Matthew’s reaction to the news that he was going to see his idol was nothing short of perfect. I waited until he had his breakfast and then told him I was not going to work that day. I asked him if he’d like to play hooky to which he said “I guess”. He wanted to know why so I asked him if he remembered anything that was going on, say in maybe Halifax that maybe he might have mentioned a while ago back. He looked at me for what seemed to be like minutes (it might have been 20 seconds) and all of a sudden his eyes grew big. “Cesar??” Yep. Cesar. Wanna go see him? “Do I??? Hell, yeah!” We attempted a picture but we were quickly reminded he was dressed yet. A bathrobe doesn’t count.
About an hour later we were in the car. It seemed like the quickest trip ever. Matthew gabbed and gabbed and Mike and I were so pumped with excitement that we were there before we knew it.
Even though check-in wasn’t until 3:00pm, we arrived at 2:00 and decided to touch base with the hotel to see if there was any possibility that we could upgrade from our complimentary double room to a suite and just pay the difference. Matthew had “yuck” issues with sharing a room with his Mom and Dad…lol. The hostess at the front counter of our hotel was wonderful and after checking with her manager said that yes, we could indeed upgrade and this too was complimentary. Wow. I mean, it wasn’t a huge price difference but it was really nice of them do it for us. Plus we didn’t have to wait until 3:00 to check-in as the rooms were ready. Bonus. A little chill-out time before we had to get ready to go.
We ran out and grabbed a bite to eat to take back to the room with us as we knew we wouldn’t be getting any supper. It was nice to just relax for a bit and get ready for the big evening ahead.
We arrived at the Metro Centre at 5:40. I went up to the ticket booth to collect our tickets. The girl behind the counter hands me 6 comp tickets and 3 VIP passes. At first I thought she had handed me the 3 comp tickets plus the 3 we had purchased, but no, she handed me 6 comp tickets and 3 VIP passes and verified that the 3 paid-for tickets were still in an envelop with Debbie’s name on them. 6??? 3 in the FRONT row and 3 in the second row. Someone obviously double-booked or screwed up or something. Not knowing what to do she told me to take the 6 tickets. They were there with my name on them so they are mine. I thanked her, still very confused and went over to talk with Mike. After a short chat with hubby back to the ticket booth I went. I asked if we could take the 3 tickets for the second row and swap them out with the 3 I had Debbie’s name on to give her the better seats. Sure, no problem. Now we still had 3 tickets about 15 rows back from the stage with my name on them. I asked her to keep those tickets with her there and when someone came in to pick up tickets that were far back from the stage if she would just give them so they could have better seats. She didn’t need to explain other than to say they had better seats become available. I did see someone sitting in those seats and I really hope they enjoyed being a little closer.
Back I go to Mike and Matt. I handed Matt the tickets and then I handed him the 3 VIP passes. He asked what they were for. Oh! Didn’t I tell you?? We’re going backstage to meet Cesar before the show starts! The look on his face was priceless. He thought he was going to throw up and looked like he was going to faint. He didn’t have much time to absorb it all and I dare say his mind was just swimming.
Before too long, one of Cesar’s crew members and security came and gathered up the 20 of us who were waiting to attend the meet and greet. We were brought into a small meeting/locker room that had a small table all set up for items that people brought to be autographed. Geez, I didn’t even think of that!
Once everyone had handed in their books, pictures, hats, etc to be signed it wasn’t too long beofre the man-of-the-hour entered the room. It was Cesar!!!!! Matthew bent over to me and all he said was “I can’t breathe.” After he took a couple of deep breathes he was ok. Cesar started off by going right around the room shaking hands and speaking with every guest that was there. He was so friendly and so down-to-earth. It was just like a old friend entered the room.
He took his seat and started signing away. We were all pretty quiet and he told us to not all talk at once. Within seconds we were all just casually talking about the weather (he found it so cold in Canada…lol…and it’s been exceptionally mild, at least here in NS this year), lobster, his tour, hunting, and idol chit-chat like that.
