The City Choir of Washington Virtual Auction 2021: Testimonials

Testimonials about some of our most exciting auction items, including vacations, fine dining, unique experiences, and much more. The City Choir of Washington's virtual auction runs from March 20-27 2021.

Testimonials about some of our most exciting auction items, including vacations, fine dining, unique experiences, and much more. The City Choir of Washington's virtual auction runs from March 20-27 2021.


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"Casa Antonelli: <strong>The</strong> Perfect Paradise! Imagine days full <strong>of</strong> adventure: sailing and swimming <strong>of</strong>f<br />

a catamaran, a gentle canter on your horse through lush green paths, swooping over canyons<br />

on a zip line. <strong>The</strong>n home with a view <strong>of</strong> a clear blue ocean in the distance as you dangle your<br />

feet in an infinity pool, gently wafting breezes as you sip wine on a secluded terrace, delicious<br />

local food brought to your table by your personal chef. Casa Antonelli is a home crafted with<br />

love and care.<br />

Don’t miss this once in a lifetime experience!!” ~ Amy Solomon<br />

"We visited in Nov '12. We had 7 people at the house and a couple <strong>of</strong> rattletrap rental cars that<br />

we got after landing at the Liberia airport. Amy Antonelli and the caretaker gave us some great<br />

tips on what to do and see. <strong>The</strong> Casa was easy to find, up a steep hill. Settled in and<br />

immediately put on swimsuits to have a dip in wonderful infinity pool which looked out on<br />

beach - about 6 blocks away. Spent a lot <strong>of</strong> time in pool. Most exciting adventure was at the<br />

Hotel Borenquen and its zip line! We could either walk or ride horseback up to the start <strong>of</strong> the<br />

zip line. <strong>The</strong>n we got instructions about the zip. Harnessed up and took the plunge <strong>of</strong> the first<br />

<strong>of</strong> 13 platforms and through the jungle!<br />

After last zip, had mud bath, showered, a swim, and finished <strong>of</strong>f our adventure with a delicious<br />

local food lunch at Hotel - with good beer! Another trip was in a dugout canoe looking for<br />

iguanas. Took a chartered sail out from our area - had a swim and drinks. Beautiful waters out<br />

there.<br />

Nearby grocery and public markets provided us with plenty <strong>of</strong> food to cook at home. Great<br />

fruits.<br />

I guess the zip line adventure was the high point <strong>of</strong> my stay!" ~ Meg Hemingway

"Casa Antonelli is a fairyland. <strong>The</strong> house itself — it’s really a 'beach mansion' — is located in the<br />

gated community <strong>of</strong> Playa Hermosa on the Pacific coast <strong>of</strong> Costa Rica. It features 4 luxurious<br />

bedrooms and large common areas featuring window walls framing a gorgeous 'infinity pool'<br />

and deck which provide breathtaking views <strong>of</strong> the surrounding jungle hillside, bay and ocean.<br />

I’ve visited many areas <strong>of</strong> unspoiled natural beauty and few come anywhere near comparing<br />

with this setting. In particular, the sunrises and sunsets are just stunning.<br />

And then there is the natural beauty <strong>of</strong> the environs. Have you ever seen monkeys in their<br />

natural habitat? We did and have the photos to prove it.<br />

Here’s a little personal touch. When I was there in October <strong>of</strong> 2019, I was 84 and I suffer from<br />

vertigo. So, what did I do? I 'zip lined.' It was a highlight <strong>of</strong> my trip and I was so entranced by<br />

the spectacular surroundings I was literally hanging in that I didn’t experience any fear.<br />

In closing, I have two wishes for you: First, that you enter the successful bid for the week at<br />

Casa Antonelli in the upcoming live auction; and Second, that you invite me to join you. Bon<br />

