And The Grammy Goes to….

January 26th

The big day has finally arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I could barely sleep last night I was so excited!!!

The day was hectic from start to finish. All the ladies (including moms and sisters as well as us ‘Wish’ girls) met down in the lobby by 8:45 to leave for our hair and make up appointments. It was a fun experience and a great way for all of us to drink coffee and chit chat. 

Rushed back to the hotel to change into our gowns and get all glammed up!!!  Everyone looked spectacular!  And – OMG –we had limos to take us over to the show.  The other families rode in a huge stretch white limo, but I had my own wheelchair accessible limo (which I’ve never seen before!). It was gorgeous inside, including all the fancy lighting and a bar!

Then the REAL fun began!!!  We arrived at the special Grammy Red Carpet entrance (along with a long line of other limos).  Sure enough – just like on TV there were tons of paparazzi outside.  We got out of the limo’s and stepped onto the red carpet!!! Made our way into a long white tent when I realized that the media OUTSIDE is only a small portion of the total.  We ‘normal people’ walked down the left side of the long hallway – but to the right was booth after booth of the top media doing interviews with famous singers.  How great!!!  Just to name a few – we saw People, ET, CNN and MTV. 

We continued down the hall to the ‘bleacher’ area – which was at the end of the red carpet so the stars had to make a turn to go any further. Make-A-Wish had arranged for us to be in the front row!!!!!  OMG – we had prime viewing of ALL the stars coming down the red carpet. We had arrived early enough so that we knew we would catch all the major stars (who come toward the end). 

We were all in awe of everything that was going on.  Even though we were in a ‘tent’ – it was beautifully decorated.  It was lined with gorgeous chandeliers and of course the Grammy back drop where the stars get photographed. Let the ‘star spotting’ begin!!!!  The other girls and I had such a great time watching stars go by – while we commented on their hair, shoes, dresses….It was SOOOOO cool being so close to people we had only seen on TV or listened to on the radio.

As the stars started to come down, the people from Make-A-Wish held up signs and called to the stars to come on over to us.  And LOTS of them DID!!!!!!  You aren’t going to believe this….but I have now met some of my FAVORITE artists.  Let me name them for you……you may have heard of them too!

I actually MET Katy Perry, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, PINK, Kelly Osbourne, Paris Hilton, Alisha Keys, Keith Urban, Guilanna Rancik, Neil Patrick Harris, Steven Tyler, Robin Thicke, Mackelmore, LL Cool J., Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Anna Faris, Kathy Griffin, Kevin Hart, and our new friends – Imagine Dragons.  And, best of all – I met Hunter Hayes who actually asked me to take a picture with them!!! I’m embarrassed to admit that I cried after meeting Hunter Hayes – I was just SOOOO happy!!

Some starts didn’t stop – but waved to us when they went by – like Taylor Swift, Anna Kendrick, Marc Anthony, Madonna, Ringo, Chicago and Ozzy Osbourne.

WAIT till you see the pictures!!!!  This experience was a dream come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The red carpet finally ended (NOOOOOOO!!!!  I want to stay here forever!) and we went into the show itself.  What can I say?  It was amazing.  20 performances!   I loved every minute of it.  Plus, it was fun seeing what happened during commercial breaks.   They did a lot of quick changes to go from one set to another.  It was fascinating to watch. 

Make-A-Wish EVEN arranged for us to go to a Grammy after party!!! It was in this glamorous room and the theme was “Roaring 20’s”. We not only had a delicious dinner – but there was entertainment there too.  We saw Ciara perform as well as Boys II men. 

I’d love to say even more, but it’s time to board our train for our ride home!!  So, to sum it up quickly – the night was absolutely magical and it could NOT have been any better.   How can I ever thank Make-A-Wish for this experience????   I will treasure these memories forever.  They truly made my wish come true.  :)  <3

BEST NIGHT EVER!!!!!!!!

