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30 January 2013 @ 09:02 am
Marvin Morton's SAG  
Another long and detailed recap of vacation, five days in Hollywood with one of my best Rusher buddies. And James Maslow is the most beautiful person in the entire world.

Well, this definitely goes on my list of best vacations ever. Way back in November, I think it was, Sharon (@the1nonlyglee) made plans to come out to California. The main purpose of the trip was to hang out and actually meet each other, since we've been friends for two years and never met in person. Being huge BTR fans, we of course booked the Paramount tour as well and I told her we'd visit all the BTR sites we could get to. It was later announced the guys would be back to filming in January, so that got us all excited. While it's rare, it does occasionally happen that you at least catch one walking by while on the tour. As time went on, other cool things popped up that were happening that week, so by the time our vacation actually rolled around, we had some fun stuff planned. We knew for sure we were doing the tour with Marie (@marie_cristina) and Amber (@spacematadors), and Marie had got us all tickets to see the taping of “Marvin Marvin” that same day. There was also the premiere of the Police Guys movie, which stars Jon Lee Brody and Stephen Glickman, and Jon had said it was a public event so we were doing that with Marie. Saturday we planned to go see Matt Walker's comedy show, and with the beach and sightseeing thrown in, it was a pretty full schedule we had planned.

Of course things never work out as planned. A few days before vacation, the Police Guys premiere was postponed. Then it started looking like the guys weren't even filming that week, and Carlos was in Hawaii. James was in Big Bear. We were bummed about those things but knew we'd have fun anyway, and as I kept telling myself, everything happens for a reason. Once again, it turned out to be true. :) Better things were waiting for us.

Wednesday:

As always, I left my house bright and early to get out to L.A. Left at 5:45, took buses and a train to Union Station. I had quite a lot of time to kill, so I had breakfast at the Subway there. While I was ordering, a woman rushed up and interrupted, looking for the manager of the place. She proceeded to demand things because she was holding a photo shoot there and needed lunch ready by 11:30. I thought of BTR, of course, and realized Union Station has some nice locations for a photo shoot and almost asked her what the shoot was for, but let the idea go. Not everything is about Big Time Rush, right? Even though it should be. :P So I ate my breakfast and spent some time working with a puzzle book, then got antsy and decided I'd rather kill time at the airport.

I was on my second train, twenty minutes away, when I saw a bunch of tweets about the guys doing a photo shoot with Popstar. I was like “No way. Just no way. What are the chances?” Since I had so much time to kill and was still close, I got off the train and went right back to Union Station because you just never know. I walked around until I found the photo shoot, and of course it wasn't BTR. But I would've gone crazy wondering if I hadn't gone back, so I felt better for doing it. I got back on the trains, three to get to LAX (and then later discovered there's a bus that goes directly there...figures) but got there and caught a shuttle, then had to kill three hours waiting for Sharon's flight. I asked a really nice guy at the information counter where I could go to eat around there, I just wanted a place to kill time, and he suggested I go to the Tom Bradley Terminal for McDonald's. I saw that Sharon's flight was due in early, though, so didn't stay long, and then just waited at the terminal for the next two hours. She was finally there and we met and hugged and then “Call Me Maybe” started playing and we laughed. It figures. We got her luggage, took a shuttle to Fox Car Rental (she didn't plan that, it was just the cheapest company and it totally figures that she comes to see me and uses them). While driving to the hotel I pointed out the Hollywood sign and Sharon cried. There was a lot of happy crying on this trip.

We decided we would just stay in that night, maybe order pizza and talk because we were both tired from being up early and travel does wear you out. Then tweets started coming in from Logan and Dustin and we're a little crazy (or maybe a lot) and we decided to go see what we could see at the Muse concert they were at. We knew we wouldn't be seeing them Friday as we'd hoped, and thought this might be our only chance for even a glimpse of them. Plus, I really wanted to see Logan. If there was any way I could get my Logan hug, I was going to take it. We got there and found the VIP entrance and camped out, and then Eric tweeted he was there and we hoped to run into him. Then Logan tweeted a pic and we knew he was in there too and got excited but didn't expect anything. It started raining but we stood there for a while and finally gave up because everyone was gone, but then walked around the building and saw another VIP entrance, near VIP valet. We also walked right by the buses without meaning to, and it's crazy how easy it is to get to them. So if BTR ever plays there...haha. We drove to a Subway for a late dinner, then crashed at the hotel after.

Thursday:

This day was pretty much set aside for sightseeing. It was supposed to be the movie premiere, but now we had a whole day open so we went driving. One of Sharon's goals for this trip was to eat at places the guys all like, so we wanted to get going on that, too. Eric tweeted that he'd already worked out with James and Carlos, which killed us because there's a Gold's Gym just a few blocks from our hotel that may or may not be the one they use. We really don't know which one they use, there are quite a few, but this one's so close to Paramount it's entirely possible. And then the guys tweeted about another photo shoot they were doing, but of course we had no idea where. So we got a late start and after a stop for supplies at CVS, headed out and drove down Santa Monica. I showed her the gay section of West Hollywood and saw something I'd missed the last time I was there, an entire crosswalk painted with rainbow colors. I wish I'd gotten a picture, it was so cool! We drove around for a while and then went to Hugo's Tacos (a Kendall favorite). Of course everything's organic there. And there's a Whole Foods right across the street. While looking for parking we turned down what happened to be Hortense St. and poor Sharon was having a Kogan freakout. She was like “It's too much, everywhere I look it's Kendall and now Logan, too!”

