For those of you just tuning in, I recently went on a whirlwind trip to NYC including lunch with Melissa Gorga – courtesy of Voli Light Vodka – for winning their Housewife Heroes contest. I wrote a guest blog post on Voli’s blog about it!
For those of you that have read the rest of the journey, you’ve made it through the “bad and the ugly” parts about my mishaps, trials and tribulations. Now you will be rewarded with the good. The fancy-schmancy parts of the trip. The conversations I had with Melissa. The pampering. But to read about it you have to click HERE or the link below!
No catchy title for this post. I thought about calling it “In a New York Minute” since the lunch – and trip – seemed to be over in the blink of an eye. But I went with shameless celebrity name dropping instead to attract more readers.
The Voli blog post is just the tip of the iceberg. And there were times I felt like the Titanic. In case you missed it, MUCH more about those stories of the trip can be found in these links…
Plus, there was an official press packet that was picked up by some “celebrity” blogs. They all say pretty much the same thing but I had to include multiple ones. What can I say…seeing my name with all the celebrities made me all starry eyed.
(To read the parts of the NYC trip that you may have missed, click here.)
I promised you the good, the bad and the ugly when writing about my trip to New York. I intended to give you the good first, with a post on Voli’s blog about the fabulous parts of lunch with Melissa. It is taking longer to get on their blog as a writer than anticipated so, unfortunately, you get the bad and the ugly now instead of later. The “Yes, this crap really happens to me all the time” version of the day.
I wanted to JUST have a best-lunch-ever-living-the-good-life-for-a-day story to share with you about my lunch with Melissa. I think that’s what everyone wants to read. What everyone wants to hear. Don’t get me wrong. It was an incredible experience. But, as with most things in life, perfection is rare!
Living with Lyme Disease means that when I stress too much or do too much, my body freaks out on me. To put it in more official terms, it has an inflammatory response. It can happen suddenly. The morning of lunch, I guess my body decided to punish me for stressing too much. And for having too much fun the day before.
I woke in a fog, with a swollen face, hands and feet and feeling as if I had been hit by a truck. I knew the feeling all too well. Usually I can just hide in my bed when I’m feeling this way. And usually when I have something major going on in my life, adrenaline seems to get me through it. I usually don’t get ill until AFTERWARDS. But not this time.
I dragged myself out of bed. I stared in the mirror and wanted to scream. “Damn you body! Not today. This is my weekend to be a princess. It isn’t midnight yet. And I’m not supposed to be the one to turn into a pumpkin!”
I instantly put on my special high-rise shoes. I knew that if I was already swollen, that it would only get worse as the day went on. I had already bought the shoes a size too large, just in case. But if I waited too long, there was no way I’d get them on.
Fortunately, before the trip, my hair stylist had suggested a keratin treatment that makes my hair easy to straighten for about a week (Not the straightener with formaldehyde, I have enough toxins in my body without adding that.). I made an appointment for the keratin, plus a haircut and highlights. UNfortunately, my stylist decided to move to Utah the week before the trip. The nerve. I was able to switch the appointment to a new stylist for the keratin but didn’t want to risk a hair cut or highlights with someone new. So I had grey roots, split ends and bangs in my eyes. But even though every inch of my body hurt, I was able to have straight hair. Small victories. I planned to curl it and make it look all fancy and shiz, but that wasn’t in the cards.
The foggy feeling is appropriately called “brain fog” and it makes me so ditzy that if it had happened the night before, I probably would have thought the rosemary sprig in my drink actually WAS a tree branch. Of all the symptoms of lyme, I think I hate the cognitive ones the worst. Feeling like your brain won’t work just plain sucks.