 

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Shopping In LA

January 25th

Not a whole lot to say about today.  My brother’s good friend Mike was with us for the day (which we loved) and I made the guys go with me to see Beverly Hills and Rodeo drive (can’t come to L.A. without seeing THAT!!).  It was gorgeous.  BUT – everything was very expensive, so I didn’t actually buy anything.  In fact – I looked closely at anyone actually carrying a bag….since if they could afford to buy something….I figured they must be rich and famous  :)

Another “must see in L.A.” for me was the DASH store – which is the boutique owned by the Kardashians. Greg and Mike were good sports and went with me there too (while my Dad circled around in the van since we couldn’t find a place to park). The store is SOOOO cool.  Really cool merchandise along with several pictures of the Kardashian girls. I loved it!  Plus, one of the Make-A-Wish gals mentioned that she used to be an assistant for Khloe Kardashian (my favorite!) and she was nice enough to tell the manager at DASH that we were coming in. What a wonderful surprise — they gave me a very warm welcome including a gift bag of several DASH items. The bag said DASH (white with black letters), the tissue paper said DASH and the ribbon said DASH.  Very classy!!!  The biggest surprise of all was that the bag included a beautiful picture of Khloe – autographed to me!!  I KNOW it was just for me since she actually spelled my name correctly!!! 

Stopped for wonderful Italian dinner – but then had to head back to the hotel to get everything ready for tomorrow!!!!  Plus – I needed my beauty sleep!!

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Treated Like A Celebrity

January 24th

Wow – best day ever today!!  Still pinching myself and can’t believe all the stuff I’m seeing! When Make-A-Wish sets out to fulfil a dream —- they REALLY make it happen!

Today we started off by going to the Grammy rehearsals. Only a small group of people get to watch these, and we really felt like they were performing just for us!  We spent a few hours watching the morning rehearsal as they mixed ageless music, “Chicago”, with new music “Robin Thicke”!  It was sooooo cool to see it all coming together. A lot of work goes into these productions that you never get to see on TV!  They really “blur the lines” with these classic Chicago songs!  Be sure to watch tomorrow night and you’ll see what I mean.

After rehearsal we went to a great lunch at the Churchill restaurant where – are you ready for this? – we met and had lunch with “Imagine Dragons”.  It was so awesome to meet and have lunch with a group I’ve only heard on the radio. We got to ask them any question we had. I now know how they got together, where they all went to school, and what the funniest mis-interpretation of their song “Radioactive” is.   Afterwards they took pictures with us as and signed autographs. They are up for 2 Grammy’s tomorrow night – Record of the Year and Best Rock Performance. When they win I’ll be one of those cheering the loudest for a great group!

After leaving lunch we headed over to the Mariott Hotel where Make-A-Wish actually arranged for us to be interviewed by the on-line Magazine ‘Mashable’. I’ve been interviewed before, but these guys made me feel like a rock star myself!!  I don’t have the link yet, but they are going to post the interview on their website this weekend so I’ll send the link later. So cool!  

Do any of you out there know what a Celebrity Gifting Suite is???  I didn’t until yesterday but after the Mashable interview I found out. Imagine a room full of tables loaded with wonderful products (food, clothes, makeup, sunglasses, hair products, …).  We were invited to the Suite and every table we stopped at gave us their merchandise.  It was too good to be true!  We literally need to go out and buy another suitcase to get all this home on the train! :) Now, as I said, this was a CELEBRITY Gifting suite!  So the people who go there are CELEBRITIES!  As I was walking in, my newest good friend Demi (as in Demi Lovato) walks out. We exchanged pleasantries for 5 minutes or so and took a few pictures, but we both had places to go and things to do so we said our goodbyes. Next person I bump into is Jeff Holm from the bachelorette. I had a blast talking to him about his season with Emily. I will never forget their trip to Europe and the scene with the marionettes. I think all of America fell in love with him that day (I know I did!).  Other bachelors from other seasons stopped to say “hello”, but my heart belongs to Jeff. They all wanted to take pictures with me, not just on MY camera ……. but on THEIR camera!!  And as I left the suite, another of my favorite singers – Gavin DeGraw – was on his way in.  Once again, more chit-chat and a picture or two with Gavin, and then off with the rest of my day.  He is such a nice guy!

No time for dinner today!  Grabbed a granola bar from the hotel gift shop and headed back to Grammy rehearsals.  This time was a ‘closed’ rehearsal with a very favorite singer who I can’t name, but I assure everyone out there that she will be phenomenal tomorrow night. 

