Monday, April 15, 2013

Scentsy goes BIG! Washington DC

When I started with Scentsy just over 2 years ago, I never thought that I would do anything with it, except support my own addiction to a great product! Now, I've just returned from an all expenses paid trip to Washington DC (one of 6 that I had to choose from). I seriously LOVE my job! I worked hard and earned this trip and it was worth the effort! The choices were Washington DC, Hawaii, Costa Rica, New York, Whistler BC and Charleston South Carolina. So, why did I choose DC? I wanted to go somewhere I would never go, I just earned the trip for myself and I wanted to do Hawaii or Costa Rica with Chris. I knew DC was going to be one of the smaller groups and I wanted the opportunity to rub shoulders with Heidi and Orville Thompson (the founders/owners of Scentsy). I picked right! with just over 40 consultants (about 60 people in total), it was a great opportunity to get to know other consultants and spend time with Heidi and Orville (and Chuck Thompson, Orville's brother). 

April 8th-arrival day. It was a long day, I was up at 4:30am (awake at 2:30 because I couldn't sleep). I flew from Lethbridge to Calgary to Montreal to DC. It was snowing in Lethbridge, the little plane (20 people including the pilot and copilot) was delayed due to weather (the copilot was our "flight attendant" giving us the schpeal). When I got to Calgary I ran to my next flight and I was the last one on the plane! From Calgary to Montreal was a bigger plane, with a small screen in front of me where I could choose my own movie, very cool. I had a chat with the guy next to me and told him all about Scentsy, he was on his way to PEI for work (I even gave him a catalog). Because of snow in Calgary, we were delayed getting to Montreal. I had a minute to see Meghann Clements (my friend and Scentsy sponsor, also my director), take a pic, give her a hug and she showed me which way to go. I had to go through customs and security again, then just made it on my flight, last one again.
  Montreal to DC was uneventful. I finally had a chance to eat some of the snacks I brought. I also had time to think about where I was going, and the journey to get there! It all started with Meghann asking me (through a facebook message) if I wanted to join Scentsy. Each day I am grateful to Meghann for thinking of me and giving me the opportunity to be part of such a great company! It's unlike any other direct sales company. The owners think of the consultants as family! We really are a family! Once I arrived in DC, there was someone waiting for me at baggage claim to call a car for me (not just any car, a fancy town car!) The car took me to the hotel (Washington Marriot Wardman Park) and I checked in. My roommate had flight delays due to weather, so I went to the gym before the meet and great that evening. The meet and great was just that, a chance for the consultants (and guests) to get to know each other and enjoy some appetizers. The food was delicious! the company was awesome! We met a couple from Texas, they were amazing (he'd been in a train accident a few years ago and lost his arm and both legs). Their positive attitudes were contagious. We also sat with Chuck and his wife. Chuck is the funniest person I know! we were all roaring with laughter all night! I also met Heidi and Orville. I have been told that they are very down to earth people. I never imagined how down to earth they really are! They joined to meet and great and talked to us, took pictures with us, and spent the night getting to know as many as they could. They said that this trip was more like the early trips, with less people and the opportunity to spend time with each consultant and get to know them. They couldn't do that last year with 1500 people each week (2 weeks), or even with the Hawaii trip this year, there will be 900 people. The day was long, but it was an amazing start to an amazing week!
  This is Amberly, my new friend from Texas, we had the same t-shirt, but different prices, we were comparing Canada and USA.
 the lobby of our hotel
 Me and Chuck Thompson Me with Heidi and Orville Thompson
 our ride from the airport to the hotel
 this was what we got when we arrived, name badge, t-shirt, wrist band (to wear when we didn't wear the name badge) and a backpack (which was the most used item I got all week!)