While laying in bed, having a mini pity party over how I felt and trying to muster the energy to make my hair look more glamorous, the fire alarm went off. I kid you not. Lights flashing. Alarms sounding. Did I mention we were on the 16th floor? And that I was wearing a bathrobe? It went on for 15 minutes. It turned out to be a false alarm. They were just testing the detectors. A little heads up would have been nice…
I pulled myself together before George, the make-up artist, arrived. It was very hard not to put make-up on. I mean, he has met a lot of celebrities and was going to see me with NO make-up on. Yikes. But I realized how silly it would be for me to put make-up on, just for him to remove it to work his magic.
I had turned the TV on that morning since some of the morning shows are broadcast in NYC. Seemed like the thing to do since I was there. Access Hollywood was doing a special live broadcast from Rockefeller Plaza which was only a couple of blocks away. Jim had gone out to buy something for me. OK, I must admit…I made him go buy Spanx for me at THE Saks 5th Avenue. I guess I thought making my butt look smaller would detract from the puffiness. Who knows. But he went to get them. What a nice husband. Shopping in the lingerie section of a 10 story department store. Anyway, I digress. Jim came back carrying the little shopping bag and said he had walked by an area by Rockefeller Plaza that was blocked off for a show and had tried to get close enough to see what it was. I pointed to the TV and he realized it was Access Hollywood. Pretty funny that he walked by the show I was watching. (That story would have been much funnier if I had actually seen him in the crowd.)
When George arrived, I was worried he would have an “I can’t believe I have to waste my time doing make-up for this nobody housewife, when I usually do make-up for THE Housewives” attitude but he couldn’t have been nicer! We talked a bit about Access Hollywood and then Jim announced that he was going out for a cup of coffee. After he left, I was SURE he was going to go back to the Access Hollywood location and start making a fool of himself to get on camera so I’d see him on TV. But he really did just go get coffee. I guess he just wanted to leave because watching me get my make-up done was about as exciting as watching paint dry. I guess it pretty much IS watching paint dry.
Snooki and JWoww from Jersey Shore were on Access Hollywood, talking about a new show they are going to be on. I recognized Snooki but had to ask George who the other girl was. He knows them both and has hung out with them. On the Jersey Shore, of course. The place, not the show. When Jim returned with his coffee, he looked at the TV and announced “I’ll have to tell the kids that I walked by iCarly and the girl from Victorious.” Yes, Jim was serious. That’s who he thought they were. I’m sure George just shook his head at our cluelessness. We should have studied up on our reality stars before the trip.
My make-up session took over an hour (as opposed to my usual 5 minutes), so when George finished, it was time to head to the restaurant. I quickly changed my clothes and tried to fix my hair that had been held back by clips. Unfortunately, pre-hairsprayed hair clipped back for an hour is pretty much going to stay put exactly where it is. One last spray to try to keep my bangs where I wanted them and not where the clips put it was unsuccessful.
Oh well, not the perfect health for the day. And not the perfect hair. But my make-up looked good. And I had my nice, new expensive outfit.
During one last glimpse in the mirror, I noticed some black spots on my shirt. Apparently that fabric didn’t like hair spray. They wouldn’t go away. Gah.
Now not the perfect outfit either. No time to fret, and off we went to hail a cab. Swollen body, messed hair and stained clothes and all.
(I need to leave some topics to write about on Voli’s blog so will talk more about the make-up session and George then!)
From the moment we arrived in NY, I had noticed every single crack, chip, hole and grate in the sidewalks. I had repeatedly commented about how careful I would have to be when walking on the uneven sidewalk while wearing my ridiculously high-heel shoes. Since I was in a complete fog that morning, I didn’t heed my own warnings. I completely forgot about the fact that I was standing on 3″ stilts. Within 10 steps out of the hotel, I stepped on a crack and almost broke this Momma’s back. Or ankle. Completely turned my foot over and was going down. Luckily Jim caught me so I didn’t end up sprawled on the ground. I realized I hadn’t buckled that shoe. I’m not sure if that helped cause the fall or it prevented me from actually breaking my ankle since my foot was able to slip out of the shoe as I went down.