We walked to Hugo's but it was cold and rainy and we really wanted to sit down, and once I spied an actual Hugo's restaurant across the street (we were at the little taco stand), we went there instead. Sharon wanted mac and cheese anyway, and the stand doesn't have that. So we walked over there and waited a bit, it was lunch time, and that place does really good business. Sharon wasn't too thrilled with her mac and cheese, she'd gotten the weird one with peas and all kinds of odd things in it, but I stuck with the traditional and it was incredible. So much cheese, mmm. I was happy.

On the way out I heard my name and looked over to find Denise, one of the girls I met back in September at the “Figure It Out” tapings. I freaking LOVE Denise, I was so happy to see her! She was with her friend Amanda, the two of them planning to go see Lawson at the Troubadour later that night. We talked for a bit and I introduced Sharon, and I marveled at how small L.A. really is. Then again, meeting other Rushers at a Kendall place kind of makes sense. :P

After that we drove around Studio City since we were on the border of it, and then found the intersection of Heffron Drive and Kenwood. I wonder if that neighborhood is used to fangirls by now, a dude walking his dog kept giving us looks as I took Sharon's picture under the sign. But I'm glad we went, Sharon was ecstatic, and it was fun.

At some point JoJo Wright tweeted that the steak dinner was finally going to happen, at noon the following day. I remember way back in June of last year, hoping it would happen then because the guys were in town and so was my buddy Sarah (@_adamantine), and I was pretty sure it was going to happen at Morton's Steakhouse in Burbank because it's in the same plaza where KIIS FM is. We'd seen James tweet the previous week that this week looked good for it, but hadn't wanted to get our hopes up. Now we knew when it was going to happen, and I was almost certain where. The only problem was that our tour was scheduled at 11 A.M. and we'd be on it for two hours. So after driving around some more and seeing the sights, we ended up at the Coral Tree Cafe (a Carlos place) and while drinking lemonade I called to see if we could switch our tour time. Paramount is awesome, by the way. They are so accommodating and nice and every time I deal with them, they go out of their way to help me, even the security people (except the chick who tried to make me leave when I was waiting for James that one time, but I still managed to get my hug, so there!). We booked the earliest tour, at 9:30, and that gave us about a half hour to make it to the steakhouse. It would be close, and we'd probably miss them going in, but we figured we could catch them on the way out. I know there was a lot of drama surrounding that whole thing, but I didn't feel guilty about it. The guys are always so sweet with fans, and it was basically a work function at a public place—they were streaming it live, it was for the fans. Marie had never met any of them and since this might be her only chance, we were going for it. I wasn't going to complain about seeing James again, either. We knew we'd probably only get a glimpse of them walking out, maybe a little wave, and we were good with that.

We stopped at Pavilions to grab something for dinner and went back to the room to eat and catch up on everything. Ras announced he was going to do a live stream from the studio (which is literally two blocks away from our hotel) at eight, and we knew the guys were supposed to call in on JoJo's radio show at nine. We spent the time eating and tweeting and seeing everything we'd missed, dying over the pics from both photo shoots. Finally Ras started and we watched that, then pretty soon the guys were on the radio, all four of them. I hadn't expected that, figured one would just call in. But they were in James' car, which made me smile, and then JoJo let the location leak and we started screaming. Yes, it was happening at Morton's. I screamed at Amber and Marie on Twitter and poor Amber was like “Wait, where did he say that was happening?” and I'm like “Amber, don't even worry about it, we're going, I've got it covered.” She goes, “Oh, is that why you changed the tour time?” I love her, she's so cute. Yes, that was why haha. And as crazy as it was, it looked like we really would get a chance to at least see them walk by. Of course nothing was guaranteed, they could easily use a back entrance, but we had a time and place and hoped something would work out.

After that Sharon and I were too keyed up to sleep. We knew there was some club thing going on based on what JoJo said on the radio, knew Carlos was there at least, but of course had no idea where so we decided to just go walk Hollywood Blvd. for the hell of it. We did part of the Walk of Fame and I showed Sharon where parts of BTConcert were filmed, then it started raining and we were suddenly exhausted so we headed back to the hotel. Sharon missed the turn onto Vine (we drove through that intersection so many times, and I got chills each time thinking of Logan crashing his motorcycle there) so I told her to take Ivar instead, and while stopped at a light on Sunset and Ivar I pointed out Amoeba Records. Just behind it there's a building with no name but a lot of people were going in and out and it looked like it was hopping. Found out a few days later it's the place Carlos and Kendall were that night, and that they were most likely in it as we drove by. Totally not surprised.

We went to sleep pretty quick after arriving back at the hotel, anxious for Friday to come. Even if we didn't see the guys at all, we had a full day planned with awesome people and knew it would be a blast.

Friday:

We rose very early Friday morning. We had breakfast at Astro Burger, across from Paramount, and met up with Amber and Marie there. I was excited to see them, I love those girls so much. The poor things were running late because of traffic, so they got their food to go and ate it on the way to the lot and while waiting for our tour guide. We went inside and checked in and the lady said “Oh, you're with Troy today!” She pointed at a page standing next to her and informed us it was his twenty-fifth birthday. Troy was very cool, most of the tour guides are, but we had a lot of fun with him. He promised we 'd have fun and I said, “We'll do the same for you. You make it fun for us, we'll make it fun for you.” We were joined by a couple from Brazil who were visiting on vacation, and then we headed over to the studio store to use the restroom and begin the tour.

