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Imagine this: you and your significant other are in warm and sunny California, relaxing at the beachfront Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, all expenses paid, with your new best friends, the Bachelorette and her husband, Trista and Ryan Sutter. Impossible, you say? Well, for one couple at least, this fantasy actually came true!


The story begins when Hyatt Hotels created “The Hyatt Travel Quiz,” a first-of-its-kind travel personality assessment to help individuals identify their travel temperaments and test their compatibility. Participants were asked 12 questions adapted from an established personality test that categorized participants into four travel types: Romantic, Balanced, Energetic, or Driven. The results also provided tips on how to relate to different travel personalities, along with suggesting Hyatt Retreats packages and destinations based on a personalized travel profile. 


Trista and Ryan Sutter took the test and were identified as Romantic Travelers. Quiz participants whose responses also categorized them as such were entered to win a three-day, two-night trip to the hotel along with the reality television stars, courtesy of Hyatt and a $1000 certificate from American Express.


Trista and Ryan Sutte

Joanna Simpson of Salem, Oregon, became the first winner of the “Hyatt Travel Quiz” sweepstakes. Simpson and her husband, Warren, who works for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, were about to embark on the trip of a lifetime with the couple made famous by ABC's The Bachelorette.


Between work and home-schooling four daughters, the Simpsons have limited alone time—let alone opportunities for romantic getaways—and their family vacations typically revolve around their children. After hearing about the Hyatt Travel Quiz on television, Joanna Simpson was curious to learn her travel personality type and uncover whether the quiz deemed her and her husband of 17 years travel compatible. “The quiz sounded very intriguing because I felt like we needed a little help, trying to figure out what kind of vacation would work with the two of us,” Simpson told Dish.


So when Warren turned out to be a ‘romantic’ also, “that was kind of a nice little surprise. He’s kind of a type A personality, so I thought he was really Driven, but he has a romantic side, so that was a nice surprise. After 17 years, it was nice to get a surprise.”


The couple was excited about the trip. “We don’t get to spend a lot of time alone together because of our four kids, so it’s very wonderful to be able to have the opportunity to go down to the Hyatt and spend alone time, and be adults, and not be so family-oriented. They said we’ll be doing a bonfire and doing a dinner cooking class, and then we plan on walking along the boardwalk or renting bikes and enjoying the beach and the palm trees. I like palm trees, and to me, romance and palm trees kind of go together And actually, looking at the pictures, the Hyatt looks really pretty, so I just want to be able to sit in the hot tub and relax and just enjoy it.,” Joanna explained.


Ironically, the only Bachelorette episode the couple ever saw “was that one. The one where she met Ryan,” Joanna said. She was impressed that they could actually meet each other on a reality show and get married and stay together and have kids. 


When asked what it means to them to meet the famous couple, Joanna answered, “Oh, I like meeting new people. I don’t really care if they’re famous or not because I figure they’re just people. They’re in magazines, but they’re not any different than, say, my neighbor or us or somebody I would meet here in Salem. It’s funny because we have family and friends that watch the shows, and they’re so excited. It will be interesting to meet them. I like that I didn’t really know anything about them.” 


She adds, “It would be nice to spend a little bit of alone time with them just because I would like to know their opinion of reality shows and what they’ve gone through and just to know how they feel about it.”


Warren continues, “We go to Colorado ever so often anyway. People know them. They live in Vail. That’s the outcome of celebrity. It’s funny because I would never want that. I’m totally the opposite of that. But it’s neat that they’re enjoying it. I think having a family is a wonderful thing.”


When asked what their hopes are for the whole experience, Joanna responds, “I just hope we have a nice, relaxing time together as a couple, and I hope they’re very nice people that we can be friends with. We are so busy all the time, with the four girls, and we home school, and his job, and all the extra classes and activities that we do, I just want to be able to relax for just a couple of days instead of drive everywhere.”


Apart from her appearances on The Bachelor, and then The Bachelorette, Trista Rehn has been in the public eye for another reason- her December 6, 2003 wedding to Ryan Sutter was televised to over 20 million homes! 


“I’m an open person, so sharing the special moments of my life really isn’t a negative to me,” Trista told Dish. “A lot of people look at it as negative, and yes, there are certain things that I keep private, like the birth of my son and hopefully the birth of our daughter. We’re not necessarily in the cards for 24/7 cameras in our lives anymore, but I’m happy to share the news when we are having big things happen in our life. It’s exciting to me. There’s the saying, ‘if something good happens, you want to scream it from the rooftops,’ and I feel like obviously we have a big platform, a big rooftop, to be able to shout from. That’s pretty cool.” 


