Jill programmed the GPS and we were off, out of the hotel parking lot and driving to the restaurant that was a mere seven miles from the hotel. The plan was simple; we'd grab a quick bite, and be back at the hotel for an early turn-in so Alex could get her beauty sleep. Easy Peazy!
30 Minutes Later
We are still looking for the restaurant.
The problem is, to quote Sean, the most sincere bachelor yet, “Don’t try to plan your life.” Our seven mile drive seemed to take forever. No really, it was the longest seven mile car ride of my life, to the point where it became a conversation topic. We did finally get to the restaurant but we decided to pass. We passed for a number of reasons, the biggest was time. There was a valet for the teeny parking lot filled with very expensive cars, and it didn’t look like the type of place I was dressed for. Remember, I’m wearing a Harley jean jacket and jeans. Did I mention I was wearing pajama jeans?
20 Minutes More
We still can’t find a restaurant. Really, I'm serious. We quite literally could not find a restaurant. I’m not suggesting we couldn't agree. We couldn't find one, anywhere. Alex suggested a Friday’s, which sounded good and relatively quick to me. We finally found one and actually got out of the car this time! Hurrah! We could just split some fun appetizers and quickly get in and out. How hard could it be?
Apparently, no one else could find a restaurant on a Sunday night in LA either, because when we went in, we were told it would be a 45 minute wait.
Everyone piled back to the car.
Another 20 Minutes Later
So our drive started yet again. It’s times like this when I really wish I wrote fiction, sad but true. At this point I am apologizing. “In Dallas,” I begin to explain to Jill, our driver who’s lived in California all of her life, “dining out is considered entertainment, so there are restaurants everywhere.”
This concept seemed strange to me when I moved from San Francisco to Dallas four years ago, but it’s true. Chain restaurants are everywhere. If we were in Dallas, Alex would have been back at the hotel within 45 minutes.
Someone suggested IHOP, which is one of my favorites, and I have the task of making good choices there down to a science. I went on to thank them profusely. Because Dallas is known for having lots of restaurants (and shopping) it was a challenge whenever my best friend visited me from Dallas (or when I traveled with her) because she has one rule when she travels, she will not eat in a chain. If Alex had this rule, we’d still be in Los Angeles looking for a restaurant, I am certain.
We arrive at the IHOP, sad but true. You’d think Jill and I were intentionally trying to give Alex an advantage by distracting her and keeping her out long enough to intentionally miss dinner.
When it came time to order, because it was so late (and it was a Sunday) they had nothing we initially wanted. I finally settled on a single Swedish lingonberry crepe and a piece of sausage (they were out of grits, which was my first choice.) Alex and my friend Jill split a sandwich and each ate about a fourth of what was initially served.
Despite how late it was getting, Alex and her family were the perfect hosts during the entire meal. It’s obvious to me why she was chosen by the producers for the show. She’s very easy going, (obviously if it takes two hours in a car to find a restaurant in Los Angeles) very gracious, and polite. Plus she is obviously able to deal well with change and delays, thus making her perfect for the hurry-up and wait on TV.
We arrive back at the hotel and ran straight into an impromptu cocktail party in the hotel lobby. I first saw Mark and Chism, and I was so shocked to see them I yelled across the lobby, “It’s Mark and Chism from Tyler Texas!” It was good to know that the legal drama from last season didn’t necessarily mean Mark wasn’t still considered part of The Biggest Loser family. With that said, I think Buddy was there as well. Although it took me too long to realize it might have been him so I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself. I mentioned earlier that my hero, Kim, was there (she looked fantastic) and so were Gail and her daughter, Lauren.
There were also contestants at the party going back several seasons. From just two seasons ago I was able to meet Hannah, Courtney Rainville, Marci, and her daughter, Courtney Crosier. I’m so thrilled that Courtney is the winner of the Subway commercial contest. It’s easy to forget that Courtney Crosier once weighed over 400 pounds. Weight loss is a journey, not a destination. Courtney Croiser has lost approximately 200 pounds to date, and mark my words, not only is she living a healthy lifestyle today, but years from now, it will be very difficult to remember what she looked like when she was heavy.
One of the people affiliated with the show who I most enjoyed meeting was Dr. Joanna Dolgoff. She worked with the Ambassadors for Change, Sunny, Lindsay, and Bingo. Having been a weight-loss consultant myself, I knew the challenges for working with adolescents. What I admire about her the most is that the kids were not mandated to get to goal within a specific amount of time. We spoke about how it’s not realistic to tell a child they can go to a birthday party, yet tell them they can’t have, to quote Duchess Fergie, “a bit of cake.” The kids are following her Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right plan.
Joe’s brother Henry was quite the “single” celebrity. I think he actually had more fun than Joe did because Joe was sequestered. I never ended up meeting Joe, but his very attractive brother let me know they are both currently single. I’m sure neither will be single for long though. Henry let me know that if Joe were to win, most of the money would be invested in a charitable foundation with which they are involved.
I was so excited to see TC! He looks great and it's so good to see him succeeding. I was also able to chat with him briefly at the studio after the taping. Mike with his smile is truly infectious, and David was in the lobby enjoying the crowd as well.
The biggest whispers were about Lisa and how amazing she looked. I didn’t see Lisa in the hotel prior to the finale but everyone who saw her said the same thing, “Wow.”
The party was winding down, and I was saying my goodbyes and just heading up to the room when Patrick House entered the lobby. That was an unexpected surprise. Patrick, Kim, Mark, and Courtney Rainville were polite enough to pose for one last quick photo before turning in.
To be continued.
I had a TMI moment at breakfast, yikes!
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