Friday, November 4, 2011

Blogger Dream Come True!!

Barbara: Some of you have been waiting for our huge bloggie news, some of you have even been trying to guess what it might be. But none of you guessed that our next unexpected miracle is that Deb and I have been offered a trip to Costa Rica!!!!

Yes, it’s true—and we can’t quite believe it.
Our classy gift announcement
The gist of it is that the Costa Rica Tourism Board is giving away $1,000,000 worth of Gifts of Happiness and they chose us to be recipients of one of these happy gifts! Apparently they combed the internet, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and news outlets, looking for kindred spirits who embraced their belief in the Pura Vida—or “everything good in life”—and, can I say it again?—they chose US!! It turns out we’re considered “influential bloggers”—thank you, Costa Rica Tourism Board: after raising two teens, it’s nice to discover someone out there thinks of me as “influential”. Not sure how “influential” all of you would consider me to be, but what I can wholeheartedly say is that I—we—absolutely believe in the concept of a Pura Vida! It is what’s kept me going through all kinds of personal ups and downs.
Beautiful gift announcement carved into sustainable wood
Some of you may remember from an early sidebar post (on our now-defunct Side of Slaw page) that Phil and I took our daughters to Costa Rica several years ago. That post was an embarrassed revelation of my inability to keep a secret (we may post it again here in the weeks to come), but the bottom line is, the trip was a dream holiday. The Costa Rican people are unbelievably kind and welcoming, the landscape is diverse and breathtaking, and the wildlife amazing. Who wouldn’t want to go there?!

And just to be clear, the Costa Rica Tourism Board is asking nothing of us except to blog about our experience. They aren’t setting up any parameters or rules, and anything we post here is of our own volition. But I can honestly say I am proud to have a chance to promote their country. And I really look forward to bringing you all a daily diary of our trip—much as we’ve done in the past with London, Newfoundland, Antigua, and Jamaica.

So, yes, we are going! Even though we’re still trying to believe this is even true. And we want to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts. Without all of you here as part of our daily conversation, without your input, responses, dedicated reading, heartfelt thoughts, support, advice, generosity of spirit, this would never have happened. Without you, we would be nothing here at The Middle Ages. Each and every one of you keeps us going, and all of you have now helped send us to Costa Rica! Thank you thank you thank you.

And that’s not all, there is a super-easy way for all of you to enter to win too. If you go to their Facebook page, all you have to do is “like” it (again, we have not been asked to say any of this!), and you could win the exact holiday we’re going on. They’re giving away hundreds of trips, so the odds are pretty good. If you click on Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the page, the file outlines the five choices of holiday that we’ve been offered. Guess which package we chose—and next week, we’ll reveal it! Maybe we’ll see you in the rainforest, loves!

Deb: AND what makes it even sweeter is that our husbands get to join us. Given the generosity of the gift, we did not dare ask if we could have two stowaways, however charming and handsome. Upon further consideration, we realized that if we were being referred to (however loosely) as influential bloggers, we might try out that influence to see if we could bring our lovely husbands.

Turns out, we didn’t have to lower ourselves to beg. They were thrilled knowing that Colin would tweet about the trip too. Add to that Phil’s skills as a photographer for our adventures—and the team was ready! In fact, Phil took the photos for the blog today. Turns out, he cares about good light and flattering backgrounds and the like! So ... he’s our man!!!
As happy as we look here, our smiles don't come close to expressing our giddy excitement!
The four of us sat down to read and discuss the various packages we were offered. We carefully read each package, googling hotels and weighing each tour vs. free time and wealth of experience. Well, actually, to say Colin read his tour package would be a gross exaggeration. His reading went something like this: “Nice beaches, nice hotels, good food, rainforest, animals and wine.” But in the end—as hard as it was—we collectively chose one of the packages, details next week!

Cannot wait to share the trip with each other and with you guys. Let the fun begin. “Thank you, Costa Rica Tourism” just doesn’t seem enough! So we will fill out our grateful praise when we get there.

Last one there is the three-toed Sloth! 

31 comments:

  1. Wow!

    *looks around for other words*
    *Nope, that one is the one.*

    WOW!!!

    Wow.

    Wowowowowowowow.

    *blinks*

    Wow.

    So surprised for y'all that I'm inarticulate.

    Wow.

    Oh, here. Here's something for y'all. I remember seeing this on one of the geek blogs a while back. Sloths, indeed!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8b5v4USEWY

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  2. (While I get some work done on my other browser, I'll be responding under our duo profile -- sorry for any confusion!!)

