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Convention Updates - Long

Well it's Saturday night and for the most part, the convention is about to wrap up. We have one session left, and that is for tomorrow morning for about three hours. I believe we have one more speaker and a few more prizes to be given away.

I truly enjoyed the speakers at this convention. I was amazed by a speaker that gave great details of a prize won from Mastercard, where she was given the opportunity to see the seven wonders of the world. She has been to places, where I know I wouldn't ever have the chance to go to, not because of bad luck, but because of having a disability and it would prove to be too challenging. Yet I was given the chance to see it through her photos and hear her experience, which was truly remarkable.

I got tips from Gwen Beauchamp about entering contest. She is also a remarkable lady and I can only hope to gain and retain the information which she so willingly shares with others about entering writing and cooking contest. Steve A'dolf also shared many great tips on entering sweepstakes and he has won over a 100 trip!

I wish I could share with you right now, all that I've learned on this trip. There is a gentleman by the name of Jeff Cosgrove that is making a video of the convention highlights and he will be offering it free to the people that attended this year's convention. I believe it a person did not attend, they can purchase a digital copy of it for a small price. If you've never been to a Sweepstakes Convention, consider buying one of these video's, as it's a wonderful way to get a little insight on what goes on. I can't wait to get my copy of this year's convention, as it will also include the speakers and their topics which they shared with us.

It's been busy this past week, what with attending sessions, visiting with old friends and making new ones. The time sure has flown by and I can't believe that I have been at this hotel for almost a week!

Tonight was the BIG night with the raffles. Not only do have great raffles with great prizes offered, but we also have a banquet, regular prizes in this sessions which are usually provided by donations, and also the vendor raffles. The banquet this year started earlier than I've ever remembered it starting. Even though that felt a little different, that's not a bad thing as these drawings and eating, can make for a long day.

The food this year was *really* good and both my husband and myself, enjoyed our meal. We started with a chicken and wild rice soup. It was really hot and kind of looked like something the cat left of the carpet, to be honest. I hesitated to eat it. Yet I think it was the best soup I've had in a really long time. In fact, I ate all of mine!

For our main course, we chicken breast, stuffed with mushrooms baked in a puffed pastry. It came with a nice rife pilaf and green beans. For once, I even ate some of those green beans. Usually at any type of banquet meal that I've ever been to, the veggies are not really to my liking, yet these were quite nice. Our meal also included a roll and butter.

For desssert we were given slices of cheesecake and chocolate cake. The chocolate cake was very rich and came with raspberries and blackberries on the side. I came close to taking my first bite of these berries, yet changed my mind. I'm very bad about not wanting to try new things. They smelled wonderful, yet after the taste of the rich chocolate cake, I didn't feel up to mixing a tart taste of berry in my mouth.

We were served coffee and had water at our table to enjoy with our meal. Now I'm not a coffee drinker, so my husband actually went down after dinner and brought me a coke. I drank water with my meal, and it's probably a good thing, as I never seem to drink enough of the H2O that God made.

When everyone was basically done with their meal, we had a Judy McCurdy as a speaker. Judy is an editor of Sweepstakes Newsletter, called Sweeping America! It really is a great newsletter, filled with snail mail sweeps. Judy is very entertaining and did a great job addressing all us sweepers.

After Judy's presentation, we were on our way to find out who the winners were going to be for that night. After a slow start, My husband won 500 pre-paid postcards! Who Hoo! Of course, they do all go to me, as I am the "Sweeper" in this family. The next drawing was for 1000 postcard stamps. My name was called! Who hoo again! I never really buy a lot of postcard stamps or USPS postcards, so I was very pleased with those two wins.

The next drawing was for 1000 first class stamps. My name was called yet again and I was tickled pink! The following drawing was for either the Minnesota Lottery Scratch off Tickets or for the $500 in Gift Cards! Well neither my husband, nor my name were drawing for the Lottery tickets. Yet someone I know pretty well, won 3 times on the Lottery ticket, and I am so pleased for him.

However, my husband's name was drawn for the $500 in Gift cards and also for $500 cash in the very last raffle drawing! You honestly couldn't have pushed me over with a feather with all of this! This has truly been a lucky year for us at a convention. The best every to be honest! Between the two of us, we won five out of six raffles! Now of course, we have not told our daughter that we won the cash, as she is very good at planning on how to spend that money. Especially since her birthday is coming up very soon. So Dad and Sissy...SSSHHHH! LOL This money will more than likely help pay the credit card that was used for this trip.

After the big raffles, there were names given out for the vendor raffles. The people that come to the convention and sell sweepstakes supplies, also have raffles which people can purchase tickets for. This year was no exception. In fact, I normally spend about $100 in raffle tickets for prizes given away by the vendors. I know my very first convention in Scottsdale, AZ the only prize I won was a vendor raffle, which was 100 postcards and 100 postcard stamps to go with them. Well, low and behold my name the last one drawn for an 8gb Ipod Touch! This is already going to my sister, as I had won a small ipod nano, which I gave to her yet it didn't work. So I had always promised her that the next Ipod anything would be hers! Hopefully she will get a lot of good use out of it!

That's pretty much a wrap up of all that's gone on, in the last couple of days. My husband and I, are both missing our daughter very much and are thinking about leaving a little earlier than we planned and going home. I am glad we came to this year's convention and Lord willing, we will get home safe and sound.