Voyage!" ~ Joe Jones<br />

This has to be one <strong>of</strong> the most enjoyable family vacations we have ever taken. Nine <strong>of</strong> us spent<br />

a week there several years ago. This hillside home has a large infinity pool with the ocean as its<br />

amazing view. A grocery store as well as many restaurants are nearby or you can arrange<br />

through the Zindis <strong>of</strong>fice to have dinner waiting for you when you return from your day's<br />

adventure. <strong>The</strong>re are several beaches within about a 10 minute drive and lots <strong>of</strong> hiking, zip<br />

lining, etc. to do. Our flights to Liberia Airport were very reasonably priced on Southwest.”<br />

~ Elaine Wunderlich

“Six people embarked from 3 different cities to meet up at Casa Antonelli the fall <strong>of</strong> 2018. <strong>The</strong><br />

journey from the airport to the quiet town, and up the long winding road to Casa Antonelli<br />

was the beginning <strong>of</strong> a week-long adventure that none <strong>of</strong> us wanted to end. Daily<br />

expeditions included, hiking, ziplining, kayaking, white-water rafting, walking along the<br />

beach, art galleries and enjoying the local food. <strong>The</strong> house was so welcoming and meticulousl<br />

decorated to reflect the local art. With floor to ceiling sliding doors opening to the westward<br />

facing patio and infinity pool, rooms are spacious enough for everyone to do their own thing,<br />

as well as gather together around the open kitchen and dining room.<br />

<strong>The</strong> concierge <strong>of</strong> the community where Casa Antonelli is located is extremely helpful in<br />

accommodating any <strong>of</strong> our requests and organizing some <strong>of</strong> our side-trips. But the infinity<br />

pool! No one could get enough <strong>of</strong> sitting in the pool on the edge <strong>of</strong> a cliff with the stunning<br />

view west into the sunset above the ocean. That is definitely a must-do anytime <strong>of</strong> day, but<br />

particularly in the evening to unwind while enjoying a cook-out on the patio.<br />

Whoever bids on this wonderful opportunity – will you be my new best friend and take me<br />

back with you?!” ~ Joanna Ward

Romantic Getaway at<br />

Barboursville Vineyards<br />

in Virginia Wine Country<br />

“Barboursville Vineyards is one <strong>of</strong> our favorite destinations in Virginia. It’s perfect<br />

for a day trip—you can do a wine tasting (one <strong>of</strong> the best in the area, both in<br />

quality, and quantity

Pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

Session<br />

Photography<br />

individuals, couples, families, or pets)<br />

(for<br />

with Jill Bochicchio<br />

"Master portrait photographer, Jill Bochicchio, has been photographing our family<br />

for more than 25 years. You will never look better as Jill works with the images she<br />

captures to 'correct' them to remove shadows, blemishes, wrinkles, etc. With a<br />

group shot, she can even switch out heads in case all but one looks great. Jill can<br />

take portraits suitable for business (she took one <strong>of</strong> Bob Shafer that we use as his<br />

'<strong>of</strong>ficial' headshot), family gatherings (including your pets), anniversaries, whatever<br />

special occasion you wish to have memorialized. We even had her take photos <strong>of</strong><br />

my husband and I having in mind ancestor photos that could be shown to great<br />

grandchildren. We are happy to give testimony to our support for Jill and her<br />

unparalleled pr<strong>of</strong>essional work. "<br />

~ Barbara Greene

Lunch at the<br />

French Embassy's<br />

'Le Petit Bouchon' and a<br />

Visit to the Commissary<br />

"This is one <strong>of</strong> the most marvelous experiences to be had! First stop was the commissary.<br />

Surrounded by an amazing array <strong>of</strong> French wine, foodstuffs and gift items, I eventually<br />

came away with some beautiful white and red burgundies, foie gras, paté, and chocolates.<br />

Fortunately, I was unable to consume these all at once, because our next destination was a<br />

three course lunch at Le Petit Bouchon. We sat mesmerized as the chestnut soup, our<br />

opening course, was presented and served. Delicious! And the scallops and a chocolate &<br />

raspberry pastry were equally memorable! N.B. Juliet was also gracious and delightful<br />

company!<br />

As I have told others, I felt quite torn in providing this testimonial. On the one hand,<br />

everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy such a day. On the other hand, I am loathe<br />

to inspire competition. May the most determined foodie win!"<br />

~ Pat Yee

Dinner or Brunch<br />

at the<br />

Annapolis Yacht Club<br />

"Twice we and two <strong>of</strong> our friends won the bidding at the auction for dinner<br />

with Barbara and Jon Greene at the Annapolis Yacht Club. <strong>The</strong> Annapolis<br />

