Monday, 17 January 2011

I'm going to Cybermummy11 - thanks to SeaWorld Parks!

This is a sponsored post.

I only started blogging last April and last summer, I noticed a lot of bloggers talking about Cybermummy. It turned out to be an blogging conference for parent bloggers in London. Much as I would have liked to go, it fell on the weekend of Missy Woo's birthday party. So, when this year's date was announced, I was pleased to find I could make it. My next problem was affording it - the cost of a ticket, travel to London and a hotel room soon add up to a lot of money. I'd heard that some people had got sponsored last year but wasn't sure how to go about it. 

After following up a few possibilities, the lovely Laura from Are we nearly there yet Mummy? asked me if I was still looking for a sponsor and when I said yes, she passed my name on to a then unnamed possible sponsor. They then get in touch and I was blown away when I found out who they were. After a bit of toing and froing during which I wrote a pitch for the first time in my life, they confirmed that they'd love to sponsor me. Wow. I'm going to Cybermummy! 

So, who are the lovely people that are sponsoring me? Only SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment in Florida! If you've been on a Florida theme park holiday or are planning one, you'll be very familiar with them. They have 4 parks in Florida - SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove in Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa. Until I had children, I was never into theme parks but Monkey and Missy Woo have been to ones on a small scale in the UK, and are starting to show interest in the bigger ones. I know they would love SeaWorld as they love zoos and marine parks and would love to see Shamu, the famous killer whale. I love the educational aspect, as you can learn about the work SeaWorld does to rescue and rehabilitate marine animals. They would also love Aquatica, which is a waterpark with rides, as well as the chance to meet more animals. They are perhaps a little young to make the most of Discovery Cove, which is an all-inclusive sandy tropical oasis, where you can do the thing that is on most people's list of things to do at some point: swim with dolphins. That's pretty cool. From this summer, Discovery Cove will also have a 2.5 acre Grand Reef, where you can paddle in shallow water or dive deep to see some of the 10,000 animals. You can even trek the reef on foot wearing dive helmets to look at the wildlife. 

But I am pretty sure what the children would love the most is Busch Gardens. Monkey has been on a rollercoaster ride once and loved it. He's now just about big enough to try out their new ride this year, Cheetah Hunt, which takes you through an African landscape as if you were the fastest animal on land, twisting and turning at 60mph before a final plunge into the abyss. I'm not so sure about Missy Woo as she may be too small, but she chickened out on her last rollercoaster ride - much to her mother's relief, it has to be said. However, we can all enjoy the Cheetah Run where the trainers hold daily sprints with the cheetahs to show just how fast they are, or you can view cheetahs up close from glass panelled viewing areas.

Oh yes, my children would dearly love the SeaWorld parks. Sadly, I don't think the pennies will stretch that far this year. However, if your pennies will stretch to it, there is a special "3 parks for the price of 2" offer for all tickets booked by the end of May and activated by 31st December.

So, they are my lovely sponsors, without whom my trip to Cybermummy would not be possible. I'm truly gobsmacked and very grateful that they chose to sponsor me for this event. It's the one big event that bloggers travel to from far and wide, not only to learn more about blogging, but also to put faces to names of the people behind the many blogs we all read. Thank you, SeaWorld Parks, for making it possible for me to be part of that. And a huge thank you also to Laura (whose blog never fails to make me laugh) for recommending me to them.
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