I know I say this every time, but it's true. I love being at Paramount. It doesn't matter what I'm there for, I love the feel of the place. It's magical. At one point Troy told us you can rent the place for $10,000 a day and have a party and that they do weddings, too, and I was like “I want to get married here.” I just love being there so much. So many wonderful memories there, and when I'm there I feel like I'm home.

So we started with Palm Woods park, then the Fountain of Magic, as I call it, and Troy took us into the Paramount Theater where Audition and so many other episodes were filmed. We got to go inside to the stage, too, which we don't always get to do. After that he told us that the Bronson gates are considered lucky, that people make wishes on them all the time. The four of us immediately rushed to the gates and made a wish, and I said “We all just made the same wish, didn't we?” We laughed because we knew we did. Making a wish on gates the guys have stood inside for a photo shoot felt like a good sign.

We saw a bunch of “Glee” sets packed up, Marie was excited about that. When we got to the New York District we were bummed to hear we couldn't take pictures because there's a lot of BTR stuff in there. But they were shooting a Chevy commercial and it was kind of cool, each section of this one block was painted a different color. We got to see Rocque Records, Sherwood's Grocery, stood inside the Funburger building and walked the streets “Paralyzed” was filmed on. Oh, and the alley from BTAudition! Troy kept asking, “Was this on Big Time Rush?” and we'd say yes and he'd say “Wow, they really get around and use a lot of places to film.” I guess most shows don't, just stay inside their stages.

When we got to stages 26 and 27, we started praying. Troy took us inside 28, where “Dr. Phil” is filmed, then he told us to hang tight so he could go ask if we could tour the BTR stages. We took pictures of the sign that shows what's been filmed there, saw the “Big Time Rush (2009--).” Made me smile, it's not over yet! Obviously, but since I'd been so sure it was over after season 3, it made me happy. Troy came back out and the poor guy, you could tell he felt horrible, but he said we couldn't go in because they were building sets and doing a lot of construction and he'd begged and pleaded, even gone to the production office but they said absolutely not, it was too dangerous. We were of course all really bummed, but I said “Remember, everything happens for a reason.” And it turned out to be true, because if we'd gone in and toured the sets, it would've put us back another 20 minutes or so and we later wouldn't have met up with Carolina at the steakhouse.

The tour ended pretty quickly after that. We got to see the porch of the Knight home from Audition and Mrs. Majakowski's home from that and Concert. As soon as Troy set us free (we kept wishing him Happy Birthday), we ran to the studio store for a restroom and so Sharon could buy souvenirs, then booked it out to the parking lot. While waiting at the light, Marie looked into a car that stopped to wait for a right turn opening. She goes, “Is that Heather Morris from 'Glee'?” Turns out it was, the girl waved to her and she freaked out. The next car that came up had her even more excited, it was Jacob Artist from the same show. He gave her a big smile and wave before driving off and Marie was in heaven, she was so cute fangirling. I was just so excited for her, that she'd gotten to see some of her favorite stars.

Then it was off to Morton's. On the way there Amber texted our friend Emily, who was supposed to be there already. We expected a big crowd of people, but Emily said no one was there. We couldn't believe it. She was actually inside with her friend eating lunch, and after a bit texted Amber to say she'd gotten a pic with James as he was coming back from the bathroom. We agreed we weren't going to go inside, didn't figure they'd let us in anyway (Emily had made a reservation), and once we got there it was kind of crazy trying to find parking. But we did, took the elevator up to the plaza level (yes, there were “Elevate” comments thrown around), and I knew where Morton's was. We approached and really, there was no one around except a dude on a phone in the outside waiting area. I went over to scope it out and realized the best place to wait was in the courtyard/waiting area, where we could see both doors to the place. The others joined me and we stood there for a few minutes, trying to guess if they'd come out front or go out through the back, when a girl came around a corner and asked, “Are you guys here for Big Time Rush?” We all got really quiet but I jokingly said, “Maaaaaaaybe” and she laughed and said she'd asked the hostess inside, who said we could go in if we ordered something. We were like “No, that place is too expensive and we're just going to catch them on the way out.” But then we kept thinking what if the guys go out a back way? I introduced myself to her and her name was Carolina, turns out she was at Glickman's art show back in December, so we'd seen her there. After a couple minutes she convinced us to go inside and try to get a table, and I was nervous about it because I kept thinking they'd somehow kick us out. Carolina walked into the restaurant and I went in behind her, and the first thing I saw was Ranel standing near the counter. I was like “Oh shit. Shit shit shit.” He locked eyes with me, knew immediately why we were there and probably remembered me from the last time I was there because we spent a lot of time staring at each other that day, and I turned back and told the girls “We can't do this, Ranel knows why we're here, he's going to kick us out.” But by then Carolina had already asked for a table for five and the hostess said, “Sure, it'll just be a minute.” Ranel stared at us the whole time, I was probably shaking, and suddenly the hostess came back and said, “Right this way, ladies.” We paraded past Ranel and I couldn't even look at him, I was just terrified he would say something or do something and you don't want to get on Ranel's bad side. I've heard enough stories to know that. We were led to a table across the restaurant and once we were all seated, I realized I was facing the doors that led to the private room they were in. Ranel walked over to stand near the door, eyes on us, and we talked over our game plan. We certainly weren't going to approach the door or anything, we just wanted to see them walk by. If we'd been outside, we knew they would've stopped for us and taken a few pics. They're really sweet like that. But we were there, and we knew the lunch had just started, so we ordered food and decided to get our checks paid early in case we had to bolt out after them.

