LA LA LAND Vacation

These six!! We love them. Matt & I have the greatest friend group….we’ve raised kids together, we’ve prayed for & encouraged each other in good times and bad and made fun of each other more times we can count! Awhile ago, we took off to NYC for Marc’s 40th birthday (CLICK HERE to see the highlights of the NYC trip) and we had so much fun on that trip that it was time to plan another trip! Natalie and Tawny did an amazing job planning what our 5 days would look like in LA!!! It was jam-packed FULL of incredible memories and a little bit of time relaxing in the sun!

 

We arrived late Saturday night to our condo we rented in Hollywood Hills. Just so happens it is on the market for 4 million! We spent a lot of time in this pool (aka giant hot tub) overlooking the city!

 

DAY 1 – Saddleback Church and Laguna Beach!

A group of us girls faithfully listen to Rick Warren’s podcasts called Daily Hope and so when we found out that we would be in LA on a Sunday morning, it was the perfect opportunity to visit his church. Sadly, Rick Warren wasn’t speaking that day, but Kyle Idleman was! A lot of us have read his book “Not a Fan” and we really enjoyed him.

After church, we headed to the beach!! We picked up some salads and tacos and enjoyed the sunshine!! Matt can’t resist anytime he sees beach volleyball, so he invited himself on one of the teams!

 

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Day 2 – Dancing with the Stars & Mixology

I’ve watched Dancing with the Stars here and there over the years, but nothing compares to our friend Natalie. She is probably what you call a SUPER FAN GIRL. She has watched videos and videos of their dances and could probably tell you what one of the professional dancers are doing as we speak as she follows them closely on Instagram stories, but we have to say….all of us became big fans by the end of this day!!

We didn’t have the best spots (we were on the very top balcony), but It ended up being a really fun show to watch and it was fun seeing the dancers and celebrities interact behind the scenes. We were selected earlier in the day to be part of some of the audience members that got to shine lights for Val & Normani’s dance. You can WATCH HERE  if you want- we are on the left right at the beginning. I have a gold belt)

After the show, they directed all of the audience out the back door, however right before the door was an opening to the stage area. Matt made a quick detour as the security wasn’t watching and acted like he knew what he was doing, so we all followed! The audience had all of their phones taken before coming in the building, so we asked one of the ladies to take a photo of us with Nick (The Bachelor) and send it to us!! He seemed super nice in the 30 seconds we saw him.

Then we went to The Grove to eat dinner at Mixology! Which apparently (thanks to Natalie faithfully following on instagram) is where a lot of the dancers go after the show to hang out and watch Dancing with the Stars throughout the restaurant. I was doing an instagram story with Natalie and all of a sudden Heather Morris (from Glee) walked in! Then the dancers and some of the celebrities started pouring in! We got to see a lot of the professionals, Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den (and his wife, Kim one of our favorite professional dancers), and Mr. T!! Mr T was very funny! The guys got a photo with them and then he told us girls to leave our salad to get a picture with him too! He was growling the whole time. It was hilarious! What a fun night!
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Day 3 – Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory & America’s Got Talent

We didn’t think we could top our Dancing with the Stars day, but I think Day 3 was a lot of our favorite. We woke up early and did a hike overlooking all of LA, as well as a nice view of the Hollywood Sign. I don’t like to exercise at all and I often hugged the back of the line to just make sure everyone was ok 😉 but I’m so glad we did this!!

Next up, we headed to the Griffith Observatory where some of Lala Land was shot!! It was fun to look around!

We relaxed at our house for a bit, then got ready for America’s Got Talent! We got a taste of what LA traffic is like and made it just on time (well to do more waiting)….We lucked out and got incredible seats in the theatre!! The judges came down the aisle, so we got to fist bump and high five Howie, Mel B, Heidi and Simon!! The acts were fun to watch, but it was even more fun seeing these celebritites in person. Simon looked completely different in person…I think he likes his Botox 🙂 , BUT he was also the most friendliest person with the audience! He was constantly interacting with people, taking photos, waving…we really liked getting to see what things were like behind the scenes! It will be fun to watch back when they start airing May 30th.

 

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Day 4 – James Corden & Hollywood Stars

I was determined to leave the house at 9AM to make sure we all got into James Corden (known for his carpool karoake), but I’m thankful for our rational group that decided it was a better idea to enjoy the morning relaxing and then head there at a reasonable time. Long story short(ish), we had 2 sets of tickets – Priority and General. Matt, the guys and I were listed on the priority, but I was also the main one on the general ticket, so in order for the other girls to have a chance of getting in, I needed to wait in the general line. We were in the first 5 people of the general line so our odds were not too bad. It was finally time to let us all in. They let all the priority people in first, but then when they came back, we got bad news. The audience was full and they weren’t letting any of us in the general line up in!! A few hours of waiting down the drain. Some people came from France and Germany to the show, so they were extra sad.

Lucky for me, Matt did some convincing (since I was originally listed on the priority ticket) for them to be able to save a spot. So about 20 minutes of standing outside the gate wondering if I was actually going to get in, the guy came to get me! We were surprised how small the audience was for James Corden (only 175 compared to the 750 of Dancing with the Stars)…What was extra exciting about this show was that Victoria Beckham and Lisa Kudrow were two of the special guests. I had my eyes peeled looking to see if David Beckham (my celebrity crush) was nearby. No luck.

Natalie & Tawny got over their sadness of not being let in with some retail therapy at The Grove and Rodeo Drive!! They were great sports!

We did a quick 2 minute stop on the way home so I could see the hollywood star of my favorite actress, Sandra Bullock!
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Day 5 – Warner Brothers Studio Tour

This was a fun way to end the trip! We rode around the backlot of the Warner Brothers property and got to hear about how they do a lot of the shows behind the scenes. Because Ellen wasn’t taping that week, we even got a sneak peak of her studio! Some of the other highlights for me, was seeing where a lot of the Friends episodes were recorded and getting to see the outside set for Fuller House. Getting to immitate the Friends photos was extra fun as we did the same thing in NYC with the fountain and central park! Thanks guys for a great trip!! What’s next??
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