Category Archives: The Celebration Tour & RV Adventures

MPF – The Celebrate Life Events Fighter and Survivor Slide Show

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The Celebrate Life Events Fighter and Survivor Slide Show

Life can be so interesting. You plan and prepare, and have an idea on how things should unfold, but somehow the picture in your head seldom matches the reality. Fortunately, in many cases, what actually happens works out considerably better than if it had gone the way we planned. Well that certainly was the case for me regarding a Fighter and Survivor slide show I wanted to put together for the Celebrate Life events. I thought how nice it would be to have something for folks to watch as they were arriving that would inform and inspire, and what’s more inspirational to those dealing with cancer than finding out a little bit about others that are walking that same road. So I sent out a call for photos through all the social media sites, and just knew the pictures would come pouring in. Uh, not !

OK, on to plan B. Still convinced that the Fighter and Survivor slide show was important, I started searching Facebook for photos that showed the courage and bravery that is at the core of those that face cancer, and then contacted the person that had posted them. As you can imagine that was a much greater time and labor investment than I had originally intended, but the surprise that came with it, was something I could have never anticipated.

Had my original plan worked out, I would have gotten a lot of pictures, put together a Fighter and Survivor slide show, and moved on to the rest of the event planning. By having to contact people individually, I received an incredible gift, the gift that only comes with connecting to others. I was rewarded with wonderful stories of hope, of strength, of love, and have become invested in the lives of the beautiful faces that are in those pictures. So the editing that would have normally been considered ” run of the mill “, was transformed into a labor of caring, because I was now dealing with the photos of newly discovered friends.

The project that was intended to be for the benefit of those attending the events, had also turned into a blessing to the giver. All I can say is that I’m so grateful that it didn’t work out ” my way “, I would have missed out on so very much.

Thank you to all who have shared your pictures and stories, you are a light to all those that are trying to find their way through the darkness of a terrifying disease. So many of you have mentioned the hope that your experience will be of help to others. In that vein, we will be sharing a number of your journeys on this blog over the next few weeks. I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy life. Stay true to the beauty you have within, and as so many of you have said, ” Never give up “.

Heather M Spencer

Mission Positive Films

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Celebrate Life Event – Honolulu – Check Out The New Poster

Celebrate Life Event Honolulu – Check Out The New Poster

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Thank you to our amazing guest speakers, and to all the generous sponsors that are making this event possible. It’s going to be a blast !

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Celebrate Life Event – Honolulu – Fabulous Gifts For The Drawing !

Celebrate Life Event Honolulu – The Great Giftaway

Big Mahalo for the generosity of the Ward Stores in making our Free Drawing something very special. We have fabulous gifts to give away from:

Big Bad Wolf, Buca Di Beppo, Crazy Shirts, Dave and Busters, Downtown Gifthings, Famous Footwear, Happy Wahine, Island Olive Oil, Merle Norman, Noa Noa, Paul Brown, The Pet Corner, Pictures Plus, Rix Island Wear, Sedona, UIltimate Foot Store, and The Wedding Cafe.

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Don’t miss this one !

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Celebrate Life Event Honolulu – Get Your Taste Buds Ready

Good Food at The Celebrate Life Event – Honolulu

Get your taste buds ready. The Celebrate Life event will have delicious pupu’s provided by Big City Diner, Kaka’ako Kitchen, Kincaid’s, The Old Spaghetti Factory, and Pa’ina Cafe.