    Rigel, cutest video ever! Okay, that's gonna have to go up to the blog at some point. "Wow" was about all Deb and I could muster for the week between finding out and getting it down in print for you guys. Still pretty speechless. Seriously, in those rare moments when I wondered if, as bloggers, we might be offered something i thought it might be more in the realm of, I don't know, Depends or something. But travel is gooooooood!

    xo Barbara

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  3. When are y'all going?

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  4. P.S. Deb - Cutest. Glasses. Ever.

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  5. AAAAAHHHH OHMYGOSH THAT IS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've had such a stressful week and this makes me so happy for you guys! <3

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  6. WOW. Costa Rica!!! I'm officially jealous! What a wonderful opportunity for the both of you. Enjoy every minute of it! :]

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  7. Yup, "Oh WOW" does about cover it. As does "congratulations," "great job," and "thanks for letting us gather here."

    I figured if I ever saw Costa Rica, it'd be through a financial miracle. But if you folks are gonna post pictures, I guess I'll be seeing it in SOME way, anyway.

    Again, Congratulations!!

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  8. That is really awesome! :)
    Congratulations!

    Have fun and relax. :)

    Deb: Harry Potter glasses? :D

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  9. Love this. Can't wait to see the package you chose and all the photos you take and the experiences you share. You truly are influential bloggers.

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  10. Thanks, you guys!! Rigel, we're aiming for early Jan (after the holiday rush). Sooooo excited (and grateful and honoured and humbled). Dawn, enter the contest, maybe you'll win too!!
    xo B

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  11. Congratulations! There is nothing I can say that hasn't been said. You guys are just awesome. That's all there is to it!

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  12. Yee Haw! Miracles abounding. I'm thrilled for you, absolutely thrilled.

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  13. Holy frecken crap. COngrads. I am so happy for you all . We all want more details from the trip when you go on it. CONGRADS again that is amazing. . Take lots of pictures.

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  14. Bravo! Great news!! Any need of a slightly weathered English teacher to sit on the beach with a blue pencil and edit?

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  15. I once got an unexpected gift of soap, shampoo and conditioner for blogging about Dove. Eat your hearts out, ladies.

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  16. Thanks everyone for being so happy for us. I am sorry that I cannot be more eloquent than that. Rough day, rough time with my parents and their future. I am in that sad world and at the end of the day I have nothing left to say. Except that you are all the best, supportive and lovely people in the world. xo

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  17. Aww I hope everything goes ok with your parents Deb. SEnding hope ,wishes LOve and prayer your all's way. Not to forget a big hug.

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  18. Congratulations on the exciting news! So happy for you.! Ann

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  19. Sorry to hear you're having a rough time, Deb! Lots of prayers and (((hugs)) from Kentucky!

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  20. Barbara - Yay! I was hoping y'all would do warm, warm Costa Rica when it was cold, cold Toronto!

    Deb - *sad sigh* Oh, Deb. *hugs*

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  21. Deb, I've had a semi rough day as well. Hoping for better outcomes for both of us. (hugs)

    Barb, thanks for the comment on my blog. Much appreciated! :]

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  22. Deb,
    Tonight I gave Colin a card FOR YOU that I HOPE he *remembers* to give to you.
    He's being his amusing self on stage, as always. Thank you for letting us "borrow" him for a couple of days. It makes a world of difference.
    {{hugs}}

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  23. Sean, don't youse guys use red pencils for that??? And Nag, that's exactly the kind of gifts -- if there were any to be had -- I'd imagined! Hey, it's good stuff :) And thanks, Ann!

    To our midnight well-wishers, to our darling Deb, it's a beautiful morning here in TO. Warm morning hugs and love to you all!
    xo Barbara

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  24. This is AMAZING! You two are so lucky! I want to go with you! This really is so cool!

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  25. Amazing! Congrats and have a wonderful time!

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  26. Wow- thats an incredible opportunity! Having been to Costa Rica I know you will have an immense time! But you guys really do deserve it- congratulations! Thoughts are with you, Deb- keep smiling!
    J.

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  27. "Open a new window
    Open a new door
    Travel a new Highway
    That's never been travelled before!"
    Congrats guys u deserve it,
    Enjoy! ( and send pictures!)

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  28. early January...after the holiday rush? and a great time to play Snowbirds and get away from the snow & cold for a while!

    so, could you use a housesitter? i would adore coming to Canada in the winter snow & cold. i kid. #justsayin

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  29. Thanks Hart, Shawn, J, Sharon and Meredith! Sharon, LOVE the poem. And so true. Meredith, thankfully we still have the housesitting options covered, but I gotta say: except for the seeming endlessness of it, Canadian winters are truly special. Worth the trip :)
    Barbara

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