It was just a great week. Not this last week, this last week was fine. I am just a little behind. But, the week I am referencing was a few weeks ago. And again, it was seriously great. One of those weeks when I felt "connected". People who are "connected" get hooked up with free stuff all the time. They know people in high places. They can work the system. I don't get to claim the title very often but after all of the "hooked up" fun I was able to enjoy, I can officially say I am friends with the right people.
One of those fantastic friends hooked us up with free tickets to Disney on Ice for the Thursday night performance. We had begged this friend for tickets for months. She occasionally has a few extra (being the one who is actually "connected") but our hopes were looking grim for the ice spectacular. Days before, we got the good word. Five tickets (between two families) were ours. We uninvited our husbands, convinced Rhode that it would be super fun to pretend he was about four months younger for an evening (he was mostly advised just to keep his cute mouth shut) and prepared ourselves for the accolades we were sure to receive from our insanely grateful children.
I didn't tell Scarlet about our evening until dinner time that day. She doesn't do well with things that will be happening in the future. The less anticipation time, the better for everyone. She seemed intrigued by the idea of seeing her favorite princesses but really could not understand why she would not be doing any of the ice skating. At one point, she considered not really wanting to attend if we would only be "sitting there." Yeah, she almost lost her ticket right there.
I forgave her for her ignorance and lack of mom-praising eventually. We got there in plenty of time to find our seats... our seriously awesome seats. There was the ice rink, a few rows of chairs set up eye level and then five rows up from those, yeah that was us.
The pre-show wait was the only downside of the evening. The amount of merchandise/treats circulating was insane. I did not see a single toy that cost less than $20 or food item under $10. And, of course, the kids were ravenous with 'I wants' Knowing the price of the tickets I didn't pay for, I couldn't help but do a few math calculations for the families sitting around me with multiple children, each gripping a treat or spinning, lighting device. My very cheap soul shudders at the thought...
I got one chance for a "by the ice" photo, thanks for this Rhode.
Then, the show began, a previously restless Rhode went from cranky to fascinated. I am not sure Scarlet let her eyes tear away from the stage once. And, to be honest, as all of those Disney characters I have known and loved for so long came skating out on stage, I got a little wide eyed myself. It was a tad bit magical.
And the fantastic week didn't end there. While casually checking my email one day, I happened to take a peek at my "Free Vegas Shows for Locals" list I get and, to my absolute happiness, my eyes caught the words Miss America.
Free Miss America tickets were just a phone call away. I almost fainted from all of the excitement.
I immediately grabbed my phone and started the calling process. I have scored free tickets to random things several times in the past. It usually takes about 10-20 minutes of straight calling to get through to the free ticket lady. This time, it took me an hour. An hour! But I just could not give up. Finally, after doing a whole lot of activities while redialing (making lunch, sending emails, calling insurance people) I finally got through (and hung up on the insurance person in the process). Not only did I get through, I scored four spots. I say spots instead of tickets because we were actually going as seat fillers. Which meant anything from getting stuck in some seat or sitting in one of the front row seats for much more important people who don't show up.
In this case, the person to know was me! I invited three friends who would truly appreciate the experience to its maximum potential and we planned our evening of awesomeness. We all agreed to dress up as fancy as we could (which is only so much considering our budgets/age/state of life) but I think we all looked pretty fantastic. Then, we were all going to meet at Planet Hollywood and enjoy the sweet life.
And that is when it got a little crazy. We got out the door later than usual sorting kids and dads and babysitters and arrived to a completely packed parking garage. After circling for 20 minutes there was seriously not one open spot. It was five until 5:00 at that point (the point when our tickets need to be picked up) so they sent me running while they kept trying. As is the case whenever trying to find your way through a Las Vegas casino, everything is insanely far away. But I hopped into line right in front of four girls whose dresses were about three sizes too small just in time. Seconds later, the usher told the too little fabric squeezed girls they were the end of the line. Phew!
I requested my four tickets and they asked where the rest of my group was. I realized the real answer (circling the parking lot in a fury or not here yet) was not the answer they were looking for. "They're in the bathroom" somehow came out of my mouth. Sheesh I have already admitting to lying twice in this one blog post. Hey, I guess admitting is the first step!
They supplied me with the four wrist bracelets and sent me into another line. A parking spot had been secured by then but my group was lost in the labyrinth that is Planet Hollywood. Even longer story made slightly shorter, with some fancy line stalling and hallway hiding, we were all able to meet up and get set with our lovely wrist bands. Unfortunately, because of our misunderstanding of the whole process, we were the last of a long line of seat fillers. We would not be filling in for front row B-celebs. Instead we got decent seats second row on the balcony.
Even after all that running look how happy we are!
It was a fantastic evening. There were high moments (an insanely good piano number and one of the most original ventriloquist talents I have ever seen) some low moments (a very sad pointe number and a host who felt the need to fill all commercial breaks with sports trivia) but we enjoyed every second.
I am still in shock that the winner was a 17 year old girl from small town Nebraska who was homeschooled her whole life. She was just amazing all evening and has officially made the list of people I want to have lunch with. She just must be fascinatingly intelligent.
After the show, we grabbed a quick bite to eat (thought we would have time before the show but that obviously did not happen) rehashing all of our favorite moments, and then called it a night.
So, so awesome.
I can truly say I fully appreciated my brief "connected" status. May we all keep our friends close and the ones who hook us up with free stuff closer.