Cruz Diary: Entry Two

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A view of the back yard and lake from the covered porch of Dream Home 2005.

March 2, 2005

My wife had intended to go to work today, getting up at her usual time. (Of course, she was already awake anyway.) But, after she finished getting ready, she realized that there was far too much going on and that it would be difficult to keep silent about our good news. Since we weren't even allowed to call our parents to tell them, she figured that she had better not go into work.

About seven years ago, a very good friend mine, John Budilvosky, Jr., passed away. His widow had sold his collection of antique cars and she gave me a 1971 Cadillac Eldorado convertible because whenever John had called me to go to a car show, he would ask me which of his cars I wanted him to pick me up in and I would always choose the Cadillac. My Godfather had one just like it when I was a kid.

He had given me a silver dollar to remember the year he had bought a brand new 1971 Eldorado convertible. He told me that if I worked real hard and saved my money, I could afford to buy one like this. So, when John passed away, his widow gave me the car. I called the neighbor, where the Cadillac was stored, and asked her if I could get it this morning. Since I could not tell her why, I had to tell her that I needed to take it to my insurance agent's office and have pictures taken of the interior that I had just replaced. She agreed and asked me to come down about 8:05 a.m., so she would be able to move her vehicle out of the way.

A picture of Donny will look great right here...
Don and Donny admire the soaring great room.

Originally, the photographer was told to be at our house at 9:00 a.m. for more photos. The plans for the day changed after she left, so she was not aware of the schedule change. She arrived just after I brought the Cadillac to the house and I invited her to join us for breakfast. We confirmed that we all had to keep our silence, but went to a nearby restaurant. She proved to be really nice and we enjoyed our breakfast together.

After breakfast, we dropped off Donald and Shelly at the house and went on to the Sheriff's office for pictures. Sheriff Ramsey had been involved in trying to locate us over the weekend in planning for the surprise announcement. So, we had our picture taken together, but still had to keep silent from the rest of the office. When we returned to the house, the Comcast press staff had arrived. My wife had already been interviewed and they were waiting for me.

Although I had not actually seen this year's Dream Home past the front of the house, I had been told about the Dock House and the Honeymoon Suite that were separate from the main living area of the house. My son had told me about the elevator, pool and hot tub right after he had toured online with my wife. So, I was aware of some of the features of the house. Keeping these things in mind, I had already started figuring out how we were going to afford the house.

So, at different times during the day and at different opportunities, I was sure to ask whether I could have tours in the house and whether I could run a Bed & Breakfast, using the Dock House and the Honeymoon Suite for income. The representatives from Scripps Network / HGTV told me that I could do what I wanted with the house as long as it was okay with the developer of the property.

I wanted a good picture taken with Joan and the HGTV and Comcast staff and me in front of my Cadillac. My Cadillac looked as if it belonged in Texas with the five-foot span of bull horns across the grill. There was no way I could pass up this photo opportunity...

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