Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oscars Extravaganza...What? It's Only Two Months Late!

Back in February, my friend Michelle and I had a fantastic Oscars Extravaganza!  You might remember last year, that I did some Oscars stuff with some other friends.  Well, this year, Michelle and I blew that out of the water!

First, we started out our day at the early service at church.  Yes, before we went to celebrate Hollywood in all it's glory, we went to church.  Ironic, maybe, but whatever. 

After the early service, we made our way to The Ivy, which is a very trendy restaurant in the heart of it all.  If you pick up an Us Weekly or any other tabloid, you might see pictures of celebrities eating here.  I went there last year with my friends, and it was a lot of fun.  So we went, and had a great time!  The problem with this restaurant is the PRICE!  It's way more than I'm used to spending when I eat out, but I kept telling myself that this was an extravaganza, after all, so I should just make the best of it.  So I went all out, kind of.  I started out with a fancy drink.  I can't remember now what it was, but it was something like champagne with crushed raspberries?  I don't was good, though.  Then I splurged, and got the lobster club.  LOBSTER. CLUB.  I had to.  I had no choice!  Look!

Michelle got a delicious salad

We had a great time, and the day was perfect for sitting outside!

After lunch, we decided to try to check in to our hotel.  Oh yeah, you heard me right!  Michelle thought it would be a good idea to stay in Hollywood overnight.  Which hotel, you ask?  None other than the Roosevelt Hotel, which is right in the middle of everything - pretty much across the street from the Kodak Theatre!  Michelle wins the award for best idea ever!

Pulling up to the hotel was a little intimidating, I'm not gonna lie.  First of all, the streets going up to Hollywood Blvd were blocked off.  So we kind of felt like superstars when we drove past the barricades and told the guards that we were checking into the Roosevelt.  So we went down this back alley, and into the back parking lot of the hotel, which was valet parking.  I don't really do valet parking, so I really didn't know what I was doing.  But we figured it out and went to the front desk.

It was so cool inside, because there was all this hustle and bustle going on!  As soon as we walked in, there was a check in desk for E! personnel.  Apparently, the E! channel was filming a pre-Oscars thing inside the hotel!

So we check in...oh wait.  I have to talk about the little joke that I made at the front desk.  Everything is just going on all around us, and it's kind of crazy in the lobby, so I asked the front desk people what was going on that was making it so busy that day?  One of them stopped what she was doing and just stared at me like I was the biggest idiot she's ever seen, and the other realized I was joking and laughed.  I was pretty proud of myself for that one!  Oh, and the drunk guy next to us thought it was pretty funny, too.  Yes, it was only about noon, but he was already drunk.  Or still drunk from the night before?  I'm not sure...

We got to our room on the seventh floor, and realized that we weren't quite cool enough to actually stay there!  The room was very trendy.  This is a picture I took before we checked out...

But the view was pretty cool!  Our window wasn't over Hollywood Blvd, but we could see the boulevard from our room, and the side of the Kodak.

And this is the outside of the hotel

After we dropped everything off in the room, we decided to head out to the boulevard to see what we could see.  Last year, I was out there the day before the Oscars, and I was able to stand directly across from the red carpet.  I guess since this was the day of, they weren't letting that happen, so they had it all gated off.  Not only did they have it gated off, but they had these huge fences, with black tarp covering them, so you literally couldn't see anything.  See?  This was what it looked like.  You can just barely see Oscar.

There was this kind of bridge set up, where E! and some other TV stations were going to be set up, and at first I thought we would see some famous people going up the stairs to the bridge, but the only one I saw was Kelly Osbourne.

As you can see, we weren't really in a prime spot. 

So I stayed here, while Michelle walked to the other side of the barricade, meaning she had to go down the street, walk down Sunset, then walk back up another street to get to the Hollywood and Highland area.  She texted me saying that she could see the red carpet from where she was, and they were about to let everyone get closer, so I should start heading that way.

Once I got there, I just knew this was going to be the place to be!  There were so many more people here than where we first started out at!  Long story short, after I got harrassed by a cop, and miraculously finding Michelle in a sea of hundreds of people, we had to go through a security check point to get close to the fences, where we would be able to see people getting dropped off at the red carpet.

Yeah, not so much.

This was about the best view I had. 

After that, and we actually got to the place we ended up standing, this is what I saw...

I cannot even express in words how annoying this particular time was.  And we spent way too long here.  We just kept holding out hope that people would leave, and we'd get right up on the fence, but that never happened.  And the screaming!  Screaming for no reason!  The people in front of us weren't American, so the only words I could ever make out that they said were celebrities names.  And then screaming.  Michelle and I were.not.screaming.  We couldn't see anything, so what was there to scream about?  The girl next to me I think was the worst, because she could kind of see better than I could, and at one point, she started jumping up and down and screaming.  I asked her who it was, and she said, "I don't know!"  I was in shock.

