A couple weeks ago during the 12 Day of Christmas, I spent five days in Atlanta. Again, and I hate to always say this, but if you follow me in the social media world, you may already know this. I was invited to Atlanta by my new friends at Ballard Designs and the wonderful folks at Buick. Thankfully, and oddly enough, the invitations were for the same city and the same week. Perfect!
So I packed my bags, hopped on a plane, and flew to Atlanta. I spent the first few days with the amazing people at Ballards (I’ll save that story for another post.) and spent the weekend with Buick. You may remember from my post in October that Buick invited me and ten other superstar bloggers to design our version of their new Encore in their Pinboard to Dashboard competition. Amazingly, my design was one of those selected to be in the top five.
As car companies do, Buick was hosting a media event of sorts in Atlanta to introduce the new Encore to the who’s who of the auto industry. They had the first models available to drive plus lots of wine-and-dine-type activities. They invited the five finalists to Atlanta to test drive the new vehicle and to announce the winner of Pinboard to Dashboard.
Needless to say, the 24 hours spent with the Buick crew were just as fabulous as the first time around. On Friday, we were able to get behind the wheel of the Encore. I have to admit that driving a brand new vehicle in a strange city at rush hour was pretty intimidating.
They sent the five of us (plus some other folks from various lifestyle magazines) to an urban farm, Love is Love Farm, to pick up some locally grown produce the chef would be using to create dinner.
We then had a fabulous dinner at Empire State South.
This is one of the restaurants owned by chef, author, and restauranteur, Hugh Achenson. Hugh was there, did a little cooking presentation, and even autographed a book for us. The food was fantastic and the experience was unforgettable.
The next day we paired up, got back in the Encore, and drove to Toys R Us.
Each pair was given a very generous gift card and we were to use it to fill up our carts with toys that lwould be donated to Toys for Tots. How awesome is that?
I still can’t believe the number of toys we bought. It’s great to see a company use an event like this to give back. Truly amazing and the perfect cause for the season!
This is a picture of all of the folks involved in this awesomeness.
Here are the Pinboard to Dashboard finalists. I can’t tell you how happy and honored I am to have been in the company of these four amazingly talented woman. From baking to illustration, they are truly experts in their fields.
In the morning, before we went toy shopping, Buick hosted a little presentation about the new Encore. They also announced the winner of Pinboard to Dashboard. To my complete and utter surprise, my design concept was chosen as the winner. Talk about shocked, I still can’t believe it.
Next spring my design will be created (digitally, not physically) and then be showcased at the New York Auto Show. How awesome is that? I will be there all week, too!
It’s an unbelievable honor that my design was chosen as the winner from more than 20 lifestyle editors from publications like Lucky, Oprah, Woman’s World, Good Housekeeping,and The Huffington Post. Talk about a dream come true.
Honestly, it still hasn’t sunk in. I’m not sure it ever will. I am just incredibly grateful to Buick, the other bloggers, and everyone else involved in this process. It’s a dream come true.
If you’d like, feel free to check out GM’s press release about the Pinboard to Dashboard program. While I was there, they also took some photos and did a little video interview. You can see me nervously talk about my experience here. I also embedded the video below.
So that’s my little Buick recap and probably a few of my fifteen minutes of fame. Totally worth it though, right?
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Buick has treated me like a king, but I was not asked or paid to write this post.
This one is from the heart. Photos courtesy of Buick.