The almost wipe out snapped me out of my stupor for a bit. We arrived at the restaurant and I was semi-functioning cognitively. Semi. As the lunch went on, I could feel myself going down hill again. I had so many questions to ask Melissa and I forgot to ask her at least half of them. I tried to so hard to focus and remember but I was just blank. I especially wanted to ask about her book deal but…blank. I had printed out the story from my contest entry that won me the trip to take for her to autograph. But I left it at the hotel. Luckily I was at least able to answer most of the questions Melissa asked me without sounding like a total idiot (I think.)
I kept pulling my sleeves down as far as I could, to try to conceal my increasingly puffy fingers. I don’t know what causes the swelling. I guess my body takes the word “inflammation” literally. There are so many times I will see someone one day who will comment “Wow, you’ve lost weight so fast. What’s your secret?” I want to answer “Ask the effing lyme bacteria. I guess they are tired today and didn’t feel like adding on 10 pounds of swelling like they do most days.” But instead I usually say “Thanks. It must be a slimming outfit.”
(Again, I will write about all of the AWESOME parts of lunch on Voli’s blog. Sorry you are getting the crappy parts here.)
By the time we got back to the hotel, my feet were bulging out between the straps of my shoes. I didn’t take any photos of that. I know I promised the good, the bad and the ugly. But that was just TOO ugly…
Speaking of photos, sadly I don’t even have many from the lunch. There was an official press photographer there and we were told we’d get all the photos sent to us. I guess by “all” they meant just the ones approved for press release. I’ve requested photos from 3 different people and get the same handful of pictures sent to me, even though the photographer was snapping for 2 hours.
Honestly, I hate the photos anyway. And not just because I’m next to the woman who was just named the second most beautiful reality star. I hate them because, as the lunch progresses, I can see the strained “just smile so no one will know how bad you feel” expression on my face get worse and worse. It probably isn’t apparent to anyone else, because I’ve perfected it pretty well. But I can tell. Hey, the one perfect thing of the day. My perfect fake smile! I mean, the photos are fine. But I didn’t want “fine.” I wanted best-photos-ever. This was supposed to be my Cinderella day. Supposed to be my day to shine. But I was feeling very dull.
I wanted the photos like the day before when we arrived in New York. The day I felt great. Those are real smiles. Those photos are ME. The me that comes and goes now. The me before I became ill. The me that dances Gangnam Style in the middle of time square. The me that smiles. Really smiles.
And now for a glimpse of the happy times I will be writing about on Voli’s blog…
I will let you know the link to Voli’s blog when it is posted (after approval, so may take a while).
Next up here…”NYC Part 3B – They Say The Neon Lights Are Bright”
We decided to take a break in the cocktail lounge and enjoy our chance to walk out on a bar tab with permission. Again we were doted on. The staff came over and sat with us while asking to hear all about the Housewife Heroes contest. They oohed and aahed over the prize package and were very excited that we were meeting Melissa Gorga.
On our way to Rockefeller Plaza, we had a photo-op in front of policemen riding horses.
Unfortunately, “riding the horse” made me think of the Gangnam style video.
Oh yes I did. I broke out into dance. Right in the middle of Times Square. My kids disowned me when they saw these photos.
I guess I had too many of those Christmas tree drinks…
Decided it was a good idea to get some food in our bellies so we took a taxi to Lombardi’s. Jimmy and Jake had very similar responses when we told them we ate the oldest pizza in the US.
“That must have tasted rotten.” “Was the cheese green?”
Speaking of green stuff, Rockefeller Plaza was just gorgeous! Although you couldn’t really tell it was a green tree under all the lights.
The bar could make a TON of drinks with all these branches.
(Before you think I’m completely ditzy, I DO realize it was a rosemary sprig in my drink. But, naturally, I had to seize any opportunity for a joke.)
I decided to stay off the ice. Weak cheeks do run in our family after all (Remember, “A Pain in the Coccyx?“). I didn’t need a pain in the butt during lunch with Melissa. But Jim came anyway. Ba-Dum-Ching. (Sorry Jim, I couldn’t resist.)
