Thursday, July 14, 2011

My First Bite of the Big Apple

I know, I know. I'm a really slow chewer.

It all started with a text from my Soul Sister, Mary. "I found round trip airfare to NYC for $250. Get out your f*cking credit card. You're going." And so it was that we went to see a man about an elephant.

(I apologize ahead of time for the blurry images. 
My BlackBerry was not meant to zoom .)

As I told Mary, this was essential packing for the trip.

Car loaded up and ready to head out.

Spent the night before our flight out of Chicago at Mary's
mom and stepdad's house. Absolute sweethearts who
spoiled us rotten. Great food. Great conversation.
Great WFE circus-themed gift bags!

We met up with Kassie at Midway, boarded the plane,
and began our epic journey.

First time meeting our dear, dear Fran (BellaTesoro).

It was jaw dropping walking along
Times Square for the first time.

Looked everywhere for something from WFE, but nothin'.

Ryan Reynolds was quite nice though.

It was raining, but it didn't dampen our spirits.
Instead of following the yellow brick road,
we followed Mary's polka-dot umbrella.

Our first destination - Planet Hollywood.

The infamous Chucks.
(Made me think of @conversedcullen
so I tweeted her, of course.)

We tried to find out what Rob's shoe size was,
but the staff didn't know. You'd think that would
be a part of their job description. Seriously.

I heard there was other movie memorabilia there too,
but I couldn't tell you what it was. LOL.




(Proudly wearing my
UV Aini ForeverInOurHearts bracelet.)

Grew up a HUGE Sylvester Stallone/Rocky fan and raised
my son to be one too. Had to SMS him with this one.

That night was a party in the bar of the same hotel we were staying at, hosted by the Kinkers from the Water for Elephants film blog (here). This journey would not have been the same without them. It was truly a family atmosphere on the blog. It's not too late to hop in the limo and follow their Cosmopolis blog (here) too. Thanks for everything, girlz!

Kinker Deb and Kinker Tink

Actor Mark Povinelli (Kinko/Walter)

Author Sara Gruen

Fran, Megan, Me, and Kassie
(BellaTesoro, RobzSinger, Mrs. Kassie Cullen)

Fran, Megan, Me, Kassie, Sharon
(BellaTesoro, RobzSinger, Mrs. Kassie Cullen, DangrDafne)

Hours later

Jude, Me, Debbie, Stacey, Caroline
(Double Dippin, Snarkier Than You, Latchkey Wife, Laxplays)
The wimps who abandoned the torrential rain wristband line
and sat in the bar visiting instead. Ended up being a good call.

The Cousins

One of JJ's many notes for Snarky

We actually got to have lunch with JJ the next day,
which was awesome sauce. No picture to show for it though :(

Setting up for the red carpet across from our hotel

Line for the coveted wristbands. The barricaded area is where they
stuffed 250 legit wristband holders and some barricade jumpers.
For those of you who don't know, a wristband guaranteed you
that Rob and Reese would come close enough for pictures
and some autographs. It did not mean you'd get into the movie premiere,
despite being repeatedly told by staffers to "hang in there" because
there was more to come, only to be told after the actors had
gone inside the theater that they were sorry things hadn't
worked out for them  to get us inside for the premiere.
Most of us were never expecting to, so the disappointment
came after they got our hopes up. They would have been
better off to surprise us at the end than to have to apologize.

Steph survived and live to tell about it

My heroes (and roommates) Sandy and Mary. They never caved
and ended up with a position on the front line for the premiere.

Fran trying to conquer twitter while we were in line.
We're still working on that ;)

Kassie and I getting our wristbands.
(L to R) Me, Jen, Megan, Kassie, Fran, Lauren

We adopted Jen (@Jorgie20) and Lauren (@laureate04)
while we were in line and would do it all over again too.

Lior came all the way from Israel for the premiere and
the chance to be up close and personal with me Rob.

Finding out they expanded the wristbands from
200 to 250 was a dream come true for us. I was #228.

Radio City Music Hall

Ice Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center

Heard there was someone pretty popular there the next day.

Our hotel

We got chills when this went up.

We were directly across from Josh Horowitz from MTV.
I led the troops in a few shout outs to him and got
him to wave. Always enjoy his interviews with Rob.

