Posts from the ‘vacation’ Category

Roar Clothing Party in California – part two

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Roar name/Logo at the entrance to the show room lets you know that they mean business. Here is a quote from the Roar website that states what they are all about much better than I can:

Get it Done

Roar’s Founder and CEO Deepak Vasandani says, “Since our inception in 1994, the vision has been to build a lifestyle brand based on strength and success. We have the opportunity and pleasure to give away a piece of the ROAR Lifestyle in every item.

I firmly believe that this is why they have succeeded for fifteen years and are expanding their women’s line and will be introducing a little girl’s line shortly.

Meeting Deepak when he came to Wichita to give me my winnings was exciting and a thrill which continued when we met again on Saturday evening. Deepak is one of the sweetest, kindest and most respectful men I have met in a very long time. He has treated my husband and myself with the utmost dignity and has always honestly cared about us. He called and checked up on us on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is a man who even though he is a founder and CEO of a booming business is really just “one of the guys” and you never, ever feel that he is being haughty nor does he come off as stuffy, stuck up or any other similar adjective you could use along those lines. Nope, he is a family man that is proud of all of his family and that includes his employees.

No one that we met during the course of our stay was anything but gracious, friendly and caring and they were out to make sure that we felt at home and had a great time.

The party was held at their showroom in LA and we had the whole enchilada going. Red carpet, spot lights, heavy security and valets. and that is all before you get into the building!

The event planners did a great job as they had all of the models/wait staff dressed in Roar clothing and in the new showroom for the women’s ware they were up on pedestals as living mannequins. Very cool idea as well as a great photo op.

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This is our Roar buddy, Shelley, who is in charge of  customer care and she is the one that made all of the arrangements, met us personally at the airport and just in general watched after us. Shelley is a sweetie and a prime example of the type of staff that Deepak surrounds himself with. All of the staff members that we met that night were fantastic and very enthused to met us. Now Shelley is also a bit like me which means ornery. She and another staff member, Kelly, got me a tiara. You read it right, a tiara! Since I was the sweepstakes winner I got to be the Queen of the party. Now they put it on me and I was goofing and they took pictures. Little did I know that Shelley went and blew up one of the pics and put it in a blinged out picture frame and placed where everyone could see it upon entering so they would know who I was. Okay, get ready to laugh cause I will show you how much fun they had with me but I did get plenty of laughs with the other guests during the party and no one made me feel bad about it.

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Aren’t I adorable? This was taken in the women’s ware showroom and the party was just getting started. It was so cool though that I was gritching about their women’s sizing being too small for me and I had a gentleman associated with Roar go to the back and actually find me some T-shirts that would fit me. They were from the men’s ware line but I don’t care I love them!

LA Trip 058 This was such a great idea! What you are seeing is the envelopes from the mailed in sweepstakes entries that were painstakingly put up on the walls (after blanking out the return addresses, Deepak is big on respecting the entrants) and then they plexi-glassed over them creating a daily reminder of all the 90,000 people that entered. Picture really doesn’t do it justice and this starts as soon as you leave the elevator and winds around the common areas.

The second picture is what they did with a back hallway and yes, those are more of the entries on the walls.

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Such a cool showroom and business area. The staff is encouraged to express their artistic side in the decor as well as the clothing.

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Deepak is the gentleman on the right and he is with an employee who I can’t remember their name which I am so sorry about but I met a lot of people at this party.

I am going to “borrow” this picture  from the website that shows some of the party action because we didn’t use our camera while it was going on as not to interfere with the publicity photographers that were documenting the party.

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I had to post this one because the handsome guy in the hat is my Hubby. The guy in front of him is Joey Lawrence.

Lots of celebrities were on hand, some we recognized, some we didn’t though we knew we had seen them before. This was the “Swag” room where everyone attending the party got some clothing. Hubby wasn’t missing out!

We had a blast and left tired but really happy. Everyone at this swank LA party was absolutely fabulous to us and never treated us like we didn’t belong.

On Sunday just before we left the hotel we got a call from Deepak. He had promised us a ride in the Ferrari that I won and he wanted to make sure we got to do it. Now how sweet was that? He didn’t have to met us but he did and this is the baby we could have taken instead of the money.

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Hubby is still crying!

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Deepak laughing as we pulled back into the parking area after he took me for an unforgettable ride in the car. This baby does not want to go 30mph, that’s for sure and man, does it Roar!

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Me in both the Roar Ferrari and in my Roar T-shirt and I’m loving them both!

Deepak offered to let me drive it but I was a total wimp and just went for the drive.

Hey, I fell off of a bicycle remember? I didn’t trust driving a $220,000 vehicle!

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Was a blast to ride in though!  

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Hubby in his Roar shirt and in the Roar Ferrari did not wimp out and he got to drive it. Now he is dreaming of what could have been.

Thanks Deepak for letting us have fun with the car and the party!

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Me and Deepak saying goodbye after having fun in the Ferrari.

