Our weekend in Toronto with Fisher-Price

by DaniGirl on March 11, 2011 · 11 comments

in Reviews, promotions and giveaways

Phew, is it just me or has someone hit the fast-forward button on life this week? Yowza! So much to tell you about, and no time to write a coherent blog post!

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been selected to be one of a handful of official bloggers for Fisher-Price Canada. Last weekend, Lucas and I flew down to Toronto for a day to meet the other bloggers and the marketing team. What a riot!

While I love a good road trip, I don’t get too many chances to travel by air. I was going to say this was Lucas’s first time in a plane, but the last time I flew down to Toronto for a social media conference was back in December of 2007, and I was about eight months pregnant with him. He was a lot easier to manage in utero!

At the airport

I have to take a minute to say how much WestJet impressed me on this trip. I’ve never flown with them before, and I don’t know whether it was Lucas or me who was more delighted when the agent who checked us in invited Lucas over to his side of the baggage counter. He let Lucas attach the destination label to our suitcase and helped him push the button that sent our bag on its way to the plane. All the WestJet staff were amazingly pleasant, and we were even given a quick tour of the cockpit when we boarded.

I admit, I was a little leery of flying with a three-year-old, but he was an absolute angel. In fact, the business man whose face visibly fell when he approached his seat and realized he’d be spending his flight sitting next to Lucas even complimented me on his behaviour on the way into Pearson.

It was a gorgeous day to be flying out of Ottawa. We’re just banking over the the Ottawa River here, right around Shirley’s Bay, I think.

71:365 Over Ottawa

I’d picked up a bottle of water and some trail mix in the airport and Lucas snacked on them during ascent and descent to keep his ears clear, and he spent most of the flight happily playing Smurfs on Beloved’s iTouch. When we had to shut that off for takeoffs and landings (which, on the flight from Ottawa to Toronto, comprises nearly half the flight!) we had some stickers and crayons handy. I tell ya, I’m learning that the Boy Scouts were on to something with their preparation motto!

On the airplane

I tried to get a good picture of the driver who met us at the airport holding a card with my name on it — not likely I’ll get that experience a second time!! — but with one hand on Lucas and one hand on our suitcase, a carry-on bag and my purse slung around my neck, there were simply no hands free to snap the shutter.

I did, however, pull out my iPhone to snap baby’s first limo ride!

Baby's first limo ride - apparently now we're posh people! #playpanel

This is typical of how the weekend went, with the lovely peeps at Mom Central Canada, Spider Marketing and Fisher-Price making us feel like royalty with their thoughtfulness every step of the way.

We stayed at the downtown Marriott hotel that’s attached to the Eaton Centre, so Lucas and I dined in typical style in the Eaton Centre food court. (Man, and I thought the Rideau Centre food court was a cesspool of humanity! I was so anxious from the sheer crowdedness of the place that I couldn’t wait to get out of there!)

On Saturday, we spent an entire day on location in the photographer’s studio in downtown Toronto. Ordinarily, I’d’ve been in nirvana to spend eight hours in a studio, but all the excitement of the week had started to catch up with me and frankly, I wasn’t feeling well. Despite that, I had a great time meeting the folks from Mom Central, from the Fisher-Price marketing team, and the other bloggers.

We had our hair and makeup professionally done, and we had professional wardrobe consultants on site. We had three separate photo shoots: one with just me and Lucas, one with half of the other bloggers and their kids, and one giant group shot with all the bloggers and their kids. Here’s Nadia and her adorable little fellow taken from the loft above the studio.

Aerial view of the #playpanel shoot for Fisher-Price. Fun!

And here’s a close-up of Nadia’s son Thomas. Isn’t he a cutie?


In between our turns in front of the camera, we chatted and played with Fisher-Price toys and chatted and snacked and chatted. Oh, and there was a lot of this going on:

When bloggers socialize

I’m pretty sure — but not positive — that they’re not talking to each other! šŸ˜‰ That’s Nadia and our token pregnant blogger, Ilissa.

We ended up wrapping the day a little early. While we waited for our car to arrive and whisk us back to the airport, I noticed that nobody was using the studio with the white backdrop. The big softboxes were turned off, but I still had fun capturing a little private photo shoot in the studio with Lucas.

72:365 Lucas's photo shoot

And then we were off, back to the airport and back to Ottawa in a flash. A mere 30 hours after we’d departed, we descended the escalator at the airport to be greeted by Beloved, Tristan and Simon in the arrivals lounge.

It was a hectic but fun-filled day-and-a-half, and I can’t wait to see those photos! I should have them for you soon, and I’ll have more news about how the year-long campaign with Fisher-Price will go, too. In the interim, HUGE thanks to Mom Central Canada (especially Pam, Cora and Kathryn) and Spider Marketing and Fisher-Price for the amazing trip. We had a blast!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicky March 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm

How was your experience at the airport security with a kid?

2 Ilissa March 12, 2011 at 2:24 am

RT @DaniGirl: I finally found a few mintues to blog our #playpanel weekend in Toronto with Fisher-Price and @MC_Canada http://bit.ly/eDk0GQ

3 Scatteredmom March 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Sounds like so much fun. When I flew to Blissdom Canada in Toronto, I flew with West Jet and they were amazing. Even leading up to the conference when I expressed my trepidation about flying, as I hadn’t for 20 yrs, they messaged me with tips and made me feel welcome. I really enjoyed it, and would love to fly West Jet if I ever travel like that again.

Actually I’m going to Toronto for Spring Break, and have my fingers crossed that it’s West Jet that I get to fly on. LOL!

4 Kathryn March 12, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I saw you taking those shots of Lucas and thought you must be enjoying that space! Kind of hard to find a blank canvas like that. It was so wonderful to meet you and Lucas is SUCH a sweetheart. He melted my heart in those pictures – he’s just so sweet with you.
Looking forward to more to come! Chat soon.

5 Sarah March 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Thanks for this Great post Dani. Was a pleasure having you here and chatting in person. Look forward to working with you over the next year! All my best, Sarah

6 Mom Central Canada March 12, 2011 at 11:48 pm

RT @DaniGirl: I finally found a few mintues to blog our #playpanel weekend in Toronto with Fisher-Price and @MC_Canada http://bit.ly/eDk0GQ

7 Christine Ross March 12, 2011 at 11:57 pm

RT @DaniGirl: I finally found a few mintues to blog our #playpanel weekend in Toronto with Fisher-Price and @MC_Canada http://bit.ly/eDk0GQ

8 Pamela Mills March 13, 2011 at 1:45 am

šŸ™‚ RT @danigirl: I finally found a few mintues to blog our #playpanel weekend in TO with Fisher-Price and @MC_Canada http://bit.ly/eDk0GQ

9 Anonymous March 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I flew with WestJet back in 2000. The staff from check-in to destination arrival were fantastic and our flight attendants were hilarious. Best plane trip I’ve ever taken.
Certainly looks like it is going to be a wonderful year with Fisher-Price for all of you. Looking forward to the rest of the pictures. Lucas is so darn cute…they are going to be amazing.
p.s. So know what you mean about the food court. I detest eating in them and avoid them whenever possible.

10 Paula March 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Oops, that was me. Submitted comment without filling in my particulars. Sorry.

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