So I'm breaking this epic recap into several pieces and today I'll be sharing about the first day I was in Orlando and Day One of Leadership!
I flew into Orlando on a red eye flight from California early Wednesday morning last week. Like 5:45 am early when I left LAX at 10 pm on Tuesday! I was a bit tired, but it was so worth it to have the whole day with my friends to hang out. After checking into the hotel and cleaning up a bit in the morning, my roommate Beka Laing showed up to take me out to eat lunch and shop for the day. Beka is my sideline in Stampin' Up! and we had the best time!
Sidenote: I might use these terms as though they mean something to everyone... my upline is the person I joined the company with and the person above her, etc. A sideline is someone who joined Stampin' Up! who joined under someone else and we share a common upline somewhere above us. In this case, Beka is 2nd level and I'm 5th level to Lee Conrey (who is the best!)
Our first stop of the day was at IKEA, where surprisingly I found something to make some cards with (HA! I'll share those as soon as I make them!) and we grabbed a package of cinnamon rolls to eat for breakfast the whole week (great travel tip -- it was $2 each for us to have one for breakfast for three days!)
I must mention lunch because it was ABSOLUTELY amazing. A quick yelp search resulted in the best yelp find I've had in quite a long time (maybe ever!) -- The Proper Pie Company in Davenport. We were looking for something in that area so that we could meet up with Beka's niece for lunch -- it was the middle point between our location and her location! I'll spare you the full lowdown on our meal here and summarize with a few photos of one of the best meals I've ever had. My full review and description of the food is available here.
|Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese Pie with Chips -- I ate ALL of that pie! And the fries were so fresh and perfect.|
|Pie tasting... Left to right it was Apple Custard, Blueberry, Cherry. Blueberry was unanimously voted the favorite!|
|They had a British food market... I had to get some of my favorite Cadbury imports. I also ventured to try the imported Dandelion & Burdock drink. If you ever have the chance, you should try it! I looked and it is available on Amazon!! :) We all loved it so much we went back and bought some to have with our breakfast! It is a lightly carbonated beverage with a flowery taste. Not sweet, not bitter. I've never had anything like it! LOVED it!|
After that, we rounded out our afternoon with a trip to The Container Store... I love that place!
We met up with the rest of the girls from our upline team, the Jacksonville STARZ, and went to dinner at Cheddars. Another awesome meal (full review available here!)...
|Onion rings! Salty for my taste, but the presentation was awesome, right?!|
|Still full from lunch, Beka and I shared the chicken nacho appetizer - so tasty!|
|Our group at dinner +one! Far left is Angela who happened to get on the elevator with us and joined us for dinner! She is a lot of fun! :)|
After dinner we checked in for the conference and got our bag with goodies!
|Every Stampin' Up! Convention, Leadership or achievement event always has a bag... this was the bag this year! :)|
|I loved the branding for the event - the lighthouse was on everything!|
|All the goodies in our bag... a pin, a pen, an agenda, our name badge, the Hooray It's Your Day Card Kit and coordinating Hooray It's Your Day Photopolymer Stamps!|
The next morning, we were up not too bright and early to attend our first of many General Sessions at the Orange County Convention Center:
|I loved the Main Stage -- it was so many of our products super-sized! :)|
Our first General Session, and most of the first day, contained a lot of information about a major overall of our Demonstrator Compensation Plan that will go into effect later this year. It was necessary and a bit tedious, but worthwhile. I won't bore you with those details! :)
Each day we enjoyed a catered lunch, which I personally enjoyed! Here was the first day:
|Chicken, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, bread, unsweetened ice tea... all tasty.|
|Delicious carrot cake... my favorite part of the meal, of course!|
Once we got past a breakout session on the new Compensation Plan that targeted our current title we are at in the company, the Afternoon General Session was filled with stampin' demonstrations by Shelli Gartner, owner of the company! She is the best at these demonstrations and I never fail to learn something new every time she presents - love it!
|Shelli giving her stampin' demonstration!|
|My favorite project she shared during this session -- the little baby slides out of the envelope! I'll totally be CASE-ing this one! :)|
|There are no words to describe the presentation of this particular card.... poor Shelli asked a good question of the audience with unintended consequences and everything that she said after that trying to recover from it just made the problem worse! We were all laughing so hard and she ended up laughing so hard she was crying! You had to be there.... It is a cute card though, isn't it?! Those feathers are made of washi tape and twine! I'll have to make some soon. :)|
Dinner for day one was a bit of a rush so that we could make our special evening event... we ate at the buffet restaurant of our hotel, Cafe Matisse -- several of the girls had vouchers for a free meal at the buffet since they had some issues on check-in with their room. We didn't darn it!