Notice I can’t talk without my hands

You know, Roar Clothing and Deepak’s obligation to us ended with them giving us the check, but Deepak decided to include us in this celebration and gave us a wonderful weekend at no cost to us. That really means a lot to us that all of the Roar staff made us feel like we were family.

How many companies do that? 

Thank you so much Deepak and your wonderful staff for making a wonderful memory for us!

Please visit their website here to see more pictures from the party as well as other events and to read more about this great company.

Also catch them on Facebook! How many stars do you recognize?

You might want to look at the clothing because in a week or so we will be having a great giveaway of  something from the men’s line as well as the women’s.

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Roar Clothing Party in California – part one

Last weekend we flew out to Los Angeles for the Roar Clothing USA Grand Opening/15th Anniversary party. Roar is the company that I won the sweepstakes from and they had invited us to this party.

The company flew us out to L.A. and put us up in one of the newest, hip and swanky hotels in Beverly Hills. Yep, you read it right Beverly Hills! Now they could have put us up in a Best Western or something like that but nope, we got the royal treatment which absolutely floored us.

We stayed at the Sofitel Hotel and we have never stayed at such a swanky place in our lives. I could get spoiled very easily.

Roar also rented us a car to use for the weekend and they got us a Mustang with a convertible  roof which was cool for driving around by the beach. Our son has a Mustang which I’ve never driven and Hubby has gotten to drive once. Our son is very protective of his baby and no one drives it but him so needless to say, Hubby was thrilled that we got a Mustang.  Hubby had fun driving it.

The party started at 6pm on Saturday so we had the whole day to go where we wanted. I used to go to the Santa Monica Pier all the time when I was a kid and Hubby had never been there so we visited the Santa Monica beach area. This area is also special to me because my mother’s ashes are scattered at sea off the coast there so it is kind of bittersweet to visit a  place that has both happy and sad memories.

The circus-looking tents off to the left is a Cirque du Soleil show that just started on the 15th.

We walked around the pier area and then up the block to an area they have that is closed off and there is a farmers market and shopping, plus they have street performers. Very cool so if you happen to get to LA you should check it out.

Had lots of fun at the beach and driving around Los Angeles visiting old haunts.

Next post:

Part Two – What a party!!

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Jamaica is a Great Vacation Destination

Jamaica is a very poor country and the recession has hit them even harder than the USA. When we went 2years ago the currency exchange was $1 US = $37.50 Jamaican, now it is $1 US = $88.00 Jamaican. Tourism is their #1 money making industry followed by the exportation of their Blue Mountain coffee.

Check out the price for gasoline and this is per liter not gallon.

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Unfortunately for Jamaicans, most of the plantations have shut down, the bauxite mine is closed and a lot of the smaller resort hotels have shut down as well. This leaves over 1/3 of the adult population out of work.

Despite this situation, the Jamaican people are warm, friendly and very glad to see tourists. Between the great weather and wonderful beaches, where else would you want to vacation?

The ocean is so clear and there are practically no waves since the corral reefs break the waves prior to them hitting the beach. Swimming is great because the water is somewhat warm and very relaxing.

I love the swim area at Sandals Resort in Ocho Rios because it has a pier surrounding it which is built on cement blocks which creates a “mini reef” effect. In less than 7 ft. of ocean you can see the fish, coral, sea urchins and even an octopus if you are lucky like I was. This makes snorkeling in this area a whole lot of fun and extremely easy to do. We went snorkeling farther out in the ocean and all I could see was the reef since it was deeper water and I’m fairly blind without my glasses and can’t dive at all. Surface snorkeling was way more fun when you can see the fish.

Lots of homes in Jamaica look like they are abandoned but they aren’t. Jamaicans mostly can’t afford to have construction companies work on their homes so they work on them a little bit at a time which makes for interesting neighborhoods. There will be fancy homes next to ones that look like they are falling apart or derelict.

Neighborhood in Jamaica

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Home of “voodoo” practitioners and you have to cross a thin walkway bridge after paying the entry fee to see the voodoo priest. Not set up for tourists this is the real local voodoo den.

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The views of the ocean and the rest of the island are really pretty.

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This was our room for the 10 days. Backside/poolside of the villa, we are the one with the towel on the railing. We had a big bedroom, medium sized living area, bathroom and small kitchen which is the window on the left.

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The pool was for the four villas only and we usually had it to ourselves which was great.

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We had a few visitors that kept us from missing our pets

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The pool at the Manor house which was the main hotel portion of the resort and where the main desk, tour desk, restaurants and spa are.

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And food? OMG! Such great choices! The actual Jamaican jerk chicken and pork is terrific but they have that for lunches and pull out the stops for dinners. Here is some pictures of a buffet they had set up on the evening I got injured. Hubby went and took pictures and brought me back some goodies.

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I recommend Jamaica as a place to visit on vacation even if you don’t  stay at Sandals but I highly recommend them as a resort of choice. There are six Sandals resorts in Jamaica to choose from and they are really super!