YUM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Celebrate Life,Celebrate Life Honolulu, Come Celebrate Life,C A Celebration of Life,C-A Celebration of Life,A Celebration of Life,Celebration of Life,Mission Positive Films 

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The Celebrate Life Tour – Coming to the Northwest the Summer of 2016

The Celebrate Life Tour

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What does a cancer documentary, a Winnebago Scorpion Toy Hauler, seven stray cats, one stray dog, a 35th year anniversary, and a love of hiking all have in common ?
The answer – The Celebrate Life Tour.
This begins what should be a very interesting adventure that involves taking a ridiculously large RV, and a ton of animals on a summer trip to Celebrate Life with those touched by cancer.  We will be putting on parties in cities throughout the Northwest, and Canada, bringing together patients, survivors, and caregivers to share stories, information and fun. Amidst the balloons and streamers will be great guest speakers, music, food, giveaways, information on products and services, and a showing of the cancer survivorship documentary ” C – A Celebration of Life “. These Celebrate Life Tour events are free to the public. We are also looking for help with the planning, donations, product tables, decorating and cleanup, so if you would like to get involved, please contact us at info@missionpositivefilms.com

In addition to the Celebrate Life Tour parties, our plan is to share our experiences with those that like stories slightly off the beaten path. Think Lucy and Ricky in an RV, for those of you old enough to remember that. I’ll be posting information about the why’s, how’s, where’s, and what in the world did we get ourselves into’s. You’ll get acquainted with the ” Scorpion “, laugh as we learn how to maneuver it, meet ” the kids ” ( which is how we refer to our 4 legged companions ), follow the ups and downs of the showings, and hopefully, see photos of some beautiful country on our hikes.
We are not experienced RV’ers, we have not traveled with multiple animals, and this is the first time we’ve attempted these type of events, so trust me, you’ll definitely get some good laughs out of this one.

The Celebrate Life Tour is set to hit the road in July next year, and travel throughout the Northwest through September. We’ll be setting up parties in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Coeur D’Alene, Missoula, Jackson Hole, Boise, and Bend.

Now that you have the basics, the next postings will start giving you the details. We are looking for the beautiful faces of all those that are now dealing with, or have beaten cancer for a slideshow presentation during the event, so please send us your photos. I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Believe me, we’re gonna need a lot of help.
Have a fabulous day.
Heather Spencer

Mission Positive Films

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MPF Celebrate Life Events – Looking for Your Inspirational Pictures !

Looking for Your Inspirational Pictures !!!!

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We are looking for inspirational pictures of people who are bravely fighting cancer, or who have beat it, for the slideshow presentation at the Celebrate Life Events this year. We are also looking for tips and tricks on how to help during and after treatments. These are free events designed to help all those touched by cancer, and will be shown in Honolulu, Portland, Seatlle, Vancouver, Calgary, Coeur D-Alene, Missoula, Jackson Hole, Boise, and a few other cities.
If you have a picture you’d like to share, please send a JPEG or PNG file to info@MissionPositiveFilms.com
Please also send
* Your name
* Where your from
* What type of cancer you’re fighting or have beaten
* If you’re a survivor, how long you’ve been cancer free

There is no compensation for sharing your photo.

If you are under 18, you must have your parent or guardian send the picture and information.

Please be assured that your personal Email, address, or phone information is secure, and will only be used by the event organizers. You will not be put on a mailing list, your inspirational pictures will not be used for any other purpose that what is outlined above, and Mission Positive Films is receiving no compensation for this event.

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Come Celebrate Life – For Those Touched By Cancer

Come Join The Party and Celebrate Life – For Those Touched By Cancer

 

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If you’ve been touched by cancer, whether you’re a patient, survivor, or caregiver, please join us for the first of The Celebrate Life events. We’ll have great music, food, tips and tricks, Healing Touch, giveaway’s, information on services and products to help those going through and recovering from treatments, a fabulous guest speaker, and a showing of the documentary ” C – A Celebration of Life “.

It all happens on April 2nd from 2pm to 5pm, at The Ward Warehouse 2nd Floor Conference Rooms – 1050 Ala Moana Blvd. Honolulu, Hawaii, and it’s free to the public.

Great Guest Speakers

We are honored to be joined by two wonderful speakers. Hawaii State Senator Breene Harimoto, who is winning the fight against Pancreatic Cancer, will tell us about his journey, and Dr. Elizabeth Elliott will be discussing how Naturopathic Medicine can aid during and after standard treatments.

