On one of the last weekends, in June, my husband had pretty much the perfect weekend for a guy...or, so I would assume. A girls weekend that would be defined as "perfect" might include a day at the spa, followed by cocktails by the pool (or ocean), followed by a romantic candlelit dinner. Guys? Not so much. But this particular weekend was TOTALLY a guys weekend. On Saturday, we went our separate ways- I went to meet a girlfriend for coffee and then went shopping and he went to hit golf balls with a friend of his (and by hit, I mean at the end they were trying not to die from the monsoon that hit the Seattle area that day...During this same monsoon, I was "sprinting"- if you can call it that- into Michaels to buy some decorations for a little project I had going on in the nursery). We rejoined later that day and worked around the house. Nothing too exciting.
The next day. Duh duh dummm.
A guys DREAM. Somehow Justin had gotten on an email list for Jaguar. We think that when we were looking for new cars, one of the ones he entertained was a range rover so they added him to a Jaguar email list. So, a week or so before, he got an email invite to come out to a Jaguar car event. They only accept a certain number of select people per day and it's basically a big marketing ploy. My first thought was "why would you even consider this?" because I am thinking marketing extravaganza. He had asked me earlier in the week if I wanted to go and my instinct was "HELL NO, that sounds MISERABLE." But before I opened my big trap to say that I thought of all my crazy times in the past 7 or so months that he has had to deal with a pregnant wife and I realized that Justin is pretty much the best husband ever. So, I said sure, why not. I can endure anything for a few hours and I pretty much psyched myself up for a few hours of misery with what I like to think was only minimal bitching about having to go. He seemed to not think it would be so bad but I continued to think it was just going to be a big marketing trap and we would both be miserable.
Foreshadowing: The only bad thing about all of this was that we had to wake up at 6:30am on a Sunday.
We got there bright and early and checked in. Showed our licenses, got tagged as people who were allowed to be in there and were taken in to a room where we got to see the new line of Jaguars for 2012. My initial thought was "Oh dear god kill me now" because I assumed that the next 3 hours would be exactly this: looking at cars I could care nothing about with, someone yapping their heads off to us about these cars that we had no intention of buying (and that I had previously thought were ridiculous cars... I had always thought of Jaguar's as grandpa cars and never in this WORLD would I have considered buying one).
So we are sitting there and talking to the rather friendly guy about the cars and exploring the three new models (one, above, which I would love to have as my next car...ha, um, in 18 years when there are no kids?) I was actually pretty impressed with their interior and the way they looked and then he told us that Jaguar had come in as #2 for most improved car a few days prior. Cool. But I'm still thinking, seriously? How are you going to be able to chat these things up for the next few hours?
THEN he tells us we are up for a street drive. Ok.... you mean I am not stuck in here with you forever? Awesome!
So, our little group goes out to a line of the biggest Jaguar model and we pair up. So Justin and I jump in a car (and sidenote: these cars are HUGE. They really more like grandpa cars but apparently weigh less than a BMW 750). We went on a 20-25 minute driving tour on the streets in these cars. It was pretty slick.
Here is Justin checking out all the features on this car. So, the day is already improving in my mind. The actual "marketing" has been minimal so far. And, we got to drive the cars and it was really kind of fun!
THEN, next thing you know, our little group is taken to 3 different "stations," I guess you would call them. At this point, I am just blown away. Their "marketing" is really about the experience and so far it's been pretty awesome- no huge crowds, smooth transitions, and really classy presentation.
The first station we went to was basically a rally track where you go around a course as fast as you can. Whoever has the fastest time in a certain period, wins some signed piece of art or something. Huh. While I am processing the fact that this is NOTHING like what I expected, and oh yeah, I have to race one of these things- holy hell, HOW am I going to do this, Justin is practically pissing his pants with excitement. I thought he was just excited about the racing thing because that is right up his alley, but I quickly learned that I am car-ignorant and there were several very famous race car drivers that would be assisting at this station. The first was Roberto Guerrero (I probably just butchered his last name) who was explaining to us HOW to race. Then, after getting briefed on that, we were all paired up with a race car driver (apparently mine was very famous... Mark something...? which I am glad I did not know at the time). Our group was small so there was really no waiting- I assume Jaguar plans it this way on purpose. We walked out to one of the speedy little Jags and had two practice/coaching laps with our experienced pros before getting timed. It was CRAZY. My guy kept yelling at me FASTER FASTER FASTER, FLOOR IT FLOOR IT FLOOR IT and I'm all, "You've got to be kidding me?!" It was seriously insanity. And I was slow. I think my lap was 32 seconds (and it felt like I was going 200mph) and my guy, sweetheart that he was, said "well, you beat my reverse time." Justin was much faster- 26 seconds which was only 1 second off the pros time.
After that, I calmed down my poor little heart and shaking hands, and we went to another station which was a technology station and basically showed you what the car could do...from adjusting to paddle shifters, to sport, to what it would be like on ice, etc. In this one, we were both in the car together (the other one it was just one of us and the race car driver). We were paired again with another famous racer- Davy Jones. I do not know of him, but again, apparently he is well known in the racing world. Justin drove first and I almost barfed all over. I was in the backseat with my eyes closed. HOLY CRAP. He just hooked it around those corners at probably 70 mph. Nuts. I took my sweet time. It was all good.
The last station was by far the coolest, in my opinion. Justin probably liked the first one the best. We were paired again with yet another race car driver (seriously by this point I am way impressed with not only the cars but how much Jaguar must be spending on this marketing campaign). They brought in probably about 15 of these super souped up special racing Jags (there are only 100 in the entire US) for people to do a 1-120mph test. So, you basically floor it, go really fast, try not to pee your pants, then stop. It was INSANE. They film everyone doing this via cameras in the cars and then send you the link. I would post mine here but I had a slight bit of a choice word towards the end when I was going way too ridiculously fast and fairly sure we might die. It was so freaking cool.
Here is Justin getting out of his race car post 1-120mph. We could not BELIEVE how well these cars handled and how fast they were. I am not a car person either so the fact that I was impressed says something.
After that, we had spent a good couple of hours with Jaguar that flew by and we went back in to the building to get our gift packages which were really pretty nice. I was totally fascinated by the whole thing and would go again to something like this in a heartbeat. They were so efficient at moving people through and it felt like they were catering just to you. Not only that, but you could tell they believed in their product AND by the end WE were believing in their product because of all of the experiences we had with them. I would seriously consider a Jaguar in the future so I guess that is why they probably have spent millions of dollars on this marketing campaign. Get people turned on to their cars, sell them, and it's all worth it. It was seriously cool and I'm so glad I went.
We got home and were both wiped. And I mean so wiped we crashed and took a good nap. I am not a napper so this is a notable thing. After that, the guys day continued and we headed out to play 9 holes.
It had been kind of rainy that morning so the course was dead and we got to just play with each other. We walked, played a couple of balls each and it was pretty spectacular.
Kind of a cool view, too.
And one more... pretty much the same shot but it's more action. Funny thing about this round? We both had the exact same score.
Though it wasn't what I would have "picked" for a perfect day and what I would still coin as a total "guys day", I have to say that this day was pretty close to perfect. I'm so glad I got to experience all of this with Justin.