Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Marlboro ~ Crazy Mountain Ranch Trip ~ Montana ~ 2009-2010
New Year's Eve Party

Our adventure to Marlboro Ranch started again with an invitation to my wife. On a busy day at work, my wife called me and said "Guess What? We are invited to Marlboro Ranch again for a special New Year's Eve Party." I am like "What, I can't believe it".

Since that day, we could not even sleep well since the excitement kicked in. Of course she has called the numbers on the invitation and confirmed. This time, there was a small issue though. We needed to find a baby sitter for our 3,5 year old son Adam for 4 days. Since either one of our families living in the Europe. We did not have anybody in the states to live our child back with. So I've contacted my parents in Turkey and Edyta contacted her parents in Poland to trick them into coming here for 2 weeks vacation (baby sitting) so we can head to Marlboro Ranch. Since we have visited the ranch before and kind of know what to expect, we did not want to pass the opportunity.

After couple of days Edyta's parents agreed on coming in for the Christmas and the New Year to be here with Adam. We have purchased their tickets immediately. Now it was time for preparation and waiting for another Fedex package from Marlboro HeadQuarters.

On or about November 15th we have received our package and signed all the papers needed by Marlboro team. Everything was notarized and sent back immediately. On or about December 16th we have received our final package with our tickets and travel information. We were ready to travel on December 29th. We were so excited.

Edyta's parents came from Poland and seen the routine of Adam. We were set to go. December 29th my brother Burak dropped us off the JFK 5:00am in the morning so we can catch our 8:10AM flight to Minneapolis than to our final destination Billings, Montana.

As you all know, Marlboro being the best of best, they took care of our luggage's while we verify some documentation and sign up for additional information by their security (mostly retired FBI, CIA, Local or State Police Officers) and understand their ZERO Tolerance Laws.

By the time we found out which bus we were in and get out of airport doors, our luggage's were ready to be delivered to our room and they were serving us the Lunch packages for the 2,5 hour bus trip from Billings to Clyde Park. Edyta and I were on bus number 1. As I always say, they are the best organizers ever. Bobby D kept us entertain during the whole ride. We were treated like MOVIE STARS from the first hour till the last hour. I've picked up my Vegetarian Lunch box and checked our luggage's and hop onto bus 1.

While we are traveling, we have seen the beautiful scenery of Montana.

And Wildlife...

After Entering the Ranch, we have been Welcomed by Marlboro Staff with Snow Mobiles.

We checked in at the Stage Shop. After getting our keys, Kevin took us to our room. OMG what a treat. We were in the "Dancing Bear" building "Cougar" room. Afterward, we have found out that Cougar is the room that most of Philip Morris VP's stayed at since it overseas the entrance to the ranch and has a beautiful view of Sunset.

So we have looked at our gifts, and get excited and more excited and got happy. We settled down and went downstairs in the lobby and made a phone call to in laws to find out how Adam was.

They said, Adam was fine and happy. We were so happy as well. Being here for the second time. It was a dream come true second time. It is just like winning a lottery feeling for us. (Unless you win the trip to Marlboro Ranch, you won't know the feeling)

I was so happy as you can see....

Welcome Message from Marlboro Staff, schedule for the afternoon and tomorrow's activities were already scheduled for us. We had to do couple of things first. We went to Stage Stop and add 2 more activities to our days and got measured for our Winter Gear Sizing this includes but not limited to Snow Mobile, Dog Sledding, Snow Tubing and Adventure Trek (Zip Line) at Activity Barn. Right after that we head to Saloon to Meet the Marlboro Staff event and get the Ranch Tour.

After meeting the staff, we head to eat some delicious meal.

After dinner, we have enjoyed watching some trick shots from the World Champion Trick shot pool player.

We were so tired by 11:00pm and head to our room and tried to get some energy for the next days activities.

This Cougar was in our room.. Can you believe this. Awesome...

Our first activity in the morning was "Dog Sledding" that was scheduled at 9:00am. We head to Stage Stop at 8:45am for the activity.

There was only 4 of us who signed up for this activity and we had a surprise waiting for us. Marlboro staff just mentioned to us that we will be the ones who are opening the 2009-2010 winter season for the ranch with first activity. Also, it was the first dog sledding event. Not only that, we have just found out that Marlboro also hired the videographers and photographers who has worked for Discovery Channel and National Geographic to record and take photos of us while we will be doing the activities. We were honor to not open the season, we will be also recorded by the people who recorded the best documentaries for the best shows for Discovery and National Geographic.

Camera crew is interviewing with Edyta.

After going over some safety talk we were ready. Since we were the "season openers" we had to help the dog sledding crew to harnace the dogs. In order to do that, Edyta and I were split into two groups. We had to pull the dog line straight while the crew was harnacing the dogs. There were 2 types of dogs. Siberian Huskees and Alaskan Huskees (a.k.a. Malamut). Each on of us got total of 8 dogs. After all the dogs were harnaced, we sat down in the sled and started enjoying the scene and the ride.

Camera Crew recording us as we slide down the road and enjoying the beautiful scenery of Crazy Mountains.

After this great adventure, we pet the dogs and spend some time with them. After Marlboro camera crew interviewed us we have left the dogs and head back to Stage Stop. We had couple of hours break time for our next event. Sporting Clays (Clay Shooting).

We head back to our room and relaxed a little bit. Afterwards, we shoot some pool and ate our lunch at Saloon.

Before we head back to Stage Stop, we tour at the Town and took some new photos.

