Like sweepstaking, convention is always an adventure.  This year has been no different.  We decided to combine a family vacation with convention again this year.  Unfortunately, at the last moment, my husband Craig could not attend due to work commitments.  We were very lucky and the convention organizers were able to change Craig’s registration to my assistant Aprile (see, good luck flows into all areas of one’s life).  So it became a girl’s road trip; myself, my daughter Nicole, the nanny Jennifer and Aprile.

We left on Monday morning. We could drive all the way to Manchester NH, but we decided to break up the drive to make it less of a long haul along with allowing us to sight-see along the way.  We drove to Burlington VT, then stayed the night.

Tuesday morning we began our trek to Manchester. We had two important stops to make first.  Our first stop was the Vermont Teddy Bear Company factory.

We began with a tour and Nicole left with a new teddy bear.  Then it was off for lunch before we got dessert, at the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.

We made spin art, a tye dye t-shirt, took the tour and, of course, ate ice cream! We arrived in Manchester just in time for dinner.

Wednesday we had planned to go to the beach (an hour east of Manchester), but the weather was not co-operating.  So we did what four girls would do, we went shopping!  After lunch we took Nicole to the SEE Science Center.  It’s a small hands on centre for kids (of all ages).  They have a really cool Millyard LEGO installation that used over 3 million pieces of LEGO.

Wednesday night we went to the famous Red Arrow Diner.  I had my first Whoppie Pie. YUMMY! !

Thursday at noon the convention officially started with the Vendor Room opening. It was wonderful to see so many of my sweepstaking buddies.  Lots of hugs all round.

After a quick dinner, the festivities kicked off with an Ice Cream Social and PRIZES! (Lucky me, I won 100 Forever stamps, WOOHOO!!)

If you didn’t make it this year, make sure you attend the 21st Annual National Sweepstakes Convention.

Hope to see you there!