Sunday, April 15, 2012

Prize Vacation Weekend!

We are back from our California prize vacation! 
It was Amazing. So amazing, in fact, I'm pretty sure our little angels had some part of orchestrating it for us. Thanks kids!

On Wednesday afternoon we flew to California. We were pretty excited!
When we landed, we walked out of the terminal where we had our driver holding up an ipad with "L. Taylor" on it. Lucas was pretty pumped about that. He says its one of the things on his bucket list to have someone hold his name up at the airport. Check!
We were escorted to a black town car, the driver gave us an LA tour and drove us through Beverly Hills. We drank from some tiny waters and had so much leg room we could have layed flat in the backseat without having our legs touch the seat in front of us.. 
We pulled up to the Sofitel Los Angeles hotel and were greeted by a bunch of men in black suits. They opened the doors for us, got our luggage and brought it in for us to get checked in. 
We checked in to the hotel and were told we had a Premier Luxery suite reserved with a view of the hills. We were spoiled.
Once we got settled and stopped obsessing over the view from our balcony and the awesomeness of actually being here for free, we went to eat at California Pizza Kitchen. Yes, I know they have these in Colorado, but it sounded great and it WAS great.

When we got back to the hotel, we got a phone call and were told something was going to be delivered to our room. A few minutes later we opened up a gift bag with an HD video camera and a book about comics (since this was an Avengers prize). That was a fun surprise!
We went to bed and woke up the next morning to sunshine streaming in our windows and used our $80 breakfast allowance to have room service brought to our room.

I've never had room service before. It was pretty amazing.

After we ate, I got ready to go to my hair appointment for my Let's Make A Deal prize package. 
It was at Fred Segal, and the owner, Mathew Preece was the one doing my hair.
Lucas walked me down to the lobby where a bellman hailed a cab for me, and I drove down to Santa Monica for my appointment.

I was greeted by a pretty red-haired hipster who introduced herself as "Mathew's Assistant" and then took me to his station. A few minutes later Mathew came and immediately started playing with my hair as he introduced himself and said he was going to make my hair "Absolutely Beautiful"
I said, "Okay!" and he set to work!

2 hours later I left with a basket full of free hair product, and the best hair of my life. Its no surprise he owns tons of salons and hosts fashion shows and things. He is master of hair. 

I took another cab home where I dug through my gift basket and played with my hair, which had suddenly turned into silk.
I changed my clothes and got ready because just a little while later we were getting picked up to go see "THE AVENGERS" Premier! Woo hoo!

We met with a group of 10 other winners and their guests from around the country. We introduced ourselves and met lots of nice people. Then we were driven a few blocks to the Four Seasons Hotel. 
We got out here, walked into the most immaculate lobby in the world. (Seriously, they had a bouquet of flowers that went from the table and touched the chandelier 15 feet above in the air)

We were guided upstairs where we walked down the hallway where there were people with badges and clipboards walking around looking very busy. Lucas and I agreed that it felt just like Notting Hill where Julia Roberts is being interviews by tons of magazines and Hugh Grant is uncomfortable and trying to fit in). The group met in this big room where a photographer took pictures of us. (We weren't allowed to bring cameras or cell phones because the movie doesn't come out for another month)
We knew that we were waiting to meet the Actor who plays Agent Coulson in the Marvel movies.
While we waited for him, Lucas was looking out into the hallway when a door across the hall opened and he noticed some red shoes. He looked at them and then looked up and noticed that the person wearing them was Robert Downey Jr! They looked at eachother and then RDJ walked away and Lucas whispered to me that he just saw Iron man. He was really excited about it.

A few minutes later, Clark Greg walked in and was really funny. He took a picture with every couple. Shook our hands, made some jokes, and then went back to his Avengers Meetings. 
The photographer let us know that the actors who play Captain American and Thor were in the room right next door in a meeting. We kinda wanted to "accidentally" go into the wrong room. haha

Finally, we went back to the bus and were driven to Hollywood where we walked over all the celebrity stars to the "El Capitan" theater where Iron Man 2 Premiered. 
It was the most ornate and stunning older theater I have ever seen.
We got in to the private showing where we got popcorn, treats, and then listened as a man sat on a bench playing a fancy organ with six billion buttons and keys using his hands and feet. 
It was amazing with one song, but he played memorized songs for like an hour which was unbelievable. 

