What an experience this past weekend has been. My husband Jim and I were treated to some very extraordinary experiences. At least they are extraordinary in my opinion.
I honestly don't know where to start writing. There is so much to cover and three or four different stories all at once. I think I'll just start at the beginning...
This will be long, so help yourself to the carafe of coffee, a cookie or two and snuggle in!
Thursday we flew into Long Beach California but didn't do much but get settled into our hotel, realize quickly we should have rented a car, and got a ride back to the airport to get one.
Friday was a full day of sight seeing. It was really our only free day to do things. My impression of that area of California is "There are whole lot of people in a hurry to get some place, but they aren't really getting there fast!" We spent a whole lot of time doing the 35 MPH crawl on the highways, on the city streets... basically everywhere! I've already blogged about the sight seeing so won't bore you with more of that.
What I didn't write about was Friday night. This is when I began to discover the magnitude of what I got my husband and I into when I accepted the offer to blog about my experience at AKC/Eukanuba show. It started with dinner with the other "civilian" bloggers and Eukanuba Consumer Relations people. This is where we met the folks who, I feel, went out of their way to make the experience completely awesome.
Our agenda was laid out, of course we could attend as much or little as we wanted. It was all going to start Saturday morning with a roundtable discussion with some very important people:
Richard Learwood, Eukanuba Global Marketing Director; Dan Rajczak, Senior VP, Global P&G Pet Care and Snacks; Ron Menaker, AKC Chairman of the Board; Mabe Rodriguez, VP and General Manager, North America P&G Pet Care. The gentlemen to the far right are representatives from the FCI (World Canine Organization) but I did not catch their names.
We talked about her pets, she has a mix breed rescue that her husband literally stole when the dog was close to death. She said that was several years ago and the dog is still going strong. We also discussed what she will be wearing during the broadcast, as well as various other production type things that was, well frankly a bit over my head.
From here Jason (with Eukanuba) gave us a tour of the show the arena and this is when the awesomeness (is that a word?) started to sink in.
Jim caught a picture of me walking through the ring entrance... it's here that I truly began feeling more than overwhelmed!
The ring was very large and beautiful, from First Place podium in the middle of ring....
Of which I wouldn't touch... It felt sacrilegious to do so, kind of like an NHL player will not touch the Stanley Cup until he wins it.
To the Trophy and Press Table...
And of course our seats for the show... See the riser with two long tables to the far left corner, under the huge AKC sign... That's where we sat!!!
At this point I'm trying very hard to figure out "why me"? Of course my wonderful husband kept reminding me "why not you?" I'm sure he was secretly thinking "What did you get us into this time Jen?"
Here we are, the Eukanuba Bloggers
|Left to Right: Jason, Jen, Susi, Dr. V, Bev and myself|
Jason, Jen and Bev are Eukanuba Employees.
You see those badges hanging around all of our necks? Well that was another surprise. These were passes into all events given to us by Eukanuba! We were free to roam around, take pictures, etc!
Well this is enough for tonight...