Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Do Bras, Hamburgers, and Snickers Have In Common?

My birthday came and my sister/best friend and I won a trip to New York and we got to do a bra commercial. Yes I’m serious! My sister and I are now bra models….ok it was a one time thing but we won a free trip with airfare and accommodations and spending money and the trip also included a free makeover and clothes and shoes and jewelry, which we got to keep. Sounds like a great thing right? Oh my, I can’t even begin to describe that craziness that came with winning a free trip to New York on my birthday, to strip down to my skivvies on national TV.
First I drove the five hours to my sister’s house, so that we could fly together to New York, for our first ever visit to that huge crazy city! We were so excited to be experiencing this all together. We got up at 3:00 am on my birthday and made to the airport at 5 am to catch a 6:30 am flight to Atlanta, to then run frantically through the airport to the terminal to catch our connecting flight from Atlanta to New York, which we made with a few minutes to spare.
The arrival into New York went well we landed safely, and went to get our baggage, then call our car service which was provided for was courteously through the bra company that now OWNED us for the next four days! In fact our instructions, told us to do just that to get our luggage and then call for our car, except no one told us that my phone would be ringing with a strange number appearing on it while we were trying to find our luggage among 4 million other black luggage bags, and it would be a non-English speaking person on the other end! Ok maybe I’m exaggerating, he spoke English just not fluently and with such an eastern ascent that I couldn’t understand him, and what made it worse….he couldn’t understand my southern accent either!

So this is how our New York trip began. I couldn’t understand him nor could I hear him in all the hustle and bustle of the New York airport, then we got disconnected. He called back and he was asking where we were standing and why we hadn’t see him holding my name up  on a white piece of card board in the middle of the landing at the bottom of the escalators among 12 million other people standing there also. As if we would know that there would be a middle- eastern man with a turban on his head in full eastern attire holding up a sign with my name on it in the New York airport! NO! We didn’t get that memo!
So when we finally found each other he had us to follow him to his car. Only it wasn’t parked at the curb! So we were following this stranger who we didn’t completely understand, to the “south forty” of the New York City airport in the dead heat of summer at literally 102 degrees weather, in heels! Yes, we wanted to be fashionably beautiful when we arrived for our first and possibly last visit to New York. So all we brought were heels! Not the smarted thing we have ever done by far! Anyways, we followed him cautiously to his car at a safe enough distance that if perhaps we needed to turn and run we could at least have a few steps of a head start, also a safe enough distance to be planning our escape without him hearing us, if by chance we were to get kidnapped by this stranger we were following into an unfamiliar location.
Luckily the car had the appropriate signs on it, enough to at least calm our nerves, until of course we got on the road with him driving! OMG We just knew we were going to die on that car ride to the hotel. Only to find out later that, that was a common feeling every time you got into a cab in NY. Apparently beeping your horn and flipping people the finger is so common in New York that it is returned with a smile.
 We arrived safely at our hotel, 4 hours too early to check into it! So here we were in an unfamiliar city in high heels with no place to go for four hours. Luckily the front desk held our luggage for us to go explore the city till our rooms were ready. So off we went in the biggest city we had ever seen, with no direction where we were going. We ended up two blocks over and down a block in a little nice Irish Pub, for lunch and something cold to drink. We were taking pictures and having sisterly conversations, all was good at that moment. On our walking adventure there were lots of sights, smells, and sounds on the streets. In fact we were walking by this man yelling “handbags and sneakers” and as this young kid on a skateboard was rolling pass us he said how do “hamburgers and snickers” go together? OMG we laughed till we got home about that comment. We did wander pass and of course into the “museum of sex”, which was a totally interesting place…I recommend visiting if you are in that area. J
This sign is posted on the wall when you enter! How funny you would have to instruct people what not to do! Must mean someone tried it, already! OH MY!