Carolina suggested one of us go over and ask Ranel if we could talk to them when it was over, and even though he knew why we were there it still felt like something we shouldn't do. But then we realized the worst he could do was say no, and when Carolina mentioned that Ranel had flirted with her earlier outside the place, I was like, “Oh, then go for it. Give it a try.” She came back and told us he'd said that the guys were already running late and had to work, so there wouldn't be any time after. That's Ranel's standard line, though. We knew he'd probably rush them out before we could get to them.

Sharon had a friend keeping her in the loop on what was happening inside, because for some reason most of us couldn't get any reception inside the restaurant. I think Amber was tweeting, she kept saying she was gonna throw up haha. We were all too nervous to really eat. There was free bread and butter on the table and it looked so good but not one of us touched it. I picked at my salad, eating the chicken out of it. But we were doing pretty good at keeping it low key until I saw Big Rob. I'm an idiot, I had a fangirl OMG moment but I hadn't been expecting to see him, I would've been fine if one of the guys walked out but no, it was Big Rob and I freaked out. I've loved that guy for like four years, never dreamed I'd get to see him in person. But Ranel was speaking to him and motioned in our direction and then Rob started walking toward us and I thought, “This is it. He's coming over here to tell us we're not allowed to approach the guys when they leave.”

But he was only going to the restroom, though he did glance over at us. Eventually Sharon's friend told us it was over, but the guys had just received their steaks so they'd be in there for a little while longer. We got ready to move anyway, wondering how to handle this. We figured we'd just try to stop them outside, as long as Ranel didn't keep us away we could do it. Then Amber went over to talk to Emily, who was still inside, and motioned for us to join them, and they started walking out front. I felt like we shouldn't leave the place, the guys might still go out a back entrance, but everyone else was going so I went. On the way out we walked right past Big Rob and I had to stop and say hi. I told him “I just want to say I love you” and I hugged him, and he hugged me back and said thank you, and I told him he retweeted me once and made my day. He was sweet. We walked outside and I don't know why I was surprised, I shouldn't have been, but there was a large group of girls waiting where we had been earlier. We kind of joined them, and for some reason Carolina counted and there were fourteen of us all together. My heart sank, the more fans the less likely the guys are to stop and talk, but we were still hopeful.

Ranel came out soon after and did what I called a reconnaissance mission, scoping it all out to see what he was dealing with. He went back inside and we knew the guys would be coming out soon. Jacky suggested we all stand at the sides of the door rather than in front of it, and it was a good idea so we did that. Then Ranel came out and told us all to go into the courtyard area so we weren't blocking the door at all. We did, and I was bummed because I kept having this vision of him rushing them out and blocking us, which would've been the smart thing to do. He and Big Rob could've easily done it. So now we were farther from the entrance and when some of the girls resisted Ranel, he said, “They're coming out to say hi, I promise, but I need you away from the door.”

It was like the gates of Heaven opening. Just like that, we knew we'd get to talk to them. I was going to see James again and get my Logan hug. Of course it would be rushed, but it always is, and I was thanking God for the amazing opportunities that come my way. I just couldn't believe it was actually going to happen, that it actually worked.

Every time the door opened we got excited, and eventually the face I wanted most to see popped out. James was first, he came out smiling at us with Kendall behind him, and he greeted us and opened his arms and said, “Who wants pictures?” He was in the best mood that day, it was so awesome. Kendall said something like “Hey guys, how you all doing?” I forgot what it's like to hear that voice in person, it felt unreal. Like...wow, that's the voice I hear on T.V. all the time and it just felt unreal.

James approached us and I think it was Jacky who got to him first, Kendall went to our left, and while Jacky was talking to James the door opened again and Logan walked out. Carlos was behind him but honestly, I saw Logan and probably said, “Oh my god” because holy shit, he looked good. Of course James did too, he was glowing as always, but I hadn't seen Logan close-up like that in almost a year and he was wearing this little hat and the clothes he wore, he looked so good. He joined James and they talked to Jacky, looked at something she had them sign, and I snapped a picture because it was so beautiful to see James and Logan standing next to each other. Logan got pulled away and James took pics with a few fans, I think Jacky and Amber? Then everyone moved away and James was basically in front of me with no one between us and we smiled at each other. You'd think I wouldn't be nervous around him anymore and really, it's not horrible nerves but it's still just awe because I love him so much, he's so beautiful and so sweet and when he smiles at me I kind of die inside. In a good way. He walked up to me and I held up my phone and he said “Of course” like he always does and I turned to give my phone to Sharon to take the pic and while we were getting into a pose he asked, “How are you, darlin'?” and I think I said I was good? I don't even remember. It took Sharon a minute to get the shot and I was kind of stiff, but then suddenly I wasn't and I leaned into him, it's my favorite place to be in the whole world. He squeezed my shoulder briefly and we smiled and Sharon took the pic, and as always I thanked him and he said “No problem.” Then I took the pic of Sharon with him, and Carolina asked me to take hers as well. While she was showing me which button to press I saw Sharon pull James in to say something to him and his eyes cut to me really quick and he looked surprised, and I was like, “No. No, you did not do it, Sharon.” She'd told me she wanted to thank James for being so sweet to me all the time and making me so happy, and I heard James say his classic, “Oh, of course!” and I asked, “What did she just say?” James didn't answer but he gave this little smirk and I said, “I don't want to know, do I? I don't even want to know.” Then I took Carolina's pic with James and he turned to some other fans, I think it was Marie next.

