Ruth, whale watching in Iceland. Photo taken October 4, 2012.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Entering contests

Have you ever won anything worthwhile? We did once, back in 1999. A long weekend in Copenhagen, Denmark!

When we lived in Ottawa we headed down to the pub at the bottom of the road with some of our neighbours for a few drinks.  One couple in the group were regulars at the pub so the waitresses knew them well.  Carlsberg was having a contest and for every Carlsberg beer you have, you get a balllot to fill out.  One of the prizes was a nice leather jacket.  None of us were drinking Carlsberg, but Wendy really wanted that leather jacket.  She asked for some ballots and got a stack of them, from that stack she gave everyone at the table one ballot each and kept the rest for herself.  We filled them out and forgot about the contest.  About a month later on a Sunday morning  Ruth was home alone and got a call from the pub telling her that she won a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark.  Of course she thought it was a scam!  They asked if she filled out a ballot at the pub and she said yes, but it was for a leather jacket.  Well, they said you won the grand prize, at trip to Copenhagen for a long weekend, the jacket was only second prize. Only when we collected the paperwork did we believe it was for real!

We were to leave in a months time, for the Carlsberg Jazz Festival in Copenhagen at the beginning of November.  We were to leave Ottawa and fly to Toronto on a Thursday late afternoon, then fly from Toronto in the evening to Copenhagen and arrive there the Friday morning and leave again on Monday morning.  They were paying for the flights, hotel with breakfast, a welcome reception at a pub down the street from the hotel on Friday night with figure food, tickets to see a jazz concert on the Saturday night, a tour of Copenhagen either Saturday or Sunday morning, a private tour of the Carlsberg Brewry Sunday afternoon which would be followed by a sit down dinner and then a band and dancing on the Sunday night.

What a blast we had!  The plane was chartered by Carlsberg and everyone on it was there for a party.  We were all contest winners of some sort from the Ontario region.  Either bar contest winners like ourselves, radio listener winners, bar employees, or bars that sold their quota of Carlsberg, Carlsberg employees that sold their quotas.  Everyone was there to have a good time.  Even the pilots and airline attendents.  The plane would be parked at the airport until our return flight.  Everyone was given two tickets for free beer on the plane both ways, once we were at the hotel there was a six pack in the room waiting for us, two more coupons at the pub the first night and all the beer you could drink at the tour, dinner and party at the brewry on the Sunday.  You  sure got to like Carlsberg beer by the end of the trip, if you weren't keen on it at the beginning of the trip.

Ruth on the plane over Europe somewhere

The street our hotel was on.  The First Hotel

We weren't about to waste our time on this trip drinking all the time, we wanted to explore and explore we did.  When we arrived at the hotel we had a nap, the flight was over 10 hours so we were exhausted.  After the nap we went out walking and got something to eat on the street.  In the evening had a great time at the pub and ate enough finger food to fill us for the night.

Saturday we went walking all around the downtown area, then saw a ferry that would take you to Sweden only about 20 minutes away, so we hopped on one and went to Malmo, Sweden for lunch.  Once back in Copenhagen we wandered around more.  In the evening we went to one of the jazz concerts, it was OK but not our kind of music.

Charity Fountain (Caritas Sprigvandet) in Strøget, a predesdrian street in downtown Copenhagen

Ruth sitting and looking at the canal in downtown Copenhagen

A marching band statue on one of the pedestrian streets in downtown Malmo, Sweden

Statue of King Frederik VII on horseback in Christiansborg Square in front of the old palace which is now the Danish parliament

Sunday we did the bus tour of Copenhagen and really enjoyed that.  In the afternoon we went to the brewery where the whole group was given a private tour of the brewry.  The public usually only get to wander around a small building that shows you the process, but not the real thing.  We got to see the real thing.  After that they took you to the tasting room and then over to their entertaining area where a keg was waiting.  If you didn't like beer you were pretty much stuck for anything to drink.  Carlsberg makes beer, they also have the contract for Coca Cola and mineral water so those were your choices of drink, nothing else not even regular water.  Ruth doesn't like coca cola or mineral water, so beer was her next choice and that really isn't high up on her list.  I of course had no problems although Carlsberg isn't my choice of beer but it grew on me.

