After feeling like I was coming down with something or starting to get sick on Sunday afternoon, hearing about an unfortunate situation for a family member, tossing and turning for most of the night, I woke up on Monday morning to the tune of “Where You Lead, I Will Follow” by Carole King. Now, if you’re in my world, that translates to the Gilmore Girls theme song, and that meant I would be meeting Lauren Graham later in the day.
I was determined to have a great day. I was feeling so much better and had my energy back, got up, put my makeup on, said a short prayer over the day, and pretty soon, my mom and I were ready to go. We stopped at Jack in the Box for breakfast, then hit the road to LA. We live about an hour and a half away, so we wanted to leave as early as possible. I’d say we made pretty good timing to The Grove, only getting a little backed up in traffic for a few minutes.
We parked, made our way to Barnes & Noble, I bought the book, got my wristband and the rest of the details, and then it was official. I was excited, but there was still so much time in between that and the actual book signing, so it was hard to get too excited just yet. That, and I was still waking up. I’m not usually a morning person.
For most of the morning, we walked around The Grove! We did a little shopping at Forever 21, Anthropologie, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and finally got to check out the new TopShop! After a little while, I was kind of bored with it, and we ended up seeing that they were filming for Extra! Maria Menunos and Mario Lopez were filming some bits for the show. As a Journalism major, I found it fascinating watching the whole filming process go down. I have to say, Maria Menunos is incredible at what she does. No matter what the story was, she was asking questions and double checking on facts all throughout. I was definitely making mental notes of her techniques…Mario Lopez on the other hand. Well, he looks great for the camera, if you catch my drift. After a few minutes of hanging around, I made eye contact with Maria, while she had a few minutes of downtime and mouthed,”Can I get a picture with you?” to her, to which she said, “Sure!” and headed over to us. We took a picture, and I told her I really loved her book and that I was a journalism major. She thanked me and said she was glad I liked the book, and said with a sincere tone and pat on the shoulder, “good for you,” with the journalism thing. I hear it’s a tough business I also thought I might be able to meet up with Janelle from American Idol, but it didn’t work out. I thought it was still really cool that she tried! She seems incredibly sweet and down to earth.
They had a few more things to do behind the scenes and took off in the golf carts to film somewhere else, so my mom and I were back to having time to kill. As we were walking towards the parking garage to put our stuff away, I ran into some friends from Twitter who I was hoping to meet at some point during the day. We talked for quite some time, then decided to have lunch together at The Cheesecake Factory (since everyone was starting to get hungry), which is one of my favorite places. It was a great time; we were able to get to know them more, and by that point, and the food was delicious, as always. They’re really awesome girls, with great stories to tell, so the company was even better! I’m so glad we ran into them when we did.
When we finished lunch, we split up again, and my mom and I went shopping around at a few of the places we hadn’t made it to earlier, like Gap, Nordstrom, etc. Finally, I was starting to tire out, so we were just sort of wandering around, and ended up finding our new friends in the small lounge area in the parking garage. We hung out with them, I charged my phone (thanks to Robyn) and we all had time to start thinking about what we were going to say to Lauren or ask her. It also gave us a little extra time to freshen up! After a little while of waiting and killing more time, we decided to make our way over to Barnes and Noble, just to see if anyone had lined up yet, or to be ready to go when it started. We decided to grab something to drink at the little cafe, walked around to scope out the area, then sat down at the table just talking and wondering how all of us had met, which was really fun.
At 6:00, we all got in line! Most of the girls were in section A, but my mom and I were in C, so we didn’t get to hang out very much in line, but we’d wave and make eye contact with one another every once in awhile! My mom and I also did a lot of staring out the window, watching people go by and pretending they were someone famous based on what they were wearing or what they looked like. That helped pass the time quickly. We also made friends with some of the people around us; talking about Gilmore Girls and other Lauren Graham related topics for the most part.
At 7:00, the book signing started, and I thought I would start really freaking out. I mean, Lauren Graham is one of those people I have loved forever, as well as the main character she has played for quite awhile. There was even a point in my life where I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to meet anyone from Gilmore Girls, just because I didn’t want to kill the specialness of the show, and didn’t want to ruin the characters, in case the cast wasn’t like I had pictured in my head all these years. Well, we made our way up to Lauren, and it was my turn. I took a deep breath, and I felt confident. Here’s how the conversation went:
Lauren: (I walk up) Hi! (In my mind, I’m really freaking out…Like, whoa! I’m talking to Lauren Graham and I feel so cool and nonchalant about it)
Me: Hi! I’ve been such a huge fan of yours forever!
