charlotteDay 17 | August 11th

You may remember my hosts for this leg of the tour as I blogged about Sharon and Ron last year; Couple Reveals Their Secrets to Free Trips & Cash (includes video).

I ended staying up late the previous night with my web hosting service telephone technical support.  I hung up when I realized the site hack issue was not going to be resolved until morning.  After breakfast, I was back on the phone trying to resolve the hack attack.  (Thank goodness for AT&T and the HTC First phone they gave me to test and review on the tour. It had unlimited calling within the U.S. and I used a lot of minutes speaking to technical support.)  I was on the phone until it was time to leave for the workshop.

Madison's Coffee House
As it was the biggest workshop I was holding, we got to Madison’s Coffee House an hour early to set up and found some eager beavers waiting for us.  It was nice to have help as we got the room ready.  We had so many in attendance that it took two photos to get us all in!

Left Side of Room  Right Side of Room

I even had to change my teaching method a wee bit and always face the front of the room (no talking as I turned my back to write on the flip chart) as we had a newbie (a brand new sweeper) who was hearing impaired.  She had brought a friend who signed, but as she read lips I didn’t want her to miss a thing.  I love how this hobby is accessible to most people.

We wrapped up just after 3:00pm and headed back to Sharon’s.  I worked on the website issue a bit more before I decided to give up and enjoy the surroundings. (Sharon and Ron’s home backs onto Lake Stanley. It felt like I was up at a cottage in the Muskokas.)  They also had a couple of their grandchildren for the weekend, who I might add were “full of beans” and excited to show me the lake. We got into the fishing boat and went out for about an hour. Such a lovely area to live.  It was wonderful to sit back, watch the sunset, and listen to the boys tell me about all the adventures they have there.  (Made me miss my daughter Nicole too.)

Upon our return my website still wasn’t back online.  So Sharon and I went out for a lovely dinner.  I had the locally caught fish.  Amazing.

Sharon & Carolyn

After one last fruitless call to technical support I went to bed.

Day 18 | August 12th

I got my website back online just in time for my appearance on WCNC’s morning show Charlotte Today.

WCNC-TV Charlotte NC

My next stop was a pleasure visit. I drove to Virginia Beach VA to stay with another TLC High Stakes Sweepers co-star, Ret Fortuna.

I arrived just in time for dinner.  I was treated to leftovers from the annual Virginia Beach Prize Patrol sweepstakes club’s annual summer pot luck BBQ.  How I wish I had been able to time the trip so I could have attended.  As we we ate, Ret told me all about the fun they had.  (Making real friends is an aspect of the hobby I never expected and has changed my life in more ways than I can count.  I highly recommend finding a local sweepstakes club and joining.)

We then stayed up to the wee hours chatting.  It was amazing to hear all the stories from a sweeping veteran.  I wish Ret would write a book!

Day 19 | August 13th

I planned to enjoy the day as I didn’t have another workshop booked until Baltimore MD. Ret and I spent the day running errands. We had lunch at a famous local restaurant; Doc Taylor’s, then spent the afternoon at the beach!

Lunch @ Doc Taylor's  Ret & Carolyn @ the beach

After we had enough of the sun, we walked the Boardwalk. I even found Neptune. As it was still early we drove along Atlantic Avenue and back along Pacific Avenue. What a beautiful city.


As we ate so much at lunch and since there was so much food left over from the BBQ, we ate the last of the leftovers.  It was so nice to have a break during my whirlwind tour.


crw 0613 headshotCarolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is the author of You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter. She teaches others how to find, organize, enter and win contests, sweepstakes and giveaways. To-date others have won over $1,000,000 using her Online Contesting System. With over twenty years experience as a Sweepstakes Management Consultant, Carolyn also helps companies create, and viral market, winning promotions maximizing ROI and loyal customers.