Great Food

Get your taste buds ready. There will be delicious pupu’s provided by Kincaid’s, Kaka’ako Kitchen, The Old Spaghetti Factory, and Big City Diner.

YUM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Celebrate Life,Celebrate Life Honolulu, Come Celebrate Life,C A Celebration of Life,C-A Celebration of Life,A Celebration of Life,Celebration of Life,Mission Positive Films

Great Gifts

The drawing is filled with special gifts from these wonderful stores.

Big Bad Wolf, Buca Di Beppo, Crazy Shirts, Dave and Busters, Downtown Gifthings, Famous Footwear, Happy Wahine, Island Olive Oil, Merle Norman, Noa Noa, Paul Brown, The Pet Corner, Pictures Plus, Rix Island Wear, Sedona, UIltimate Foot Store, and The Wedding Cafe.

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Great Sponsors

Thanks to Ward Village, Ben Franklin Crafts, Menehune Water, Presentation Resources, Rich Proctor with Jerry Hay Insurance, and The Mens Warehouse.

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Need Your Help with The Celebrate Life Events

We need volunteers to help at the Celebrate Life Honolulu event. If you would like to be involved, please Email info@missionpositivefilms.com or call 808-741-4089

We are looking for photos of those that have dealt with cancer. If you are fighting cancer, have beaten cancer, or cared for someone with cancer, we would love to include your picture in the slideshow presentation during the Celebration of Life Events. Please send your photos to info@missionpositivefilms.com or send them to our Facebook page.

If you have something you would like to donate to the Giveaway Drawing, please contact us at info@missionpositivefilms.com

If you have products or services that help those dealing with cancer and would like to have a table at the event, please Email info@missionpositivefilms.com.

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The RV Park – Home Sweet Home or You Said Your RV Was How Long ?

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The RV Park

Thought it was about time for another Celebration RV Tour post. When we last left our two intrepid explorers, they were knee deep in insurance, registration and storage. You may remember what a hornets nest that turned into, but let me tell you, that was nothing compared to what lay ahead.

By September, we had a general idea of the route we wanted to take and the cities that would be targeted for the movie events, but hadn’t laid down the specifics on dates, places we were going to stay, hikes, sightseeing etc. Since I was the one that had dealt with the other issues, Don volunteered to handle the schedule, which included the RV Parks. We both assumed ( that gets us into soooo much trouble ) that it might turn into a couple day job, so no big deal. We also assumed that the easiest part of it would be making reservations at the RV campgrounds. Right ? How complicated could that be ?

Ok, I need to take a paragraph to go over our particular rig, and what makes it, and all those like it, a problem child. Number 1, and this is a biggie, it’s 45′ long. That’s the longest trailer allowed on the road, and it’s also a relative newcomer to the RV world, so many of the businesses that support the RV industry, including RV Parks, haven’t yet adjusted for this new class of beasties. Second, it’s a power hog. To run all the bells and whistles, you need 50 amp service. You can get by with 30 amps if you don’t run the air conditioner, but in the summertime, it can be a necessity, especially when you are carrying animals.  Finally, we have a residential frig, meaning it runs only on electricity or battery, so dry camping is a lot more difficult. Now mind you, had we have done our homework before we bought this thing, we quite possibly would have gone a different direction, but we love it, and are always up for a good challenge.

Anyway, back to the planning. First order of business was to determine where we definitely wanted to go, what areas would benefit most from the movie event, and what hikes were on the can’t miss list. From there Don put together a 2 day here, 4 day there, this road that road list, and gave me the dates so I could start working on the movie side. Then came the task of making the RV Park reservations. ” How long did you say that trailer was ?”, ” Yeh, we probably have a couple of spots that could take it, but you can’t make reservations until January “, ” Oh sorry, we only have 20 amp service “, and on and on. Finding an RV Park that could take our trailer length, had enough power, and had pull through sites was cause for celebration. A pull through is just what it sounds like, you enter from the back and leave from the front, that way you don’t spend your entire 3 day visit trying to back your beast into a slot the  size of a bowling lane.

