Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Big Thank You

The concerts are finished in the US, now its time for me to write a short summary of my trip and hang on to the amazing memories. 
First a big Thank You for the Organization of the Night of the Proms for taking me to the US and being able to see this venue.  I seriously had a great time all week in Dallas and definitely enjoyed the concert, wish I could travel with the full orchestra and get to know a bunch of them, would have been a lovely experience.  Apparently, they took a bus to get to the other cities, Little Rock, Kansas City and Omaha.  On the way one of the tour bus has had a puncture, not sure if they made it on time to the event but sure it was ok as have not read anything different from that.
Second big Thank You to my friends in Dallas, I had a superb time with them.  It was lovely to be able to visit them after many years and their unbelievable support, not just that they accommodated me but they helped me with transportation and also took me to play tennis and visiting Waco, Texas (where I was able to see the Baylor University, real American campus).  I was pretty lucky, ended up on a birthday party with them Saturday night and met a Texan who I have also known for a few years, what a great surprise!
Third big Thank you for my landlord for looking after my cat all week, he missed me but at least he was still at home nice and comfy.  I received a photo in my mailbox from them during the week, my cat being on the roof staring at the sky, obviously waiting for my plane to arrive...
Last but not least, thank you for everyone reading my posts and all the support, patience I got from friends before and during my time there.  Hope to see you all with my next adventure!

Friday, 20 June 2014

The concert

The precious night of the concert has finally arrived, first time live in the US.  The venue was held in a smaller concert hall in Grand Praire area.  I was happy to see that the theatre was basically full and the audience seemed to be mainly middle-aged, I assume it was because of this particular line-up.
Soon after everyone was seated, a very cheerful opening greeted the crowd.  (And of course it contained the theme song from the TV series Dallas...lalalallaaallla...I know you are singing it already in your head.)  Then the orchestra first played the Hungarian dance from Brahms! What a great start, really came as a surprise for me! I have to tell you, my Hungarian pride was clearly written on my face at that certain time.  Followed by the Pointers Sisters, the 3 lady has rushed blood into our feet, we all got SO Excited!  This excitement continued with a Waltz and the amount of couples getting up to dance was pretty impressive. We also got to see the good-looking Kenny Loggins. (At least from the reaction of the women he seemed like an American hero on stage.)  The funny Natalie Choquette amazed us with her incredible voice and not just her voice was big but her mouth too, you should have seen how much spaghetti she could eat while performing.  And then we had the greatest John Miles and Michael McDonald, even singing together.  My favorite part was definitely Nile Rodgers and his Chic dance, Le Freak, who wouldn't remember that song?!  And we certainly all had Good Times!! He invited people up on stage and I managed to count around 60 people dancing up there with the full orchestra, it was already fun just watching it and being part of it!  At the very end all performers sang the 'We are family' together and I couldn't resist to take a picture with my phone, hope a little vibe comes through with this image, too.  As a closure, Carmina Burana finished off the venue, a stylish ending of this night.
In summary, had a super entertaining evening, 3 hours live performance.  I greatly appreciate the opportunity to be part of it, was certainly a once in a lifetime experience.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


I arrived in Dallas on Saturday. Had a long, but pleasant flight with klm, thanks for the organizers of the Night of the Proms.  (They are taking good care of me, making sure this trip will be a nice experience.)  In the weekend I was enjoying the superb weather with 33 Celsius, sunbathing, sitting by a pool and also driving around in the suburbs, getting familiar with the city. 
My first visit on Monday had to be the Southfork Ranch.  I bet you remember the series of Dallas and the world famous Ewing family....nah, that's where I was! I guess it's a kind of must once you are in town.  Pretty easy reach in the outskirts called Parker, a few ranches along the way and for everyone's surprise, no oil.  Like none...if you know what I mean.  The house is smaller than I expected but the land is enormous.  Nice atmosphere, still a few bulls, horses around and since the weather was perfect, I was able to hang out right at the pool of the house.  Tiny pool, you would not recognize the Olympic size as it was introduced in the film.  One of those American tricks, right?! It is particularly laid back that they let you just sit outside and enjoy the scene of the movie.  I sat on the sunbed and was thinking of the episodes, which I have not seen too many, though I clearly remember the fact they were always drinking whisky. How can I forget? So many friends of mine used to play the "Whisky game", when they drank whisky in the film, you had to drink too...had such an easy rule to follow.  Cheers!