After he had everything signed and returned we had the opportunity to have pictures done. He started carrying on with Matt, threw his hood up and joked with Matt getting us a pretty cool picture.
Thinking we might want a “good” picture, Cesar took his hood down and asked Matt if he could put his arm around him for the next pic (that earned big brownie points in my books) 😉
As if that wasn’t good enough, Cesar then looked at Mike and I and said “Well you didn’t drive 5 hours to just stand there, come get a picture.” You didn’t have to ask me twice! Off I went! Mike decided to be the picture-taker and Matt quickly pointed out that it’s easy to tell who the “pack leaer” is at our house. Hahaha! Cesar had quite a laugh over that!
(Really I’m not that much taller than him. I had my high boots on… :S )
Then we were off to our front row seats to wait for the show to start. We met up with Debbie and her friends on the way which was great! I was so glad to get to see her before the show.
Shortly after we got seated a lady was standing in front of me saying my name. It was Pam, the Associate Producer for the tour whom I had been previously talking with via email to get everything verified and set up. She stopped by to introduce herself and make sure we were pleased with our seats. Pleased?? I stopped being pleased when I walked into the meet and greet and went right to overwhelmed. Yes, everything was absolutely perfect. I introduced Matthew to Pam and explained to Matt the generosity she extended to us. Before Pam left she wanted to know if Matthew had a program yet. I hadn’t had a chance to visit the merchandise table, so no, he didn’t. She said she’s be right back. Upon her return she handed Matthew one of Cesar’s souvenir program books personalized To Matthew From Cesar ’12. Wow!! Thank you just seemed so small a gesture. Just crazy! We had a chance to look briefly through this beautiful book before the show started.
The seminar itself was everything Matthew hoped for and all Mike and I could have imagined. What an at-ease stage presence he had. It was as though he was talking to each individual person there as a person, not as a collective 5,000 + crowd. The next 2 and a half hours were over before we knew it.
After the show finished Pam wasted no time at all coming over to see how we (and particularly Matthew) enjoyed the show. Amazing. Simply amazing. I couldn’t fathom that she took the time to come not once but twice to check and see how we were with everything. It was all quite humbling and very surreal.
Cesar was coming back to do a Q&A session with the front 3 sections which was a little less formal. We were allowed to snap a few pictures now that the “seminar” was over and those in the crowd wasted no time; me included.
After yet another half an hour it was finally time to head back to the hotel. We were all on cloud nine. I don’t know how to describe how I felt about it all, I can only imagine what feelings Matthew must have been experiencing. He was everything Matthew knew he would be and then some. I was so glad for that. Sometimes when someone has the opportunity to meet his “idol” they don’t live up to that pedestal we put them on. In this case, Cesar Millan lived up to every dream and expectation Matthew had. Perfect seems too small a word to describe it all.
There were many many people who made this all possible who can’t go without being mentioned. To my employer who allowed me the 2 days off, to Mike’s employer who allowed him to change a week’s vacation to accommodate the trip, to Matthew’s awesome school for not piling a ton of work on him tonight after being gone for 2 days, to Cesar Millan Live (especially Pam and Nicola who were my contact people) for making this so much more than just a trip to “see the show”, to Global Conventions (particularly Mark and his amazing wife) for all your assistance and incredible generosity, and to the staff at the hotel for the extra treat. A special thanks to our parents; the grandparents. If it weren’t for you sating home with Marcus and the pets, this wouldn’t have been possible. We love you. And last but not least, to everyone who helped keep this a surprise. I don’t know yet how we pulled it all off, but I guess we have one amazing group of family and friends.
I know I wrote 1700 words now, but really, there are no words that could adequately do justice to what this has meant to all of us. It’s not often you can be there to witness a dream come true like that, especially for your child. It was certainly a night none of us will ever forget.
Until next time…