Afterwards we wandered around, careful not to wander too far as to not remember our way back to our hotel. Within a few hours we had our rooms in the coolest hotel we had ever seen. Seriously when you walk in the lobby was a bar/night club with live music, with a coffee shop and a full upscale restaurant attached. The rooms were fully decorated in retro form and where stocked with sound equipment, a turntable, a guitar, and lots of old records. The room included a fully stocked refrigerator and snack bar with microwave and a laptop to use for the duration our stay in NY.  The room was by far the coolest part of our stay. Oh and did I mention we had a great view of the Empire State building from our windows!

So it was my birthday and I was in New York with my best friend and sister for the first time ever so after our meet and greet at five pm with the producers and the bra executives, we decided to go to Times Square and have dinner and shop. Only we had no clue how to get there and we were trying to be frugal with our expenses and decided we would get a map and walk to time square. It couldn’t possibly be too far, or so we thought! We walked and walked in our high heels at night past the movie in the central park with the swat team fully dressed out in full riot gear with AK47’s in full view and standing at full attention, We walked past many blocks getting slower with each step we took. The blisters began to pop up one by one on our feet; I honestly considered walking barefoot on the NY city sidewalk! EWE! We finally saw a Walgreen's so we crossed the busy NY street into the biggest ever Walgreen's we had ever seen. Four floors with escalators to each floors and packed from floor to ceiling with everything that could possible be in any store between there and Florida, so luckily on the very top floor we found flip flops! Yes brightly colored non fashionable tourist painted flip flops! Want to guess what we wore for the remainder of my birthday evening in Times Square? Yes flip flops!

We ended up at Hard Rock CafĂ© in Times Square on my birthday! Even more surprising we walked in to find the longest line we had ever seen or even thought that would ever fit inside a restaurant building, we literally stood in line less than a minute when one of the waitress’s came around the corner and said is there just two of you for dinner tonight and we said yes, and she said follow me. We walked past about 100 people in line in front of us and she sat us at table within one minute! Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried, it was my birthday on Times Square in NY and I didn’t have to wait for a table to eat!

First of all I would like to say that 2 particular New York City Police Officers are not helpful at all!!!!! All was going well till we tried to return at midnight to our hotel which was 6 blocks away. So in the middle of the night in NY we decided it would be a good idea to try out the Subway systems! I only thought the NY city streets in a cab, was scary till I got acquainted with the NY subway tunnels and people in the middle of a NY city night! I did not know that the subway train goes at 20000 miles an hour through a dark narrow tunnel with people on it! I was frightened to tears I just wanted to go home!  We got our one week pass for the subway then we wondered past the entry to the tracks, when we came upon two police officers standing around talking and scoping out the people, we politely asked if they could tell us which train went closest to our hotel so that we could get safely back. They looked at each other and said “just take the one train”. Huh where and what is the one train? Their response was “just follow the signs you’ll find it. So we are looking a the signs and getting more tired and irritable by the minute, we find the one train but the signs are not clear on to where it goes, so we stupidly rely on the advice of the NYPD and get on the one train. OMG it is now past midnight and two southern white girls are on the non-returning train of the night to Harlem! I told you I couldn’t make this stuff up! Not to mention the man beside us has a guitar and is singing “Jesus misses me” to the top of his lungs and wouldn’t stop until the man on the other side of us offered him a quarter to stop singing while he was on the train! Luckily it wasn’t the last train of the night it was the second to last one and we were returned to our point of origin at the same terminal we started at.
Now even more frustrated and sleepy we had to find the right train on our own. After about fifteen minutes we found the right train to where we needed to be going and it took it about fifteen more minutes to return to the terminal to pick us up (in NY city subway time it felt like a very slow hour and not fifteen minutes). By the way we could have walked back to our hotel by that time it was only six blocks away! I promise neither of us is that ditsy, we were just that tired! We did make it safely back to our rooms about 1 am, in time to get a few hours of sleep before our 5am wake up call and our car to the studio was waiting on us at 630 sharp. We didn’t use the subway the rest of our trip! So if anyone needs a subway card I have one I’ll give you for free!