We migrated over to Logan, who was closest to us, and waited while he finished up with some fans and once again, suddenly there was no one between us and he looked at me and smiled. I said hi and he reached out a hand and said, “It's good to see you again.” I didn't even catch that “again” part until that night, when we were at the taping, but that means he at least knew he'd met me before. I'm sure he has no idea where or when, but he knew that much. :) I said “You, too” or something like that and we posed for a picture, Sharon taking it for me but while she was getting ready I remembered I'd wanted it taken with my phone, not with her camera. So I said, “Wait, I wanted it on my phone.” and held up my phone and Logan goes, “Well, you didn't give it to her!” and I was like “Yeah yeah, I know, it's totally my fault.” And Logan goes, “We'll take another with your phone.” And then Sharon started backing up and she ended up in this huge puddle and Logan's like “Whoa, you're in a puddle” and she goes, “It's okay.” She took the picture and then I gave her my phone and we tried again, but then Ranel called out it was time for them to go and we knew we had to hurry. Logan suggested Ranel take the pic so Sharon could get in it, too, and I called Marie over because I didn't think she'd gotten a pic with Logan yet (she had, I was obviously wrapped up in James and never noticed), and we posed with Logan while Ranel took the pic on my phone. We thanked him and I knew I'd never get to Kendall or Carlos, Ranel was rushing them out. I watched James go and then Logan, but Kendall was still being mobbed by fans and I was like “I want my hug!” I had never hugged Kendall before and even though Logan had been my priority on the hugs (I kind of got one while we were posing for the pics, that's good enough for me), if I could get one from Kendall I wanted to.

So I rushed over to him and someone had pulled out a phone and had him talking to someone. Carolina was next to me and we waited while he finished that up and took a few more pics. I kept getting close but then someone else would step in and grab him, and I'm the kind of person who isn't pushy and usually just says, “Well, it's not meant to be” and lets it go. But I really wanted this. Ranel was behind Kendall, trying to pull him out, and I said to Carolina “I'm going to tackle Kendall.” Ranel heard me and I was like, “Kidding! Just kidding!” He didn't find it amusing. He grabbed Kendall's arm and pulled, and Kendall started to walk away but Carolina rushed him and gave him a book and explained why it was important and he was touched, stopped to pose for a quick picture with her. I got closer and when Ranel pulled him away again I kind of grabbed him and hugged him from the side and was like “I just want a quick hug!” And he hugged me really fast before being dragged away.

I knew Carlos was a lost cause at that point, but I turned to find my girls and suddenly Carlos was walking right past me. He literally brushed against me and I couldn't just let him go, he was RIGHT THERE. I hugged him as he passed and he smiled and hugged me back, it was quick but it was awesome and I was really happy. Somehow I ended up basically hugging them all, which I never expected, and I got to see James again, and I got Logan. It was more than I'd ever dreamed, I'd been hoping for even just a wave and a smile. We got so much more, though I felt bad that Sharon and Marie didn't get to Kendall at all. They both got to Carlos and were thrilled with that, Sharon getting her first Carlos hug. We are now complete on the hugs haha.

If we'd been thinking, we would've waited for JoJo to come out so we could meet him. I'm bummed now that we didn't, but at the time we were all so frazzled and shaking and having a hard time believing it had actually worked, we just left. I might've screamed really loud once the elevator doors closed. Amber had decided to forego “Marvin Marvin” and take a ride home with Emily, so we walked with Carolina to find our cars and said goodbye to her, then Sharon, Marie, and I went back to the hotel to charge our phones for the short time we had left before having to be back at the lot. Lots of fangirling and talking about the boys and we were all so damn happy, we just couldn't believe we got to not only see them but also talk to them and get pics. And they were all so sweet, happy to take pics and mingle. I love those boys. While we were there Carlos tweeted a pic of the script, and we realized the guys were on the lot right then. They really did have to work. “Marvin Marvin” films in the building right behind 26, and we were like “Oh my god, we might walk by and see them. And they'll think we're even crazier stalker fans than we are.” But we hadn't even known they would be there!

We made it back to the lot at 3:30 and lined up for “Marvin Marvin.” I tweeted Chris Fabregas, who had said he would try to come say hi if he wasn't busy when we got there. I had already asked if he would be on the lot at all that day and he'd told me he was working on “Marvin” and I was happy, knowing we already had tickets to it. So when I tweeted him he said he had just left for lunch and would find us when he got back.

