people came to help us celebrate.

We were a little rushed in our invitations, so if we missed you we ask your forgiveness.

The Cake

Susan Holloway (Tyler, Texas) and Brenda Mitchell (Bonnie’s sister from the LA area) created our vision for the cake on the day of the wedding, though the terrain was a little rougher than we were thinking.  Later a wrong turn in Colorado would take us on a road where only motocross bikes and All Terrain Vehicles seem to roam, so maybe it was foreshadowing!

See Wedding Photos

See More Wedding Photos

The Reception

Our vision for the reception was an International potluck with tons of music.

People brought dishes that they loved or were part of their ethnic tradition.  Greg made a huge pot of vegetarian chili.  Bonnie make cornbread and put a turkey in the oven.  She never thought about the turkey again after putting it in, but it was put out and evaporated very quickly.

Many many people helped out with the food.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Music and Dancing. 

Greg kidded that “It’s my party and I will play if I want to.

And he did!

The music during the reception went something like this.

  • Patsy Goto, welcoming piano music
  • Greg performing some of his original songs with guitarist wizard Harry Booyens.
  • Greg Dixon playing bass with Nick Bubas (guitar) and Ruth Townsend (piano) as NRG (Nick, Ruth, Greg pronounced ‘energy’).
  • Greg playing drums withHarry Booyens (guitar), John Beaudoin (bass), Janice Beaudoin (vocals), and Ariel Cantin (vocals) as Wÿrkshoppe.
  • Beverley Elliott, Chris Nowland, Nathan Aswell, and Michael Vincent representing the Unity Musicians.
  • Greg’s former band Blazing Saddles partying Til’ The Cows Come Home. Members include Mike McCray, Jim Poulin, Linda Scratchley, Bill Allman, Mike Sheard, Gerhardt Regier, Dave Cunningham, and Lindsay Ferguson.

Beverley Elliott and Chris Nowland wrote a song for us the morning of the wedding called Against All Odds.

Wÿrkshoppe performed Amanda Marshall’s I Believe In You.

Southern Adventure

Very soon after the wedding we closed down Bonnie’s apartment in the False Creek area of Vancouver , threw stuff in “Classy” our Class C Motorhome, and began the journey across the US West to East -North to South , from Vancouver to Delray Beach, Florida for the American Writers and Artist Inc. (AWAI) FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.

Along the way we had a detour to  Idaho and Colorado. Beautiful mountains and scenic vistas. Terrain flattened in Kansas a Super rain storm followed us into Kansas City,  Kansas where we had our first BBQ adventure at Joe’s BBQ in a Shamrock gas station. The line was out the door at least 50 people were waiting. After our meal and new-found friend Michael, we tried to keep driving, but had to stop for the rainstorm that we were chasing.

Kept going with our goal in mind . We arrived in Del Ray Beach with two hours to spare.  The event was fabulous with lots of writing opportunities. Weather was HOT and HUMID. We found out the air conditioning didn’t work in Classy!

We then did some video work in South Florida that turned out to be more of a distraction than an opportunity.  We got to meet some fabulous people and see pretty areas, even if the heat and humidity are not our favourite.

Georgia

Loved Georgia hospitality. Beaver Run RV Park brought us home-baked chocolate chip cookies to our door the evening of our check in.  The next morning we had ordered cinnamon buns and again they were brought to our door. Another night we were invited to the Beaver Run RV potluck and found they all stayed all winter. We had to leave as the park was already booked for the weekend!

One recommendation was to try Uncle Bucks BBQ in Metter Georgia where “Everything is better in Metter”. It was a small unassuming building with a cute sign that said …  Hot Butts, Big Racks,Smoking Chicks ~whoo hoo it was good BBQ and the most delicious sides of corn, beans, sweet puffs.

 

Tennessee

Jack Daniels Tours in Lynchburg TN was better than Disneyworld for sure!

Made a point to visit Unity of Nashville and Rev John McLean. He was so very generous and allowed us to visit a bit on the Unity back lot. The service was terrific and music well fantastic

(we were in Nashville !) We had such a great time in Nashville going for BBQ and beer with John.

We stayed at an RV park on the other side of Nashville so it did not seem like we were permanent residents of the Unity of Nashville Parking lot.

The RV park had a great gift and information store in the office, and a very fun “Poop Fairy Sign”

One day we visited the Country Western Music Hall of Fame. We spent about 4 hours of intense learning and listening.

Our grocery shopping was an event. Stopping by the local Kroger store in Nashville we were gobsmacked when we saw a full beer and wine bar in the middle of the store.

They even served hors d’oeuvres. Greg ordered a flight of beer and we chatted with a gal who was having a growler refilled and she joined us for a beer.

She suggested we go down the Natchez Trace Trail.