April 9th- It started with breakfast (let me just say, ALL the food we had this week was delicious!) where Chuck welcomed us, and Heidi and Orville spoke to us. Each place had a pin congratulating us on earning the DC incentive trip. Then they recognized those that were top earners. Each person that this was their first trip earned, got a pillow case (pick, pack, play). That was ME! then each person that got the most recruits/front line promotions at each rank (lead/star/superstar/director, etc) got a passport holder. I got one too! (for top frontline promotions as star consultant). After that, we were on our own to explore the city. My best friend, Michelle, lives 3 hours from DC. She and her hubby drove up the night before and spent the morning with us! It was so fabulous to see her and get to spend some time with her. (she also bought me a prepaid phone and minutes so I could text Chris while I was in the US without having to pay an arm and a leg!! she rocks!). We spent hours in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. For those that don't know, the Smithsonian isn't just one museum, it's many all in the area called the Mall (no shopping, just a huge area of buildings holding all the different museums with an open grass area in the middle. the Washington Monument/lincoln memorial at one end, the capitol building at the other end). All the museums are FREE and you can spend HOURS in each one. Before saying goodbye to Ryan and Michelle, we took a few pictures by the cherry blossoms in the park. Dayna (my roommate) and I heading towards the washington monument and ended up in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. A few more hours and we didn't even see it all! Highlights here were the gems exhibit. I was amazed at the colours that come out of the earth! we also saw the Hope diamond! HUGE! We then made our way back to the hotel (via the metro) to meet up with some of the girls we'd "met" online before the trip (a facebook group for consultants going on this trip). Robin had made a reservation for us at a restaurant called Ooohs and Aaahs. This place was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We took the metro and when we came up at the correct stop we were a little shocked, it wasn't a great part of town. We almost missed it because it was a tiny place across the street. we walked in, past the counter (barely enough room to get passed others that were in there) to the back and up the stairs. It was a dive! some of the girls were very concerned, and wanted to leave (no way they were going to eat in such a place!) but I was up for an adventure! they brought us samplers of the sides (everything was delicious) and we all ordered. the food seemed to take forever, but we were all chatting and having a great time. When the food arrived, it was so worth the wait! I had chicken, sweet potatoe mash and mac and cheese, with a piece of cornbread. AWESOME! if you ever go to DC, you HAVE to eat there! the cornbread was like cake, the mac and cheese was the best I've ever had!

Dayna (left), me and Michelle (right)

4 of the 5 Canadians on the trip!

view from outside

our first "room drop" a water bottle, guide book and flag (candy in the stick)

April 10th- a little explaination of how we got around this week...we used the DC metro system (subway). It's a great system that will get you everywhere you need to go! it was fun to use too! even when you when the wrong way it was easy to get going in the right direction. We took the metro to the mall. then we waited in line to get into the Holocaust museum. It's free, but you have to line up to get tickets. after all the walking the day before, it was nice to sit and visit for a bit this morning. The Holocaust museum is amazing beyond words. it's 3 floors of displays. we spent 2 hours on the first floor! I learned so much and I was in awe of what I learned. What I already knew about the Holocaust was put into pictures, artifacts and made very real for me! this is a MUST DO if you are in DC. After that we made our way down to see the Washington Monument (the scaffolding is work they're doing to repair it after an earthquake in 2011, and we couldn't go near it), the Lincoln memorial (it's HUGE), and the WWII monument (there is a fountain in the center, but it was down for maintenance) and the Korean war memorial. The cherry blossoms were at peak today (that means 70% of the blossoms were open! they usually open a few weeks earlier, but because of the weather, they waited for Scentsy to get to DC!) It was gorgeous to see (and smell) all the cherry blossoms this week!

                                 WWII memorial

Korean war memorial

After a quick hotdog and water from the street vendor, we headed to the other end of the mall (via metro, because 2 miles is a long way to walk) to see the library of congress. My favourite part of the library was the Thomas Jefferson library, it's a collection of all the books he had in his personal library. Some are original from his library, some are copies of the actual books he had, and they are still trying to finish the collection. I couldn't take pictures, but here's a few from the internet I found.

 The entire library is amazing! but that was definitely my favourite! Then we headed to the corner to take pictures of the state capitol building (you can only go in if you make an appointment with your congressman, which we don't have) and the supreme court. (they must be doing some work on the supreme court because the front is a big canvas!)

That evening was dinner for us at the Smithsonian Zoo! They booked the small mammal building, had this 3some playing beautiful music, and we got to eat among the animals. one zookeeper brought out a few animals after dinner, a naked mole rat (quite an interesting, though ugly, animal) and an armadillo! Then we got to hear from Orville's good friend Darryl Willard. It was totally by chance that we got to hear from him, but it was amazing! This man started working for Orville right out of High School (before Scentsy) and told us the great things he's learned from Orville. Then he decided he needed to fulfill his dream of serving his country. Getting into the army wasn't so simple. He was diagnosed with autism, had open heart surgery as a child, and was 28 years old instead of 18! It was a visit to Arlington Cemetery that kicked him into gear...he wanted to be a part of the Honor Guard that guards the tomb of the unknown soldiers (see here for more). He got his medical clearance, he memorized the location of over 200 soldiers, as well as much more information! After 2 years, he got in and was able to get directly onto the Honor Guard. Did you see that picture that went viral on facebook of the tomb during hurricaine Sandy? he was in that picture! He taught us some amazing things, but one that stands out, break the day into hours. if you have a bad hour, forget it and make the next better, don't let that hour make it a bad day! It was a very moving experience to hear him talk to us.