Waterfront Hotel is a three minute walk from the Club and we booked rooms<br />

there for the night. <strong>The</strong> food was great and Barbara and Jon were excellent<br />

hosts. We began the evening with cocktails and then moved on to entrees with<br />

a nice wine. We enjoyed the first year so much that we decided we had to win<br />

the second year as well. Be prepared for a wonderful evening and a lot <strong>of</strong> fine<br />

conversation."<br />

~ Leo Settler

Makeup Lesson with<br />

Carl Ray<br />

Barbara Greene raves about Carl Ray: "He did the makeup for my daughter's<br />

wedding and we loved working with him. We had practice sessions with him at his<br />

studio a couple <strong>of</strong> months before the wedding, and then he came to our house on the<br />

wedding day to do makeup for me, the bride, and the matron <strong>of</strong> honor. He's easy to<br />

talk to and when we asked him how he got started with this, he chatted about doing<br />

his own mother's makeup when he was still living at home as a teenager."

Voice Lesson with<br />

Allison Mondel<br />

"I have been working with Allison<br />

for several years and during that<br />

time she has completely reoriented<br />

my approach to singing in a very<br />

positive way. Allison is an expert<br />

technician but she manages to<br />

coax improved breathing, phrasing<br />

and overall technique by helping<br />

the singer get in touch with both<br />

the mental and physical challenge<br />

<strong>of</strong> producing beautiful sounds<br />

without resorting to abstruse<br />

'voice teacher terminology.' She<br />

is truly a gem <strong>of</strong> a teacher."<br />

~ David Flaxman

"Allison is a born teacher with a rare combination <strong>of</strong> skills. As a historian and<br />

performer <strong>of</strong> early music, she has extensive experience in guiding singers<br />

through both the solo and small ensemble repertoire. As a teacher <strong>of</strong> focus,<br />

relaxation, and breath support, her work has been described as 'transformative'<br />

by both amateur and pr<strong>of</strong>essional singers. Nurturing, intuitive, and<br />

unfailingly supportive, Allison has led me to take once-unthinkable risks<br />

(including but not limited to <strong>City</strong> <strong>Choir</strong>!) and sustained me in the joy <strong>of</strong><br />

singing."<br />

~ Erika Singer<br />

"Allison is the best possible companion on your journey to discover the full<br />

potential and quality <strong>of</strong> your voice. Whether you want to improve your<br />

breathing technique, master sightsinging, overcome performance nerves or<br />

hone your technique, Allison will have great tips and exercises to assist you<br />

along the way. All lessons are available via zoom and hopefully soon once<br />

again in person. So, don’t hesitate to bid on this great <strong>of</strong>fer <strong>of</strong> a voice lesson<br />

with Allison, you will not regret it!"<br />

~ Juliet Weenink-Griffiths

Apple Cake<br />

by Vivian Chakarian<br />

"When I saw the recipe for Vivian's Apple<br />

Cake in the TCCW cookbook, I knew it<br />

would be a perfect dessert for our weekly<br />

family dinners with our son and his family.<br />

We always look for cake recipes that use oil<br />

instead <strong>of</strong> butter, and including fresh fruit is<br />

an extra bonus. Vivian's cake is fantastic.<br />

Bob still talks about how much he liked it!<br />

<strong>The</strong> whole family raved about its flavor,<br />

moisture, and perfect combination <strong>of</strong><br />

ingredients. Our teenage granddaughter<br />

insisted on getting a copy <strong>of</strong> the recipe to<br />

take home and has made it several times.<br />

Anyone lucky enough to win a bid on<br />

Vivian's cake will have a delicious treat to<br />

enjoy."<br />

With bonus Armenian braided bread<br />

(choreg), too!<br />

~ Sharon Shafer

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