My Private Jet
8:59 a.m.

My biggest fear about my day on the private jet was whether I would have enough to eat. I get grumpy when I’m hungry.

That fear was immediately relieved by my pilot, Tony Harmon.

“We have a fruit tray ready for you,” he said, pointing to the party-sized tray of melons, grapes, oranges, blueberries and kiwi. “That’s the smallest one they had,” he laughed.

“We will have some veggies ready for you when you get to New Orleans and then we’ll have salads and shrimp and stuff in Oak City.”

Harmon gave me a quick tour of the 7-passenger jet, opening drawers full of granola bars, candy bars, soda, alcohol and snacks. “You should have plenty to eat,” he said.

Whew! Now I’m regretting that I downed those two bottles of my kids’ drinkable yogurt on the two-hour car ride. MY driver showed up about 25 minutes early to make sure we would make it on time to MY private jet. It was a 2-hour ride in Chicago traffic to get to the airport hangar in Kenosha, Wisc.

We arrived at 8:28 a.m., with just two minutes to spare before our scheduled take-off. No big deal. We drove right into the hangar and then were signaled out to the plane and right up to the open door of the jet.

“Wow! You really are special,” my limo driver said with amazement.

And all of this because I sell toys.

I have never dreamed of riding on a private jet. Not because I wouldn’t want to. The thought simply never entered my mind.

I’m on the plane because I’m a consultant for Discovery Toys. They had a recruiting challenge in September and I was one of seven women in the United States and Canada to earn the reward — a flight on a private jet to Berkeley, Calif., and three nights at the luxurious Claremont Spa.

It took a major scheduling effort to find a way to actually make the trip. I needed a nanny to care for my three children, ages 6, 5 and 3, along with lists of car pooling schedules and meal plans and baskets full of clean clothes to help my husband. It was a short night after pulling everything together so I could leave.

Now, I’m sitting here on board, thinking this is just too much fun. Instead of taking a nap after getting up at 5 a.m., I don’t want to miss one minute by falling asleep. I have the first two hours of the journey to myself and I can’t make up my mind where to sit.

Should I stay in the big, cushy leather recliner seats? Or should I move back to the long sofa? Do I want to sit facing forward, so I can see right into the cockpit and out the front window? Or should I sit the other way where I have an AC plug for my laptop.

How long should I wait before diving into the drawer full of candy bars?

Oh, and then there are the two newspapers. Should I read the Tribune first or USA Today? I want to make sure I grab the crossword puzzle before we stop for the other passengers.

Amazing how a tray of fruit, two newspapers and solitude seem like complete luxury to a mother of three young children.

I usually dread take-off. But this morning it felt like all of my stress was lifting off as we smoothly left the ground and began soaring over Lake Michigan. We are heading to New Orleans, then Texas and finally Oklahoma to pick up the other achievers before flying to California.

It’s going to be a long flight. But I’m planning to enjoy the day on MY jet. MY private jet.

9:24 a.m.

How did I get here?

I owe it to a bottle nail polish. Really.

On the first of September, the president of Discovery Toys issued a challenge. The top team recruiters in the United States and Canada would get to enjoy a trip on a private jet to the exclusive Claremont Resort and Spa in Berkeley.

I had been treated to a day at the spa over the summer and I promised myself that I would do whatever it took to go back there again.

I studied the details. And, like most every challenge, I decided I would at least go for it. My month got off to a great start. At my first party, I recruited three people and another woman had contacted me asking for information about the business. Why wouldn’t I make this happen?

Well, the trip was right in the middle of October, the busiest month of the year for my Discovery Toys business. And my husband was on a three-week trip to China and would be leaving the same week of the scheduled incentive for his own trip to Idaho.

I wasn’t sure who could watch our kids since our parents live far away and have jobs of their own.

But just by chance, my Diamond Sales Director had scheduled a “spa day” long before this challenge was announced. Managers from across the country met for a day of pampering. I had chosen a hot stone massage and a pedicure.

I knew I wanted a dark nail color that I had seen so many women wearing lately.

I debated about the dark, smoky gray nail polish, but was convinced when the woman sitting next to me and her nail technician were both wearing the same color that I had picked from the long row of polish choices.

It wasn’t until after my nails were done that I fully realized the name of the polish was “My Private Jet”.

Now, I knew there was no choice. I was going for it. I was going to do all I could to earn this trip and pray the details would all fall into place.

I kept my fingers and toes painted all month long. And when I started to doubt or just felt lazy, I would look at my nail color for motivation.

My Private Jet. OPI B59.

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