|As you take the long and winding road up through the densely packed trees you get your first glimpse of Hugh Hefner’s private residence, a.k.a. the Playboy Mansion. Like a castle, built in 1920 where visitors originally came by horse and buggy. Hefner bought the Mansion for $1.2 million and today Nephertiri Sheperd (Miss July 2000) tells me it is worth between $40-$50 million. As you look around you realize that Hefner’s Home is worth more than $40 million but who wants to pay exorbitant property taxes.|
|One of the most interesting things about this experience was that it isn’t “decadent” as I thought it would be. It was inviting, open and nonjudgemental. Maybe after dealing with the U.S. politics of the past few years the contrast of what freedom is really like was all the more impressive? I don’t know. But the Internet Marketers, their wives and girlfriends, the invited guests, the entertainers and staff…everyone except security (who are in the background but definitely active when an idiot gets out of line…everyone was smiling….all the time.|
|Off the Limo Shuttle, all those with cameras take them out and begin snapping. Not a girl in sight, simply an amazing recreational area.|
|The Swimming Pool it turns out isn’t somewhere you swim laps. It’s really a play area and as you can see it is beautiful. Later the pool would be populated with other forms of beauty. In front of the Pool the very gracious girls in obligatory retro Playboy Bunny garb somehow manage to smile through hundreds and hundreds of photos with visitors of both sexes. This is your greeting and it was obvious that the wives of the Internet Marketers certainly enjoyed the attention almost as much as the men.|
|This shot is of the networking area. As you can see, about 400 were in attendance at this spectacular bash.|
|The event people asked if we wanted to send a photo home and of course I did so Dave Lakhani and I mugged it up for the event photographer which they jetted off to kevinhogan.com . These guys were great and we hung out a bit together too. I haven’t seen a smile like that on my face since the day I got out of high school….and realize…I’m only hamming it up with Dave….|
|Next up is a tour of the Mansion grounds and the famous game room. Nephratiri indulges the four of us touring with her. She patiently waited for us to complete a game of pool, which I had told Dave (Lakhani) that was the one thing I really wanted to do at the Mansion.|
|The Hefner family was home last night so there was no visiting inside, but the outside was spectacular enough. The aquarium, reptile and birds that Hefner has taken in to mend are all beautiful.|
After departing from playing pool we ran into another group of people taking their own tour of the mansion, unescorted. It seems that women are not required to have escorts but men are…and that made a lot of sense.
Laurena Lacey (I told her no one had the last name Lacey in Ireland, she confessed it was her modeling name, that Coffey was her Irish surname. A delightful accent and more than indulgent to our group she somehow pretended that the four of us were cool and she posed for numerous photo’s in Hefner’s front yard. She went way above the call of duty (she was a guest and not not working). She won us all over as fans.
The star is a replica of the one on Hollywood Blvd.
Saying goodbye to Miss Coffey’s group we asked Nepherteri if we could get some shots by the front door and she ingratiated us.
Back to networking and the party.
Dave and I broke off from the group and decided to explore “the grotto.” I didn’t have any pictures taken of me in the inner sanctum, but I did ask Dave to snap this one the way “in.”
Exiting the grotto (the area behind the big blue “beach ball” the host of the evening,
Ryan_________________ who created the “Rich Jerk” icon/brand (and he is nothing like a rich jerk, but one of the nicest guys I’ve had a chance to meet), asked if he could get a short video of me with a couple of the girls in the pool. I told him my pants, shirt, shoes and coat were staying on my body (I’m such a killjoy) but Trina Michaels (working for the mansion, not a guest) ingratiated the video crew for the Mansion and event. With luck that 45 seconds of video will vanish into the archives of Hefner Heaven.
In the final photo I can actually publish until I get copies from everyone else, you can see that the women the mansion hires to engage the guests are all very colorful people.