Saturday, April 23, 2011

free week

We found out last month that Donovan won a trip through the company he works for Sealed Air.  This was a performance based trip on his work from last year!  8 Account Representives (his title) won this in trip in the country.  He was one of 8!   Overall there were about 75 couples from around the world including Europe, North & South America, & Africa....with various titles in the company.  It was an all expense paid trip to West Palm Beach.

The timing was a little off since we had already booked and put a deposit on a condo for a family vacation the first of April....but being the sacrificial little lamb that I am, I put aside the timing issue and decided to enjoy it to the max!!! :)  We had been home 3 nights from our Siesta Key vacation, unpacked, re-packed and headed out again.  This time without the kids.

 When we arrived at the Breakers we were offered an upgraded room as a complimentary courtesy.   Which translates to me as "FREE!" bigger room.  Why sure.  Don't mind if we do. 

 This sweet suite had a TV in the mirror.  Cool!  I likey! It also had several "radio" channels with speakers in the ceiling.  Shut the door!
 As soon as we arrived, checked out our room, we immediately put on our suits and headed down to pool side for some lunch. We had 9 restaurants to choose as you can imagine we had lots of tough decisions everyday.   :) Our friends Travis & Kristin also won this trip and we spent lots of fun time with them.   Lovely!  All lunches, drinks, and ice cream treats could be charged to our room, and Sealed Air picked up the tab.  I love FREE so much. 

 My favorite part of this resort was the grounds....140 acres of absolutely amazing.  Lush and beautifully kept.  We were right by the sea, and had 5 pools to choose from...or the beach to lay out on. 

  Also included in our stay (compliments of Sealed Air) was 2 spa treatments per person.  So, after some soaking in the sun...I had a kiwi & coconut scrub scheduled for 4:00.  For free.  For 50 minutes.  Delish.  While I did no eating during my spa treatment...let me tell you all other senses were havin' a partay!  I laid on the table in the above pic and while showers sprayed the lower part of my body, my masseuse rubbed kiwi and coconut scrubs and oils into my uppers, including my under pits.  Geesh!  I hadn't had that done since I was say....3????  Then switching and rubbing my legs, feet, etc.  All the while candles burning, relaxing music playing, and sounds of showers hitting my relaxed body.  Dude!  I've never been pampered in this way.     
 After my scrub that left my newly, first ever exfoliated skin feeling soft and relaxed I headed out to the private courtyard to wait for my honey who was getting a Swedish massage. 
 Views from "The tower"~up 2 flights of stairs looking at of one of the pools.
 Views from our walk from the pool to our room

 View from our room...the lobster bake they were preparing for us. 
 Just before our Welcome Reception put on by Sealed Air.
 Amazing choices and delicious foods.  Lobster, a side of beef that was freshly carved for you, clam chowder, chicken pot pie, and the choices went on & on.....
 Some of the wives I got to know....their husbands work with Donovan, so it was pretty cool that I got to put some faces with the people he loves to work with.

 Coming back from dinner to our room with a freshly made bed (messed up earlier from our afternoon nap) chocolate treats on the pillow with a menu with our choices for our in-room breakfast dining, curtains pulled, lamps turned on, and freshly cleaned bathroom with clean towels.  Ahhhh....Livin' the dream.

 The next morning neither one of us could sleep in....6 bells and we were wide eyed.  EMBARRASSING!!!  The perfect time that we could be lazy in bed and enjoy a lazy morning.  I think we must be getting old that we could not sleep in on vacation....but I just kept thinking of all the amazing things I could be doing, or seeing.  
On a side note...don't worry folks, I got home and had no problemo sleeping in until 9:30 this morning.  All is well again. 
 Early that morning....taking paths through the pools to get to the beach....
 Breakfast in the Circle Dining room.
 Views inside the Breakers.
 After breakfast we headed up 2 flights of stairs to the private Oceanfront Sanctuary ~for an Alfresco Couples Massage.  Listening to the ocean, while being massaged for 110 minutes.  For free. 
 Inside the spa~the ladies private lounge.  Fresh fruit, hot tea, lemon or lime flavored water...soft music playing and couches for relaxing until you were called for your massage.
 Waiting for Donovan in the spa courtyard....while livin' the dream.
 After the massage, more sun, some swimming,  picking lunch at one of the 9 restaurants, an afternoon nap, we were cleaned up and ready for the Sealed Air Winning Performers' Awards Banquet.
 6:00 Cocktail Reception in the Circle Ballroom
 With Dinner served at 7:00 in the Venetian Ballroom. 
 Our table had flavors from all over the world.  Some were from Mexico, another couple from Chile, and another couple from New Jersey.  All very sweet, down to earth people. 
 Fanciness.  And delish.  One of the four courses served.  I savored every single bite.