 my feet, I wore those sandals all week long!

 room drop wednesday night

April 11th-Wow! I can't believe I did all that already! and there's still more. DC is an amazing place to visit! so much to see and do, I want to bring my family back in a few years to share it with them and see the things I didn't get to this week. After breakfast (Scentsy provided breakfast for us every morning!) was our excursion (there were several that we got to choose from, and Scentsy provided the way). I got to go on the Mount Vernon tour. Mount Vernon is where George Washington lived. I didn't know much about George Washington, but I was amazed at the great man that he was. I texted my mom while I was there that I was embracing my American Heritage! I plan on learning more about him and others now that I'm home. Did you know that in his will he freed his slaves? that was a big deal back then! He was ahead of his time. At breakfast, Dayna and I met some gals from Alaska and learned that they were going to the LDS temple that evening. We tagged along as they rented a car and headed out that afternoon. We went to Arlington National Cemetery and visited the grave of a friend of one of the girls. It was a humbling experience to see all the graves and know that each one has a story of sacrifice and honour. we saw the tomb of the unknown soldiers and got to see the changing of the guard and a wreath laying ceremony. We then went to the temple. The DC temple is HUGE! It was nice to be able to go to the temple after visiting Arlington and appreciate the gospel and the atonement of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that I am sealed to my family forever!
the main house

George Washington planted this tree!

George, his wife and his grandchildren

His final resting place

the view from the house
a memorial at Mount Vernon for the slaves.

our awesome tour guide, told us all about DC on the way there and back!

changing of the guard (tomb of the unknown soldiers)

gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery

(left, our new Alaska friends. right, Dayna and I)

another room drop!

April 12th-Our last full day, this was our chance to see the things we hadn't seen yet. We headed to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, I really wanted to see Julia Child's kitchen (check) and the first wives dresses (check). Then we headed to Union station, it was cool, some great architecture and cool shops (best shopping we'd found). Then we met up with one of our Alaska girls and headed back to see the White house. It was cool to see, but I can't imagine how the president and his family feel with all those people coming to see where they live! Our final destination was the Old Post Office. This building has a clock tower you can go up in and it has the best view of the city! they also had the best prices on t-shirts!

 white house front and back 
the Old Post Office

 view of the capitol from the top

 this fondue pot was in the American History museum. Maybe one day Velata will be there next to it!

Scentsy treated us to a dinner cruise the last night. We got to ride this Yacht! and enjoy dinner. it usually holds 200-300 people,but we had it all to ourselves! It was a fabulous night to end this amazing trip! I can't thank Scentsy enough for everything they did for us this week! The bottom picture is dark, but that's the yacht we got to ride on!
The room drop tonight was the best, an online code to create and order a photo book to remember this trip! They really think of everything!

April 13th- It was sad to say goodbye, but I'm happy to go home to my family! It was a great way to spend my birthday :) going home after a fabulous week! I'll never forget the friends I made, the sites I saw, and the things I learned. It was great to rub shoulders with some great Scentsy consultants and be able to network my business. Meeting Heidi and Orville was amazing. I have such great admiration for those two and all they do for so many that they don't know, but still consider family. I love being a part of the Scentsy Family!
the journey home went DC to Toronto to Calgary to Lethbridge. It was a shock in Toronto with rain and cold, an even bigger shock in Calgary when I had to walk through snow to get to the airplane! The greatest sight was my kids at the airport in Lethbridge and the hugs I got from them!
some of my new friends!                                           all packed up and ready to go!    .

this is just some of the flowers outside our hotel.

ready to go home

final view of Washington DC (Lincoln Memorial)

my birthday "cake" 
(funny story here, I was next to a pilot flying home to Calgary from Toronto, the flight attendant offered him some ice cream and a cookie, he didn't want it and she didn't want to be rude, so she offered it to me :) Little did she know it was my birthday! I was in the right seat)
at least I put my jeans on, I just couldn't say goodbye to my sandals!

boarding the plane to Lethbridge, BRRRRRR

Final thoughts- My heart is full of gratitude for my Scentsy family! Not just Heidi and Orville (and everyone in the background) but the great friends I made this week! I will never miss another incentive trip. When they treat you so well, how can you? They provided airfare, travel to and from the hotel, meals (what wasn't provided, they gave us money for), hotel, all the fun room drops. Not to mention the experience! I will never forget this trip!! The great thing? YOU can come too! (I met a girl that joined less than 6 months ago and earned the trip!) Ask me how!

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