When the FIAT®
Into the Green Sweepstakes caught her attention, Maria Louis had no hope of winning.
“No one ever wins these things. I just entered and thought that would be it,” said Maria.
But Maria entered and won.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Even after I won I was skeptical. This can’t be real!”
It took some convincing, but on Wednesday, February 20, Maria, along with her fiancé Adrian, boarded a plane bound for Hollywood as the second winner of the sweepstakes. The couple lives in Vancouver, Washington, a city 14 minutes outside of Portland. They’d been to L.A. several times, but nothing like this time around.
They were floored when they arrived to a stylish, Beverly Hills boutique hotel as fantastical as it is familiar. The lobby’s plush seating, crimson red carpeting and wood-carved side tables shaped as pigs offering guests apples made it clear that this was not going to be a typical trip to L.A.
“The hotel was way more than I expected. It was so nice,” said the youthful, down-to-earth mother of three.
As nice as the hotel was, it couldn’t keep Maria and Adrian in their room for long. The pair took to the town for shopping and dining in the city. But nothing compared to the exclusive “Una Notta Verde”
(a green night), hosted by Ron Howard, Hans Zimmer, Vanity Fair and FIAT on Thursday night. Maria and Adrian were given the Hollywood treatment. Arriving by limousine to Cecconi’s, a classic Italian restaurant popular among A-listers, the couple walked the “green” carpet, posed for the paparazzi and mingled with celebrities from movies, music, film, television and fashion, including Jamie VanDyke, star of the FIAT 500e Test Track
commercial. The couple dined on beef tartare, tomato mozzarella bruschetta, and crab cakes topped with cilantro tartar sauce, followed by berry tart, chocolate mousse, and a sampling of petit fours and cookies for dessert. At one point during the night, the couple shared a tray of appetizers with a sitcom star.
On Friday, we had the pleasure of joining Maria and Adrian for an eco-friendly lunch at Wilshire Restaurant
, a popular, critically acclaimed neighborhood restaurant in Santa Monica. The restaurant boasts menu developed around local, organic and seasonal ingredients, taking advantage of the area’s uniquely rich and diverse farmers’ markets, and of course their acclaimed patio.
Over steak tacos, prickly pear lemonade and sticky toffee pudding, we listened as the ITG winners reminiscence about their experience with the FIAT brand.
“My uncle used to drive a FIAT in the 70s. I remember his car really well,” said Adrian. “He used to let me drive it a lot and I really liked the way it looked. I like that the new models have a similar design as the old ones but updated.”
After lunch at the Wilshire Restaurant
, Maria and Adrian spent the day cruisin’ L.A. in a FIAT 500 Cabrio, reacquainting Adrian with the 500 and providing Maria with a first-hand introduction. Impressed with its fuel economy and style, Maria thinks the 500 would be perfect for her daughter to commute to Portland.
Swanky hotel. Chauffeured limousine. “Green carpet” treatment. Celebrities. A FIAT 500 ride and drive. We made a believer out of Maria. Are you next? Enter the final phase of the “Into the Green Experience”
by March 15 for a chance to attend an exclusive Hollywood event.
Need another reason to enter? Go behind the scenes
of the 2013 Vanity Fair Campaign Hollywood events, including “Una Notte Verde,” and see what you could be missing.