There is one more issue that came as a bit of a surprise; The Pet Policy. With 65 percent of Rver’s taking their pets, you’d think that would actually be one thing you wouldn’t have to worry about, wrong again. Some parks allow 1 dog, some 2, some restrict the breed, but the most challenging, is that some will not allow you to leave the animals unattended in your rig. That should be interesting. I can see it now, ” Ok honey, I’ll go on the 10 mile hike, and then when I get back, you can go “, or ” I made dinner reservations at this great restaurant. Yours is at 6:00 and mines at 8:00.” or ” The animals will be fine, we’ll just leave the air conditioning running in the truck for the next 6 hours, while we put on the event.” I get that these parks don’t want a dog barking all day long while the owners are out running around, but really, that’s taking it just a bit too far. Thank goodness, they don’t often address cats, or we’d be in big trouble.

So here we are, 6 weeks later, with 6 reservations out of the 20 or so we’ll need. Suffice it to say, I haven’t started working on the movie side yet, that’ll have to wait until we get a little further down the road. As I’ve said before, this is going to be a wild ride.

Heather Spencer

Mission Positive Films

MPF

 

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Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My ! or RV Storage, Registration, and Insurance, Oh My !

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RV Storage, Insurance and Registration can be dangerous. It’s a jungle out there.

RV Storage, Registration, and Insurance

If you’re anything like us, and you’re buying something fabulous, you get caught up in the moment. You don’t think about all the little details that can add up to way more work than you bargained for. Well that’s exactly what happened to us when we bought the Winnebago Scorpion and it’s companion, the Ram Bighorn. We bought them in Montana, and because we owned property there, we were able to have them registered there as well. That was a great stroke of luck as it’s one of the few states that doesn’t collect sales tax. Once we got back home to Hawaii, I started working on insurance and storage, and did that ever turn into a can of worms. I know that our situation is a bit different than the norm,  and that most of you reading this will never have to deal with it,  but I’m hoping there will be something in here that will save someone a headache or two.

Because we’re taking a number of animals with us on the summer RV Celebration Tour,  it’s important that we have a non stop flight from Hawaii. That of course means we need to store the vehicle in a city that fits that requirement, and unfortunately, that leaves Montana off the list. We knew we’d be flying Alaska Air ( it’s by far the best choice if you’re traveling with pets ), so the first step was determining which cities were possibilities. Well after I got that together, I started working on insurance.  I first checked with our regular agent, who quickly informed me that they could only write Hawaii insurance and that I would need to contact a company that had a mainland presence. Progressive immediately popped in my head as I remembered their commercials on having RV insurance, so that seemed as good a place as any to get started. After 4 very long phone calls that involved numerous agents, I was finally informed they wouldn’t insure us. The fact that we lived in Hawaii, had the vehicles registered in Montana, and would be storing them somewhere else blew out their hard drive. Fortunately, what was impossible for Progressive, wasn’t a problem for Geico, and at a better rate. The big issue was where the vehicles would be stored, and I’m not talking just about the state or city, I’m talking about the zip code. Rates are based on zip code and you can have very different prices in the same city. It’s all about what city, and where in that city. So before I could get the vehicles insured, I had to tell them where they would be stored. OK, easy enough, or so I thought.

Large RV storage seems to be considerably different than household storage, and because we were looking for covered storage, we put ourselves into the needle in a haystack range. Very few facilities have the ability to store 45′ long vehicles, fewer still have an area that accommodates them under cover, and the ones that do are usually full. They’ll put you on a waiting list, but there’s no telling when, if ever, a space becomes available, and as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, prices differ greatly from one area to another.  It then became a game of find the facility, check the price, get the zip code to check the insurance price, total it up, and then go to the next.  I finally found a nice RV storage facility at a reasonable price, that had a ” good ” zip code for insurance, and was close to Seattle, so it also fit the non stop flight requirement, and called Geico to get everything locked down. During the application process the agent said ” Uh oh, I need to check something “, and just before I passed out from holding my breath with all my fingers and toes crossed,  they came back on the line to say ” Sorry, that’s not going to work “.  Apparently Washington will not allow a vehicle to be insured in their state without it being registered in their state, and the only way to register it, is to be a resident. Since we had no plans to move to Washington, I was back to zero.

