When I read the email telling me I was selected at the grand prize winner of the Cambio Hunger Games Premiere Giveaway, I didn't believe it could be real. I didn't think there was any way this could be happening to me. But yes, the odds had been ever in my favor. 100 tickets were divided among 50 select companies (around 30 of which I entered the contest with) to distribute to lucky fans, and my name had been chosen. I screamed, startling my roommate When I read the email telling me I was selected at the grand prize winner of the Cambio Hunger Games Premiere Giveaway, I didn't believe it could be real. I didn't think there was any way this could be happening to me. But yes, the odds had been ever in my favor. 100 tickets were divided among 50 select companies (around 30 of which I entered the contest with) to distribute to lucky fans, and my name had been chosen. I screamed, startling my roommate, and pretty much lost my mind because I was so happy. I called my sister and told her what happened, and that I was taking her with me if it was real. I responded to the email with my information, and within minutes Jennifer called from Cambio. I barely made it through that conversation because I was at a loss for words. I was going to be in L.A. while for the world premiere of The Hunger Games. Wow!!!!!
I quickly got all the forms sent in (I may have skipped class to do it) and made sure everything was set up. I was not taking any chances of this going away. Once my eligibility was officially approved, the trip was set. I spent the next week coordinating with Jennifer and getting ready for the trip. My sister and I shopped for new clothes, planned out L.A. activities and made everyone jealous when we told them what we were preparing for. It was a loooong two weeks with all the excitement building up to the event, I couldn't wait to get to what I knew would be an amazing 3 days.
We left the cold, rainy weather behind this morning as we left Austin on our 6:30am flight to Los Angeles. Considering that SXSW, a popular music/film festival, has taken over Austin for the next couple of weeks and it was my spring break from UT, this trip came at a perfect time.
When we arrived to LAX, a driver met us at baggage claim, which was so cool, I really started to feel the excitement then... we were finally in LA!!!
When we got to our hotel, The Grafton on Sunset, Jennifer from Cambio was waiting to greet us. The hotel was amazing, it was right in the middle of Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. We didn't waste any time once we settled in. We set out for our first L.A. experience with food. We found a local burger place named Carney's and the food was great. Then it was time for some site seeing; It has been a while since I have been in L.A. and I wanted to get the main tourist points in. We started off by visiting Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. and the Walk of Fame. After doing a bit of shopping and watching the interesting characters that Hollywood Blvd has to offer, we went to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.... That place was a blast! We ended our night at The Hard Rock Café, then headed back to get a good night sleep. Monday was going to be a VERY busy day.
We woke up early hoping to get in a little more site seeing before getting ready for the premiere. We started off by going to the new Cupcake ATM at Sprinkles. It was fun just to experience getting a cupcake out of an outdoor vending machine. Thankfully, there was not a line. We walked around Rodeo Drive for a bit before heading to have lunch at The Newsroom, the veggie burger was great! Once I had seen everything on my L.A. list, we headed back to the hotel to get dressed for the premiere.
At 4:30, our driver picked us up from the hotel. The time had finally come... we were off to The Hunger Games premiere!!!! I cannot even begin to explain how excited I was. Our driver dropped us off at will call and we picked up our tickets. I know I was shaking, I was so excited just holding the envelope with our tickets inside. I wanted to see the stars coming onto the carpet before we went into the theater, so we walked over to the fan section. Since we had arrived early, we were able to get very close to those who came over to sign autographs and take pictures. We saw Arcade Fire, the tributes, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Banks, Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. When the main three arrived and headed into their interviews, we went inside. On the way to the theater we saw Miranda Lambert (there with her husband Blake Shelton) in the lobby. We grabbed Hunger Games popcorn, cups and drinks from the concession stand and found our seats. Before the movie started, the director called up Jennifer, Josh and Liam to stage as he thanked everyone involved in the making of the movie. This was one of my favorite parts because it reminded me that this was the first time the world was getting to see the product of all their hard work and talent (Josh pranked Jennifer as they walked off the stage, which was hilarious).
The movie was GREAT. They did such a good job following the books, which was really important since they have such a strong following. I love the adventure aspect of the book and was really impressed by how realistic the special effects were. Every actor in the movie did a wonderful job portraying their character, especially Jennifer and Josh in their scenes during the Games. I cannot wait to see the movie again when it premieres March 23rd.
On our final day in L.A., we got the chance to take a tour of Cambio's studio. Everyone that we met was really nice and made us feel very welcome. We go to help them film a DIY segment that will be on the website and see the set for interviews. It was really interesting to see where everything from the website originates and how it things are organized. When the shoot wrapped up, our driver took us to LAX and we said goodbye to the city that hosted the fantastic experience.
I can't thank Cambio enough for the amazing opportunity they gave to me. Being in L.A., seeing The Hunger Games and visiting the Cambio studio are all things I will remember forever.
- Linda Garrison