Lindsey Haring thought scoring tickets to a taping of Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in Chicago would make for a nice mother-daughter outing.
She never guessed that the trip would entail being part of the audience of 300 of Winfrey’s most dedicated fans at the premiere show of her last season.
Or that she and her mother, Tracy Ann Morris of Exeter, would sit in the second row.
And then it got even better. Winfrey gave the entire audience an eight-day vacation to Australia with her in December.
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Actor John Travolta, a licensed pilot, will be flying the plane. Travolta appeared onstage in an airplane mock-up after the trip announcement.
Confetti fell from the ceiling and tears were shed. Haring, an executive assistant at the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, said her knees shook with the excitement.
“This is our winning the lottery,” Haring said. “Never in life again will we have a moment where this dream that has for years been an afterthought comes to fruition.”
Haring said her mom, who stayed at home to raise four kids, was always a Winfrey fan.
Haring wrote a short essay explaining her mother’s passion for the show — which is how she was selected to be a part of the audience.
“I watched my mom over the years idolize this woman,” Haring said. “Oprah always said that being a mom is the hardest job on Earth, and those words truly inspired my mom. Oprah has a way of empowering women, and I saw it empower my mom.”
However, Haring will not be making the trek to Australia with her mother.
Haring is expecting her first child and will be 33 weeks pregnant at the time of the trip. Her father will take her place.
Haring said she is content with the moment she and her mom already shared.
“This was the most gratifying experience — it really was all about my mom,” Haring said. “I just held my mom’s hand and thought, ‘This is as good as it gets.’ ”