Barclaycard Arrival Plus® Mastercard® sent two lucky cardmembers to New York for a GRAMMY Awards® VIP-filled weekend! Our cardmembers Patricia and Thomas – and their guests – enjoyed a private tour of the city followed by exclusive dinners, Pre-Grammy Galas, and more!
Live vicariously through Patricia’s experience. Here’s her recap:
On January 10, I get a call saying I won a trip to the GRAMMY Awards. “Yeah right! It’s a scam,” I say. So I declined. After investigating further, I find out it was real and I had just declined a trip to New York City and the GRAMMYs®. Needless to say, I was super bummed. At least bummed for six days until on the 16th I’m contacted again. Do I accept this time? Absolutely yes! It’s not every day a chicken and horse farmer from Kentucky wins a trip to the GRAMMYs.
So, with much excitement I go shopping, find a farm sitter and then prepare for our departure. At this point, I need to emphasize the fact that everyone – and I mean everyone – I tell that I won a trip to the GRAMMYs is so excited! Everyone from my family and friends to the sales people at the dress shops. It literally “took a village” to get us ready to go on the 25th. With borrowed clothes, jewelry, and lipstick – and the farm in the loving care of my niece – we catch a plane to New York City. I kept thinking in the back of my mind that this was just a dream. Even boarding the plane, I had to keep telling myself this is really happening, it’s happening. It did happen!
DAY ONE: We get off the plane, get our luggage and there waiting for us is our driver who will take us to our hotel. Remember, we don’t have drivers on the farm, and this ride was a nice black Cadillac Escalade. Nice!! So already this is looking pretty out of our league. Arriving at our hotel, the five-star Plaza, who is there to greet us? Paparazzi! A photographer and videographer. So with flashes in our faces, Bryce, our personal concierge for the stay who along with Tiffany was awesome, takes us into The Plaza and gets us acquainted with the itinerary. Yes, we have everything all planned out and taken care of for us.
We head up to our room and walk in. There is this beautiful king-size bed and a bathroom that my bedroom back home could fit in. Gold-plated fixtures, GOLD fixtures! The most comfortable bathtub I have ever had a soak in. The most amazing shower I have ever had a shower in. WOW!
Off we head to Avra Madison for a beautiful dinner. We have some concerns because we were going to be meeting our fellow contest winners – the ones we would be spending the next several days with. What if they are jerks? This could be a long few days. Those fears were quickly put to rest. Much to our relief, they were all “salt of the earth” folks and we hit it off amazingly well. We sit at a long table and dish after dish after dish keeps coming. I have to be on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Did I have to worry about trying to find something to eat? No. Bryce had already informed them of my diet restrictions and as they were bringing appetizers out, the waitress lets me know what’s safe to eat and what’s not. And can we bring you this or that? This was the case at EVERY restaurant or event. Back to the Plaza with full bellies for a restful end to our first day.
DAY TWO: We are taken on a VIP tour of New York City. We had an excellent tour guide, a lifelong New Yorker. He showed us Rockefeller Center, 9/11 Memorial, Grand Central Station, Empire State building, Central Park, and the UN building, just to name a few. All the while learning history and hearing anecdotes about New York City, Manhattan in particular.
After getting back to our room and getting a much-needed nap, we were off to 11 Madison Avenue. A restaurant that was rated #1 in the world last year. I’m telling you, we are not used to this kind of treatment. It was another amazing experience. Each course was like a plate of artwork. So beautiful you hated to eat it of which I quickly got over. The food kept coming and the wine kept coming. Each course was even better than the preceding course. Did I mention it was amazing? So again we head back to the Plaza with full bellies and ready for a good night’s rest.
DAY THREE: Starts with a backstage tour of the GRAMMYs. We walk where the celebrities will be walking, the red carpet, and where, after they get their award, they’ll be interviewed and get their gifts from sponsors. Like they really need more expensive watches, perfumes or jewelry. I guess they did work hard to get there. Sorry, a little off subject. What do I have to complain about here anyway? We didn’t get to see any acts practicing – it was a closed set – but it was fun to get to go behind the scenes.
