Saturday, September 17, 2011

Coast to Coast in 10 Days: California & Florida

My job definitely has some perks. After months of covering presidential campaign events in Iowa (we will be back there soon), the presidential race has finally popped in some of the most beautiful parts of this nation. California and Florida. I have spent 6 of the last 11 days on these different coasts. Here is a little behind-the-scenes tour of work over the last couple of trips.

A couple of notes:
1. This post is going to include like 47 photos. So, if I were you, I wouldn't even bother pulling it up on my phone. Save it for the computer.

2. If at any point it looks like I am not working in these photos, keep in mind that I happen to 105% LOVE my job, and it almost never feels like work, so if it looks fun, it's not because I'm goofing off, not working - it is because I love what I do, and it IS FUN.

We got off the plane, and before I could even change out of my yoga pants, we were in Malibu. This is my first time to EVER have my toes in the sand on the Pacific coast! I was remembering my Malibu Barbie I had as a kid. I loved her and her pink convertible. I did not see her.
We proceeded to get video of the beach, surfers, and naturally - bury the host of our show, The Brody File, in the sand. This had an actual point. Click on the link to watch the show (the buried-in-the-sand part is at the very end).

Then, we visited Joni and Friends.

The next day, the GOP Presidential Debate was held at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.

Before the debate, we did a live shot via Skype.
And a standup for our story about the debate, the next morning.
Here's a little behind-the-scenes stuff for you. At presidential debates, there are always hundreds of media. And, it's all very organized (generally) as far as who goes where, print, radio, TV, etc. You see that little "CBN" sign in the corner of the above picture?
That is our designated 'standup' spot. For my non-TV-news friends: A standup is the portion of a report that a correspondent does on camera.

During the debate, we are not ever actually INSIDE the debate hall. The media has assigned areas in what is called a "filing center." Which in this case was a not very air conditioned tent outside, that had lots of TVs and wireless internet.
After we finished our live shot and standup, and claimed our space in the filing center, we were lucky enough to get a private tour of the Reagan Presidential Library!
The Library is incredible! We breezed through there very quickly, though, so I definitely want to go back another time, when I have time to play with all of the interactive exhibits and see Air Force One!

Like children, we took silly pictures at the presidential podium. It's funny, because we see this kind of thing every day, yet when the opportunity presents itself...
This picture of my co-worker, Steve, really puts into perspective just how short I am!
Yikes. Get that girl a pelican case or a step stool!

After our tour, we visited the cafeteria...
Where I enjoyed my split pea soup.
And, we hunkered down for the debate/editing our story about the debate, which always takes us into the wee hours of the morning.

The next morning, after a couple hours of sleep, we made our way to Hollywood! This was my first time to Hollywood. I was surprised that it wasn't glitzier or shinier than it was. It always looks so ritzy on TV but in person, I thought it felt kind of old and dumpy. Sorry for the dis, Hollywood. You were still cool, though.
We walked right by the Kodak Theatre. Now, I'll confess, I hardly ever watch any movies or TV, so there was a lot of stuff that is apparently very cool in Hollywood, that I had no idea about. But, I do know this is where they host American Idol.

We walked down the Walk of Fame.
That was pretty cool (when we got to some names I recognized.)
I even found a star that appeared to be unclaimed. So, I claimed that as my own!
Hopefully the stars are cool with that.
We taped the Brody File Show in front of some famous Chinese Theater. Forgive me. I'm big on politicians... not on actual celebrity stuff..
Then we went to "Hollywood and Vine," which is apparently a very famous intersection, and interviewed a GOP strategist. I did my duty of walking behind Steve, so that he wouldn't run into anything while he was taping the interview.
Oh, and I got my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.
Iced.And, on our way to the airport, we drove/hiked up to the infamous Hollywood sign to get some shots for the show and take pictures of ourselves.
Someone should have told me it would be okay to put the latte down.
I mean, seriously. Because, here is our team pic at the Hollywood Sign, and one sip of a PSL is in the photo.

Then, I was home for two or three days, during which we drove to MD to get M's new wheelchair, and I went to a football game, a baseball game, and church.

Then Sunday night... off to FLORIDA.
The trip to FL was quicker than the California trip, and we didn't shoot the show there (since we had just shot it in CA), so there aren't as many pics of Florida.

Unfortunately, that trip started out with a major flight delay, and we ended up flying into Orlando and driving to Tampa, instead of flying into Tampa as originally planned.
Needless to say, I was very happy to see my waffle the next morning.

That day, we went to the filing center, did our setup there, did another Skype live shot (no pics this time, sorry) and a standup outside. Then, we made a run to Cold Stone Creamery, where I "loved it" - probably a little too much! We also shot an interview outside the Hard Rock Casino. That had nothing to do with the casino.And, back to the filing center to hunker down for the debate, story about the debate, etc. etc. The same thing as California, only we were up much later into the not-so-wee hours of the morning because we were back on East Coast time.

After a quick nap, we had breakfast the next morning, no waffle for me that day, and we headed to Clearwater Beach.
Aaahhh. Yes. I spent most of the day in the van, writing The Brody File Show, and producing it remotely, until the battery in my laptop died.
Then, I joined the boys.
They were interviewing random Florida voters on the street. Definitely an interesting bunch!
We had time for a very quick lunch, which was the most amazing food I've had since I don't even remember when. Such a shame we had to scarf it down.
On our way back to the car, I saw this very random assortment of offers from a shop.
Everything you need there, huh?
We popped in a tourist shop, where I contemplated getting Michael this shirt (and wondered why anyone would need THREE of them?)
I also contemplated getting myself this hat, but then I sa how I looked like a truck driver when wearing it.
So, we left.
And headed to the airport.

I was sad that we couldn't spend more time in Clearwater, because Michael has soooo many dear friends there, and I have some other friends in the Tampa area I wish I could have seen, but there just wasn't enough spare time. Maybe next year. We will be back for the GOP Convention in 2012.

Thankfully, the flight home was uneventful, and I was able to sleep for 24 hours, then we went out for our *real* Anniversary dinner. And, I went grocery shopping. And (at least somewhat) cleaned the house.

I went back to work yesterday, and filled out expense reports and paperwork for my next trip (Orlando). Monday, we head to Charlottesville for the whole day of doctor stuff/testing for Michael. And Wednesday, I get on another plane.

All I have to say is I think I will definitely be using that house cleaning Groupon I bought a while ago, and I am looking forward to using all these Hilton points at some point in the future for a trip for me and the Hubs!


Kristen Maddux said...

Billy Graham has a star on the walk of fame? who knew? :)

Kung Yun said...

It must be nice to have a job you like... Love the photos -- You look great behind the podium by the way!

Diane Moody said...

I always love these posts! Makes me feel like I've been tagging along with a Press Pass of my own! Keep 'em coming!