Sunday, April 29, 2012

Date Box: Ice Cream Date

Today we drew a date out of the date box I made for us on Valentine's Day.

It's sad but this is the first time we've even drawn out of the box because we've so busy.

Today's Date: Go out for ice cream and get all the toppings we want

So what better place to go than Sweet CeCe's. I had heavenly chocolate ice cream topped with M&Ms and strawberries. Mark had vanilla with peanut M&Ms and Reese's pieces. Yummy. It was such a nice day we ate it on their patio too. It was a short but fun date! :)

Park City

The meeting was planned and it was time to travel back to Park City, UT.

Ever since our ski/snowboard trip to Maggie Valley last year Mark has been itching to get back on the slopes. Since I had a rough year last year with my broken tail bone and my broken back I didn't think it would be a very good idea for me to get on the slopes so soon after both of those accidents. But we took this opportunity for Mark to tag along and get some snowboarding time in. It also worked out that my friend Amanda, who I work with, brought her husband too!

We had a great time taking in all Park City had to offer. Since Amanda and I weren't skiing or snowboarding we did want to do something in the snow so we ended up renting snowmobiles for an afternoon. We had the time of our lives. It was so much fun! We didn't make the greatest restaurant choice but still had some great meals, one of which Amanda cooked.

Here is the recap of our trip in pictures.

Fun in downtown Park City

Snowmobile Excursion

I've never seen this much snow!

Just having some fun!

The St. Regis Deer Valley

Oh and one highlight is that Tori Spelling was staying at The St. Regis too! I was pretty sure I passed her husband, Dean McDermott, getting off the elevator. It was confirmed a day later when the entire family was at the pool. For a good two weeks I was obsessed with her twitter page and also her ediTORIal blog. I was so interested in seeing where they went, what they ate and what they did during their stay. Amanda did capture a video of her coming into the lobby after spending hours by the pool.

The service I experienced during the site visit was continuous throughout our entire meeting. I would highly recommend hosting a meeting there. Our guests enjoyed the skiing, on-site restaurant J&G and the hotel amenities such as the hot chocolate bar, oatmeal bar, s'mores ritual, heated pools, Remede Spa and many more.  Hopefully we'll be back next Spring.

Park City, UT Site Visit

I had the opportunity to do a site visit for a meeting in Park City, UT back in January. On paper, we were pretty much set with the Park City Marriott. So from prior experience we've decided site visits would be necessary; especially since this was a customer meeting. So I had planned a short 2 day trip, one travel day, 1/2 day for the site visit and then travel back home returning late at night.

I arrived late in Park City on the first night. Upon arrival I was already disappointed with this property. It just didn't have the look of a ski lodge/hotel that I had imagined. I usually love Marriott properties but I was nervous about this one. The lobby was old, I had dinner in their restaurant which felt like a Shoney's, my room, the Presidential Suite, was dated. The furniture was all scuffed up, the carpet was dirty, etc.  This wasn't really the feel we were going for. In year's past we've been to Aria, Las Vegas; W, Ft. Lauderdale; Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and Loews Vanderbilt, Nashville.

So I altered my travel to stay an extra day so I could visit a few other properties and find one that would fit our program. Our dates weren't flexible but at this point I just wanted to see any property that could even be a possibility, I would worry about availability when I returned to the office. I filled a day with 6 site visits, that's a long day.

I ended my long day at The St. Regis Deer Valley. The have customer service down pat!!  I had rented a car at the Marriott so I needed to return it before my meeting with the Director of Sales at The St. Regis. I was in contact with her assistant, telling her my plan to return my car and take a cab and that I would be there in about 30 minutes. Well she insisted that she send a car to pick me up and take me to the hotel. I arrived to a very warm welcome by the Director of Sales, General Manager, Front Desk Manager and the Director of Convention Services. I first took advantage of their hot chocolate bar - heaven! I toured the property and finally got to my room, which was A-Mazing! They offered me dinner in their restaurant or room service, I was exhausted and opted for room service.

I had an awesome dinner, a tray of chocolates with wine and a great night's rest. I had an 8am flight with an hour commute to the airport so I wasn't there long. The St. Regis arranged a car to transport me to the hotel. My pickup time was 5am. After checking out at the front desk I was given breakfast to-go. They had a tray of fruit, bagel and cream cheese, 2 muffins, orange juice and coffee for my ride. WWWhhhhhhaaaatttt!!?!?  Now THAT is customer service. Some people should take notes. I was blown away.

As you can imagine, The St. Regis was certainly my top pick, now if they could just work within our budget.
They did!!  Our meeting was a go for March 5-7. So I started the logistics....

To be continued..............

Other hotels I visited:
The Chateau at Silver Lake - this would have been our second choice.
Hyatt Escala Lodge

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dang Leap Year

Happy 29th Birthday to Me!

It was leap year this year so that means I had to wait an extra entire day to celebrate. What's the purpose of that day anyway?!?!?  Oh right, something about this big ole round planet we live on revolving around the sun........well anyway.

I believe I've mentioned this before but all of my girlfriends in high school had birthdays the week before mine so I was already anxious for my birthday.  My 16th birthday fell on a leap year and so I had to wait one extra day before getting my license. That was the worst!

The wait wasn't so bad this year. It was a work day so I enjoyed most of my day in the office. We did have a bridal shower for a co-worker so I had a great lunch from Maggiano's then I had dinner with friends at Cantina Laredo. 

The hubby's were there too but the group pic wasn't all that great!
Thanks for coming to celebrate with me!

It's not a birthday without cake!
And this was an amazing white chocolate raspberry cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes! Oh, it was delicious! I could really take a piece RIGHT NOW!

Mark is always so good to make my day extra special. I got a new camera bag, a bag of pretzel M&M's and a beautiful birthstone ring (He went to Jared's)! You did so well, honey! The camera bag was a great gift since the day after my birthday we headed to Park City, UT (more on that later). 

We also got to celebrate with my family. I think the best gift was a Ziploc bag of Easter peeps and a smashed oatmeal Little Debbie from Drew. He put it together all by himself and knew I would just love it. :)

Every Spring I just love the bright yellow forsythias! So Mom and Dad got me one to plant at home. We have planted it, at the end of our driveway. Of course, they've already turned green this season but I can't wait for our little yellow blooms next year!