It was a day like any other. I pulled up to work and checked my phone for e-mail one last time. There I saw an e-mail from the DC Daily Sweepstakes. I work as a Cyber Threat Analyst and my first thought, honestly, was that I was being phished. But closer inspection of the e-mail showed that the people who sent it just wanted to verify my contact details from the DC Universe App. I thought “what’s the harm in that?” I verified and waited for a call that I had hoped would come.
The phone rang about 5 hours later and had very good news. I was the Grand Prize winner of the sweepstakes, which included a 2-night, 3-day trip to LA! Everything was going to start moving fast and it started with paperwork. The paperwork was pretty standard for what I thought a sweepstakes winner would have to sign, I figured at least, since this was the first sweepstakes I had ever won. I immediately called my wife to tell her the good news and then told work that I would need to take time off. The trip was happening in the middle of the week, so I had to take vacation time. It was totally worth it.
Details flowed back and forth. I was given an itinerary and the sweepstakes personnel from Entergrate were really on their game. They seemingly were answering any questions before I even knew I had them! I was then given some really good news. They wanted me to appear on an episode of DC Daily! This was exciting. I’ve seen them discussing events on the show and I was looking forward to “talk shop” with the hosts that had been there from the launch of DC Universe and DC Daily. I was going to be in LA.
The flight was pretty standard. I was thankful that it was a non-stop flight. That helped a lot with lessening any confusion. I arrived at LAX at 9am and, like Ken from Entergrate had said, a driver was waiting for me with a sign with my name on it. I felt like a mini celebrity! We chatted while waiting for my bags and then made our way to the car. I was riding in luxury, a black Cadillac that was going to whisk us away to our hotel. It was 17 miles away and took us a little over an hour, LA traffic at its finest.
The time flew by as I saw landmarks usually reserved for movies and television. We arrived at our hotel, the Hilton at Universal City. It was a very nice room and the beds were so comfortable. So nice in fact that I took a three hour nap before making any other decision that day. We woke up and ventured out to City Walk to see the sights. We had a nice lunch at Smashburger while we decided what to do with our evening. We settled on going to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and after talking to the Concierge of the hotel, we decided to ride the metro to make it more of an adventure.
Like a true tourist, I got on the wrong train and ended up in North Hollywood. After talking with some folks who spotted us at newcomers right away, I realized the error and set off back to the metro. This time I got on the right train and got off at the right stop. The Hollywood Walk of Fame was amazing. It led us to the Chinese Theater where it was exciting to see all the handprints and footprints of all the different celebrities. After taking my picture with a wax version of Zac Efron, and measuring my hands to the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, we made our way to get some dinner.
There was a lot of talk on where to eat and we wanted to eat at a fairly authentic place, but someplace we knew we would like the food. Mel’s Diner it was! We enjoyed their food, and music from the jukebox. It was really cool sitting in such a historic place to grab a bite to eat. It was a nice way to cap off our first night in Los Angeles. And then we rode the metro again.
I still had not learned my lesson from the first metro ride and did not ask directions again. I paid for this mistake by getting on the wrong train again and ending up even further south. I did learn not to exit the turn-style this time so I would not have to pay for another trip and did ask directions. Learned that I was, in fact, in the wrong location and got on the right train and took it back to the Universal City stop. There we exited the metro and walked back to where the shuttles pick you up to take you back to the hotel. Of course, as tourists do, we got on the wrong shuttle and it took us to Universal Studios, but it was a quick walk back to the hotel. What an adventure, I loved it!
Day two started really well. I woke up refreshed and ready to take on the world. Michael Hatch was there a little early to pick us up from the hotel to take us to the studio where DC Daily was being filmed. I stated this earlier, but it bears repeating. Everyone we communicated with was always well mannered and prompt with their communication. When Michael arrived, I found out via text message that he had sent. The studio wasn’t very far away and we arrived pretty quickly. We walked in and everyone was ready. The producer, Cooper, apologized for things being so hectic, but they made it look easy. The makeup chair was amazing and I felt like a movie star while they were “reducing my glare”. The hosts were amazing and very accommodating. Everyone was so nice. And the screening of episode 2 of season 2 of Titans was AWESOME! It is my favorite show on right now!
After the taping of the DC Daily episode, which I am very excited to see, we went to Warner Bros. studio for the private tour. This tour was amazing! Our tour guide, Brad, was awesome and definitely deserves way more accolades than I could give him here. I love movie magic. I love everything about the process. I love all of the behind the scenes (BTS) information. And he (Brad) gave me all of that! The prop warehouse was awesome! The story behind how WB acquired everything was very interesting. The BTS information about all the different movies and television series was just a delight to hear. And through it all, Michael was snapping pictures and making sure everything was okay. He was amazing through it all. He had more insights on the tour and between him and Brad I was in heaven with the amount of knowledge that I was being given. It was truly amazing. Have I said that?
After the amazing private tour we set off to go back to the hotel. We were in LA traffic and I look beside me and who do I see? Laurence Fishburne was stuck in traffic right next to me! I said hello and he said hello back and that was it. What an amazing cap off to a wonderful trip! This was truly an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. Everyone was amazing. Thank you to everyone involved. I loved DC Universe before and I love it even more now. I will continue singing its praises and I look forward to more great things. This was an awesome one year anniversary for the app and for the DC Daily show.