Walking down the white carpet....kind of prom/graduation style to accept Donovan's award.

 Accepting the award from the President/CEO of the Company and the VP of sales.  And let me just give you a hug for this trip.  Really it's the least I can do. 

 After the awards were handed out there was a band playing live music~who were taking requests.  The dance floor was full...I was enjoying taking in the sites and sounds of such a awesome evening.  Then I thought it would be pretty fun if they could sing one of my faves right now by Colbie Caillat.  As the song started the dance floor cleared off, we headed out and realized we were the only ones dancing.  Geesh!  It was like the wedding dance we never had.  So Romantic. A tad on the embarrassing side...since we were the only ones dancing.  Oh well.   Here are the lyrics....

Do you hear me,
I'm talking to you
Across the water across the deep blue ocean
Under the open sky, oh my, baby I'm trying
Boy I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Ooohh ooooh oooh oooh ooh ooh ooh ooh

They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I'll wait for you I promise you, I will

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Lucky we're in love every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

And so I'm sailing through the sea
To an island where we'll meet
You'll hear the music fill the air
I'll put a flower in your hair
Though the breezes through trees
Move so pretty you're all I see
As the world keeps spinning round
You hold me right here right now

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
I'm lucky we're in love every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed

Lucky to be coming home someday

Which pretty much sums it for me.  Lucky.  Blessed.  Whichever you prefer. I feel them both. 
 Breakfast the next morning in our room.  Again for free. 
 The infinity pool
 Yummy-ness at lunch.
 Donovan did the guided snorkel reef tour.  Me?  Well...lets just say I was on the fence the whole time whether to go or not....and then when the flag was put out that the "man-of-war" were spawning and if you got stung, "Don't worry we have spray to help with the bites" that pretty much sealed the deal for me NOT to go.  Thanks anyways.
 After more of the sun and a little napping we headed out that evening at 6:45 and transferred by trolleys to downtown West Palm.  We had cocktails, Hors d'oeuvres, dinner, dancing, & live music at the Ragtops Motorcar Museum.  

 Our next morning we rented bikes and took our tour of the city.

 The front view of The Breakers.
 The brick drive into the Breakers.

some views from our ride

 breakfast later that morning...a custom made omelet
 After the day poolside, a french manicure & pedicure, a little napping, and a hair wash and style we went via shuttle to "the City Place" downtown with cash in hand given to us by the company and picked our own restaurant and a little shopping.  All for free, free, & free. 
Enjoying a little fresh key lime pie delivered room service when we got home that night.  for free.  (are you getting tired of free yet?)  Me either.

Amazing in every little way.  The service was out of this world.  The staff were professional, courteous, and went over and beyond any expectations we had for the week.  So pampered.  So refreshed.  So in love ~even more than when we left.

So after being home for a week, the french mani has worn off from doing the dishes, laundry, and bathroom cleaning.  And you know what??? It's still livin' the dream to me~because my little chillins are here, spring has come~and this all keeps it in perspective for me. 

A big thank you to Donovan's parents who moved into our house while we were gone and took over.  Despite fevers & funerals.  Thank you to the O's and the P's, and Auntie Arlene for babysitting for the babysitters so Gramps and Grams could attend funerals & viewings.  


Deb said...

I'm in love with the orange dress and the platform shoes. I think you should do fashion/outfit posts sometimes! I want those shoes!

Lynette Carpenter said...

Sounds like a fabulous vacation!! So happy for you!

My Life said...

Perfect!!! I so love the pics and recap....just what I was hoping to, fun, and more fun and FREE!! Cha Ching! Gotta love when you do a great job for you company and they not only recognize it but spoil you rotten for it expecting more the next go around. Way to go Donavon. You guys are such little cuties...and the cooler thing is your insides are as cute and sweet as your outsides. So get ready for next year, keep up the good work and hope for another FREE week in paradise. I am hoping Patrick wins his trip to Hawaii by the end of this year. I imagine FREE will be awesome in a place like that too. GO Patrick!!

Carolyn Miller said...

Thanks for the px Heather. You were indeed blessed.

Kristin said...

What a great "tribute" to our trip! Watching this with all of the captions and descriptions makes me realize just how amazing it all really was!! One question: if you guys ever go without us, who will be there to change your sun tanning angle? :)

Julie O. said...

You did such a great job of taking us all there with you. Thanks for sharing:) I'm happy for all your pampering! The O's enjoyed having your kids:)

Wanita said...

Looks dreamy :) I squinted and i could almost see myself there too lol

Erin said...

What an awesome vacation for you two, thank you for all the pictures, it looks absolutely fabulous...and all for free-ahhh, you can't get any better than that. Lucky, lucky you! If his company is hiring anytime soon, please let me know...I could get used to all expense paid vacations I think :)