The place they had us stand was near the gate by stages 26 and 27, so while we were waiting in the little restroom area we kept our eyes peeled for anyone walking by. We saw nothing, of course. They paraded us down toward stage 25 and suddenly I saw Chris walking toward us and Marie goes, “It's Chris!” at the same time. I swear, that man is seriously the sweetest thing. He will come out and find you and say hi. I saw Sabrina in front of him, the girl who is Mim's stand-in for “Marvin” and who was so cool to me last time and took my pic with Chris, and I got so excited to see Sabrina I called out her name and rushed her for a hug. I love her so much! We couldn't stop walking, the line had to keep moving, so they walked next to us and Chris managed awkward hugs with all of us while walking backward. Sabrina asked my name, she could only remember my Twitter name (which she told me last time she loves), and I told her. We chatted a little as we were led in and Sabrina was like “We have to get pics!” but there was really no time, the audience was being taken up the stairs to the seats and I joked, “What, are you gonna come up and sit with us?” Sabrina said yes, of course, and Chris was like “No, Sabrina, we can't do that!” So I suggested we step out of line because really, any seat is a good seat and we weren't going to miss anything by stepping out of line. We were already in and guaranteed seats. Sabrina said yes, let's do that, so I called out to Marie (she was already up the stairs) and she came back and we were led over to the set. One of the pages gave us a look and asked where we were going and Sabrina goes, “It's fine, these are my friends.” I love that woman, seriously I just love her. So she took two pics of us with Chris in front of the kitchen set, but when she checked them she said they were too dark so she told us to go into the kitchen. So we have a pic with Chris in the kitchen on “Marvin,” how cool is that? I asked him when his wedding is and he said May 25th, have to remember that and send them a card or something. We stepped off the set and back toward the audience area and Sabrina said she still had my number in her phone but it would take forever to find it, so I rattled it off again and she promised to send the pics as soon as she could. Honestly, I just love that woman. I noticed when she was taking the pic her name was taped to the phone so I filed that away for later, wanting to check and see if she has a Twitter.

We thanked them both and went up to our seats, both Marie and Sharon talking about how awesome Sabrina is. She was the stand-in for Carlos the day they filmed “Marvin Marvin,” she was so cute holding up her little sign with his name on it. The taping started pretty quickly, with them showing us an episode that was set to premiere the next night on Nick, and I was glad because I've only seen the show a few times. I've come to love it, though.

While we were watching that episode, Sabrina snuck in and sat on the stairs next to Sharon's seat and leaned over to let me know she was having problems with her phone and couldn't get the pics to go through, but she'd send them as soon as she could. She also brought us popcorn, I assume from craft services. Have I mentioned I love this woman? She brought us popcorn! She is just...I LOVE HER. I told her it was no problem and thanked her again, then she rushed off.

A little bit later she was back, wanting to know if I'd gotten the pic. I snuck my phone out and checked it under my jacket, and there it was! I said yes and thanked her again, and she stayed there with us until the end of the episode we were watching, then waved and was gone again.

I've been to three tapings (all in the past six months), and all were for “See Dad Run.” I assumed all T.V. tapings were pretty much the same, but now I know they're not. While the basics are the same, a lot depends on the cast and the director and the crew. This taping ran longer than the SDR ones did, they made a lot more changes to dialogue as it went along and taped the scenes more times than I'm used to. But each time the last scene was shot, it had that “right” feeling about it. We knew when it was perfect. The actors did a good job of not screwing up their lines too badly, I think only Lucas and Jacob messed up and it was during this bedroom scene that the director kept changing lines in. But we laughed a lot, especially at Mim Drew, who plays the mom. Holy cow, she's so damn funny! We watched her film the same scene four times and we laughed harder each time rather than the other way around. She's genius! Lucas, Jacob, and Casey Sanders (who plays the grandpa) interacted with the audience quite a bit. Few things are funnier than watching Casey dance to “Gangnam Style” and “Moves Like Jagger.” Jacob kept coming up to the audience and bantering with the emcee guy, helping pick winners for the contests and making this one kid's day by waving him over and talking to him. The boy (who was about nine or ten) kept yelling that he loved Jacob and so Jacob made sure to talk to him and his friends, it was so cute! And while one scene was about to start a girl yelled out “I love you, Lucas!” and he yelled back, “I love you, too!” It was just so much fun!

We got to embarrass Sharon when the emcee guy asked if anyone was visiting from out of town. He came over and asked her name and where she was from and stuff, I think she wanted to kill me and Marie but it was funny. And there's a scene that will forever have Marie and I cracking up, we can't stop saying the words to each other. Listening to Mim mispronounce words like “lol” and “jwad” is possibly the funniest thing I've seen in months. I almost peed my pants laughing at her. Can't wait to see that episode and hear it again, with her little hand gestures.

After the taping we were surprised with a meet and greet with the cast! I couldn't believe it, that never happens at SDR! I mean, there's a few minutes to run down and talk to them but then they start clearing you out and if you miss out, too bad. With this they actually set up chairs and a bench for a photo op and every person in that audience got to meet them if they wanted to. We wanted to! The only catch was that because it's flu season, we weren't allowed to touch them—no hugs or handshakes. I'm naturally a hugger so I told myself no hugs and kept that in mind as we approached.

We walked up and Lucas greeted us with “Hey guys, did you have fun?” We assured him that yes, we did, and Sharon commented that she came all the way from Baltimore and he thought that was cool. We sat for the pic and then stood up and I said something to Lucas, I can't even remember what, maybe just “Hi, it's nice to meet you?” As we were leaving I walked by Mim, though, and had to tell her how funny she is. So what do I do? Approach her with my hand out for a handshake. I'm so stupid, I swear. She started to answer me and then goes, “Oh, I can't shake hands, they won't let me” and I was like “Oh! I forgot, I knew that! I'm sorry, I forgot!” and then a page was rushing over to tell me I can't shake their hands and I was like, “I know, I know. I forgot!” But I told her she was really funny and she thanked me and we were heading out then.