Here's another little video showing what I'm talking about...

After all that excitement, we wanted to get back to the hotel in time to actually watch the show!  And rest our feet after all that standing.  So that's what we did!  Michelle has a yearly Oscars-watching food tradition that she kindly shared with me - wine, prosciutto, cheese, crackers, and grapes.  It was wonderful!

At some point while we were watching the show, it hit me that all of this was happening right across the street!  It was a pretty surreal moment.

About 3/4 of the way through, we headed out for the next leg of our adventure.  Let me back up and explain how I found out about this little secret.  Two years ago, my friend was going around Hollywood, acting as a tourguide for her friend who was visiting from Michigan.  It just happened to be Oscars night, and they just happened to wind up across the street from the Vanity Fair party, where celebrities were showing up left and right.  So last year, when I did my Oscars thing, I went to the same place with my friends.  And this year, Michelle and I went.  Basically, you go to the Saddle Ranch, and hang out outside.  There's hardly anyone there, so it's really great!  The people at the Saddle Ranch are always s nice, too.  They don't make you buy anything, you can use their bathrooms, whatever.  They also have heaters set up and TVs, so you can watch the rest of the Oscars while waiting to see celebrities. 

At first, while the show was still going on, the celebrities weren't coming that often, but once the show was over, it really started to pick up.  Some pictures I took turned out great, others, not so much.  Here's a rundown some celebrities we saw...Sandra Bullock, Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey, Jr, Jude Law, Larry David, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Russell Simmons, Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Jane Lynch, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zoe Saldana, Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Williams, Hugh Jackman, Shaun White, Keven Spacey, and Charlize Theron.  And here's some of the pictures.  Like I said, some turned out better than others...

There's one person that I left out, because it's just funny!  So, I'm a big watcher of shows on Bravo - Top Chef, most of the Real Housewives, etc.  Andy Cohen pretty much runs Bravo, and I'm a pretty big fan of his.  I love watching Watch What Happens Live, because he's just so funny, and I love the way he handles alot of the Housewives.  Well, he got out of one of the limos, and I was like, "Is that Andy Cohen?  That's Andy Cohen!"  Let's be honest, here.  If you don't watch Bravo, you have no idea who he is.  So when people heard me say his name, there was this collective, "Who's that?"  So I start screaming "ANDY!!!!!!!!   ANDY!!!!!!!!!!"  I was the only one yelling his name, so he heard me, and waved!  I didn't get a picture, so I just kept yelling his name.  I was pretty excited, and I like to think I made his night!  Okay, maybe the fact that he was at the Oscars, and went to the Vanity Fair party made his night, but I'm just going to keep telling myself that I did.  I never got a great picture of him, so this is the best I got...

And lucky for you, Michelle (who was manning the video camera) got the whole ordeal on video.  Andy Cohen and Larry David are both in this clip, and they were probably the two I was most excited about.  Enjoy my embarrassment...

There was a bit of an annoying factor here, too.  The people we were standing next to had no clue who anyone was, or basically any knowledge of pop culture.  So I just had to wonder why they were there?  For instance, when Gwyneth Paltrow got out of the limo, they were like, "Who's that?"  Which was fine, because it was hard to see.  But when I told them who it was, they said, "Who?  Never heard of her."  Okay.  Then when the director of The Social Network got out, the girl said to the guy, "I think that's that movie about Facebook?"  She got it right, but she was definitley unsure.  And it went on like that the whole time they were standing there.  Again I ask, Why were they there?!  If you're not a follower of pop culture, that's totally fine, but why would you stand outside in the cold (it was actually very cold that night) for hours, waiting to see people you don't even know about?  Strange.

That's pretty much it.  We went back to our hotel room, went to sleep, then got up early the next morning to go back to reality.  We had a lot of fun, and it's definitely a weekend that I won't soon forget.

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot!  As we were getting in the elevator on our way to check out of the hotel Monday morning, there were these two women in the elevator.  Apparently, they were pretty important.  Or at least they thought they were, because they treated us like we were the scum of the earth!  They were in a big hurry, and were annoyed that the elevator had the audacity to stop for us.  And we weren't quick enough when we got on the elevator (even though it probably took about 7 seconds...not quick enough for them).  And then Michelle pushed the wrong button, which was acutally kind of hilarious.  The one lady was so annoyed that she did that!  We finally got down to the floor we were supposed to get off at, and they pretty much pushed us over getting out of the elevator.  I'm not kidding.  From the time the elevator doors opened on our floor to the time we got down to the first floor was probably about 45 seconds, even with the wrong floor pushed.  But from the way they were acting, you would think it took an hour, and it totally threw off their busy schedule.  It was actually pretty funny, and it was a perfect end to our whole Hollywood experience!

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