It’s been a few busy weeks and sadly, my beloved Word Wednesday posts have paid the price. Today I deliberately sought out some time because I wanted to post about an amazing experience I had in the summer that led directly to an amazing experience I had last week – and I wanted to do it while the memory was still fresh in my mind.
In August, I was invited to participate in an amazing influencer retreat – #LetsGoRama by the lovely ladies at SJ Consulting. I learned a lot but also had an amazing time just chilling by the pool with friends. The magic of that retreat still hasn’t worn off. I loved going to Casino Rama for concerts before the retreat – for me it’s the same amount of driving to go up to Rama or to go into Toronto, but one is a much more relaxing drive (and has free parking and only 5000 seats in the venue!) and the retreat introduced me to new experiences within the casino. I didn’t realize there was a saltwater pool, steam room, sauna, hot tub, or amazing exercise facility that is available to anyone who stays in the hotel or customers of the spa that is also located in the hotel.
I signed up for a Player’s Passport Card while at the conference – it’s a rewards card for the Casino and it’s free. You can earn points with it when playing on the electronic gaming machines (like slots or video poker), and you can earn free food, concert tickets, or even a night’s stay at the hotel. I managed to earn a free night at the hotel that I could use on a non-weekend night, and the amazing PR person for the Casino offered all of the influencers at the retreat a pair of tickets to any concert in 2016. I’d already bought tickets for a few events that I was interested in, so I asked if the tickets could be for the Radio for Cardiology benefit concert featuring the Trews and 54-40. Not only was the concert featuring two bands I love, it benefited a cause close to my heart: getting a cardiac catheterization lab for Barrie’s Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) so that everyone in Simcoe-Muskoka would be able to receive lifesaving treatment within the 90 minute standard. (I made a donation to the cause since I didn’t actually pay for the concert tickets.) I had already been tweeting and posting about this amazing concert and it was amazing when I was told that yes, I could use my free tickets for that event.
I messaged my friend Crys and asked if she wanted to come with me and stay over the night before the concert. Crys agreed and we had a lovely 28 hour stay. We ate amazing food and neither Crys who has Celiac disease and is gluten free nor me who has multiple food allergies felt there was a lack of choice while eating in any of the 3 restaurants we ate at. I had also earned some dining credits so some of my food was covered. We spent some time at the casino itself, and the afternoon was spent relaxing (and talking shop) by the pool. Then it was time for dinner and the concert.
The concert was amazing. It started at 8pm with a local band – Code Blue – made up of doctors from RVH and they played a selection of cover songs that delighted the audience. Then came 54-40 and I was instantly transported back to my teenage years when I listened to a lot of Canadian music, particularly 54-40 and Great Big Sea. They played all of their hits, and the audience sang along to most of them. After a short break, the Trews took the stage. If you haven’t seen the Trews play live, you’re missing out. There are some bands that are just so amazing to listen to live and the Trews are one of those bands. Between the 3 bands and the two short intermissions, the concert lasted 3.5 hours! It was far better than I had imagined it would be.
All in all it was a great getaway and sorely needed for me. The fact that my hotel stay was covered as a guerdon – icing on the cake. Full confession, I’ve been trying to figure out how to use guerdon in a post for awhile now – it’s not a common word and although the definition is pretty easy to understand, it doesn’t fit easily into conversation. However, I like the way the word sounds. Guerdon means a reward or payment, and was first used in literature by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th Century. It is vastly underused today but was brought back to my mind when it was the Word of the Day on Merriam-Webster at the beginning of October.
The derivation of guerdon is – wait for it – Latin, however there is Old French and old High German mixed in there for effect. The root words of the word are: Old French guerredon – reward or recompense, Old High German widarlon – recompense, and Medieval Latin donum – gift. So the word has a really neat etymology and I felt like I should share it.
Guerdon guer·don noun