I’m exhausted now.  As with any other Hollywood celebrity, I need to plan my weekend agenda with my handlers.  Only Make-A-Wish could make something like this happen to a small town girl from the Midwest. What a memory  :)

Talk to you all later.

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“Action”!!

January 23rd                                     

I hate to sound like a broken record…but it was another great day here in L.A.!!  We started off at ‘The Grove’, which is a gorgeous outdoor shopping area with a farmers market. We ate a delicious breakfast at the Marmalade Café while actually sitting outside (something we could NOT do in Michigan at this time of year!).  It was a perfect way to start the day. I so enjoyed ‘The Grove’ that it’s one of my favorite places so far on this trip.  I sure wish we had a Grove in Michigan! This place is amazing and is something everyone should check out when they visit Los Angeles.

From there we headed to Warner Brothers Studio for a studio tour. I HAD to visit this studio since that was where some of my favorite television shows were shot. It was so fun seeing ‘behind the scenes’ of the Gilmore Girls, which I watched religiously for years!  There they were – Luke’s diner, Miss Patty’s dance studio, the Star’s Hollow gazebo and Sookie St. James house. It brought back so many good memories!

Then, it got even better!! My ultimate favorite part of the tour was getting to go on set of “Central Perk’ from ‘Friends’. ‘Friends’ has been my very favorite show since I can remember and I was ecstatic to see this iconic scenery that was used in almost every episode.  I was in heaven!!  To sum it up, I really enjoyed visiting Warner Brothers. My cheeks hurt from smiling all day and my phone battery died from taking so many pictures. :) The only way my afternoon could have been any better is if we had run into some actual stars….but no luck again.

But guess what????? You are not going to believe this. We got back to our hotel to find out that the show ‘Parenthood’ was filming a scene in our lobby!!!! So, I HAD to stay in the lobby for awhile and watch.  Lucky me—two of the Parenthood cast members were nice enough to come over and say hello and take a picture with me!! 

My day was complete. :)

Now that I’ve had dinner, I am going to watch a movie with my family and go to bed. 

Pleasant dreams everyone.  Talk to you later!  Get ready for some super exciting stuff tomorrow!!!

 

 

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Wolfgang Pucks & Grammy Museum

January 22nd                     

Hello again! I’m glad to report it was another great day in L.A.! My day started bright and early once again. We walked around the ‘Hollywood Live’ complex where we saw the Staples Center and the Nokia Theater. The Staples Center is already getting ready for the 2014 Grammy Award ceremony this Sunday!  Then I had the pleasure of meeting my fellow Make-A-Wish kids as well as more people from this great Make-A-Wish organization for lunch at the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. It was absolutely delicious and I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting L.A. 

 From Wolfgang Puck’s we all walked over to the Grammy Museum.  What a cool collection of Grammy memorabilia and fun facts about the music industry. They laid out the red carpet for us there, and we really felt like VIP’s!  It was a fun afternoon.

The rest of the day was devoted to picking my brother Greg up at LAX. He wasn’t able to take the train with us since he had a med school interview that conflicted with the ride out here.  I’m so glad to finally have him here with us. We had a great family dinner and are all looking forward to a great day tomorrow.   

 Oh – BTW, four more days until the Grammy’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

 

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Welcome to L.A.!

Hi everyone. It’s safe to say that Los Angeles is amazing!  On our way in to the city, we caught a glimpse of the famous Hollywood sign up on the hill. What an awesome sight that is!  I plan to drive around tomorrow to find a place to stop and get a picture! 

On my first day here, we relaxed for a bit after we arrived at the hotel, then went to the Hard Rock Café for a delicious lunch.  Our next stop was Madame Tussauds wax museum.  WOW – the wax celebrities are so life like that it’s almost scary! They have a lot of old time celebrities and of course many current ones too. To name just a few, I saw Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, Beyonce, and Will Smith. My parents loved seeing Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams, Elton John, Whitney Houston, and Elizabeth Taylor.

After the museum, we checked out Grauman’s Chinese Theater and had a great time finding all the famous hand and foot prints there. I was shocked at the sizes of some of their hands and feet. Some of them must have been really short! I had fun taking pictures with live “action figures” in front of the Theater, like Spiderman and Superman. We then walked along the Walk of Fame and saw too many stars to name!  I kept my eyes peeled for real celebrities along Hollywood Boulevard, but unfortunately, no such luck today. I’ll keep looking as the week goes on!

