Sometimes there are serious perks to doing what I do. A few weeks ago, for example, I received this email…

Click to enlarge.

I easily get 100-200 emails every day, many of which I sort through at lightning speed. When I opened this one, I thought it was junk mail, so I deleted it without reading it. Then, something (I don’t know what) made me go into my trash folder and look at it again. I read over it a couple of times, wondering if it was for real. If it was, it sounded like a lot of fun, so I called the number listed in the email to find out more.

Long story short, a couple weeks later I was sitting on an airplane, headed to Los Angeles to be a part of the press junket for a new movie coming out called Hop.

To be honest, I had low expectations for the film. The previews that I watched beforehand didn’t really do it for me, but I was excited to go get to know some other well known parent bloggers and to be wined and dined on somebody else’s nickel.

After landing at the airport, a fancy schmancy chauffeur was waiting for me. He used awesome words like “sir” and “right this way,” as he led me to a waiting Lincoln Town Car. We then picked up Lexi from CoolMomPicks and headed off toward The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

After arriving at the five-star hotel and checking into my absolutely amazing room, I had a few hours to burn before the other parent bloggers would gather, so I went to the hotel bar to order some lunch. Gratitude became my emotion of choice as I looked at the menu. Universal Pictures gave us $125 to spend on food every day, and a drink and a club sandwich ran me $42.00. But dang it was a good club sandwich…

I really wished I had a large man-purse so I could hide the porcelain bear bowl in it, but alas my jeans pockets didn’t work.

I spent most of the next two hours standing on my balcony watching the insanely expensive cars pull up to the hotel, after which I met the other parent bloggers in the hotel lobby and we all loaded onto a “private coach” to head over to our “private screening” of Hop. It was really fun to start getting to know all of the other parent bloggers on the way over. There were some pretty awesome ladies (and one other dude) in the group.

As if free airfare, a free stay at a five-star resort in Beverly Hills, and money to blow on whatever we wanted wasn’t enough… they really hooked us up with free popcorn and drinks during the movie!

Now, they told us that if we’re going to write a review of the movie, that they want us to wait until at least Thursday, so I’ll just say this… IT WAS SURPRISINGLY AWESOME! And then I’ll zip my lips…

I LOVED IT!

Okay, sorry. It’s hard to contain myself. I really did enjoy it. A lot. But, I am not reviewing it today. At all.

BUT IT WAS SO GOOD!

Okay…

Sorry Universal…

So, we left the screening and headed back to The Four Seasons where they had an incredibly fancy pants dinner/cocktail party setup in the party room for us parent bloggers. The food was to die for, but the company made the night awesome.

I am not reviewing this AWESOME movie.
I never did try a “hoptini,” but I heard they were divine.
I always thought Cadbury eggs worked better than lime wedges!
If you’ve seen the previews, you’ll know why these weren’t as good as they look.
Am I really that much taller than everybody?
Seana on the left (in charge of the junket) and Sara McGinnis from Babycenter.
My three awesome peeps. From left to right, Catherine from Her Bad Mother,
Meredith from  Hoo-dee-Hoo, and Melanie from Mel, a Dramatic Mommy
This is when we all stood around while they told us that we needed to behave the next day.
I guess in Beverly Hills you don’t get chairs. We all stood around these tables eating.
Left to right, Seana again (she’s pretty much the awesomest), Lexi from CoolMomPicks,
Carey from about.com, and Dawn from 5 Minutes for Mom.
Kim (with the brown/green top) is the only one I haven’t introduced in this pic.
She’s a seriously rockin’ lady from SheKnows Parenting
On the left is my good friend Renee from Cutie Booty Cakes,
And next to her was the only other dude, Matt from Geek Dad.
Kristen, the photographer, wanted a picture with me wearing the Hop hat.
I told her it was impossible, my head is way too big. She made me do it
anyway. I made her take it from behind!

After the cocktail party, I headed over to the lounge where I hung out with Sara, Kim, Catherine, Melanie, and Meredith for a few hours getting to know everyone even better.

I guess a lot of celebrities frequent the Four Seasons. I never saw any (not that I’m good at spotting celebrities anyway), but others in our group spotted Jake Gyllenhaal and David Schwimmer.

It was a blast and around midnight I decided it was time for bed. The next day they were taking us to the Universal backlot where we would be interviewing the stars of the movie. I don’t want to get you too excited, but check back because tomorrow I’ll post a recap (including pics) of my adventures with Russell Brand, James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, Tim Hill (director), and Chris Meledandri (producer). You won’t want to miss that one. It’s as close to famous as I’ll probably ever get!

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing