Holy cow, y’all.
Last week, Corey and I had one of the nuttiest (and most fun!) experiences ever. I’ve already shared a little about how we got to go to New York City to film with the Rachael Ray Show, and you’ve probably seen some of the trip over on YouTube, but I wanted to share aaaaaall the gory details here.
Because, who can resist a good story about a 24-hour trip across the country to be on national television?!
Let’s start at the beginning.
It was a normal Thursday night and we were in the kitchen prepping for dinner when I got an email from a producer at the Rachael Ray show asking me if I was free to chat that night. I said sure, and within an hour I was on the phone with her (while also trying to juggle feeding the baby, finishing dinner, and taking care of Jackson, as one does).
She told us that they were doing a segment on what different houses across the country look like at the median monthly price range, and asked if we’d be interested in participating. I love seeing that sort of thing so I was immediately in. She tempered my expectations by explaining that they were still talking to quite a few people and they probably weren’t flying anyone out. If we got chosen to participate, we’d just send in some videos of our home. It still sounded very fun, so we said we’d be happy to participate if they chose us.
We went about our business that night and the next day, and it wasn’t until about 5:00 on Friday evening when they reached back out to us and said that not only would they like us to be featured in the segment, they also wanted to fly us out and were we available Monday and Tuesday?
We were a little dazed as we flew into action and started calling in the troops. We had my parents taking care of the kids, and we had my sister taking care of the dogs, and then we spent most of the weekend trying to film the footage they had requested and prepping to be away for a couple of days.
I honestly don’t even remember much of those few days, but the next thing I knew, it was Monday morning, my dad had picked Grant up, and we were heading to the airport.
It was about 6:30PM when we landed at JFK, and a little after 7:00 when we made it to our hotel room. We were exhausted from all of the travel and the stress of leaving our kids behind (this was our first time ever leaving Grant with anyone!) but we had less than 24 hours in the city so we wanted to make the most of it.
We headed out for a walk and found a little hole-in-the-wall pizza place that we knew had good reviews so we could try some authentic NYC pizza. The pizza was delicious, but we learned that New Yorkers will just give you Pepsi when you ask for Coke without even asking. Is this a thing? Do they not realize it’s far inferior? I know people who will literally avoid restaurants that don’t offer Coke products.
Do we just take our soda preferences way too seriously in Texas?
Anyways. I digress. The food was delicious and after we ate we decided that if we only had one night in NYC we were going to make the most if it with a super touristy outing.
I really had no idea what to expect when we visited the Empire State Building, but I was absolutely floored by how incredible it was. There’s really no way to possibly describe how peaceful and beautiful it was up there, especially at nighttime!
We got glimpses of all of the landmarks we wished we had time to see (the Statue of Liberty! The 9/11 Memorial! Times Square!), and spent forever just staring out at the city.
After we finished there, we headed back to our rooms to get some sleep because we had a big day ahead of us.
The next morning, we grabbed some bagels near our hotel, then met up with an intern from the show to walk over to the studio. It was so bizarre to see all of the people lined up outside and realize they were waiting to be an audience member in the show I was about to be on.
We got settled into our green room and met the other girls who were going to be on the segment with us, then we were quickly whisked over to hair and makeup to get ready for filming.
After that, we had a few minutes to rehearse on set and get familiar with where we’d be standing, then we headed back to the room to go over a few final details before filming.
We were probably there for about an hour and a half before we started filming, but it felt like about 15 minutes with all of the activity that was happening. Before we knew it, we were standing right backstage and Rachael Ray herself walked right past us to go onstage and start the show!
We were the first segment of the first show they filmed that day (they typically film three entire shows a day!), so it was really nice to not have to wait around much – and we didn’t have any time to get nervous either!
Rachael was incredibly sweet and friendly – she chatted with us a bit while they played our tape, and even gave us a restaurant recommendation for a place here in Austin we hadn’t ever been to. Then, we talked with her in front of the audience and shared some details about how we painted our bathtub, and a few minutes later she moved on to the next person and just like that it was over!
It’s honestly a little hard to believe that we did aaaaaall of that traveling for less than 10 minutes of actual filming, but I guess that’s how television works! We barely had time to gather ourselves after our segment before they were prepping for the next one and we were being whisked away to get our things and prepare to go home.
We had a few hours left in the city before we needed to get back to the airport, so we grabbed lunch with the other girls from our segment, then Corey and I did a little bit of exploring. He’s always been a big fan of the Flatiron Building, so we checked that out and took a little walk through Madison Square Park in the snow (magical!) with some hot chocolate.
We were back at the airport about 20 hours after we got there, and it felt like we spent more time at JFK than we did in the actual city. Our plane ended up being delayed multiple hours, not because of the weather (which we thought might happen) but because of a mechanical issue.
We actually boarded the plane only about an hour and a half later than expected, but then we sat in it for over two hours while they dealt with things. It wasn’t my finest moment – I was so ready to get home and see the kids, and I was more than a little worried that we’d be stranded in NYC overnight.
Thankfully, everything worked out and we ended up taking off around 10:00 PM, making it back to our house a little after two in the morning. We spent the rest of the week trying to recover and catch up on sleep, but the fun experience was worth all of the exhaustion.
Our show aired on Friday – I can’t find the clip of us actually chatting with Rachael online (I’ll update if they post it!), but you can see the little video they aired about us right here.
Thanks so much for all of your kind words and love while we were gone – I felt a little like y’all were all there with me!
We’re so grateful that we were able to have this incredible experience, and can’t wait to see what’s next!