After thousands of entries in the #KOOLCamry Road Trip we narrowed it down to twenty semi-finalists! Each took their turn grabbing a USB Drive, loading it into the car and listening to see if they were going to be one of the three finalists going on a road trip with Maria Knight for the weekend.
One at a time they came up and tested their luck and in the end Kelly, Phil and Merritt were the lucky finalists. And while Phil and Merritt came ready to go, Kelly, well. Not so much. He ended up needing to have his weekend gear delivered to him while we were on the road. Our first stop of the weekend was the Floor 13 of the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown where we kicked off the road trip with a champagne toast! We gave the finalists a quick rundown and let them know the first event of the road trip, the Arizona State Fair!
We made it to the fair just in time to see Rick Springfield at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum! After the show it was time to enjoy the Arizona State Fair. When you’re at the fair you HAVE to sample the fair food and Maria had a treat in mind she wanted to make sure our finalists to try. The brand new Cotton Candy Burrito, a concoction of cotton candy wrapped around cake batter ice cream. Needless to say there were plenty of sugar rushes to go around!
The evening wrapped up with a few adult beverages at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown before we got some rest to prepare for day two!
It was established pretty early on who was going to be the trouble maker of the group and #WheresKelly was created!
After oversleeping, Kelly finally made his way down to join us for an amazing hand crafted breakfast that filled us up with all the goodies we needed to tackle everything we had slated for our finalists on Saturday. We loaded up our first destination into the Camry’s Navigation system and hit the road to Wildlife World Zoo!
We really got the VIP treatment as Phil, Kelly and Merritt each got to take turns feeding Crockett the 300 pound sea lion! He just LOVES the attention we gave him. Crockett wasn’t the only animal we got to meet. Our finalists were invited to help train Kevin, a bird that was learning to hop along the hands of people standing in a line! We ended our time at Wildlife World Zoo by hi-fiving a sea otter! It was now time for us to go, but first we let each finalist pick out a souvenir before hitting the road!
Being on the road and doing all these activities sure does build up an appetite! We stopped at one Maria’s favorite places to eat, TACO BELL! Post feast it was time to head to stop number two on the #KOOLCamry Road Trip, Dolphinaris.
Dolphinaris is an AMAZING experience, no it’s not a “Dolphin Show”! This is a completely interactive experience with the Dolphins. Alia and Chloe were more than happy to swim, dance and kiss our finalists!
We dried ourselves off, climbed back into the 2018 Camry and zoomed off to our final destination of the evening, The Outbreak at Schnepf farms!
Going on it’s third year, The Outbreak has grown into an Arizona must experience event! We’ve never experience anything like this before! After a briefing from “The Commander” it was our job to clear out the infected zombies hiding in the peach orchard by climbing into our specialized trailer with paintball guns attached. As the trailer traveled the orchard we were shooting the zombies running towards us!
After a few rounds of Zombie killing it was time to eliminate our first finalist and find out who the remaining two finalists were going to be. Names were written onto ping pong balls and Maria was nervous to draw the two names that were staying in the Camry. In the end it was time to say good bye to Merritt. One of the zombies broke free and may have had a nibble or two while we were congratulating Kelly and Phil on being able to continue on the road trip.
Another round of adult beverages was awaiting us as we checked into the fabulous Mountain Shadows resort. The group enjoyed talking about their favorite parts of the day and then we called it a night.
Early Sunday morning we gathered around the table, getting ready to eat breakfast when we realize #WheresKelly! After a quick selfie, Kelly did eventually join us for yet another amazing breakfast (BTW when eating breakfast at Hearth 61 in Mountain Shadows order the breakfast shake, you can thank us later).
While enjoying the view from Maria’s patio, Kelly and Phil learned our first stop on the final day of the #KOOLCamry Road Trip was going to be the indoor skydiving at iFly Phoenix!
Our winners went through a pre-flight training and each took their turns in the tube flying with the instructor. After a couple of flights it was time to move onto getting some food and our final location of the day before heading back to the station to give away the 2018 Toyota Camry.
And where do we stop for our final lunch together as a group, well Taco Bell of course! A few burritos, and chalupas later it was time to bowl and play a round of laser tag at Main Event!
Maria, Kelly and Phil went head to head! Phil really took it home in laser tag!
Once we got back to the station, it was time to do the deed. Maria was going to have to pick the ball of whoever was going to be driving home in the sleek new candy red Camry! After shaking off the nerves, Maria drew Kelly’s name as our ultimate winner of the car. Congratulation Kelly, it was an amazing weekend with all of our finalists and special thank you to our friends from the Valley Toyota Dealers!