Yesterday morning Ashley picked me up from the beach. As we crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge we schemed our surprise. We would be meeting David and Maryann Johndrow for a “business” lunch at their wine consultant’s office, Robert Lawson. I'd be introduced as Ashley’s “friend" and then she would present them with the cork box containing their exclusive invitation to an Experience of Art. There are no more than twelve invitations extended each year. When we arrived they welcomed us and we sipped samples from the Johndrow Vineyards' Cabernet blending. David enthusiastically discussed the characteristics of each vintage and Maryann cuddled their adorable puppies. They had noooo clue. The Johndrows are a delightful couple, just as Ashley described them. I mentioned to Robert that I knew Dr. Harold Olmo, a famed viticulturist, and we chatted. But eventually he asked, “What do you do?” My coy reply. “Oh, uhm. I’m a business consultant.” “What type of business?” “Ah.... business consulting for artists.” At least it wasn’t a complete lie. Eventually Ashley presented David and Maryann with the cork box. Maryann opened it and read the invitation inside aloud. “An invitation for a select few. You are invited to take an inspiring journey of art and wine. One that will return you to sources of pleasure that you may have forgotten and take you to places that you have never been before. Imagine. Joining Ann Rea, nationally-acclaimed San Francisco based artist, on a tour of Johndrow Vineyards. Later the artist returns to capture the experience, the colors of the terroir, in oils on canvas. Just for you. With this custom creation you’ll transcend time and forever revisit inspired memories. A beautiful signed storyboard will chronicle and preserve your artful experience. And week-by-week you will witness the creative process by way of a dedicated online diary at annrea.com. Relaxed and welcoming, rather than impress you, Ann Rea would rather inspire you. Please accept this sincere gesture of appreciation from Chris and Ashley at OREI in appreciation for your support, encouragement, and sustained belief in the community we hope to create at Montage Deer Valley.” Ashley and I watched with delight as the pennies dropped in their heads. I reintroduced myself and gave them each a warm hug. It was such a fun surprise! I so love what I do. And I can’t wait to create this Experience of Art for David and Maryann Johndrow.