Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Couple's 'highfalutin' dream of trip to China takes wing

Laurel Conrad and Neil Greenstein will say goodbye to Madeira Beach for a few days as they travel to Beijing.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

Laurel Conrad and Neil Greenstein will say goodbye to Madeira Beach for a few days as they travel to Beijing.

Laurel Conrad was booking an overnight stay with Super 8 Motels online when she happened upon a Super 8 Celebrate the 8 Sweepstakes ad that promised a trip to Beijing.

"I saw that and I figured what the heck," Conrad said. She filled out the entry form in hopes of fulfilling a far-fetched dream to vacation in China.

Of the 25,000 entries, she was the grand prize winner, joining a couple of other Tampa Bay area residents who recently won trips to China through sweepstakes.

First, Michele Bluitt of Clearwater got word she would be headed to the Olympics through AT&T's How Are You Connected contest. Then John Fink, a bicycle-riding postal carrier from St. Petersburg, won a similar trip from AT&T.

Now, Conrad, 49, and her husband, Neil Greenstein, 58, will be taking off on an all-expenses-paid trip to Beijing.

Conrad's husband has always wanted to visit China. He developed a love for Chinese food in New York and, as a chef, he taught Asian cuisine at New York University.

The couple celebrated their 29th anniversary a few months ago, and had begun looking at brochures to spend their 30th in China.

"It was one of our highfalutin dreams," Greenstein said.

Though China was a place her husband was more interested in, Conrad said she always wanted to see the Great Wall. The Madeira Beach couple will head to Beijing on Thursday for a seven-day trip.

Super 8 Celebrate the 8 Sweepstakes was a gimmicky play on the Olympics' start date 8/8/2008.

The trip includes a car and driver, a local English-speaking guide and accommodations at the chain's Beijing hotel. The two also get to attend a day of volleyball at the Olympics. Conrad said that this day of games was not originally included in the prize, but Super 8 threw it in.

Conrad has won "hats, T-shirts and key chains from radio stations, but nothing like this," she said. "This is a trip of a lifetime that we get to share, and it's going to be a great memory."

Emily Rieman can be reached at (727) 893-8215 or erieman@sptimes.com.

Couple's 'highfalutin' dream of trip to China takes wing 08/05/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 2:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries

    Blogs

    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.