May 12, 2006
NYC with the FOL Girls
Wow! What a fun trip. But, I’m exhausted. New York truly is the city that never sleeps. Let me tell you everything. Okay, first of all, it has been a long time since I’ve been treated to as much luxury and indulgence, and let me just tell you, I enjoyed every minute of it. (For one thing, we aren’t making one red-cent off of the DVD release so I didn’t feel a bit guilty about ordering an appetizer, entrée, and dessert!)
Early Monday morning, Sony Entertainment sent a car to pick me up at my house. The first stop was a solo appearance on “Good Day, Dallas” to talk about the release of my new book. From there I had a radio interview on KTLY promoting the book and my upcoming speaking engagement over Mother’s Day at Fellowship Church. Finally, we headed to the airport and I got to fly First Class to New York. Very cool.
As soon as I arrived at the hotel “W” I was blown away by the beauty and décor. It was a work of art. That is one thing I noticed on this trip. All of the restaurants, stores, and hotels are decorated with such uniqueness and creativity. What talent!
Each of us girls were allowed to bring a guest and since Steve was out-of-town on business, I invited my friend (and hairdresser) Michele Mason. The first night, we met Staci and Karen, from Sony Media, and Mindy and her friend, Michael, and we went to dinner at an amazing restaurant, “Butter.” Doesn’t the name alone sound delicious? And it was. There was just one problem. Our dinner reservation wasn’t even until 8:30, which meant we didn’t even begin eating until 9:30 and I didn’t get back to the hotel until almost midnight. I’m too old for this. I could barely stay awake long enough to enjoy the dessert. But, believe me, it was worth staying awake for.
Early the next morning, we met downstairs to begin the long and full day. It was so good to see Nancy and her husband, Marc, and Nancy’s longtime friend (and hairdresser) Phil, again. We all took every minute in between interviews to catch up. We determined that it had been 18 years since the three of us had been together when they were both bridesmaids at my wedding. (They couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give me a hard time about the blue taffeta bridesmaid’s dressers and I took the opportunity to apologize profusely.)
First stop was “The Today Show.” (I’m sorry I don’t have the pictures from this stop but they had a professional photographer take them and I haven’t received copies yet. As soon as I do, I’ll post them.) This, of course, was a highlight of the trip. We got to meet Katie, Matt and Ann, and then Al Roker interviewed us. Afterwards, we went up to Katie’s dressing room to chat. She was very sweet. Matt was very handsome. Ann is beautiful and Al is nice.
Next stop, a taped interview at The Palms restaurant for Entertainment Tonight. We really had fun at all of the interviews. I had forgotten how funny and how brilliant Nancy and Mindy both are. Very quick-witted and intelligent. All of our conversations, on and off the camera, were so much fun. From there we headed to ABC Radio for a taped interview to air on 3,600 stations later.
At this point, we were all starving and Nancy had the “brilliant idea” (I know it should have been Blair but I failed) of stopping for a slice of authentic New York City pizza at Ray’s. All semblance of my diet went out the window at this point. So delicious!
We immediately headed to another radio interview. This one was for Sirius Satellite Radio. My new minivan came equipped with Sirius so I was excited about this. I had no idea what I was getting into. We walked into the studio and met the funniest man, Frank DeCarro. We began the interview and he was so much fun. Then he opened the line for callers. One lady called in and said that “Jo” was her first crush. Then another caller and asked if “Jo” and “Blair” grew up and ended up living together in a house full of cats. I, naively, volunteered that, in fact, Nancy and I had lived together for a short while in our early twenties.
A few more callers later and it suddenly dawned on me why this show was called “OutQ 106.” (It was a gay radio station.) Mindy told me later that she could barely keep on going with the interview without losing it because she saw the revelation on my face about halfway through the interview. Everyone had a good laugh at my expense.
We had about an hour before the next interview so Michele and I went to a fabulous store that everyone said I must visit since I have teenagers. It was called H&M and it has the trendiest clothes at very affordable prices. I did some power shopping for the kids and then headed back to the hotel to hop in the car in time to head over to tape a segment for Access Hollywood.
The last stop of the day was CNN Showbiz Tonight with AJ Hammer. It was so funny, everyone kept talking about how excited the whole building was because “The Facts of Life” girls were coming to the set. They have had the biggest stars in town on their show and they were excited about seeing their childhood favorites. It was very cute.
Now, it was time for dinner at another fabulous restaurant, Café De Artiste. Nancy recommended it and it was, not only delicious, but again, beautifully decorated. I decided to try something different so I ordered Wiener Schnitzel. I was surprised when it was served to me and it was flat like a pancake. I thought it would be more sausage-like. It was yummy, either way, though. By this time, I couldn’t keep my eyes open another minute. I mean, these people in New York make dinner reservations for the same time I usually go to bed! As much as I wanted to stick around for the chocolate fondue, I just couldn’t do it. I party-pooped and asked one of the cars to take me back to the hotel. The rest of the girls stayed and Mindy and Michael even took a walk home through Central Park. When did I suddenly get old? (I think it was about the same time I had to hold the menu out at arm’s length.)
Early, early the next morning we met in the lobby to tape Fox & Friends Live. I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture from the set. They were very nice. I was especially grateful because they were the only interview that showed a picture of my new book. To be honest, I had been very disappointed the day before because, although, every place had been given a copy of the book, nobody mentioned it. Sometimes, I had the opportunity to say a quick something but I didn’t want to sound pushy, considering we were there to promote the DVDs. I got to a good place about it, though. I figured that God didn’t really need me to promote my book. If He wanted people to know about it then He is certainly capable of whispering into the right people’s ears. (Oprah, are you listening to that still, small voice?)
Mindy had to leave before the last interview in order to head back to Los Angeles. So, Nancy and I headed over to tape CNN American Morning with Soledad O’Brien and Miles O’Brien. They couldn’t have been nicer. They even shared a huge box of chocolates with us that Whoopi Goldberg had just sent over to Soledad. We took lots of pictures and Soledad even gave me her email address and asked me to send copies of the pictures and she’d reply with her snail mail address because she wanted to get a couple of my book. How cool is that?
I couldn’t believe the trip was already over. It went so quickly. Nancy and Marc decided to stay an extra day and catch a show while they were in town, but I had to get back because Haven was getting her braces off the next day. So, I headed to the airport and on the way I made the obligatory stop at the Times Square gift shop to pick up an armload of “I (Heart) N Y” shirts for everyone.
I slept the whole way home on the plane then came home and slept some more. It was fun but my recovery time is definitely a lot longer than it used to be. Thanks for all of your prayers and support. I felt it!
Posted by weblion at 07:45 PM