Welcome to Hollywood!

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What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. (10 points to first person that can name that movie)
A couple weeks ago I was running late for work.  Unfortunately, that’s been par for the course here lately (PTL for comp time).  Oh, but now that I think about it, I probably had a meeting because I didn’t get to work until around noon.  One of the first things I do at work is check my email.  Here is what I saw:
Mary:
I know this is a long shot, but G and I wanted to check with you and see what you were doing next weekend (Oct 28-30).  We are going for our taping of Wheel of Fortune in LA and we have two more tickets for studio audience members.

Brian:
WHHHHHHAAAAAAT?!!  So cool. 
Looking up tickets.
What?!  I immediately chat Brian to see what the heck is going on and he sends me a link for plane tickets to L.A.  In a matter of minutes, my weekend plans had changed, dramatically!
Well, we were off to L.A. to watch our friends spin the Wheel!  It was Brian’s and my first time to the city and we were pumped!  But boy was it a whirlwind tour.  We flew out Thursday evening, spent the night when we got there helping Mary choose her television-debut outfit and catching up with our fun friends. Watched the Wheel on Friday.  Spent the day around town on Saturday and caught a 7am flight back to RDU on Sunday!  Here’s the breakdown:
Friday Brian and I went for an early jog and got ready for the taping.  Unfortunately, they don’t allow you to take pictures in the Studio, but we snapped these from the parking garage :0). 

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Vanna and Pat both look great in person.  I got to ask Vanna to show me her shoes (and she did!).  She doesn’t keep the dresses she wears in the shows.  And girl is incredibly skinny.  Skinnier in person than she appears on TV.  They tape shows Thursdays and Fridays every other week.  So effectively, Pat & Vanna work 4 days a month!  There were 5 tapings on the day we visited.  Thankfully, our friends played on the 3rd “show” so we were able leave after that and grab lunch.  By show number 3 my hands were getting numb from all the clapping you have to do as an audience member!  It was really fun to see a real set and watch the tapings.  They’ve definitely got it down to a science and you’d never know when watching the produced show that there are sometimes mistakes and delays that are edited out.  Sadly, I cannot reveal the success and/or failure of our friends.  But you CAN watch them on February 15th!
After the tapings and lunch we decided to head to Santa Monica to see the Pacific Ocean and grab dinner that night.  Mary’s mom played Sheryl Crowe’s All I Wanna Do to get us in the Santa Monica spirit.  The boardwalk was really neat and luckily we arrived just at sunset and watched the sun disappear beyond the horizon.  Great for taking pictures that night!  Unfortunately, I’m missing some of my pictures from the trip because they’re on another memory card (that I think I left in Savannah…oops!).  If I recover the memory card and get the pics I’ll make sure to post them.  I’m actually a bit bummed b/c there are some fun shots of the Ferris wheel and the pier.  Sigh.  Hope I can find the darn thing.
2011-10-28_18-07-30_649 This looks like a postcard.
Saturday’s agenda included: shopping on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills.  That’s Row-day-O (not row-dee-o as Brian assumed, hehe).  Just like in NYC, I was on the lookout for someone famous.  Although, we had been warned that the stars avoid Rodeo Dr. on Saturdays b/c that’s when all the tourists are there.  Understandable.

IMG_5315IMG_5316 so does this.

I didn’t see any stars, but I did talk to the consultant at IWC and he said McSteamy from Grey’s Anatomy had been in the store just that morning and was in fact a regular and friend of the store manager.  When he mentioned the guy’s name (I admit I had to look up McSteamy vs. McDreamy to make sure I said the right name) I had no idea who he was talking about.  So, I concluded that had there been an actual Hollywood Star on Rodeo Dr. that day I most likely wouldn’t have even realized who he/she was (unless of course it was someone super famous, like Julia Roberts or Brad Pitt).  Speaking of IWC (international watch co.—don’t worry, I didn’t know what it stood for either until I went into the shop), I saw a watch that cost $230,000 (that’s more than my mortgage, people!).
It was a fun day of checking out designer goodies that I would never consider buying.  The most outrageous thing?  A feather robe in Missoni that cost over $12Gs!  Not 1200, twelve THOUSAND dollars.  Are you freaking kidding me?  I was afraid to breathe on it.  Mary’s sister asked the clerk to help her try it on!  I’d be afraid I would rip out a feather and owe them a grand!
Maybe only Becky will get this…but in one store there was a pair of shoes with sequins and jewels covering it.  I got down close and looked at the display and noticed a missing bead.  I immediately struck my best Shelly Long pose tapped my hip and said, “It’s missing a bead.”  “I can give it to you for $5,000.”  “I’ll take it!”  I don’t think anyone saw me hold my own movie dialogue.  But if they did I’m sure they were chuckling, or maybe just thought I was weird. (Another 10 points to the first person to name that movie; Becky you don’t count)
We visited Prada where Mary tried on some over the top designer sunglasses.  After taking these pictures I was immediately approached and informed that pictures weren’t allowed.  Woops!

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I caught Brian and G$ checking out some designer bags.  Getting ideas for new purses fellas?
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We thought of our good friends, the Kennedys, when we saw the Brooks Brothers.  I must say, they do have nice clothes.  I was tempted to try on some cute corduroy pants and skirts.  But didn’t.  I did try on some fun hats though :-D.
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After shopping (well, browsing on my part) we headed over to Hollywood to get a glimpse of the iconic sign and see Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where all the stars are. 
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Following our jaunt through Hollywood we went to dinner at a Peruvian/Japanese fusion restaurant on Hollywood Blvd.  It was a tapas style restaurant and we ordered about a 12 course meal.  I even tried the Peruvian national drink, pisco sour.  Should have taken a picture of it.  The most exciting dish was the flaming scallops served on oyster shells, yum.  It was was a fun, tasty evening with good friends and memories.
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What a fun, memorable trip.  We crammed so much in I really didn’t tell you all the details.  But I’m glad we took the spur of the moment opportunity to travel with friends and see a new city.  I mean, who knows when else we’ll be able to make it to L.A. again?  Thanks, G & Mary for inviting us along!
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