Natchez Trace Trail

It took us 4 days and 444 miles through Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. Lovely to drive only 50 MPH, no trucks, pull offs every 5 – 10 miles, campgrounds and oodles of history. Loved it.

Here is a short video about one of the stops.

We highly recommend this trip.

See more about the Natchez Trace Trail

Mississippi

We ended up staying a few days in Tupelo Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley.

We went to see the hardware store where Elvis got his first guitar for his birthday.  The story goes that he wanted a bike, which his mother would not buy him.  Then he wanted a rifle, which his mother would not buy him. The man behind suggested a guitar.

About six years later Elvis returned to do a concert at the town as a huge country star.

I wonder what would have happened with his career if he got the rifle?

We listened in on a tour in Earnest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville, Tennessee where the woman giving the tour told a story about Elvis’ appearance on The Grand Ole Opry. At the end the host asked Elvis if he did anything else.  When Elvis said he drove truck, the host suggested he stick with that because he probably would not be successful in the music business.

Elvis never accepted future invitations to return to the Grand Ole Opry.

The tour guide said that Garth Brooks was also told something similar.

Good thing Elvis, Garth, and many others persist in the face of well-meaning advice from people including friends, family, and self-appointed experts.

Louisiana

Our stay in Louisiana was very brief.  We stayed in the parking lot behind a Cracker Barrel in Alexandria.  There was a fun BBQ place called Eddie’s BBQ attached to the gas station next door.

A young man in the Cracker Barrel strongly recommended visiting Natchitoches, (Nack-a-tish), which he described as a mini New Orleans.

The town was fabulous.  We ate at The Landing.  The Mardi Gras Pasta that Greg was perhaps the best pasta either of us have ever had!

Texas

We spent nearly a month in Texas mostly visiting friends and relatives, including Bonnie’s long-time friend Susan Holloway near Tyler.

Other highlights included:

  • Bonnie’s cousin Lanny and family in Spring Texas near Houston.
  • Bonnie’s cousin Wade and family in Richmond Texas near Houston.
  • Susan and Mark Holloway’s family in Dallas for Thanksgiving Lunch.  We went to Mark’s mother’s place for Thanksgiving Dinner.  Yes, we need to start exercising a lot more!
  • Greg’s friend DN Reddy and his family near Dallas.  Greg worked with him in North Vancouver last millennium and traveled to Singapore to tour India with DN.
  • We went to service at Unity of Houston. It was huge!
  • Greg’s friend Zahir and his wife Gale near Austin, Texas.  Greg worked with Zahir in Vancouver around 1993.
  • We went bowling with them on Sunday morning before going to Unity of the Hills.  The scoring for bowling is automated with a LCD screen including mocking cartoons for gutter balls and impossible splits!
  • San Antonio: Alamo, River Walk, San Antonio Market Square, …
  • San Antonio Missions Historical Park

Great fun and we may be going back sooner than later.

New Mexico

Most beautiful rest area.

Spent the night, then scooted through to Arizona.

Arizona

The Thing — what the hell?

Tucson Desert Museum. What a wonderful way to spend a winter day!

Yuma. Met up with Greg’s brother Jim and Sharyn.

California

Christmas in Burbank

Future Plans

Our immediate plans are to stay below the Snow Line and above the Alligator Line looking for visiting friends and relatives and looking for business opportunities.

Possibilities include:

  • Travel writing, photography, and video.  Greg has thousands of photos that have potential for stock photography sales.
  • Freelance copywriting (sales letters, blogs, white papers, email sequences, newsletters, social media, websites, …).
  • Creating and marketing products for ourselves and others.
  • Sales gigs.  Bonnie has a few decades experience in outside sales in the natural food business.
  • A combination of all of the above.
  • Something we have not thought of yet.

One opportunity we are looking at involves staying in an RV park for free for two weeks and selling ads in the RV park information brochure to local businesses.  Could include Canadian and US RV Parks, so we could plan a loop around the seasons.

Another involves selling custom lighted signs and digital signs to small and medium sized businesses.  We were talking to a person in Texas about the opportunity and arranged a tour of the factory less than one hour away from where we were in California.  What are the chances of that? Very impressive and we would also be able to go anywhere we wanted to.

Either opportunity could complement the travel writing, photography, and video by allowing us to explore an area for a week or two.

We also want to visit Kael, Andrea, and James in London, England next year.

Will be a fun and abundant year 🙂 We are truly Blessed.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
full of good health, love,and abundance.

Love Bonnie and Greg

 

 

4 thoughts on “Christmas Letter 2017”

  1. Thanks for taking us on your honeymoon
    Bonnie and Greg! Loved the travels and videos.
    Merry Merry Christmas to you both.
    May 2018 bring you endless love and opportunities.

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