After our first night of fun we were then prisoners to the bra company the entire rest of the week. The first day was all the “before” photo shoots, the- in our own clothes, our own bras, our own makeup and hair. It was a very long day, in which they wanted to make sure we looked our worst so that the makeovers would be that more spectacular! I now know for sure that all commercials are lies! They did interviews in which we had to say what they wanted us to say and dress like they wanted us to dress and so forth. We didn’t get out of day one productions till nearly 7pm. We did meet some great new friends and we ended up going to dinner with them at Serendipity’s and had some fun for a few hours before we went back to crash exhaustedly into our lush beds for a few more hours till the next wake up call at 7 am.
Our third day in NY and the second and final day of production were upon us. We got up didn’t do our hair or makeup, didn’t even bother getting out of our pajamas practically and went to the studio set. We were pampered with hair and makeup professionals, wardrobe from head to toe and a stylist. Sounds like fun huh? It was crazy! Lights cameras, production staff, I’m talking about 40 men fully dressed in a studio with women all in the skivvies! To hair, then to makeup, then to wardrobe, then repeat and repeat again. Then to fully dressed after photos and then undressed new bra photos, and then the after production of the bra commercial, also the after interviews about how and why we loved our new bras! It was crazy!!!!!  

The last and final night in NY all of us woman in the photo shoot went to Tres Hermanos for dinner. It was so much fun, but we were all worn out. We didn’t get back to our rooms till about 11 pm. We had to be up by 6am the following morning to meet our car for the trip back to the airport. Once through security at we boarded the plane and sat on the tarmac for nearly 2 hours, then landing in Atlanta for our connecting flights 2 hours late, running through the airport like crazy people trying to make our flight only to have the terminal door shut in our face because they gave our seats away to the standby flyers because we weren’t there 30 minutes early to check in! Seriously! So two and half hours later and my sister was cussing out the ticket desk rude lady to get us a new flight! We could have driven home in that time, but the production company wouldn’t pay for a rental car!

Finally on our way home, on our final flight back to the origin of our departure four days prior was a living nightmare! Storms forced our plane to go out over the ocean after dropping in elevation by a couple thousands feet, with people screaming and crying! The pilot saying please remain seated and belted down and feel free to pray! We circled the runway 3 times before he told us to brace for landing and once the wheels hit the tarmac in the storm we fishtailed sideways on the runway! I think everyone on the plane needed new skivvies by then!

Safely on the ground we were very happy to be home. So beware of winning a trip, it could be deadly…lol even more it could be sad, because in reality we spent 4 days in New York and we didn’t get to see any of the sights, and probably never will because I have no desire on earth to visit New York again. I know I disappointed my sister who wanted to go to the Empire State building after dinner one night and the fact that we never had the time to shop or go to the harbor to at least glance at the Statue of Liberty. I feel bad that we won a completely free trip to New York and didn’t get to enjoy it! L

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Engagement :)

So a lot has happened since my last entry. First I got
engaged in June to the most wonderful and amazing man I have ever met. I have
never been in love till now. My family keeps telling me that they have never
seen me this happy and telling my fiancé that they have never seen me in love.
So now, here come all the details.

We went on a family vacation to the beach back in June, with
our children. Apparently our kids don’t love the beach as much as we do; they
were not pleased that we got to spend 11 days at the beach. They were ready to
go home after they 4th day.

On our sixth month
mark he got down on one knee on the beach at sunset and ….forgot what he wanted
to say…lol apparently he was extremely nervous! It was so cute, so before he
could even get a word out of his mouth I was screaming YES-YES-YES, and he
informed me I couldn’t answer the question before he asked it…
. Happily engaged, we enjoyed the rest of our vacation.

Upon returning from vacation a newly engaged couple we
decided that living an hour apart in different states wasn’t going to work out
for us, we decided to buy a house and move in together. So him as his daughter
moved in first, then my youngest son and I moved in a few weeks later.