When we started the planning process for our big Cali trip we both tried to think of somethings we wanted to do in the area. I am not a HUGE celebrity person but I have always thought it'd be fun to do one of those cheesy celebrity homes tours. Or at least try for some celebrity sightings or something! NOTHING like that appeals to Zach. At ALL (I mean c'mon girls Cali trip...wouldn't that be a blast?!?!). He really didn't want anything to do with LA/Hollywood. It's just not the kind of place Zach would like (kinda like Vegas...when I visited Vegas I told Zach he has no need to EVER go there).
We knew in our planning that we wanted an "off day" between our two Disney parks days! My foot would need the rest and the hotel was such a great location so why not just stay three nights there? We had our little Disney themed morning planned but didn't have anything for the afternoon time. We started talking about how many shows tape live in LA. We've looked into it before in NYC (good luck getting into SNL...) as it'd be a super cool experience! We requested tickets to all the shows that were taping on the night we had free time and waited. We got word that we got two tickets to Jimmy Kimmel Live! We were pumped b/c it was the only show we were really wanting to go see. I've never actually watched the show but I see enough of the clips from guests and such to know what it's about!
It all worked out SO super perfectly! I couldn't believe it! To make things EVEN better we found out two days before the taping who the line up would be...(check out Wednesday!) We lucked OUT!!!
When we finished up at Downtown Disney we freshened up at the room and then hit the road! We wanted to get there in PLENTY of time to check-in with our tickets. I read that people often get turned away because they give out more tickets than seats to ensure a full studio. We didn't want to risk it for sure!
I had zero clue where Jimmy Kimmel Live is taped. But turns out it's taped RIGHT on Hollywood Blvd which meant we got just a taste of Hollywood on our trip. It was really the perfect amount. No sightseeing, no tours, just a taste (which was more than plenty haha).
Inside Dolby Theatre...loved seeing all the past Oscar winners for best picture!
They were setting up for a premiere that night (spoiler alert it was the premiere of Mother's Day, we later found out!)
Outside the studio!
We had over an hour or so until we had to be back to check in again so we explored a little bit and found a bite to eat. I have pictures of me from my Cali visit with my dad! We did much more than Zach and I did but it was still neat to see some of the stars and hunt for some of my favs :)
Growing up I had these dreams of being a movie director ;)
We went into a large plaza area to find lunch and just happened to notice one pretty cool sight!!!
It may not be close but that Hollywood sign is back there, I promise!
Gah I LOVE some California Pizza Kitchen!
Heading back to wait in line!
I knew going in to expect to wait and wait and wait. You had to get there early and then you had to WAIT. It wasn't too bad because there was a Giradelli store right by where we were waiting. My Disney knowledge kicked in and I knew they give out free samples of chocolate ;) I think everyone in line around us appreciated that!
We also lucked out and had a nice mother/daughter combo behind us to talk with. At this point in our adoption journey we were still very undecided. This moment was one (of many) times that the Lord really seemed to reveal His desires for us! The daughter was adopted! Odd chances to have that happen and especially at such a random place!
No phones were allowed on during the entire process. First we went through a bag check (I read up on things in advance so I brought a small purse and I wore layers as it's cold in studios to keep the stars from sweating!). Then we were in a holding area that showed clips from the show. It was a great way to warm us up to what we'd be expecting. The wait there didn't feel long at all because we were watching the clips and taking potty breaks!
When we got in the actual studio it didn't seem that small to me. All the people on the crew kept saying things like "a lot smaller than you expected huh?" I guess maybe b/c I don't watch studio audience type shows but it seemed like a fine size to me. It was a lot closer to the set than I'd expected which was a nice bonus! We were directed where to sit (I'm assuming we were off to the side due to Zach's height..if he was in the front row no one else would be seen behind him haha) and a guy came in soon after to go over the basics. I am NOT a big laugher. I'm not an overly excited person. I don't act crazy about things. Really it's one of the big reasons I don't think I got picked to be on The Real World (see that story here!) and it kinda made me nervous about this taping situation. They made it a HUGE deal to be LOUD and FUN and EXCITED. Not really my style. Couldn't I just make a snarky comment and do a little "whoooo hooo" and call it a day?
They did one more potty break so I went for it and the girl beside me went as well. We walked into the stairwell towards the bathrooms and a man was there with a red rope and asked us to wait a moment. My heart rate went through the roof b/c DUH I knew something good was about to happen!