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Happy to be Home Again

We had a great time in Ocho Rios, Jamaica but I am so glad that the trip home is over. Gah…never book a trip without really looking at the flight itinerary. I failed to notice that we had two stops and one was a 6 hour layover in Miami. This was the same both going to Jamaica and returning so we had to get up at 1am to be in the lobby by 2am to leave by car for the hour and a half drive to the airport in Montego Bay for a flight that left at 7am. We got into Wichita at 11pm and fell into bed at about midnight. Never. Again…I will read the dang itinerary before agreeing! My fault, not theirs.

I’m going to start off with the end of the trip instead of the beginning so please bear with me as you will understand why shortly.

First off I want to state that I absolutely love Sandals resorts. This is the second time we have stayed at one of their Jamaican resorts and Ocho Rios was just as fantastic as the Montego Bay resort was two years ago when we last went to Jamaica. All of the staff are warm and friendly, extremely thoughtful as well as helpful and this is not because they are waiting on tips, Sandals resorts only allows tipping for the butler services, not the rest of the staff so there is no extra financial incentive for them to be so great.

If you book like we did when they run a special, you can get a great room for a reasonable rate considering it is an all-inclusive resort and you pay nothing extra for food (fantastic) or booze (plentiful and top of the line) and they have great maid service, drivers, porters, desk help, etc. all there to make your stay as enjoyable as it can be.

This last Monday, we had an excursion to do the Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour. Now the Blue Mountain is where the best Jamaican coffee is grown and Hubby absolutely adores this coffee though we can’t afford it unless we purchase it in Jamaica where it goes for about $15/lb as opposed to around $50-$80/lb online which is the only way to get it in America.

The trip from Ocho Rios is about 2 hours or so and you get to see a lot of the country. Jamaica is only 145 miles long and 51 miles wide so you can get anywhere in a short amount of time.

Here are some of the pictures from the trip to Blue Mountain:

Now we get up the mountain and let me tell you this is an experience. Back roads in Jamaica are one lane – 2 way traffic and they are narrow as hell. Jamaican drivers use the car horn constantly to warn on coming traffic that they are coming. Sometimes the tour bus and the small cars we passed had only a few inches between them which is a bit scary because the drivers are so used to this that they still drive remarkably fast for the terrain yet don’t have fender-benders very often.

Now this is the incline and the width of the road on the mountain and is what we are riding bicycles downhill on. Yep, Princess of Klutz thinks she can ride a pedal brake only bicycle down this incline.

NOT!!!  But of course, I tried.

Before we start downhill:

We are actually at the very end of the pack when we start rolling downhill. I find myself going way too fast and attempt to slow down. Not happening. I see a hand brake on the bike and try it…nada. Try pedal brakes….nada.

I now have two choices, go left and go off the cliff or go right into the side of the mountain. I chose the mountain. Of course a guy stops his bike just before I start toward the mountain and he winds up right in my path. I hit him then continue into the ditch/side of the mountain. He is a bit pissed off but really unhurt thank goodness. Me on the other hand? Not so lucky.

My wrist connects with rock and my chest and leg connect with the bike. Hubby and one of the tour guides immediately pull me up and my (of course) right hand now swells up about three times normal size in less than 60 seconds which makes everyone immediately say “OMG! it’s broken!”

This happens about noon and needless to say, we did not finish the rest of the tour. Blue Mountain Tours was fantastic though. They got me to the nearest ER which was an experience in itself. Don’t bitch about health care here in the USA because I sat in the “waiting room” which was outside with the chickens. They were incredibly busy so they drove me back to Ocho Rios and took me to a private doctor and that office was very clean with friendly staff but they had extremely old equipment and set ups.

I am glad and thankful to say I did not break anything even though the doctor I saw even thought I did until he read the x-rays. Just a very, very nasty sprain and bruises on my chest, leg and hip.

These are the pics from when we got back to the resort.

I have nothing but great things to say about both Blue Mountain Tours and Sandals and their treatment of me after my wreck. The tour company paid for all my medical bills, refunded the tour and checked up on me until we left to come home. Sandals gave us room service for the rest of our stay and they had a jitney available whenever we needed one so I didn’t have to walk that far for anything. They had their nurse checking in on me as well as various staff throughout the day.

They did not have to do this because I signed a waiver before getting on the bicycle and I took my chances. Like an idiot, I should have known that a 54yr old, fat klutz that hasn’t been on a bicycle in years, should not have attempted this tour. But I did and I suffered the consequences. I was just very impressed with how genuinely concerned that the staff at both the Blue Mountain Tours and Sandals were about me.

I am doing better but still battered and bruised. Of course since I am right handed that is the one I injured so it has been logistically a nightmare since I am very right dominate and can’t do much left handed.  Doctor said it will probably take 2-3 weeks for it to completely heal but I am just thankful it isn’t broken.

I have lots more pictures and more to tell you about the trip and will post more on Monday. Until then I am resting and hopefully healing. Stay tuned for more.

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