Then we saw "The Avengers"! 
We had the best seat in the house in a yellow chair that said, "Reserved"
Without spoiling it, the movie is REALLY REALLY good. It had a ton of absolutely hysterical moments where everyone was dying of laughter. 
Go see it when you get a chance.
This is the perfect thing for Lucas on a vacation. This man loves super hero movies, loves special events, loves 3-D films, loves when he happens to have the best seat haha, and LOVES free things!
haha. We are pretty sure that Kellen made this work out for his dad. 

We left feeling super excited and drove back to the hotel where we crashed.
In the morning, we ordered room service breakfast again and enjoyed taking our time eating breakfast in bed. Then I quickly got ready for my Spa Day part of my LMAD prize.

Lucas stayed hanging out at the hotel all day enjoying just doing nothing, sleeping, watching TV, and taking a few walks down to the pharmacy. Might sound boring, but that's kind of his dream day.
He also left for two hours with his group and got a tour of Paramount Studios. It was raining and freezing, but he said it was pretty cool still. He said he saw 4 kinda famous people, haha.
He also saw the courtyard from "Community" and the bench from "Forrest Gump"

Meanwhile, I took yet another taxi to the Murad Health Spa!
I checked in and immediately everyone was acting like I was a celebrity or a secret shopper. 
I changed into a robe and soon was given a full body soak and scrub then resoak, then I had a full body mud treatment and a tea-bath in a giant copper teacup filled with Earl Gray Tea. I ate an apple while I soaked in tea. Then I got out and had an 80 minute full body massage where I fell asleep because I was too relaxed. Once that finished I was escorted to get a facial/ more massages. Then last, I received a quick mani/pedi before I had to leave so I could make it back to the hotel to get ready for the "winners dinner" with Lucas for the last part of his Prize.

When I finished with all my treatments (I wish I could afford to live this way. It was like 2000 dollars worth of treatments and I didn't pay a dime! Thank you LMAD!) 
As I checked out of the Salon feeling like a new and very relaxed JELLO woman, they gave me two giant bags full of body creams, face washes, a vitamin regimen, face products, lip products and every kind of cream you can imagine. 

I barely made it back to the hotel in time (it was a miracle actually. There was NO traffic on a friday afternoon in LA. The cab driver told me I was the luckiest person he ever met and that I shouldn't have made it on time. I told him he was a rock star and he goes "NO! YOU A ROCK STAR!")

I ran through the hotel, past the chair made of silver dollars, and up the elevator to the room where I hurried to get ready. 

  We got on the bus with all the winners and drove to "Fig and Olive" in LA. We enjoyed pre-appetizers, delicious appetizers, amazing entrees, and dessert for FREE, and we chatted and talked to some amazing people.

There was another LDS couple there from Texas who sat next to us. They had also lost a baby, a son named Jacob, at six months old. It was wonderful to talk to them and feel the instant friendship that being a baby-loss parent gives families who have gone through this. We talked through  most of the end of the night.

After dessert and chatting, we went back to the hotel where we watched some TV, showered, and enjoyed our last night of Vacation by ordering up some second-dessert. 

The next morning we had breakfast ordered again (I swear we did more than eat. I just loved having room service, it was a major highlight for me). We ate, got ready, and then went down to the lobby where a driver picked us up and drove us back to the airport.

So all in all, it was a perfect vacation. There was a little something that was perfect for me, a little something that was perfect for Lucas, and it was affordable (free). Win-win-WIN.
We talked a lot about how this couldn't have been just luck.

I mean what are the chances that Lucas and I BOTH win trips to LA? 
What are the chances that they would be so perfect for us?
What are the chances that I could get appointments set only a week in advance and that the times woudl work out with Lucas scheduled prize events?
What are the chances that our hotel was almost exactly inbetween (like 15 minutes each way) from my hair appointment and spa day place?
What are the chances there is no traffic and I make it home in time for the dinner?
 Unless you happen to have two angel children looking out for you from heaven.
I like to think this was a gift from them. 

It was so wonderful :)


Carrie Lynn said...

I am a combination of insanely jealous and insanely thrilled for the both of you! What a wonderful trip to two of the most deserving people that ever lived!

...When you are rich, you are taking me on a spa day where I can eat an apple while soaking in tea.

Emily Jo said...

I second Carrie's comment.

Christie Smathers said...

You guys definitely deserved it. I'm so happy you got this :).

Kelsi Fullmer said...

What an amazing trip! I'm so glad you got to experience that! Heck of a spa day geeez!