Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Buddies Out West: One of the Best Days of my Life

If you look at the list for Thursday, you will see that we planned to go to the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, the puppy store (didn't make that one...darn!), the leather purse store (Buddy was in heaven), Chelsea Lately, In N Out Burger, and the LeBron party.  This was the day I had been waiting for my entire life!!!!
The promenade was fun.  We had breakfast at a place that served potato skins for breakfast (think bar food filled with eggs and veggies....delish!) and then did a lot of shopping.  After the promenade (and not a single celebrity spotted), we stopped by the leather purse store to see if Buddy saw anything she liked.  You could smell the leather from about 3 stores away.  There were lots of cute things but we couldn't justify paying those prices for an off brand just because it was leather.  We made a quick stop by the house to freshen up for Chelsea, then a run to Starbucks where I introduced Jill to the Iced Venti Unsweetened Green Tea (aka best drink on Earth), and then drove to Chelsea's studio which was only about 5 minutes from Jess' house. 
As we walked up to the studio, the giddiness set in....so did the butterflies.  I could not believe I was about to see her in person (and not from the back of a venue like I did in Miami.)  There was a long line in the parking lot waiting to get in and I was so bummed that we didn't get there earlier..."there goes the front row seats" I thought.  A guy named Vernon was standing in the parking lot and stopped us wanting to see our passes.  When he saw our VIP pass he said, "Oh, I'm the guy you are supposed to ask for.  Just go inside and wait in the lobby."  We asked what the perks of VIP were exactly and he said we didn't have to wait in line (yippee!) and we got "better" seats.  At this, Buddy said, "Better as in front-row?"  He said there were some people he needed to make sure got front row and so he wasn't sure.  Buddy then said, "Why can't we be some of the people that NEED to get front row?"  His reply to that was, "I'll see what I can do." 

Feeling a little hopeful, we walked to the lobby of the studio.  Parked right outside the front door sat Chelsea's burgundy Bentley and Chuy's red Yaris with the license plate "L Nugget."  Of course, I posed for a picture:

We got inside of the lobby where the receptionist (who was just as nice as I would be if I worked there!) told us we could have a seat on the couches and Vernon would be back to get us before the show.  As we walked toward one of the couches, Josh Wolf walked by with his lunch.  I was stopped dead in my tracks and rendered speechless.  He must have felt me staring at him cause he turned around as he started up the stairs to Chelsea's offices and said, "Hi."  We had a seat on the couches at the base of her stairs and waited patiently for our new buddy Vernon.  Suddenly, Chelsea's assistant, Ryan Bassford, came down the stairs with her dog Chunk.  He is even cuter in person and was such a good boy.  He ran straight outside and then came back in looking for Ryan who had stopped to talk to some people.  At the top of the stairs there was a window and we got a glimpse of Brad Wollack's red hair, and Chelsea's stylist picking out her outfit for the show. 
The lobby was also equipped with the cutout I had taken a picture with in Miami with Melissa, so Jess and Buddy got a picture as well:
Finally Vernon came into the lobby and he said he was going to take us in a back entrance and that the warm-up guy was already getting started.  He said there were 2 groups he needed to take in first and everyone else needed to hang tight.  He announced a group of about 5 and the said, "Lynn plus 2."  Holy Cow!  He walked us in the studio and sat us right in the middle of the front row on the center aisle.  Seriously the best seats in the house!  Vernon is the nicest man on the planet! 

After we were seated, one of the security guys came around giving us post-its to write our name on and put in our books so Chelsea could sign them.  He was collecting the books on the other side of the studio so she could sign them backstage, and when I went to hand mine to him he said, "No, she will come sign yours at the end of the show."  No way!  The warm-up guy cracked some jokes and walked us through how the show would go.  Then he introduced the comedians, then Chuy (who brought along his rabbi for the show), and then the lady herself....Chelsea!  She is sooooo beautiful in person!  The beginning of the show was a bit of a blurr because I still could not believe I was sitting in the front row watching my favorite show.  Oh, I forgot...right as the show was about to start, Josh Wolf, who was sitting right in front of me, recognized me from the lobby and waved.  I could have died.  During the breaks, the warm-up guy was giving Chuy stress balls to the audience members who were cheering the loudest and I got one!  It says, "I caught one of Chuy's balls" on it....classy!
When the show was over, Chelsea walked over and I handed her my books.  The guy had said not to hold her up with conversation but while she was signing both of mine I seized the moment.  I said, "I brought 2, I hope that's OK" and she said "Thanks for buying them."  I said, "I left the 3rd one at home not wanting to be too obnoxious" and she laughed.  I made Chelsea Handler laugh!  Who cares if it was a pity laugh or she was just being polite...I'll take it!  Then Chuy came by and shook our hands; his little mitts are so soft and squishy. 
Before we were kicked out of the studio, Vernon announced that there were extra seats available to the next taping (they normally only do one a day, but she was going to Canada for the weekend so they needed to film Monday's that day) and if anyone wanted to stay to raise their hands.  My hand shot up right away!  He told us to go back to the lobby and wait and this time we saw Chris Franjola taking pictures for the show with his man-purse.  For the second show, Vernon sat us in the front row again but this time all the way to the left so our hands were the first ones Chuy shook at the end of the show. 

By the end of the second show we were completely exhausted!  I still can't believe it all happened.  Thank you again Sean Finnegan!!!!!!

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