We did some window shopping.
Up next “NYC Part 3 – In The Lyme Light.” What lunch with a celeb is REALLY like.
Yesterday I tried to figure out what to write about my Housewife Heroes trip. I started and stopped a couple of times, wondering what everyone wanted to hear. Should I just stick to the glitz and glam of it all? Does everyone just need the happily-ever-after-fairy-tale version?
But Momopolize is all about telling it like it is. Was it an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Oh, yeah! Does anything ever go perfectly? Oh, no! So…here it goes. The good, the bad and the ugly. And, of course, the funny.
Bear with me on Part 1. It’s not so exciting. No celebrities. Yet. But still part of the story. Parts 2 and 3 will contain the Access Hollywood worthy parts. Actually, there really is an Access Hollywood part to the story.
I was so busy with work and holiday shopping before Christmas, that I didn’t have any time to even think about my trip. Well, I had time to think about it. To stress about it. But not any time to DO anything about it. That was ok though. I’d still have a week after Christmas to figure out where the boys would stay, how they’d get to their sports and various activities while we were gone, buy an entirely new wardrobe. And lose 30 pounds.
Until I woke up sick on December 27.
For those that don’t know, I have Lyme Disease. And Lupus. So I’m sick a lot. But this was a snotty nose, can’t talk without coughing up a lung sick. Just what you want when going to have lunch with a celebrity.
Luckily after taking every supplement and medicine known to man, I was feeling better for New Year’s. But I now had a DAY to figure out where the boys would stay, how they’d get to their sports and various activities while we were gone, buy an entirely new wardrobe. And lose 30 pounds.
I splurged on an outfit I wouldn’t normally buy and ridiculous shoes to go with it. I bought another outfit with a leopard print shirt. Because even when you are scared on the inside, animal prints make you LOOK courageous. Jim took care of the arrangements for the boys. We were ready to go. Except for the 3o pounds part.
The morning of, we were packed and ready to send the boys off to school with our heartfelt goodbyes. With plenty of time to get to the airport. Except we realized one child needed a prescription refill. Mad dash to the pediatrician (who luckily had early morning hours that day) and then the 24 hour pharmacy. Then one missed his ride to school. Mad dash to drop him off…in a carpool line that seemed to take for. ev. er. Then another one left his overnight bag at home that he needed to take to the friend’s house where he was staying. Mad dash. Then we noticed one left his lunch money home (won’t name names, but it was the same one who forgot his luggage.). One more mad dash.
We arrived at the airport. By the time we took a bus from the parking garage, got our boarding passes, checked our luggage, made it through security (why do I always get so nervous during that part even though I know I am not guilty of anything??), took the shuttle to the main terminal and arrived at our gate, we had about 10 minutes before boarding.
Our original seats weren’t together but we were told we could switch to the exit row once we arrived at the gate. This turned out to be a fortunate event. Because when we asked about switching seats, the gate attendant realized that while Jim had a printed out boarding pass in his hand, it wasn’t in the system. He wouldn’t be able to board. You’ll notice in my list of things we did when we arrived at the airport, the only thing before getting our boarding passes was taking the bus from the parking garage. The rest of the things listed AFTER that took at least an hour.
Panic set in as I thought the attendant was telling us that Jim had to go back and somehow re-do all of it in 10 minutes 5 minutes before boarding. While the attendant never was sure when or how the glitch occurred, he was thankfully able to make a call and do some magic on the computer to fix Jim’s boarding pass at the gate. As he scanned our passes for us to get on the plane, he looked at Jim and said “it still isn’t working.” He was joking. Not cool Mr. United. Not cool.
I won’t be going on this trip alone after all. Whew.
All of that for a 55 minute flight which, fortunately, was uneventful after that. We even had tons of extra leg room by sitting on the exit row. So it was pretty much like flying first class, right? Just humor me here.
