Thursday, October 6, 2011
Okay, wow. Got the call on Friday late afternoon from the Today show. At first they were flying me out Sunday after church, but then they called back and asked if I'd like to fly out Saturday morning and spend the weekend in New York. Um, YEAH! Hung up the phone and started panicking, this gal was going to New York to be on television and had nothing to wear! Plus, my hair needed help! Thanks to The Ritz salon for doing my hair and blessing me with a shirt and earrings. Thanks to Altered Couture in Mansfield for the beautiful dress you blessed me with and for holding the store open late for me to come in! Thanks Brittany Giese for blessing me with the second dress. Sloan ran and got a hair cut and pants starched, we ate dinner with family and friends, then came home and packed. Sloan was able to sleep, I crawled in bed at 3, only to have the alarm go off at 5. (Yeah, remind me not to do that again!) Lari took us to the airport, had a nice flight. I was so thankful to not be close to the back of the plane where it's really noisy. Didn't know if my new ear could handle it. Arrived in NYC to find that the Today Show had sent a driver to pick us up and take us to the hotel. Hotel was very nice and within walking distance of many things. New York is LOUD. So many cars, people, and sounds. Not gonna lie, it was overwhelming at first, but I was enjoying taking it all in. Our first exploration was to Times Square. We enjoyed seeing it and all the lights and hustle and bustle. At one point we stopped and listened to a Peruvian Band playing on the sidewalk. It took me a few minutes to realize that I wasn't having any feedback from the music, and I turned to Sloan and was like "It sounds AWESOME!" I could actually make a distinction between each instrument and such. I listened for quite a bit and enjoyed it. We went into some stores just for fun and bought a few little souvenir items for the girls. At this point it started to rain and we refused to spend 10 precious bucks on an umbrella, so we made our way back canopy to canopy from store to store. I enjoyed the sound of the rain and people chattering and hurrying to get to where they were going. Got to the hotel to 'dry out' and make some calls, then headed to dinner. The restaurant was an intimate place with great food. Sloan and I sat in the corner and really enjoyed ourselves. The food was fantastic, I got fillet Mignon both nights! It was right after dinner that I got the call from the Ellen producer and got that rolling. We walked around a little bit and enjoyed the New York nightlife and sights, but we got back to the hotel and went to bed kinda early. We were pooped. The next morning we had breakfast at a great little cafe called 'Sara Beth's'. We opted to eat out on the sidewalk and I sat and took in all the sounds. The horse hoofs and they clomped down the street, the cars as they whizzed by, birds in the park. At one point a large group of Shelby's zoomed past on their way to some sort of car show and they were incredibly loud. After eating we headed to the subway where I had to turn my device off due to the noise :) We went to see where the towers were, that was an experience in itself. Being right in the place where so much tragedy happened. After that we headed to Chinatown with one goal in mind: To find good noodle! Sloan misses authentic Chinese food dearly since leaving China. We struck up a conversation with a Chinese man on the street after purchasing a little clay figure from him that he made, and got directions to a good noodle and dim sum place. We shared a table with another group and had nice conversation.............conversation I was able to be a part of and catch most of without having to rely on Sloan. Much walking ensued after eating, and we finally headed back to the hotel where we rested and went to dinner. The Today Show graciously gave us incidentals to eat on at the hotel, so we ate well both nights. This particular night we were eating and Sloan said "Hey, that's the guy from Fast 5 and Transformers!" I look over, and sure enough, 3 tables over sat Tyrese Gibson! My first official 'star spotting'! Sloan made me promise that I wouldn't 'fall' into his lap on the way out. Darn. We went to bed early since we had to be up early for the Today Show. Got up the next morning and got ready for the driver to pick us up. Sloan was so nervous that he didn't sleep at all and was up walking the streets of New York at 4:45. I on the other hand slept like a rock. Got up and got ready and headed to the lobby and waited for our driver. One of the producers of the show came along to escort us, and direct us where to go. Arrived at the studio and was introduced to everyone. They were all very nice. They went over what would be discussed, and kept telling me 'not to be nervous'. I was shaking like a leaf. Physically shaking! Sloan kept reminding me to smile because I was so nervous every time they did a 'shot' for the commercial break. That along with all the people out on the street looking in through the window at me, only added to my nervousness. Lol. The doctor that was going on the show with us came over and talked to me. Right off she said "You speak so well, I'm impressed." She said "it's obvious that you have some speech impediment, and that you are reading my lips and very focused, and that you are paying attention to how I move my mouth and form words, but you are doing so well.". That really made my day. Got settled on the couch and right before they started airing I asked Matt Lauer "You'll pick me up if I pass out right?" Lights, camera, action, and the interview started. Seemed like it was over in a flash! After the interview they offered to give us a tour of the studio. While we were downstairs getting a tour, I caught a glimpse of Tim McGraw on a screen. I quickly asked "Is that Tim McGraw?!?" Kerri, the woman walking us around, was like "Let me check for you". She came back and said it was indeed Tim, and did I want to go outside to see him? Um. YEAH! I thought I was going outside to get a picture from a distance type thing............had no idea I was going to meet him! He walked over, Kerri explained what I was on the show for, and he grabbed me and hugged me. I chokingly got out that I loved his music and was over the moon to meet him :) He asked me if I wanted a pic, and Sloan started snapping. I had 'perma grin' for a few hours. Got to see Kathy Bates as well, but no hugging. She was doing an interview with Al Roker at the moment. Anyway, we finished up and got in the car and headed back to the hotel. Called all the friends and family back home and filled them in. Walked through Central Park and checked out a place called "The Shake Shack"..........which was AWESOME. Check it out if you ever go to NYC! Great shakes and burgers, and reasonable prices! (which was what we needed on our shoe string budget) Basically just spent the last few hours walking around. Found a great little thrift store and bought a pair of shoes. (Thanks to a cheap lunch, I got shoes for dessert!) All during this time we were talking with the Ellen producers and setting up flights and schedules to go to LA for the show there. We packed and a driver picked us up and took us to the airport. We arrived back home at 11 that night.............only to leave out again the next morning :) All in all, NYC was a great place to visit and we enjoyed ourselves. The Today Show was fun and I was honored to be a guest.