Meeting Terri (RPattzgirl) was a highlight. She and I bonded
a long time ago over blogging, Rob's music, and the beanie.

Finally got to meet the TCS girls!!
We were wishing Bleriana was with us.

Steph, Megan, Me, Debbie
(stephanieS74, RobzSinger, DebbieCDC)

Terri, Megan, Steph, Me, Debbie

These h00rs came late and got a kick-ass spot to watch from.
They made it into lots of pictures and videos waving that trunk around.

Stacey, Caroline, Jude
(Latchkey Wife, Laxplays, Double Dippin)

Still can't believe the setup had us across the street,
and they didn't shut down traffic.

MTV's Josh Horowitz interviewing the director, Francis Lawrence

Rob's parents
(note the dude with the green jacket and beanie
riding his bike had a better view than we did)

Lior and Megan

Rob's bodyguard Dean
(This is when I started reminding myself to breathe.)

The hair on Rob's beautiful head is in my line of sight.

Me looking over Steph's head and coming (twss)
face to face with perfection.

White. Linen. Shirt.


I have a lot of these pictures where the other people's
hands are in focus and Rob is not. *shakes head sadly*

They didn't even shut down the traffic when Rob and Reese
came through the line to sign autographs. Crazy.
He was so very soft spoken and sweet.

Me, Lior, and Lior's beautiful mom

Latchkey Wife, Laxplays, Double Dippin

Josh Horowitz interviewing Christoph Waltz

It really wasn't fair that I was right behind the girls
who waited outside in the rain all night for a wristband.

This is why it has taken me forever to post. The OCD in me wants the pictures to be in chronological order. I tried. But when I uploaded them, they shifted. When I try to rearrange, they get uncentered. The text spaces out weird, etc. Since this is all old news for all of you anyway, I'm going to stop trying to fix it and just post. It's driving me insane(r).

Josh Horowitz interviewing Reese and Rob

Lior drew a picture of Rob that was amazing.

Every time Rob would run his hand through his hair,
the girls would cheer. Still smiling just thinking about it.

Attention h00rs. Just sayin' ;)

View from the other side

That's me just below the ER in the poster,
and Steph is just in front of me.

Steph is to the left looking down, I'm right behind her,
DebbieCDC is in the pink hooded sweatshirt.
Megan (RobsZinger) is behind her smiling :)

How we were sectioned off. Mary is in front with the
red and white shirt. Sandy is to her right (our left). 

Before Rob made it to where we were at, I had prepared myself with this mantra:
cell phone, camera, pockets, look

My plan was to take a few pictures with my cell phone, a few with my camera, put them in the pockets of my jacket, and then just look. I wanted to "be in the moment" and remember it...always.

I've only had one dream about Rob (Mrs. P will remember this). I was across the street behind a barricade with other fans watching him, of all things, filming The Bad Mother's Handbook. It was the scene where he's walking down the sidewalk following the girls. I vividly remember that there was no sound. I couldn't hear anyone else around me. All of my attention was focused on him.

Maybe I have a bit of Alice in me, because that was very close to how it was for me. I was standing with other fans behind a barricade and when Rob came into view, a hush came over the crowd. I don't think I was saying my mantra of "cell phone, camera, pockets, look" out loud, but I might have been. I forgot who was around me. It was just me and Rob. Then I heard isolation...his beautiful voice saying "Thank you" to fans in response to whatever they had said to him. It wasn't frantic. It wasn't like I was going to pass out (something I seriously thought might happen when I imagined how it would all go).

I. Was. In. The. Moment.

My mantra worked.


Except for one minor detail.

I should have looked down while I was putting the camera in my pocket, because in refusing to take my eyes off the prize, I missed the pocket and the camera crashed to the ground. *shrugs*

No words necessary.

Rob's agent, Stephanie, and manager, Nick

I did go and watch some videos from that day and have to laugh when I hear people screaming and yelling Rob's name because I totally blocked it out that day.

I was a fan of Reese's long before Water for Elephants. Getting to know her even better as a result of following the filming of and the press junket for Water for Elephants made me damn proud to be a fan. She's the real deal.

Lior got an autograph and her picture in the same frame as Rob.
I/We were so happy for her. Pretty sure those animal ears mean
that Mary and Sandy are nearby. Lior had me take a picture of the
picture on her camera so she could tweet it.  (I spy 17...twice!)

