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Those three words, fade to black, pretty much sum up everything. Let me explain. The Road Warrior contest is finished, and it culminated in a fabulous photo shoot for the winners, as well as in this incredible January 15 issue. But what is also finished is my beloved BlackBerry. As you can probably tell from the pictures (I don’t look as put together as usual, do I?), something went terribly wrong during the shoot (even though the photo turned out beautifully).

Consider this scene: It was an early morning at the Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort, and we all were gathered on the beach. We needed someone to hold the WaveRunner in place, because the fellow we rented it from clearly wasn’t interested. Having nothing better to do, and obviously not having had enough coffee, I volunteered.

But do you know how big WaveRunners are? Once I was in the water — at times where the sandy bottom was just beyond my reach — it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to hold it in place by myself. So design director J.R. Arebalo came to the rescue, and the two of us bobbed behind the watercraft (so as to remain out of sight) and kept it in place.

During one calm moment, I got a sinking feeling (pun intended). “Guess what’s in my pocket,” I said to J.R. Smart fellow that he is, he guessed immediately. Yep, it seemed the BlackBerry had taken the plunge with me (remember, I hadn’t had enough coffee), and we’d already been in the water for 10 minutes.

So there you have it, a little behind-the-scenes insight into how the shot on pages 20 and 21 was made, plus the drama that went along with it.

But the bigger news is actually this issue — the Road Warrior winners and people like J.R., senior editor Chris Wessling, and photographer Sean McCormick.  J.R. and Chris dreamed up the fabulous James Bond takeoff, J.R. and Sean delivered the stunning scenes, and Chris delivered the perfect copy.

And then there were our “crew” (a big thank-you to Austin Lochheed, Tammy Theis, Terri Tomlinson, and Brenda Gomez) and the incredible staff (Emeline, Fabiola, and Gabriela) at the Hilton. The hotel couldn’t be prettier, nor the staff more accommodating.

And how about those Road Warriors? Now there’s an impressive group. Turn to page 14 to read all about them.

Oh. And my beloved BlackBerry? BlackBerry who? I’m all about the iPhone now, baby!

Signature of Sheri Burns

Sherri Gulczynski Burns