After we finish there, we are able to have the rest of the morning and afternoon to do whatever we want. What’s a farm girl going to do when she gets to the big city? We were headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but along the way I kept getting distracted by...the animals in the Central Park Zoo. So you guessed it. Being animal-deprived for nearly 2 days, we head to the zoo to get my fix. If I haven’t mentioned this yet, I have a very patient and easy-going husband, too. Hey I won the trip and he’s just fortunate I picked him as my-plus one:-). We had a fun time there. It was a gorgeous day and it was glorious being able to spend time out of doors and smelling animals. I didn’t go as far as offering to clean up the animal poo…I didn’t need that much of a fix. Head back to the hotel to nap and get ready for the CLIVE DAVIS Pre-GRAMMY Gala®!
The celebrities! Wow the celebrities! You couldn’t spit without hitting one. We did not test that. Promise! There were so many that I knew and there were many more my younger family members knew. Chainsmokers? There really is a music group called that. I’m not a hip person. Did I mention that I am just a simple chicken and horse farmer from Kentucky? Now I’m not going to name drop here. But Sting was there. I may have stepped on Jerry Seinfeld‘s foot snaking my way through the crowds on my way to the bathroom. Oh! And the performances! Amazing! Gladys Knight! Alicia Keys at the piano performing a beautiful medley of songs! Jennifer Hudson with a spectacular finish of Aretha Franklin songs! It was all fantastic!
GRAMMY Day: Now comes the big day! The day we’ve all been waiting for. It starts with my professional makeover appointment. After showing the hairstylist and makeup artist my dress, they work their magic. And magic it was because I didn’t look like me. I think I was under there. It was a lot of fun seeing the transformation. I had false eyelashes! I’m pretty sure this will be the only time I will ever be wearing false eyelashes. However, I probably said I was never going to the GRAMMYs either. Never say never. Back to the story...after chilling in the room and trying not to ruin my new look, we suit up.
The evening officially starts with a reception in the Oak Room. It was amazing food but I have to tell you we probably would have eaten more if we weren’t so afraid of spilling something on our clothes, ‘cause we are looking pretty sharp at this point. We needed bodysuit napkins. I don’t think they make them though. We ate plenty to get us through the night. We weren’t ever hungry by any means. We had probably gotten a little to used to being stuffed, I think.
So now off to the GRAMMYs! I was pleasantly surprised that the driver was able to let us off right in front of Madison Square Garden because he had to do a lot of finagling to get there because of all the street closures. I thought I had gotten cute but comfortable shoes, but I didn’t want to put that to the test if I didn’t have to. In we go to the 60th GRAMMY Awards Ceremony! It was beautiful! To see everything firsthand that normally we would have seen on TV, it was even more grand in person. The stage is huge! The circle stage in the center is bigger than it looks on TV. It was so interesting seeing the stage being set up and taken down, the announcer threatening people to get in their seats because the commercial is almost over and watching past GRAMMY performances while the rest of the world was watching commercials. The live performances, WOW! We have since watched the GRAMMYs on our TV and it was no comparison. They were so moving, touching and amazing! Pretty much run the full emotional gambit.
In conclusion, I know everyone reading this is saying “finally,” Steve and I would like to say this was literally a once in a lifetime experience for us. We are thrilled that we won this trip and just by using my Barclaycard Arrival Plus® Mastercard®. Who would’ve thought? Thank you Barclays for this wonderful and amazing adventure/prize!
We’d like to thank Patricia and Thomas for being loyal Barclaycard Arrival Plus® Mastercard® cardmembers. We really enjoy Patricia’s recap and hope you did, too! Stay tuned for more exclusive cardmember events and exciting opportunities this year.
To learn more about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Mastercard® visit the website. #IHAVEARRIVED #GRAMMYs
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Patricia and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard takes no position as to the views and opinions contained in the blog.
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