At the start of every new year, me, Maria and Dylan sit down in the living room and reflect upon the year that just passed. We write down our highlights and then we plan out what we each want to accomplish in the new year.
Below are my highlights of 2011:
THE START OF 2011 – we were nervous & worried about the future and the economy. But we decided to make The Paint Shop TV show a focus for the year. We received the good news early in the year that our show was going to air on local So. California tv, and so we gave it our all.
TURNED 40: I turned 40 in March. Sold a lot of my old surfboards and took my family to Hawaii. Surfed Pipeline on my birthday – the waves were great!
TV SHOOTS: Took a road trip to Santa Cruz in spring – filmed The Paint Shop there. It was awesome. Made good on my promise to Escape Campervans and put them on one of my episodes. It’s funny – I promised them a spot on my tv show in 2009, two years before we got the show on the air!
Paddled 225 MILES OF COLORADO RIVER: Over 16 days in May, I lived in the wild and stand-up paddled the rapids of the Colorado River with whitewater expert Seth Warren. It was the trip of lifetime! (The Orange County Register wrote about it and put a picture of me on the cover of the front page!) The trip was also written about in Stand Up Journal’s March 2012 issue and the current issue of Stand Up Paddle Magazine. Haven’t seen the copies yet…..
MT. WHITNEY: Maria hiked mountains all over Southern California and I was so proud of her when she hiked Mt. Whitney in August, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states.
DYLAN TURNED 10: And we transformed our house into a Star Wars scene for his party!
MYRTLE BEACH & HURRICANE IRENE: Threes weeks this summer was spent with family in Myrtle Beach. Maria and Dylan had a blast playing in the ocean and the swash at the Dunes Club. I caught great waves courtesy of Hurricane Irene!
PUERTO ESCONDIDO SURF TRIP: Right after Myrtle Beach I flew to Puerto Escondido, Mexico, where I surfed in a Stand Up Paddle contest at the Mexican Pipeline. Maria helped make the trip possible by lining up sponsors Hinano Tahiti and MegaFood. The waves were so powerful I broke two paddleboards and got many tubes.
MARIA WROTE A BOOK: It’s called HOW TO UNDERSTAND ART LICENSING CONTRACTS – she co-wrote it with art expert Tara Reed. I am stoked for her – she worked hard on it.
COLORADO ROAD TRIP: In early November we drove to Boulder, CO for a film festival. Dylan and I were in Seth Warren’s film called Playgrounds Re-imagined.
Dylan narrated the film, as you can hear on the movie’s trailer here.
On the drive out, we camped at Virgin River, we drove Southern Utah to Moab, went to Arches National Park and followed the Colorado River into Colorado.
While at the film festival, Dylan was given the first ever award given to a child at the Boulder Film Festival.
He was named “Most Likely to Save the World.” He gave a hilarious acceptance speech – you can watch it HERE!
NEW GREETING CARD LICENSE: While in Boulder, we met with Leanin Tree greeting card company and toured their sculpture gardens and their printing facility. A few weeks later, we signed a licensing deal for my art in their greeting card line! (My greeting cards will hit the market in summer 2012.)
OPEN HOUSE ART SALES: We tried something new this year to sell more art at Christmas time – we had 4 open houses in the studio in Nov/Dec and we sold dozens of original paintings and sketches and met a lot of new fans that came in to meet me. It was very rewarding in many ways.
CHRISTMAS: In December we had our niece Mia come visit for Christmas and New Years. We had to get bunk beds for her to sleep in Dylan’s room. We set up the Christmas tree, and I surfed great waves on Christmas eve. Having Mia with us during the holidays was a definite plus – it was fun watching two happy kids tear open presents on Christmas morning!
Mia wanted to see Hollywood, so we took a 3 mile hike up to the Hollywood sign – packed a lunch and ate out there on the trail. Oh, and we saw Lenny Kravitz while driving up the Hollywood Hills – he flashed us the peace sign as he passed our Dream Machine on his motorcycle.
JOSHUA TREE: We spent the last few days of 2011 camping at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree. The kids said it was like being on the moon. We went rock climbing and found some cool caves.
Driving home from Joshua Tree on New Years Eve, we had no plans for that night, until we got a text from our good friends the Whelans to stop by at their house. We spent the last hours of 2011 with good friends, wine and food!
I hope you’ll look back on 2011 and remember all your highlights, too.
Write them down, make a list, you’ll be surprised at all that you did in a year!
Life is Good – Drew