YUP! THE ROBERTY DOWNY JR walked literally less than 3 feet from me!!! He was heading to the dressing room to change for the show so I saw him in just street clothes and he LOOKED RIGHT AT ME AND SMILED. Whhhhhat?!?! I just smiled and as soon as we were let into the bathrooms I told the girl next to me "best timed potty break EVER"
I also couldn't resist turning on my phone in the stall to get a photo of what my face looked like when I saw him hahaha!
The show taping was awesome! The had a guy come out to "warm us up" and he was pretty annoying but not too bad. Then it started and I was so impressed with how quickly everything flowed and just how effortless it all seemed. Zach's favorite part was when Jimmy read off a bunch of stations, cities, etc during commercial break to film little shorts for tv stations. It was like he was breathing. It was crazy how smooth and casual he seemed about it all.
We were both mega impressed with Jimmy Kimmel. He was quick witted and spoke to the crowd a bit. There wasn't a lot of interaction with us but there was some. Usually the commercial breaks were really short and they were switching sets or he was talking to one of the guests or something.
We not only got lucky with so many other elements of the day but we also got lucky as it was a rare "show and a half" day where they tape a future segment on the same day as the show line up. Y'all. The guest for that portion was EMILY BLUNT.
Emily was adorable and pregnant and she told some story about bathing with her daughter which was pretty awkward. It wasn't too hard to laugh at all the right spots b/c we just kinda got used to it (Zach said his hands hurt from clapping so hard though haha). I didn't get overly excited or anything b/c, duh, they aren't going to interrupt the show to kick you out or something haha!
Robert Downy Jr came out by himself for a bit and he was my favorite part of the show (of course b/c we're totally bathroom bffs now). He LOVED the audience. He interacted with the audience a TON and just seemed like such a cool person to hang out with. Full of himself but in a fun way, not a cocky way. I think his whole story is crazy interesting and have always liked him and it was such a neat experience to get to see him in that environment so close!
All of his "crew" from that Civil War movie came out and joined him and they talked about the movie a decent bit and about working with each other etc. I was surprised I knew everyone on the stage! I used to LOVE Brothers and Sisters so I recognized Emily Van Camp, I know Don Cheadle from SNL, and Paul Bettany from the movie Wimbledon! I didn't do too bad on my celeb recognition skills ;) I know NOTHING about Civil War movie. To be honest it took me to this point in the post to remember that RDJ plays Iron Man. I couldn't remember the name of that super hero (I think it's a hero?). Clearly comic stuff isn't my thing but I'm sure he's fabulous in the role and without knowing a single solitary thing about the movie I'd say I'm probably Team Iron Man just b/c I am bathroom bff with the lead ;) (Just reminding you in case you forgot from two paragraphs ago!)
The show wrapped up SO FAST. It felt like we'd only been sitting there for a few minutes! It was SUCH an awesome experience! I would for sure do it again! Very fun and something we've never had the opportunity to do before. It was def the perfect thing on such a trip as ours :)
Once the show wrapped we were taken outside to the outdoor concert stage area. There were SO many rules during the show taping inside, but once outside I felt like they kinda just tossed us out back and told us to get into it. I didn't realize we still weren't supposed to have phones out! I assumed outdoors meant go ahead! But the lady next to me got in trouble for hers and was told it wasn't allowed until after Jimmy came out and after the artist did two songs. I believe we were in the middle of song 1 at that point and I'd already taken a good bit of pics. #sorrynotsorry
Also while out there some girl we passed asked another person for a photo together. I asked her as we walked away who it was and she told me his name and said he's a social media celebrity. It's CRAZY to me how everyone can be considered a celebrity now-a-days right?!
Jimmy came out to announce the performer. We couldn't hear ANY of this!
Zach and I had looked up Mayer Hawthorne in the car on our road trip and listened to his top songs. The little I know about super heroes is even less about musical artists. NO CLUE if he's "big" or not? His videos we found have some famous faces in them so maybe he just knows people? Zach HATES live music. Like despises it. We did a concert once (at least it was Blink 182 my fav!) and I know he won't be doing one again! We were committed to the two songs and then were allowed to leave. I'm pretty sure we made our way to the back before the 2nd song had even ended ;)
I felt SUPER bad and awkward for the musical guest. I mean he's standing there about to perform and NO ONE CARED. No screaming or shouting. They had to come out and tell us to dance/look excited for the show!!! How embarrassing right? There was a little group that did seem to LOVE this dude so that was good but it made me appreciate musicians more. He had to perform for the audiences at home and hope that they were digging his music. I think that'd be tough to have that mindset when the crowd in front of you just isn't feeling it right?!?! Or maybe that's how it is with most musical guests on shows and they are all just used to it!