A few days later, and more calls and Emails than I possible could count, I found that magic combo in Oregon. The only downside was that the Winnebago trailer would be stored in Prineville, and the truck in Portland. We were thrilled with the RV storage facility in Prineville, it just opened this year, so everything is brand new and in perfect condition. It has wonderful security and a great on site manager. We couldn’t have asked for more. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the facility in Portland. Their website had obviously not been updated in a very long time, probably about the same length of time that most of the old rusty vehicles that occupied the lot had been there. Needless to say, as soon as we got home from the ” move ” trip, I started looking for another facility for the truck and found a gem just across the river in Vancouver, Washington. I know you’re thinking, what, Washington ?  But out of desperation, I called the insurance company to see if there was any possible loophole, and sure enough there was. Because we were already insured, the place was now a non issue, so we could store it anywhere we wanted to, hallelujah. The truck is now at it’s new home and is being well cared for by the wonderful couple that owns the facility. They picked it up for us, for a ridiculously low fee, will be picking us up at the airport when we come in the end of June, and will have had our truck serviced and ready to go for our arrival. Wow, talk about a night and day difference, and hopefully, all’s well that ends well.

Heather Spencer

Mission Positive Films

 

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The Best Laid Plans or … A Study in Murphy’s Law – Final Chapter

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As we carefully peeked into the garage, we were able to breath a huge sigh of relief. Thankfully, all was well.  A few things had shifted a bit, but everything that was supposed to be connected to the walls, was still connected, woohoo ! We went about packing, and trying to get as much done as we could in preparation for tomorrow’s winterizing and storing, including running a load of clothes in our little Washer/ Dryer combo. Yes, you heard right, the RV has a little Splendide combo unit, which was part of our negotiations when we bought the unit.

Splendide7100XC_leftcell

These are designed for RV use, and are great for small light loads. It’s not the best for sheets and towels , but really good for keeping up with your day to day stuff. After all, closet space in an RV isn’t conducive to having a huge wardrobe, so this way you don’t have to wear yesterday’s undies, if you know what I mean. Anyway, it worked great, and because it washes and dries as one program, you set it once, and then can head off to bed without staying up to transfer clothes, sweet.

We actually even got in a little TV time. It seems that a lot of the RV parks now provide cable TV hookups, so all you need is the coaxial cable, which we picked up at Walmart ( more about that shortly ) during one of our many midnight trips to the store. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get it to work and then another few minutes to realize I had all of about 4 stations, but hey, at least it was little downtime for the brain.

We had an 11am appointment that next morning with a mobile winterizing guy that was meeting us at the storage facility in Prineville, Oregon. It was about a 30 minute drive from the RV park, and we knew we needed to get there early enough to get checked in, all the paperwork filled out, and to find our space, so we set the alarm for yet another predawn start. After loading a ” to go ” cup of joe, we headed to Walmart to return a few things we hadn’t needed, and pick up a few things that we still did. Don headed for the return line and I made my way through the store hoping to find everything on the list.

I’ve gotta take a few moments to give kudos to Walmart,  as they were a lifesaver more than once on this trip. Number 1, they’re open when you need them; number 2, they are basically everywhere; number 3, they carry tons of stuff and even have an RV section; and number 4, they’re well priced. We also have heard that many of the stores are OK with RV’s spending the night in their lots at no charge. Though we didn’t need to do that this trip, I can see where it would come in real handy if you ran into problems with full RV parks, or not being able to make your destination. So after visiting more Walmart stores in this one trip than I’ve done in my entire life, I am now a fan.