We drove back to the hotel and parted ways with Marie, who'd parked her car there, and then Sharon and I went upstairs to process the day. What a day it had been. I knew Friday would be an amazing day, and it was so much more than I imagined. I remember Sharon and I just staring at each other in wonder before we hugged and cried, it was just so freaking amazing. Then we hopped on our laptops to catch up on everything, and saw that Chris had retweeted the pic. I think he retweeted both me and Marie. It reminded me to look up Sabrina, and I found her profile on IMDb but no Twitter. I DM'ed Chris again to thank him for everything, and tweeted him to ask if Sabrina has a Twitter, and not even two minutes later she texted me and said she hoped we'd had a good time. I answered that yes, we had, and thanked her again for everything and for being so awesome and she replied “Glad I could be a cog in the wheel of awesomeness.” I asked if she had a Twitter and she replied that no, she doesn't, but everyone keeps telling her she needs to get one. I told her that yes, she does, that Twitter needs more awesomeness, and if she does get one to let me know somehow. She promised to do that and we said goodnight and that it was great to see each other again. I seriously just love her. I feel like I've said that a million times but honestly, I love her so much!

We finally crashed for the night once I got a text from Marie saying she'd gotten home safely, and that was our Friday. Wow, what a day.

Saturday:

Saturday was pretty much a rest day, and after the day we had Friday we needed it. The plan was to sleep in, but of course we were both up at five. We couldn't sleep. So we spent a few hours uploading pictures and video and catching up on Twitter and texts because we hadn't been able to much the night before, and then I went back to sleep for an hour. After getting dressed and ready for the day we hit up Amoeba Records just because it's a record store like no other. I bought Sharon her late Christmas gift there (I'd decided to just wait until her visit and get her something she really liked), as well as a gift for someone else, and she got something along with free postcards.

By then we were hungry so headed out to Kansas City Barbecue (Logan tweeted from there once, so that was our Logan place). I'm not a huge fan of barbecue, honestly. Sharon really loved it, and I thought it was good but not something I'd eat every day. I think I was just really tired because I felt kind of blah.

But then we drove to Hollywood Blvd. and parked, having been talking about doing one of those cheesy Hollywood tours. Sharon wanted to and I'd never done one, so we decided it would be fun to try. We actually ended up getting a really good deal on the tour we chose, which normally costs $40 but we only paid half that. While waiting for that we wandered the street for souvenirs, then returned for the tour.

Our guide was something else. His name was Tyrone and he was a crack-up. Not like the kind of funny where he's trying to be, he just kept repeating things a million times and we kept getting the giggles. But we got pretty close to the Hollywood sign, saw a beautiful view of L.A., and got to see a lot of star homes. Sharon and I didn't really care for the Michael Jackson part of the tour, we couldn't believe how the guide kept going on and on about how he died in that house and then some of the others on the tour jumped out and took pics of each other in front of it, they were really excited. Like...I get it, I know what it's like to idolize someone (trust me), but it felt wrong to be happy like that. I would imagine if one of my idols died somewhere, I'd be in tears seeing the place. I don't even like being in the intersection where Logan had his motorcycle accident! But we also saw a lot of Beverly Hills and the high-class shops I will never be able to afford. We did enjoy the trip down Sunset, which I've done a million times but didn't know a lot of things that he pointed out. There's a mural of Johnny Depp on the side of The Viper Room, how had I never noticed that? He talked a lot about Johnny Depp on the tour, I kept wishing @krysdall was with us because she would've been dying. Oh, and in the distance we saw the house from the Iron Man movies, where he lives I think? I haven't seen them.

The tour was fun but it was three hours instead of the two hours we were originally told, so we ended up not being able to go see Matt Walker. I was bummed about that. Instead we grabbed dinner at In-N-Out (the James place) and Sharon agreed with me that it's good, but it's not as amazing as we always hear people make it out to be. Even people I work with and grew up with, they go on and on about how good it is and I'm like...it's okay. But we ate there because Sharon wanted a James place, and my vanilla shake was very good!

After that we drove back to the hotel, where Sharon packed up most of her stuff and I ended up on the phone with @_adamantine. Friend emergency. The outcome of that phone call was a hilarious discussion between the three of us about how James has probably never had Five Guys. I didn't even think about it when I was saying it, and once I did the other two laughed so hard we were all crying. Poor James, he gets so abused.

I think we went to bed early that night, we'd been up since five, and were planning to get up early the next morning for a beach trip. Our last day of vacation.

Sunday:

As usual we had no problem getting up, rising before our alarms even went off. We drove out to Santa Monica Beach and walked the pier, but it was still early so most of the shops weren't open and the keychain vendor we wanted wasn't even there yet. So we spent a little time on the sand, enjoying the peace, and then went for brunch at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. Neither of us had ever eaten there before. It was a fun time, the waitress was our kind of girl. She sang with us because the music's so loud in there you kind of can't ignore it but it's also so great you don't want to. Sharon heard her two favorite Bon Jovi songs while we were there, and I heard a lot from my childhood. I went to the bathroom at one point and an old song I used to love came on and I ended up belting it out in the bathroom, then realized anyone could walk in. Our waitress actually did after I stopped singing, so I was glad I'd stopped haha. Knowing her, though, she would've just joined in with my little dance party by the sinks. The food was okay. I wish I'd gotten what Sharon ordered, the omelet looked amazing. She said it was. We hung out there to kill time and then made our way back to the pier shops, where we found the keychain guy. She got quite a few made, and I got two myself. It's a guy who does custom keychains, and last June I got a Jagan one done. Sharon, of course, got Kogan in addition to a bunch of others.