|I didn't want the full buffet, so I opted to order off their menu -- super fancy grilled cheese (it had brie on it!) and creamy tomato soup. It was delicious! My full review is here.|
The big event for me that day was the Magically Managers Reception! I was so thrilled to earn this special event in September last year. It is a reception they have at Leadership each year for Demonstrators who are Managers or higher in the company. I promoted to Manager just in time to qualify for this event last year! :)
Okay, so I'm about to continue the over sharing (this will probably be my longest post to date on this blog! HA!).... there are a LOT of photos to share about this event! Hang on! :)
|The invitation I got from Stampin' Up! to attend Magically Managers a few weeks ago! :)|
|My ticket to the event - how cute is this?! :) Funny side story about this ticket -- we HAD to have it with us to go to the event, so on Monday night all night I had at least four dreams that I could remember where I forgot the ticket, woke up and put a reminder in my phone -- all while I was sleeping! When I woke up for real on Tuesday morning I laughed and put it right in my wallet so I wouldn't get all the way to Florida without it! :)|
|We all were put on charter buses to attend the event at Disney's Hollywood Studios! Susan Best is another talented member of my sideline family -- she is the best! I love talking shop and hanging out with her. We both earned this event at about the same time so it was so nice to be able to celebrate our accomplishment together! :)|
|Our evening at Magically Managers began with a private showing of Disney's Fantasmic! This is me with Lee and Susan waiting for the show to start.|
|This is Angela and Katie, two of the awesome Stampin' Up! staff members who do training for us! They were so much fun to sit with and share the show. Thanks for asking to sit with me -- I'm so honored you did and look forward to seeing you at another event in the future! :)|
|A few photos of Fantasmic! This is one of my favorite parts of the show -- when Malificent lights the lagoon on fire! There is something awesome about seeing the water catch fire!|
|The steamboat of Disney characters. If you haven't ever seen the show, make sure you do! :)|
|The part that always puts a tear in my eye - when Mickey saves the day at the end! :)|
|After the show, we got to do all kinds of awesome things on Sunset Blvd in the park, which was closed for our party! There was a DJ playing Disney songs, sidewalk chalk artists, balloon artists making fun balloon animals + flowers, food + drinks (I'll get to that in a minute!), pictures with the characters and two rides open for us to ride! :)|
|The first ride Susan and I rode was the Aerosmith Rockin' Rollercoaster! Can't pass up the opportunity to pose with the massive guitar at the entrance to the ride :)|
|Susan posing for the ride! :)|
|Susan and I ready to go on our first ride! :)|
|Clearly I was not having a bad time! LOL (yes, I'm laughing!) I love fast rollercoasters in the dark... even better when they are blasting Aerosmith music in your ears too! :) I so wish they would add this ride to the California Adventure park in Anaheim!|
|Susan and I about to enter the Hollywood Tower of Terror ride!|
|Susan and I laughing and gripping each other for dear life! LOL :)|
|This is a food heavy post isn't it?! I ate a lot in Orlando! LOL The dessert spread from Disney was phenomenal! Of course. :) Chocolate eclairs, cheesecake push pops, mickey brownies on sticks, key lime mickey tarts, churros, gluten free cake jars, apple turnovers, cotton candy.... I said it several times. I DIED AND WOKE UP IN DISNEY DESSERT HEAVEN. I ate a lot! LOL :)|
|How cute are these?! Delicious too of course! :)|
|The Key Lime Mickey Tarts were glittered!! So awesome and just as tasty as they look!|
|The drink bar! It was full of coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate, along with all the fixings! Not pictured were the slushie machines that were churning out pineapple slushies/slurpees... so close to a Dole Whip! mmmmm :)|
|One of the many highlights of the evening event was the opportunity to have a conversation with Shelli Gartner. She was so kind and genuine. I am so glad I had the opportunity to thank her in person for the awesome event and everything that Stampin' Up! does for us Demonstrators and for their customers! :)|
|The evening would not have been complete without photos with the characters, right?! :)|
|I almost think our outtake photo of getting ready to pose for our picture is better! It makes me laugh every time I see it! :)|
|Our gift from Stampin' Up! as we left the event. A photo frame that I will putting a picture in soon -- a perfect way to remember this event! :)|
Okay... if you are still with me at this point... THANK YOU ;) LOL It was a busy 48 hours!
Onward to Day Two.... check back tomorrow! :)