I did check out the merchandise. The browser in me can't resist a peak ;)
All the trailers! I'm assuming for cast and crew? I doubt the guests get one?
If we thought the lackluster of caring about us was just for the outdoor performance, we really felt unloved by the time we left. As soon as we were allowed to go out we were just let out a fence on some back ally. This is when I'm gllllllad I wasn't on a girls trip! I didn't have my gun on me and if I'd been solo I would have FREAKED OUT. Thankfully I have a strong, handsome, better-than-a-super-hero husband to handle things for me ;)
We got out and saw a good bit of action on the red carpet! By this point though we were kinda over standing and looking around. I'm WAY too short to see anyone in a big crowd anyway and Zach wouldn't know who he was looking at if he did see someone haha!
As we walked by Zach snapped this. No clue if there is anyone of significance in it! The tux guy does resemble Adam Levine but what guy doesn't?
We ended up eating dinner at Hard Rock and ran into the friends we'd made in line waiting to get into Jimmy. They had hardcore stalked the red carpet and saw a LOT of celebs AND got awesome pics on their camera! Julia Roberts whhhhhhat?!?! SO awesome!
I probably sound super snobby (or just lame?) but we weren't into the whole Hard Rock vibe. I'd NEVER take my kids in there for SURE. So much inappropriate stuff everywhere we looked...including on little tvs playing super inappropriate music videos. We had good seats to overlook a private event and talked a lot about how THANKFUL we are that we live in Small Town USA and aren't part of that lifestyle. I noticed it at lunch too, that everyone seems SO about IMAGE and it's sad to be so caught up in that, ya know? It must be super draining and just feel lonely to feel like you always have to be in the mix, be seen, be better, be "someone." Nope, we'll pass on the celeb life (haha! I would take the dollas tho!).
I do have to say that I LOVE Hard Rock's pulled pork sandwich. So. Random. But in this instance I was zero percent hungry so we just shared a meal and called it a night!
This was about how close we were really standing ;)
I wasn't hungry at dinner but by the time we got back to the hotel I was CRAVING a milk shake! The In-N-Out had spoiled me! We got a treat and joined the MILLIONS of people at MCD after Disneyland closed. Oops. But worth it!
I did a little googling to get some images from the night we were there!
Emily Blunt who I take it didn't change clothes before going out on stage!
What's so neat to me is that we SAW them take these pics!
I mean he has a toddler y'all. I feel like he's up there in age? But I guess he pulls it off and since the whole started his life anew deal it makes sense. I bet he's a super cool dad and it was cute that he shared a pic of "Team Iron Man" member!
Telling you he WORKED the crowd!
The whole crew!
(I was shocked at how THIN Emily has gotten! She seemed really uncomfortable and maybe just like she's not used to this sort of thing yet? The Paul guy also seemed super weird but maybe it played across better on tv than in person)
Once we got home from the trip we did sit down and watch the whole thing (ironically the same night we decided officially to go forward with adoption is the same night we watched the show!). Both Robyn and Casey said they looked for us when they watched it but didn't see us. I mean c'mon guys HOW DID YOU MISS US? haha!
We are in there...waaayy over there...I just kept this pic bc it shows how truly we were pretty close to the action on stage (we were like the 2nd row I think of our section)
I know these arrows are so helpful. Make the photos like 100x larger and u can make us out for real!
Our friends from line (blonde lady) got lucky and were seated behind some people who had a prank pulled on them as part of the show so they got a lot of good screen time!
For non-concert people we sure do shine ;)
Notice my phone breaking. Oops!
(Also I never really see this angle of Zach and I...he's SO TALL omg!)
Us with Jimmy!
Doing some of my fabulous woo-hooing
Zach getting DOWN to the live show (and he's so tall that you literally can't see a single part of me that's standing in front of him haha)
We had SUCH a great time! It was completely FREE (aside from the parking...which ended up being $15 but we both agreed it was SUPER worth it) and SO FUN. We both truly enjoyed it and I was happy Zach liked it so much! I had worried it'd be something I'd enjoy but he wouldn't and that would cause me not to enjoy it either b/c I'd be worried about him not enjoying it (y'all know what I mean right? It sounds more confusing than it is ha!). But he truly enjoyed it too and it was just a LUCKY day all around for us that lead into a FABULOUS day the following day!