Lauren: Aw! Thank you so much (she signs the book)
Me: I actually have something to show you (I pull out my picture of me at Luke’s Diner when I was about 8)…This is me when I was younger in front of Luke’s!
Lauren: Oh wow! You were so little!
Me: I was And at the time they were talking all about this Gilmore Girls show, and I’m like what the heck is that?!
Lauren: (nodding and agreeing) Sure, right!
Me: And just a few years later it’s like my favorite show of all time!
Lauren: And now you have that awesome picture!
Me: Exactly! Would you mind signing it, please?
Lauren: (I’m pretty sure she had already started to sign it anyway) (we take our picture together) There ya go! Thank you so much for coming!
(My mom walked up! And I had warned her about not crying when she met her…HAHA!)
Me: This is my mom!
Mom: We loved Gilmore Girls; we still watch it all the time!
Lauren: Aw! That is so sweet! Thank you!
Me: Yeah, it’s kind of our thing!
Lauren: That’s really cool! So, how did you see Luke’s? Just taking the Warner Brothers tour?
Mom and I: Yeah! Just the tour!
Lauren: Oh ok, well that’s really awesome…(something like that, I can’t remember specifically, and I wish I did)
(She signed the book mom had)
Me: Can we get another picture together?
Lauren: Yeah, of course, and now you have another awesome picture!
She thanked us a few more times and seemed SO sincere! She is genuinely one of THE coolest people I have ever met. I have definitely become an even bigger fan of hers, if that’s possible.
I could not believe that had just happened, but I was still extremely calm and super excited about it! We walked outside, where they had a big event going on for The Voice, but there were so many people and you could hardly see anything. We met up with the rest of our new group, and exchanged stories, grinning from ear to ear, because we had just met one of our favorite people! We talked a few minutes, then decided to say our goodbyes and that we would keep in touch through social media like Twitter and Instagram, of course.
My mom and I tried to walk towards the parking garage, but it ended up being blocked off, due to The Voice event. Blake and Shakira were supposed to be entering through that way; I thought they’d be coming pretty shortly, and thought it would be cool to see them, but the crowd was starting to be too much and I was just starting to get tired. So, we took off, letting the girls know the parking garage might be a bit harder to get to, so we all walked in together, trying to figure out where to go next. We found it, made a stop at the bathrooms, then started heading towards our car on the 3rd level.
Well, in the process of getting to the 2nd level, we stopped, because we needed to get our ticket validated for parking, and I thought about checking over the balcony to see if we could see who had arrived or made it onstage at that point. Well, in just a split second, I noticed a guy who looked a lot like Austin Nichols (seeing a celebrity randomly on the street or at a shopping center is very different than expecting them to show up..It takes your brain a minute to realize who they are), and I must have been having a really confident/calm day, because immediately I asked, “Austin, can I get a picture?” and my mom had started looking around, wasn’t sure who I was talking to, then looked up and realized who it was and said, “Oh crap!” because she was excited for me! Ha! He stuck out his hand for a handshake and he asked my name, and I told him Shelby and that he had tweeted me several times, hoping that maybe he would know who I was, and he was like, “Oh, it’s really nice to meet you!” As we were taking the picture, I was saying, “I’m such a huge fan of yours,” and I’m pretty sure he chuckled and said, “Thank you!” LOL. It all happened so quick. Prior to, I had a million questions I would’ve asked, but he looked like he was probably heading somewhere, so I didn’t want to hold him up. He was so sweet, though! And he even tweeted me back the next day! He’s seriously THE BEST!
We got in the car, and made our way home and I just kept replaying the day over and over in my head. I could not believe I had just met two of my favorite people, from two of my favorite shows…I could not wrap that around my brain. Had I done just a few little things differently, meeting up with the girls might not have happened, or running into Austin wouldn’t have happened, because we would have missed by a split second. I like to call these God destined moments…I was in the right place, at the right time to come in contact with these people for whatever reasons that I might not be aware of at the moment. But, God knows! And I know He has even bigger plans ahead for me, so I just have to keep trusting Him.