About a week and a half ago, one of my girlfriends sent me a most tempting note on Facebook. It read: "I'm going to see SYTYCD next Wednesday!!!! I sooooo want you to come with me! Any cheap last-minute flights?! :)" Ummmm, yuh huh!!!! But realistically, I didn't think I could pull it off. I had conflicts, kids in camp, work, plus the challenge of finding a flight that didn't cost an arm and a leg. However, turns out, where there's a will, there's a way! I won't go through all the details of what happened to make it all come together, but I have a wonderful babysitter, husband, mother-in-law and bank (that allows me to earn points which basically gave me a free flight) who all came together to help make this trip a possibility. The next thing I knew, I had booked my flight and told Krista I'd be landing LA at 6:45pm the following Tuesday. Holy cow! This was really gonna happen! Yahoo!
I headed to the airport and just as I was about to get on the plane, I spotted a twin mommy friend of mine who I don't get to see very often. As luck would have it, she was on my same flight and we got to spend the next 4 hours chatting and catching up. A nice, unexpected bonus to my trip!
Both Krista and Mike picked me up at the airport, which was such a nice surprise. I hadn't expected to see Mike and it made me smile that he was there too. We headed out for sushi and had a fabulous dinner at Teru Sushi. Krista and Mike had an ongoing, very entertaining argument (all in good fun) about whether or not Krista had ever been there and how often Mike had suggested they dine there. All I know is that the food was delicious and we had an entire room all to ourselves. It was wonderful to not be on any sort of time schedule, other than my body clock which I was working hard to convince was already on Calfornia time! (The lighting in there was a challenge to say the least, but I snapped a few photos anyway.)
Much to my surprise, Krista and I stayed up talking until about 1AM, which was 3AM my time. I'm not sure how I pulled that off, but I did. I guess that's what happens when you know you only have a short time to spend with an adored friend you don't get to see very often.
The next morning, after we were all up, Mike offered to make us breakfast. He made homemade hashbrowns, scrambled eggs and vegetarian bacon (which was interesting to try and quite good). We ate out on the back porch, which apparently doesn't get used too often. Hopefully, they'll use it more now!
After breakfast, Krista and I stayed in our jammies and talked until about noon. What a treat! While we did have to be at the studio for the taping at a certain time, there wasn't any sort of rush that morning. So, we just relaxed and got ready starting around noon. An absolutely perfect morning! Mike took off for a 10 mile run while we primped. We had to wait for him to return so that he could take a few photos of us before we left for the show. I also wandered around the backyard and took a few shots of their awesome lemon tree and pretty flowers.
I would so make lemonade on a regular basis if I had one of these in my back yard!
I have no idea what type of flower this is, but I loved how the light was hitting it.
All dolled up and ready to go!
Krista and Mike's baby is a little ball of fur named Lucy. She is an adorable little thing, who according to Krista, can be quite ferocious. However, we seem to be fast friends and so I got her in on the photo taking action too! Perhaps it's because she seems far more like a cat than a dog to me. And yes, that is a cat bed she's snuggled up in!
Before we hit the studio, we stopped at Chipotle for lunch! A friend and colleague of mine lives quite close so she joined us for lunch. It was so great to see Nilah, especially since she has a little person about to make his arrival! I was sad our visit was so short, but I'm so happy we got to spend even a short bit of time together.
After lunch, we headed to the studio. It was oh so exciting! We were actually going to see the show live! I had to turn in my camera and my phone, which was painful, but I knew it was going to happen. Nonetheless, I took a few shots before and after the taping, before I turned my camera in and once I got it back.
Where we picked up our official tickets - before I had to turn my camera in!
This is where we waited to head inside.
The CBS studios where the show is taped.
Krista and I after the show, just outside the studios!
It was so hard to not have my camera with me, but there really wasn't much I could do about that.
As you saw from the first photo, Krista and I had awesome seats and could be seen on TV several times. We even chatted with Cat a few times, which was so much fun. What a sweetheart she is!
Krista and I also make friends with Melanie Moore's mom - our favorite female dancer this season. She was kind enough to give us a few signs to hold up in support of Melanie. We chatted for awhile and she told us that if I gave her my cell phone number, she'd text us later to let us know where Melanie would be after the show. Yes, that worked for us!!! She said Melanie would be happy to take photos with us and sign the sign! Oh, we were so looking forward to that!
After the taping, Krista and I headed over to the Grove. It's a big shopping and dining area right next to the studios. We wandered around a bit, checked out a few stores, took some pictures in front of the fountain and finally decided to have dinner at a restaurant called The Farm, which served locally sourced and organic produce and meats. Perfect!
Neither one of us have problems asking random people to take our photos! :)
A mini photo shoot just for fun.
I love this photo of Krista - anything with a real laugh always makes me smile.
I couldn't resist taking photos of the fountain. This was right next to where we ate dinner.
Clearly an overexposed image, but Krista and I agreed that it kinda made it look like a painting. Sometimes exposure accidents are a good thing!
This is where we ended up eating, outside, next to the awesome fountain.
After we sat down to order and eat, Krista spotted Nick (the fabulous tapper from the show) on the other side of the fountain. It took me 2 times to get up the nerve to walk up to him, but I finally did and he was such a sweet guy. Right as we were getting ready to take a photo, Clarice walked up and I pulled her in too. We chatted for awhile and I wished them both the best of luck.
I went back to join Krista and we both ordered some wine. I must admit, I love taking photographs of wine. If you must know, mine was the larger of the two (I wasn't driving!). :)
After we had started eating, Melanie's mom, Vicky, sent us a text to let us know that Melanie was at....you guessed it...The Farm! How funny! After she finished eating, she walked over towards us and we met her in the walkway. What a beautiful and kind girl she was! Both Krista and I were thrilled to get to meet her. She signed my sign, took a few photos, answered a bunch of questions about what this experience was like and then we wished her well. She has our votes every week for sure!
Look at how adorable they both are!
After that, we finished dinner, paid the bill and headed home. The day turned out to be so much more than we had anticipated! Once we got home, we turned on the TV to see ourselves which was oh so much fun. At that point, I was so tired I could barely see straight and had to go to bed.
I woke up pretty early the next morning and was showered and packed by the time Mike and Krista got up. That way I could spend time with the two of them instead of running around like a crazy person, trying to get ready to go.
I couldn't have asked for a more perfect trip to visit my friends and see one of my all time favorite shows! Thank you, Mike and Krista, for the tickets and for having me as a guest in your home. I had such a wonderful time! I adore you both and hope we are able to all get together again before too much time passes.
Give Lucy my love. :)