Eight years ago, Trista was living in Miami and working at the Miami Children’s Hospital and also dancing for the Miami Heat when she saw a commercial for a new reality show. It was being touted as a new show in which you could travel internationally, and get to meet a guy. 


“That wasn’t why I did it,” Trista explained, “but I just thought, this could be fun. And so I tried, and the rest is really history. It was just on a whim, and I went with it, and this is where we are now.”


She continued, “I definitely feel like somebody was watching over us, and we continue to be watched over. We’re really lucky and blessed. I definitely would consider it to be a miracle. The thing is, it doesn’t really matter how you meet, it’s what you do with your relationship afterward, and yeah, we met in a completely unconventional, crazy kind of way, but I think it’s the effort we put in afterwards that has led to our success in marriage and just having happy lives.”


“I held out for what I wanted in life and what I wanted in a relationship and didn’t settle for guys that I dated that could have been possibilities but wouldn’t have been the perfect fit. So, I think anyone out there who is wanting a relationship, don’t settle even if you’re 30 or 35 or however old you are, just hang on and hopefully someone will come your way.”


Did Trista ever dream she’d be married to a fireman? “Oh yeah, I dreamt,” she laughingly told Dish. “I was always attracted to fire guys. It’s kind of the American hero. I dreamt of it. Who knew? I didn’t know if it would ever happen.”


Later, we got a chance to talk to Ryan Sutter, Trista’s first choice on the show. He recollects, “When they first told me I was chosen for the show, I didn’t think it was the kind of thing I’d be good at. It just doesn’t really fit my personality. I’m a little bit more introverted than extroverted. It just didn’t seem like it was going to work out. And that was kind of the time when there was a lot of Temptation Island type of reality shows, and I was apprehensive about what type of image this was going to create for me and my family and what I was getting into. So, originally, I was very reluctant, kind of got coerced into it. And once I had decided I was going to do it, I went into it with an open mind. But as I got to know Trista more, obviously my excitement level went up considerably, and she kept me around for the whole thing. I just fell for the person that she is.” 


When asked if he really found true love, Ryan responded, “Oh yeah, definitely.” He continued, “I work with a lot of young guys at the fire house, and they always give me a hard time about it, and I always say, ‘I was exactly where you are right now in your life, and now look at what happened. So, you never know.’ Life is funny that way. One day, you’re here, and the next day, you’re there. It’s fun. That’s the good thing about life.”


So how did the couple get involved with Hyatt in the first place? Ryan explained, “That’s just one of those things that have come along with the territory as far as our relationship goes. Every now and then we’ll be approached with something, and it’s usually romance-associated or relationship-related or something like that. And this one was cool because it was a contest that the Hyatt Hotel has put on, and it gave some couple an opportunity to get a vacation, get away from it all, and sort of re-focus on their relationship because that’s a hard thing to do sometimes in my opinion. So this was one of those opportunities where Trista and I were really actually happy and excited to be able to hopefully bring some positive energy and happiness to people’s lives.”


So what does the couple think about the Simpsons?  “I personally think that they’re really deserving of this trip because they haven’t been able to get out and really focus on their relationship in so long,” Trista said. “And Hyatt Retreats is great. They have these great packages. Joanna [Simpson] ended up being a Romantic traveler like Ryan and I. She went on, got entered, won the trip. So, it’s really exciting.”


Trista adds, “I’m really looking forward to just hanging out with what seems like a cool couple from the people that I’ve spoken with that have talked to them. Just have an easy night out of fun. The bonfire and the private cooking are just the four of us. There will be some photographers there at some point, but it’s just us.”


“We’re so low key,” Trista noted. “We’re not high-maintenance. The key thing for us to be able to relax is just having a big hotel room, and a bed, that has a television with movies and no kids.”


So how’d it go? "We had a fantastic time on vacation with Trista and Ryan and are grateful for the experience," Joanna Simpson told us. "The Hyatt in Huntington Beach was absolutely beautiful, and we had a wonderful time relaxing, strolling the beach, enjoying the spa, and taking a private cooking class with the Sutters."


Hyatt Retreats packages are available at all Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency hotels and resorts worldwide and may be reserved by calling 1-800-233-1234 or visiting


The new season of The Bachelor begins January 5, 2009 at 8 et/pt on ABC. 



Check out Trista’s new line of organic diaper bags at Trista Baby (Trista and purchase them at! Says Trista, “It was really fun to be able to design something, especially something that I’m quite passionate about, now that I’m a mom. I’m really proud of it because Ryan and I are involved in an environmentally friendly lifestyle. It’s made of organic hemp canvas, and it’s made in the United States. I’m really proud of it, and I wouldn’t carry another bag even if I didn’t design it.” / Issue 94 - September 9526
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