Friday, 13 June 2014

My connection with the venue

Lots of people asking how I got connected with the venue.  Well, great question.  Let me start with a little introduction about myself:  I am originally from Hungary, have lived most of my years there.  Also lived in London, England for 2,5 years and same period in The Netherlands.  I have currently moved back to NL, was living in the US before, including Las Vegas and Alaska.  I am always searching for great entertainment opportunities and have already heard about the Night of the Proms while living in Hungary. When I moved to the Netherlands, I came across the venue through a TV commercial in 2011 and have checked their website.  It sounded amazing, with all those great singers like Angie Stone, James Blunt, Mick Hucknall (Simply Red), John Miles performing in Rotterdam with the symphonic orchestra.  I absolutely love special events which stand out from the mass and this is certainly something different then a concert itself.  I booked my ticket straight away and was curious to see how can classical music meet pop.  It was an amazing and outstanding experience, though I was little sad that Seal has only performed in Belgium and not in the Netherlands (we always long for more, aren't we?)  Since then, I am always curious to check the line up for the next event and that's exactly what happened this time too...on the website stood the little article stating the opportunity to be an Ambassador and win a trip to the USA as this will be the first time they appear on stage in the States.  Because I am still a little "homesick" , this sounded like a fantastic opportunity to go back to my latest homeland, so I had to give it a go.  Look, where it took me!  I am flying over tomorrow to enjoy the Premier of the Night of the Proms in Dallas, Texas.  Really can't wait.
What did I learn again?  Never give up your dreams! You can fail or loose if you try but if you don't try, you don't even have the chance to win!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Who is travelling?

Well, I have won the trip to the Night of the Proms concert in the USA, right?!  The advantage of the 4 concerts organized that I had the chance to choose between destinations.  Dallas, Kansas City, Omaha and Little Rock.  I chose Dallas in order to be in a bigger city and see a little more as a traveler.  Also have some friends in town and since my American husband is not willing to see me there, I needed a city where I can enjoy my stay also as a tourist.  Slight little problem which needs to be solved is that the trip is for 2 people. 
Originally I had all this planned in my head:
1.) Meeting my husband and spending time there with him and discuss our future. (of course that time he still wanted to see me ;-))
2.) Taking my stepmum with me as she has never been to the US. 
3.) Travel with a friend of mine who has looked after my cat for 5 months.
I thought it is a good opportunity to offer a great experience and traveling.  The only down side of it: the trip is only covered with 2 nights of accommodation because of the length of the concert (one night).  My perspective is if I travel half of the world than I would definitely stay longer and do a little sightseeing (you never know, might not ever go that way again in my life)...this obviously costs extra money for hotel and renting a car to be able to get around.  I was so excited but got turned down by all of the people I had planned. 
It's ok, I don't give up that easy.  I decided to make a draw amongst the friends who have registered in this contest for me and the winner who can afford the extra costs and time is convenient for, will be able to travel with me.  I wrote more than a hundred emails, explaining the details of the trip and day by day less people were able to be included in the draw.  Some didn't have a valid passport, some couldn't afford the extra costs or simply didn't have the time to travel on these particular dates.  It all came down to 2 people at the end and at the very last day...one of them pulled out.  Knowing who the last person was, I contacted her and again got excited about organizing our little adventure together.  Her birthday being on the 18th of June sounded perfect and I thought of asking the organizers if we can surprise her on the day of arriving to the hotel, maybe with someone personally singing to her. (Yes, I am that sweet :-)) Had the flights booked, received confirmation for 14-22 June and everything was going smoothly apart from our communication as she was on a holiday at the same time.  She was supposed to travel from Hungary and needed to get an extra flight from Budapest to the Netherlands.  Unfortunately, for some reason she was not able to book this trip and when she got back from her holiday, she pulled out because of various reasons.  I felt awful.  I put a full week effort in this, turned down a lot of people who could have travelled on slightly different dates and already had the flight ticket booked on her name. 
Again, I learnt a lesson from life, people don't appreciate other's efforts that much, nor something they don't need to put any work in...we always learn on a hard way, even that life can be so easy, we still tend to complicate it for ourselves. 
For some reason, maybe I need to travel alone again and this time with a heavy heart.  I need to remind myself that I won this trip and I am so proud I could achieve that.  Sure I will have a superb time there with true friends waiting for me and will also have some space for myself to clear my head.  I am one lucky woman!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Winning the trip

Winning the trip to attend and see Night of the Proms in the USA wasn't easy.  The idea was to spread the word on social media about the organization starting its appearance in the US in June 2014.  I had to sign in as an Ambassador to be able to compete and collect as many registration and shares as possible through my network. I spent hours and hours per day with nagging my friends sharing my posts and also with posting the commercial daily.  It started pretty well and on the original website I could follow other Ambassadors activity.  I knew I had a chance and this time I even had more time than usual to deal with this.  Day by day I could see my profile climbing up on the ladder and also taking over the leading position.  I love Night of the Proms, attended in Rotterdam before, and somehow just had the urge to keep going.  I didn't want to stop, probably driving my friends crazy on Facebook with all my mails and posts begging to join.  The amount of people joining was increasing and I felt - even seeing the difference between me and the 2nd person - that I should not let my winning position go.  I carried on collecting shares and by the end of the contest, 31st May 2014, I had an incredible 290 shares under my name.  I knew this is it, I am the winner.  Was waiting for my confirmation mail with a big smile on my face and it landed in my mailbox just as expected.  I have never won anything and there were some days when I was doubting that this is true, what if they cancel the promotion, what if this is not real.  But it had to be, kept my faith and it was all worth it.  All the hours and effort I put in, was all worth it.  I learnt it again, that we should never give up our dreams. 
I would like to thank to all my friends again in The Netherlands, Hungary, USA and all over the world who have helped me achieving this, what an achievement, flying to Dallas in 2 weeks time  to see the opening show of the Night of the Proms.  Thank you also for the organization, such a pleasure and looking forward to be part of the show's history.