When we arrived at LaGuardia, Melissa Gorga’s personal chauffeur was waiting at baggage claim. Holding this sign…
Let the pampering begin!
To be continued…
(Make sure you follow via email in the upper right corner to get notifications of new posts!)
One week from today we take off for our “Housewife Heroes” excursion to New York City, including lunch with Melissa Gorga and a session with her make-up artist.
As I made plans for the trip, it made me wonder what would happen if a Real Housewife of New Jersey (RHONJ) and a Real Housewife of Boring-town Suburbia (RHOBS, yes the “BS” was intentional) were both asked the same questions in an interview. This is what I imagine their answers would be…
Interviewer: Tell us about the car you drive?
RHONJ: I have a convertible and I just love the Italian Leather seats and feeling the wind blow through my hair when I put the top down.
RHOBS: I have an SUV with Italian spaghetti sauce stains on my leather seats. Or is it ketchup? Maybe I should pick up one of those old French fries on the floor and find out. The wind blows my hair in my eyes but I can’t roll up the windows because the car smells like spoiled milk. They really shouldn’t call those cups “spill-proof.”
Interviewer: Where is your favorite place to shop?
RHONJ: The best shopping is in NYC, so I usually dash up there for a shopping spree. I can’t say which boutique is my favorite, because of the paparazzi.
RHOBS: Target! You can get a new outfit, groceries, laundry detergent and kitty litter – all in one stop. Best. Idea. Ever.
Interviewer: What do you wear when having lunch with friends?
RHONJ: I love a splash of color. And heels and some bling are a must.
RHOBS: I wear whichever yoga pants are clean. If I can find the matching shirt, that’s a plus.
Interviewer: Speaking of Yoga, have you tried the new craze, Hot Yoga?
RHONJ: Oh yes, I go to a hot yoga class at my gym 3 times a week.
RHOBS: Sort of. One time when I was doing yoga at home, the air conditioning was broken. Does that count?
Interviewer: When you’ve had a stressful week, how do you relax?
RHONJ: A day at the spa for an appointment with my favorite masseuse, a caviar facial and time in the jacuzzi.
RHOBS: Well, last week I decided to try the green tea mud mask that I received as a gift two years ago. The doorbell rang after I applied the mask. When I answered the door, it was a neighborhood kid who ran away screaming something about an alien. I started to draw a bath before the doorbell rang but forgot to put the stopper in the tub. By the time I got back to the bathroom, there was no hot water left. And I think the mud mask was past its expiration date because my face still has a greenish hue.
Interviewer: I was just listening to the new single “I Just Wanna.” How do feel about the new song?
RHONJ: I love it! The press has been hounding me since the release.
RHOBS: I love it! When I try to sing, it makes my dog just wanna howl.
Interviewer: What is your favorite quote?
RHONJ: “I never throw the first punch, but I’m always a knock out.”
RHOBS: “If I get knocked down, I will probably just lay there and take a nap”
Interviewer: How would others describe your life?
RHONJ: I live a life that most girls only dream of.
RHOBS: I live a life that most girls only have nightmares about.
Interview: What is your favorite mixed drink?
RHONJ: Voli’s “Mango Coconut”
RHOBS: Voli’s “Mango Coco-My-Kids-Make-Me-Nuts”
While there may be many differences between the lifestyles of The Housewives on TV and regular housewives, they all are real women, real Moms – and real housewives! So when Melissa Gorga and I meet for lunch, hopefully we will have plenty to talk about while having a cocktail. And maybe some “whine.”
Have any questions you want me to ask Melissa??? Leave them in a comment and I’ll try my best to get the answers!
Thanks to everyone who voted, I am NYC bound on January 3 and will be having lunch with Melissa Gorga on January 4!!! I am so thrilled!!! Thank you, thank you! More details soon but, seriously, what the heck should I wear to lunch with one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey???
