Thursday, July 18, 2013

Convention Day 1

I had a very early flight this morning.  The improvements at the airport are AWESOME and make the security line move so much faster these days.  After a quick gate change, MJ and I were off and away to SLC.
Kathy picked us up at the airport.  It was so nice not having to worry about a shuttle bus :)  Since we only took carry-ons this time, it was a very fast for us.  We headed to eat breakfast and then decided to head to Park City for a couple hours.  We decided to start our Convention differently this year.  It was a beautiful drive through the canyon with so much green all around.  We got our tickets to ride the Alpine Slide.
 Then we were off on the ski lift to our stop.  Riding up the lift made me want to visit here with my family next time we're in Utah.  They would have so much fun on all of the different activities that are available here!
After we got off the lift, we pulled our carts over to the actual track.
Here we are all ready to take off.

 It was a fun adventure!

 As we were leaving, we had to stop and get a picture of the resort.  The slides are the white squiggles you see on the left side.  Isn't it so green!?!
 After a quick stop to find a sweater or jacket (I left mine at home accidentally), Kathy and MJ dropped me off at the Convention Center.  I've applied to be a make-n-take helper every year, but I haven't ever been chosen until this year.  I had a training class (basically we just made our make-n-takes :) for two hours.  After the class got out, I went down the hall to get in line....and this GIANT line already existed.  It was a little crazy.
 Kathy and MJ hadn't come back yet so I just saved us a spot in line, and they stopped and grabbed us some food.  It wasn't long before we were on our way in!  This was the first year they have the stage covered up so we couldn't see it until the actual show started.  Yes, 5800+ people is a lot!
 We sat a bit farther back than we normally do, but it was an alright seat.  We just happened to be seating by the lawyer for SU!  I had actually met him before when we were in Denver for our 2007 Convention (I remember it very well because it was the year Syd went with me).  Our hotel shuttle left us at the Convention center, and he paid for us all to get back to our hotel.  He even remembered doing that. :)  The opening was AWESOME!  Ryan Innes (from The Voice) was the performer of our Convention theme song this year.  Another added bonus were the fireworks!
 The stage was set with making a difference by having Shelli come out by herself and then being joined by Sterling, then by the girls, then by their husbands, and then by all the grandkids.  It was so cute!  I think very highly of this great family!
One of my favorite parts tonight was a video interview with Shelli and her sister Vanna (co-founders of SU!)  It was fun to hear from both of them.
 One of the special guests tonight was a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records.  We set a record for the most greeting cards sent from one location in 3 hours.  (I think we probably should have also set the record for the longest line to mail greeting cards :)  We waited over an hour to mail our cards! 
Another guest was Ronald McDonald himself.  Stampin' Up! has made a difference with the Ronald McDonald House program through financial donations, as well as, many hours of service donated each year.
 After the Main Stage presentation, the Gathering Place was opened.  Stampin' Up! really goes all out in the form of decorations!
 This year we also did a service project.  We made 2,000 birthday kits for Primary Children's hospital.  It felt so good to be a part of something so great!
 Here's a picture of the card counter shortly after I deposited my card I sent (Mom, enjoy your birthday card!).
We did set the record...the final count was actually just under 3,000.  Some cards were disqualified because of the specific regulations that had been set...but it was something fun to be a part of!  It was a late night but a fun one.  On the drive to Kathy's house, I don't think MJ or I said a word.  We were exhausted!

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