My girls Corrinne and Sharon!!! I did not get to
spend enough time with them in NYC.

(LivingwithEdward, Dangrdafne)

My wristband, a charm from Dangrdafne, and actual
fibers from the red carpet swiped by Sandy's sister Donna,
who is now known on twitter as @redcarpetninja :)

After the red carpet was over, we got something to eat and then went back to our room to pack up and literally get a few hours sleep. Sandy was on a mission. Have I told you already that she's my hero? She had done some major recon to give us the best chance to get standby tickets for LIVE! with Regis and Kelly. What did her sources tell her? We needed to be there really, really, REALLY early.

Outside the ABC studio where
LIVE! with Regis and Kelly films

While stretching my legs and taking a walk around the side
of the building, I found this awning. Had to tweet it to Icy.

After hours of waiting, two lines had formed. One for people with tickets and one for people hoping to get standby tickets, which is the line we were in. When we arrived at the studio early that morning, there was one couple already in line and then the four of us (me, Mary, Sandy, and Sandy's sister Donna). Those of you who have met us already know that we're a chatty bunch. It didn't take us long to convince our new friend Mary Lou that she had found "her people." By the time we were heading into the studio, she was armed with email addresses and ff recs :)

As it turned out, they only took seven standby people inside to view the show. Seven. Mary Lou and her husband were two, the four of us made six, and the two best friends behind us were split up to make seven. I felt bad for them, especially when I ran to the bathroom and came back to find out that my group had already been taken inside the studio along with one of the best friends who had been standing behind me. If I had stopped to put on lip gloss, I would have missed my window. I thought I was going to throw up until the staffer said that he thought they were coming back for me because my friends had pleaded on my behalf. (Did I mention they are my heroes?) I was literally escorted in just before the show went live and was the last seat in the studio.  

Regis was on vacation that week, which was perfectly fine with me. Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Live was the guest host, and he was awesome. I could see him replacing Regis easily.

I know people say this all the time, but it's true.
The studio was much smaller than expected.

Kelly entertains the audience on commercial breaks.
She was gorgeous and funny.


Sandy (far left, hand on mouth)
Mary behind her (looking down)

Sandy's sister Donna (b&w shirt and glasses)

As standby guests, we were scattered around the theater.

The reason for the insanity...Rob was a guest.


Rob's family, agent, and manager

They were literally next to Mary and she had no idea.
She definitely has a one-track mind.


Rob's Segment


I am a huge American Idol fan and Paul McDonald was on the show too. He had just been voted off AI that week. He did admit that he was dating Nikki Reed and, as most of you know, they have since become engaged. Paul looked and sounded amazing.

Paul's Performance


When the show with Rob was over, Gelman told us to remain in our seats because they were going to be recording a segment for the next day's show. The buzz around the room was immediate. We knew it had to be Reese. So Seth Meyers said goodbye, Kelly changed her clothes, and they brought out a new guest host, NFL football player Michael Strahan. So we got to hear two monologues as well.

Loved Reese's pink dress

What are the odds that I would get to sit next to Mary Lou,
our standby line buddy! Mary Lou and her husband just met up
with Sandy and her husband in Toronto to see 100 Monkeys.
They managed to get pictures of Jackson outside the venue
just walking around. (I heard him say in an interview that he
couldn't find the back entrance, which is why he ended up
walking around where the fans were. He said they were very sweet.
Well of course they were.) Mary Lou is also going to Comic Con
next week, so I am looking forward to seeing her again.

I honestly don't remember what's on these videos.

Friends showing support for UV Aini.

Country girls in the big city
(I flove you hard, Mary!)

Seemed  like a good idea at the time.

Back home and getting ready to watch the movie for the
first time with my daughter (far right) and her life-long
friends, all of who feel like daughters to me.
Rob as Jacob Jankowski.
Worth. The. Wait.

If I don't end up choking on my bite of the Big Apple, I will be posting about my recent trip to Chicago where I met the other half of my fantasy. Now if I can just see the Robsten bubble in effect in San Diego next week, this journey will be complete.

In case you missed any of these, here are links to more NYC stories, pictures, and videos (all of which are better than mine):

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