Entrance to Christiansborg Palace (the old palace) which is now the Danish parliament

Copper vats at the Carlsberg Brewery, taken while on a VIP tour of the brewery

Ruth and a team of the Carlsberg Brewery horses and wagon

By Monday morning it was time to leave, what a very quiet flight home.  Lots of people did a LOT of partying this past weekend, especially the last night so there were some people not feeling the best on the way home.  We were careful because we really wanted to enjoy the trip and the experience and not feel sick or wonder what we did.  Many people we talked to hardly saw Copenhagen at all except the inside of the bars and pubs, they couldn't believe that we went to Sweden, they didn't realize you could do that.

We were exhausted when we returned home, but loved every minute of it.  We spent maybe a total of $400 dollars and that covered parking at the airport, any meals they didn't cover, any drinks that weren't covered and any extras that we did, so we figured that was pretty good for a long weekend in Europe.  Ever since then we enter as many contests as we can, because someone does actually win them and maybe we might be able to win one again some day!

By the way, it turns out you can vote every day in our current contest entry for a trip to Australia. So we'll be reminding you all regularly. We have until June 7, so we can catch up to the guy in the lead! Visit here to vote, and share this link with your friends!

Thanks everyone!


  1. Awesome trip. We've only been in parts of Denmark, in Vejle and the surrounding areas. Never did get to Copenhagen. Off to vote again.

  2. Already voted again. I helped a school win some band instruments by voting every day on line for them. Jim and I also won a 1957 Chevy at a car show back in Pennsylvania.

  3. Only thing we have ever won is I won $1000 at bingo. That was nice but I had to pay Ohio taxes on it...not so good.
    Your trip sounds like a wonderful time had by all! Enjoy your weekend. ~wheresweaver

  4. I won a trip with some friends at a bar one night where we flew out right away after we won!
    Lucky for me I was single at the time and had the ability to fly out on a friday night and come home on a sunday night without worrying about kids, pets etc..
    We ended up in Vancouver to see Bryan Adams, courtesy of Molson Canadian. There was alot of beer consumed during that time as it was free, even though I really don't like beer!
    By the end of the trip, I was okay with the beer as long as it had clamato juice in it!
    It as alot of fun for my friend and I!

  5. I won a 45 record back in the 1960, does that count?
    Not exactly the luckiest person on earth at winning prizes.
    Trip to copenhagen was terrific.
    Love the pic of the cocker....looks like he is pleading "please mom can we go now ?"

  6. I won a cake one time. Free beer, yeah, that would cause the taste to grow on me pretty well , too.

  7. Only thing I ever won in mt life was a Detroit Tiger team Ball at a Yankee game in Yankee Stadium in the 60's. Hated the Tigers, was a Yankee fan. Still have the ball though. Probably not worth much except to a Tiger fan.It is signed by all the players from that day.I have been voting each day. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  8. When I was ten I won an egg-poaching device, and some ceramic butterfly earrings that I gave to my mom, playing bingo at the grade school fair in my small Oregon coast home town. I don't think it really gets any better than that...

  9. I will try to remember to vote every day.

  10. i won a Howdy Doody doll in the People magazine nostalgia contest a couple of decades ago. I was going for the vintage T-Bird. The doll was frightening.

  11. I won a mani-pedi at a conference in Denver. The only problem was that I was getting on a plane to return to Salt Lake City right after the conference and couldn't use it. Told them to draw another name :-)))

  12. Voted Kevin Hope a vote from Australia counts

  13. 2nd vote from here. Good Luck1

  14. Saturday morning 9AM east coast time - 164 votes!

  15. I won the heart of a great lady once in a pub, now, many years later we are still together...
    I am the luckiest guy!

    Yeah, I know, pretty schmaltzy.

    Cheers, Peter.

  16. I voted! Good luck - my cousin won a trip to Iceland in an online contest, I bet you can to!

  17. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. When I click on the link I get: 404 error

    I'm a big believer of "you've got to be in it, to win it" I won a package of wine/6 bottles on an NCL cruise! Little ole me against 3 big guys, in a pie eating contest :) My husband still laughs when he thinks of it.

    1. You might not have noticed the date on the post...this was from last year!


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