It was a fun day of exploring L.A. that ended in a trip to the Sugar Factory. YUM. I’ve never seen so many different flavors of gummy bears!!

Signing off tonight since tomorrow is another early day. But, I look forward to sharing all the fun I’m sure I will have tomorrow!

P.S. Don’t’ worry I haven’t forgotten – I’m planning to post some pictures as soon as I get a little bit more time. Stay tuned!

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Why so late?

January 21st  Yay!!!  We finally made it to Los Angeles! It’s too early in the morning to do a blog post for today (its 6 am), so I will use this time in another way.  Some of you have asked me why I didn’t take my Make-A-Wish trip when I was much younger.  The primary answer to that is that I am horrible at making decisions!  I vacillated between multiple wishes for several years before choosing this wonderful wish  :)

Now that we have arrived in L.A. and checked into the beautiful hotel, I’m going out to explore the city a bit. I’ll write again later. TTYL.

My Journey Begins

January 20th      

 Hi everyone. As you know, I am officially on my trip! My day started yesterday with a 3:00 am wake up call. This was hard, because if you know me at all…you know I value my sleep. But for once I was excited to get out of bed and get started. In fact, even though the driver was scheduled to arrive at 4:15, we were remarkably all ready to go when he showed up 15 minutes early!  We quickly got our luggage loaded up and headed to BirminghamMichigan, where our train left at 6am. It was a five hour train ride to Chicago, which wasn’t bad at all. Everyone was very friendly and helpful and the conductor even came to take a picture with me. We had a 4 hour lay-over in Chicago, where we changed to a train with sleeper cars. Finally we left Chicago and headed west. My first impression of the sleeper car train was that each room is TINY. They don’t waste one inch of space in them! I can barely move my chair around without bumping into something. In fact, my mom described it like living in a shoe box. But, for a few days, I can handle it!  The train rocking at night makes everyone sleep well too!

Today we woke up and found ourselves in Colorado. What a different, yet beautiful landscape I saw out the window. We even saw the snow covered tip of some of the Rockies!  In addition to beautiful scenery, we saw Elk, Deer, and Buffalo.  By mid day we were in New Mexico, where the landscape got even more rugged.  This is really a beautiful part of the country!  We are stopped right now in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I am amazed at the different architecture of the buildings around here.  But, so far I am not happy with the weather!  We got off the train to shop for a few minutes at an outdoor market, and I actually needed my coat!  I can’t wait to get to the warm weather!

This train is far rockier than the one we took to Chicago.  It travels at 110 miles per hour!  Once the train gets going at that speed, it gets pretty bouncy, and everyone keeps loosing their balance (which is kind of funny to watch :) That’s all I can tell you for now.  When we wake up tomorrow, we will be in L.A!

Dresses, Accessories, Girl Talk and Packing

Hi all.  Well, tomorrow is the big day. I finally get to leave for this amazing trip of a lifetime and I couldn’t be more excited! I know I haven’t blogged in a couple weeks (school started so I have been trying my hardest to get all my assignments turned in early so I could fully enjoy my trip), so I’ll quickly catch you up on what has been going on….  Before the New Year, I was shopping at the mall and found the perfect Grammy dress.  Can’t wait for you to see it! Then, a few days ago, I had so much fun shopping again with  Leah & Megan (two of the people working on my Make-A-Wish).  We shopped for 2 1/2 hours and found the perfect earrings and bracelet. I enjoyed getting to spend time with them and having the opportunity for some girl talk (this season’s “Bachelor” was a big subject! Gotta love Juan Pablo!).  Speeding up to the last few days, my family and I have been feverishly packing.  It’s 7:45 on Saturday night, and I’d say we were finally about 98% done.  I’m sitting here doing last minute homework thinking I should probably go to bed soon, since our driver picks us up at 4:15 tomorrow morning (whoa that’s early!!) to take us to the train station. I’m going to try to blog again tomorrow when we have a lay-over in Chicago.  But, if I don’t get a chance….I’ll talk to you guys in LA!  Toodles!!  :) 

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