The downfall though can be long lines in the return lane, and that day was no exception, so by the time we made it back to the RV, we were running late. We quickly went through the batten down the hatches thing, hooked up, called the winterizing folks to let them know we were running late and hit the road.

We were lucky in that the Dodge Ram came with a great GPS system that had worked beautifully through the trip, and as we had done each morning, I entered our destination address into the system, and we followed it with total trust. Lesson number 96, never follow anything with total trust. There we were sitting on a dead end residential street in an enormous rig with the GPS telling us we had reached our destination. Needless to say we didn’t have a clue where the place really was, or how we were going to get out of this area without ripping off the top of the trailer. One of the many things that’s different about driving these large trailers is you have to pay close attention to what’s above you. Our rig for instance is  13′ – 3″ tall, which means that you not only have to worry about overpasses and tunnels, you have to worry about power lines and overhanging trees. So many of older residential neighborhoods have utility lines that cross the street, or large tree limbs that create a low hanging canopy. If you’re not paying attention, or get stuck in an area without a clear passage, you’re gonna get slammed with thousands of dollars in damages. Fortunately, before the panic started to settle in, a car parked behind us and a woman got out and came over to the truck. She lived in the neighborhood, and had seen a few other folks run into the same problem, so she said she’d get us there and just to follow her. She led us through the winding narrow streets that thankfully had enough height clearance, and took us right to the storage companies front door. We were completely overwhelmed at her generosity, and though she wouldn’t accept any compensation, she finally let us give her the box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts we had brought from Hawaii.

The winterizing guy was there waiting for us, and the manager of the facility told us to go ahead and deal with getting set up, that we could do the paperwork later. Tell you what, they grow ’em nice in Prineville.

Winterizing primarily consists of making sure all the water lines and water storage tanks get a good taste of Pepto Bismol. Not really, that’s just what it looks like. It’s a pink antifreeze that’s supposed to be non toxic ( well one can hope ), that’s run through all the lines to make sure they don’t freeze and crack. That included of course our in line coffee system, ice maker, washer dryer, toilets and faucets. We’re talkin’ lots of pink. There were some other odds and ends, but I’m going to wait until we de-winterize it next summer, to see what we did or didn’t do right. I’ll give you an update then with the definite do’s and don’ts.

Now it was time to back the sucker in to it’s winter home. I’ll give Don high marks, he got it in there well within the lines in a reasonably short period of time. That’ not to say it was perfect, or that he doesn’t need a little more practice in backing, and that I don’t need a little more practice in spotting, but it’s there and we didn’t kill each other. Mission accomplished.

Our good friends Gil and Cheryl Loomis, along with our now new good friend Cynthia Quinn, showed up during the final backing sequence, which put a little more pressure on us to look like we knew what we were doing, but it was so fun to see them there, and we got to do our first ” open house “. After closing everything up, and getting our storage paperwork finished, we gave the beastie a big kiss, and headed to Bend to share the evening with them.

We had a night filled with lots of laughter, wonderful stories, great food, and furry companionship with their adorable dog Buddy. It was hard to say goodnight as this was the first time the entire trip we actually had a chance to relax. In the morning we had a delicious breakfast in town, spent money in the downtown craft fair that happened to be going on while we were there, and then said our goodbye’s. It was time to head to Portland, store the truck, and then get back to Hawaii to get on with the planning. Lots to do.

In closing, I’ve gotta say, I love our rig. Despite all the surprises and hiccups we’ve run into, it’s a blast, and I can’t wait to get our 4 legged critters in there with us. I know one thing for sure, there’s nothing about this summer’s trip that’s going to be boring or normal. It’ll be Mr. Toads Wild Ride, and I can’t wait to experience it, and share it with you.

Heather Spencer

Mission Positive Films

PS. Though this is the last post about this trip, it’s not at all the last post about the adventure, so if this has been fun to read, you’ll have something related at least once a week. If you’re interested in following the blog, please sign up as a subscriber. I promise, the only Emails you get, are notifications of new posts.

 

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