We'd been waiting to hear from Jon Lee Brody, who I'd been emailing with since Thursday about a possible meet-up since the premiere was canceled. That guy is so awesome, I love him. He'd suggested Sunday as a day he was free, but we didn't count on it because we know how busy he is. When we arrived back at the hotel I saw that he'd emailed me again and couldn't make it because he couldn't get free. We weren't surprised, and I told him it meant a lot that he'd been willing to try. He really loves to meet fans. I told him he'd better make that premiere happen, then, so I can get a hug haha.

We'd also been in touch with Marie all morning. She was in the area with her boyfriend and wanted to get together before Sharon left, and Sharon and I had been talking about maybe heading out to the SAG Awards just to see if we could see anything. We had nothing else to do. So Marie and her boyfriend Diony met us at the hotel and then we drove out to the Shrine Auditorium.

Finding parking was crazy, everything was blocked off (of course), but we found some finally and walked a few blocks to the place. We ended up at the perfect location, finding the entrance where the stars were dropped off in their limos and whatnot. There was a barricade set up across the street from it, and quite a few fans already in place, but we found a great spot to watch and hung out there for the next few hours. Other than the protestors with bullhorns telling us we were all going to hell from right behind us, it was a fun time. We saw so many celebrities, it was unreal. Somehow James Marsden walked right by and I missed him, which killed me because I love him so much, and I also missed Nicole Kidman (at some points there was a lot going on and it was easy to miss someone rushing in), but there were so many others. I will never remember them all but the ones I was most excited for were Hugh Jackman (who waved at us and gave us a thumbs up), Sigourney Weaver, Sally Field, Neil Patrick Harris, Johnny Galecki, Ben Affleck...damn, who else? Just so many. The entire cast of “Glee” showed up, making Marie's day, oh Darren Criss! He was awesome, kept waving at us and smiling. I think we saw pretty much everyone from “30 Rock” and “The Office,” too. Um...Daniel Day-Lewis, Anne Hathaway (I missed her)...GOSH THERE WERE SO MANY I NEVER EXPECTED TO GLIMPSE IN MY LIFETIME BUT IT WAS SO COOL. A girl next to me had made a sign for “30 Rock” and one of the writers came over to us and took a picture of it, she was dying. Sharon got a bunch of video and pictures, I think Marie did as well, I was checking Twitter the whole time because they thought Alexa was supposed to be there and we knew if she was, she'd bring Carlos. The guys spent the day before in the studio at Carlos' house, which made me happy because I love it when they're all together, and we knew today James was in San Diego and Kendall was relaxing at home (or had been that morning). Carlos had tweeted pics of himself and Alexa being silly (they're so adorable), but then about halfway through our time hanging out Carlos tweeted that he was editing videos for his YouTube channel, so we knew he wasn't coming.

Sharon had wanted to actually eat at Coral Tree, so we all met up again over there for dinner after leaving the Awards. The food was so good, holy cow. We stayed a few hours, just talking and hanging out, and I decided I liked Diony a lot. He's a really cool dude. Sharon wasn't feeling too well, had been coming down with a cold for a few days, so we didn't stay too long. We also knew we'd have to get up at four the next morning to make it home, so we called it an early night and said goodbye to Marie and Diony.

Once returning to the hotel we finished our packing and showered, and I tried to watch the steak dinner stream but gave up because it kept freezing up, and then I crashed. Neither of us wanted to leave Hollywood.

Monday:

My plan had been to go with Sharon to the airport, I do that with my friends when they visit. I meet them coming in and make sure they get back to the airport okay. But if I'd done that, I would've had to sit around for three hours at the Greyhound station and Sharon said she was fine with me not going with her, so we said our goodbyes at the hotel. I've made so many memories staying in that hotel, it's my favorite because it's less than ten minutes to walk to Paramount. You can actually see the lot if you walk out the front doors and look down a side street. So I was sad to leave it again, and sad to say goodbye to Sharon, but we hugged and kept it brief because we're both cryers. She went to the car and I walked to my bus stop on the corner to wait.

Erin had tweeted that she had to be in at five for work, and we knew Logan did too from the stream they did at the steakhouse. I had about a half hour to wait, so I kept my eyes peeled as the cars went through the intersection. At a few minutes after five, I'm pretty sure I saw Erin drive by. The car stopped in front of me before making a right, and it really looked like her. I'll never know for sure, but it's still pretty cool. No sign of Logan, of course. I think my bad Logan luck is back now that Sharon's gone. But thanks, Sharon, for coming so we could use our combined powers to get the four of them together. She brought me the Kogan I can never get to, and I brought her the Jarlos.

Even though this trip was more about meeting each other and her checking out California, we of course hoped to at least catch a glimpse of the guys while she was here. We got so much more than that, and it was an amazing time. I love Hollywood. Just love being there. I think Marie and I are going to make more trips out there in the future (I know we're doing another taping of “Marvin Marvin” this week), and I can't wait.

Thank you, Big Time Rush, for once again bringing me so much joy. Thank you James for being the incredibly warm and friendly guy I've come to know you are. You never fail to make me smile. Thanks to Chris and Sabrina and Big Rob and Ranel (for letting us have a moment with the guys). And thank you to all my buddies who were with me on this adventure: Sharon, Marie, Amber, Emily, and even Carolina! Thank you to Sarah and Elyse, who were with me from a distance, and to Krystal, who is always with me in spirit on these adventures. One day, Krystal! One day!

And mostly, thank you God for getting us all through it safely and blessing us with opportunities like this. I am just so blessed.
 
 
 
stoodupforlovestoodupforlove on February 4th, 2013 12:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, she told James exactly what she'd said she would. I wanted to slap her haha.

And...that's an interesting vision. XD