It was 1:00pm and we were already heading to shoot some clays. This was the first time to shoot a moving object for both Edyta and myself. After going over some safety tips again it was Edyta's turn and my turn. Unbelievably I've shot almost 20 clays from different angles, I've only missed 4. It was even amazing for our instructor. He did not believe me one bit, since i was hitting all my targets. He taught us how to shoot multiple targets without aiming the target at first. Both Edyta and myself enjoyed the game of shooting. It was great.

After shooting rounds of bullets to clays, it was time to get down to Snow Tubing. Marlboro photographer was there at all times to take our photos while we are shooting the clays. We had to the new event...

We have slide down 5 times. You could either go alone or go as two tubes together. So couple of times, I went alone face down and sitting. Couple of times Edyta and I went down together. At all times, the speed, action, weather, scenery was just perfect. Weather was so cold but I've managed to record this action multiple times. Also Marlboro photographer took a great shot of us while we were tubing. I hope that shot makes it into Marlboro.com

We have been pulled up by this monster at all times. Otherwise you could only tube once.

That was it. We have completed today's adventures. It was time to head back to our room, warm up a little and get some dinner and fun.

Edyta and I've both signed up for getting a back massage. That was great after all those activities. I've also signed up for a pool tournament (finished 4th, it was not fair since it was single game elimination, one mistake you were out... :( ).

These are couple photos from our room looking at the ranch entrance before sunsets.

This was a great 9-ball practice from me.

Some video from the tournament.

It was the end of day. We were both tired and the next day was so close and our activities were gonna start at 7:15am with jumping off the cliff on a zipline...

We got up around 5:30am and went to Activity Barn for our Adventure Trek gear. After geared up we left with a truck called Matracks. After 45 minutes of trail we were at the skirts of Crazy Mountains.

Both Edyta and myself were doing this crazy adventure as first time. After getting into YURT, the zipline team has geared us out with proper winter gear and went over some safety tips. We were ready to jump off the cliff to the other side of the mountain. I was first...


Ready to jump...

I've recorded to whole event going one side and Edyta recorded coming back...

Tolga is Recording...

Edyta is Recording...

This was one of the best things we have ever done before, it was too short though. I wish there was more ziplines to jump. While were were heading back to Activity Barn we have seen some loggers.

Our next event was "Photography Experience" at 10:15 am. Photographers were husband and wife that worked with National Geographic, Smithsonian and some more. They have taught us a little bit about photography with tips and tricks. After the class, everyone had to use the techniques we have learned from them and bring back the photos. We walked outside of the building Edyta walked one way, I've walked the other way. Anne and Otto went over our photos and picked 2 from each of us to get printed.

These photos were shot by Edyta.

And these were taken by me.

It was time to eat some lunch and head to our next 2 events back to back. "Snowmobile Intro" and "Snowmobile Trail Ride" at 1:00pm.

This was the first time for both of us again...The Marlboro Staff has divided us into 3 groups for our intro ride. They went over some safety and basics of snowmobiling than the action started.
We were in a single file following our instructors. It was though...The intro ride was more like going through and evaluation, because if you don't do good here, you won't be able to go to Trail Ride. After an hour of snowmobiling we headback to our base. There were more people who was waiting for the trail ride. We were around 30 snowmobiles, I was the 4th and Edyta was the last riding with one of the instructors Kipp.

The trail ride was 2 hours. They took us into different terrain throughout the ride. It was AWESOME. After an hour of snowmobiling they took us into a Cabin with fireplace. We got in, get some hot chocolate and some food for 15mins or so and jumped back into our rides.

Cabin Video...

Another adventure was over. We had back to our base. We took of our snowmobile gear and head to our rooms before the dinner. Tonight was the last night in the ranch which was a special party for the first time by Marlboro. "The New Years Eve Party". That was the purpose of all 94 of us coming to the Ranch. Everyone was excited and happy.

After a nice dinner, Marlboro Staff told us to move into Livery. They had more surprises for us. So we had there.

Marlboro branded food and great massage...

Johnny Holland on the left performing. Marlboro Ranch Director Brooke and us on the right.

Livery was ready to Rock'n Roll. Countdown had started already.

We all sat down on a poker table and played some "BlackJack". Also Edyta and I've played some Darts as well. After Johnny Holland, Gretchen Wilson took the stage and sang around 15 songs. We also got her Autographed Photography as well. It was now time to countdown.




After the Fireworks, they've served us 1:00am breakfast and party was going to go on till 4:00am. Unfortunately after fireworks, we've had down to our room. Had a good night sleep...ZZZZ....

5:30am in the morning we got up and prepare our luggage's for pickup. We had to put our luggage's on front of our room door by 7:00am and our bus was going to leave at 9:00am. We had a great time at Marlboro Ranch for the second time.

We've made great friends. Enjoyed every second of all the events, food and smiles of each staff member. Another DREAM VACATION was over and it was time to head back to our home in NY.

We have made great friends and we are hoping to keep in touch with them.
Emily and Darren Holley from Pensacola, FL
Amy and Chuck Hullett from Marshall, NC
Kathy and Dan Motz from Randolph, MN
Michelle Phillips from Indianapolis, IN
Joe Wiemann from Dubuque, IA
Travis Grunow from Vista, CA

Last but not least one of the best Marlboro Staff Christopher Brocco.

One more time, thank you so much for Philip Morris and Marlboro Staff to gave this wonderful amazing dream vacation of our lives. We are hoping to be back at the ranch sometime soon.

Ski Resort in Switzerland, $5000.
Snowmobiling in Vermont , $3000.
New Years Eve Party at Marlboro Ranch, Montana, PRICELESS.


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