P.S. I got the news about this a while ago but was sworn to secrecy until the official announcement was made. So I am also thrilled that I don’t have to keep the secret any longer because it is apparent that I’m not good at keeping my mouth shut. 🙂
Hopefully I can have a bottle of vodka to wash down the hypocrite.
Let me ask once again for you to vote for me to win a trip to NYC based on my “self-less” behavior. Yes, that’s right. I’ve asking you to help me win a self-indulgent, self-serving, self-involved prize for my…self. Doesn’t sound so self-less. Selfish is more like it.
I cringe every time I post a “please vote for me” plea for this contest. It just feels weird since I was initially notified about entering the contest because Voli Light saw my post about “Momopoly: The Real Game Of Life” and using monopoly game concepts like Chance and Community Chest to foster fellowship and help those in need.
But I guess this time I feel like I am the one in need. I feel the need lately for something to re-energize myself. Re-motivate. Re-inspire. I am not good at asking for things for me. But I have been asking anyway. Begging. Shouting. Vote for ME. Do this for ME. I want something for ME. Those are hard words for me to say.
I’m not even sure why I want this so badly. I’m not usually a high-falutin’ trip-to-the-big-city kind of gal. But maybe that’s why I do want to go. A few days of not being me. A few days of putting me first. A few days of saying it is ok to be selfish sometimes.
I have not heeded the advice given during the safety speech they give on an airplane. “In the event of emergency, put on your oxygen mask first and then help others.” I’ve been trying to help the other passengers while mine is still dangling from the ceiling. Maybe this trip would help me put my mask on and take a really deep breath.
I don’t think I have much chance of winning since I didn’t even know I was a finalist for about 6 of the 9 eligible voting days. Especially since I don’t even think I’ve been able to vote for myself since a message keeps popping up that I’ve already voted for the day! But I do appreciate everyone that has indulged me by voting for me and giving me words of encouragement!
Win or lose, I’m going to watch Real Housewives this week. And I’m finally going to get my hair cut. Do I know how to pamper myself or what??
And now you know what’s coming…
Click the link below, second page of stories, vote for Angela M. 🙂
Unfortunately there wasn’t a workable date to transform the event into “Snacksgiving” (I thought that was a little less offensive than calling it “Thanksgivoweenie.”).
I did, however, have a meeting yesterday and am happy to report it will be held in conjunction with a distribution of shoe box filled gifts for Christmas.
It will most likely be held strictly indoors (because I don’t want Mother Nature flubbing things up again!) with some festive decorations and games with the food as “prizes.” There is a possibility of still trying to incorporate the trunk-or-treat concept. “Christmas Tree Trunk-or-treat” perhaps.
I’m anxious for this to happen (and to get all the food out of my living room), but for now I suppose I will just have to Ho-Ho-Hold my horses.
And my daily PITA reminder: VOTE, VOTE, VOTE. Yes, I realize the presidential election is over. But another important vote is needed. To help me win a trip to NYC and some schmoozing and boozing and make-over with Melissa Gorga. Click on the link below, go to the second page of stories and vote for Angela M.
It’s a little ironic that I’m trying to get votes to win a trip to the “city that never sleeps” when lately that seems to be all I do. Fatigue has taken over recently and napping seems to be what fills up all of my spare time. My 4o winks have been more like 4,000 winks.
But if you help me win the trip to NYC, I promise to save all lumbering for when I get home. I will enjoy every moment of the trip and will blog about every detail so you can re-live it with me!
Have no idea what trip I’m talking about? You can read about it here…
Voli Light Vodka contacted me about a “Housewife Heroes” contest after reading about my posts about my “game plan.” I’ve been selected as a finalist and now need your votes to win a trip to NYC and lunch including a make-over with Melissa Gorga (Real Housewives of New Jersey) and some other goodies.
I can’t win this without my friends and loyal readers. Just click the link below and go to the second page for my entry (Angela M) and click the little vote box! You can click once a day from now through Friday!