It started at about 3pm ET. I read on a Kentucky based scrap booking email group that Trading Spaces was in Louisville. This was the first I had heard of it, and they'd been here since the 18th. It was on the local FOX station's news last night, but I usually avoid the news. So, off I went to the TLC message boards for Trading Spaces. I figured if someone knew *where* in Louisville the trucks were, they'd post it there.
Sure enough, someone listed either road names or neighborhood names for all 3 shoots. Off to Yahoo Maps! I went. As it turns out, all 3 locations are on the East end of Louisville, about 45 minutes drive from me. So I debated in chat a few minutes on whether or not I should try to go find it today, as by this time it was about 3:30pm, and I'd have to pick up my husband between 5:30-6:30pm from work. I figured, what the heck? I quickly printed off directions to the neighborhood they were in today, got my car keys, cell phone, regular camera, cheapy digital camera, and my son (hereafter "Andrew") and off we went. I called my neighbor on her cell phone, because she wasn't home from work yet, to see if she wanted to go with me. She was still at work, but informed me that her co-worker had said TS had been at her neighbor's house. NOW she tells me! Call into Wildcard at Jokerette's house to ramble off my excitement, plus I can't drive more than 15 minutes or so without talking to someone, or at least it feels that way.
As I neared the exit off the freeway, my cell phone started acting up. I really need a new one, really. I found the neighborhood fairly easily, but
the main entrance was blocked due to some construction going on, so I had to backtrack and enter another way, by a shopping center. I got a little turned around, as I'm known to do, and tried again. I didn't have a street name, just the neighborhood, and this is one of those great big neighborhoods with tons of side streets. I saw a Thrifty (or maybe some other truck rental place) truck, but it had a sticker on the back door that said www.homestore.com
so I wondered if it was some sort of local rental that they used. After following it around for a little while, it pulled into someone's house. Nope that wasn't it. Then I rode around a little bit more and saw a guy in a truck that looked REMARKABLY like Ty Pennington. I thought about following him, but it wasn't the big black TS truck, so I decided it wasn't him and I should do something else.
Somehow I ended up facing a main road, exit/entrance to the neighborhood, and across this street was another phase of this neighborhood, so...across the street I went. BINGO! After just a little driving, I see LOTS of cars parked along the street. YAY! I found it!
Just to be sure, after I parked by a house, I asked someone walking down the street if this was where Trading Spaces was. YES! I hopped out of the car, got Andrew and his backpack out, and off we went. Let me just tell you, 91 degrees Fahrenheit, jeans, and my thick hair down... not a good mix! My heart was racing and the adrenaline was pumping. I'm about to be up close and personal to real, live STARS! I'd say there were about 50-100 people out there, mostly small kids, around 8-9yrs old.
Almost immediately after I walked up to the houses, I saw Frank surrounded by people and talking. Then he went to a shaded, tent area to sign autographs and take pictures. Here I was, armed with 2 cameras and a diaperbag/Andrew's fun backpack, but no paper or pen. I'm buying a new pocketbook (purse for you non-Southern USA or non-Jecka-dictionary-carrying people) and stocking it with some scrap paper and a bunch of pens. I know I should have listened to Lotus' advice in chat and stopped to buy the new Trading Spaces book. Or maybe I should have bought it a few weeks ago when I first saw it. Anyway.... I waited my turn, next to the person I met when I first got there, and we agreed to take each other's picture with Frank.
Then it happened. Andrew was hot and pretty crowded down there on the 3ft from the ground level and wanted to be picked up. I saw that I had my camera strap around my wrist, so I let go of the camera to pick up Andrew. BANG! There goes my camera on the ground.
Apparently, I only had my cheapy digital around my wrist, and so my point-and-shoot went bouncing off the hot pavement. The battery came out. I hurriedly put it back in and tried things out. It came back on, but.... it was stuck on trying to set the date. Closer inspection, the little use-a-straight-pin button was kinda warped and stuck. Uh-oh. No more pics with that camera. Thank goodness for the cheapy digital. So the rest of the afternoon I used it. I watched myself very carefully, because if the batteries fall out of it, you're up a creek with no pictures.
Finally, after waiting for all the shorter than me people to get autographs and pictures, it was my turn! Frank's such a sweetie. He answered questions while he signed and smiled. Someone had printed pictures of him from the internet for him to sign on that paper, and one of the pictures had him and his wife. That made his day, I think. He misses her and is going to see her tomorrow. I got out of the way after the picture taking so Andrew wouldn't get squished. We went to stand out on the neighbor's grass and watch the houses for movement. I got there just as they were setting up for the reveals, so it took a while for anyone else to come out.
We saw the homeowners of one house sitting out on their front steps. They had yellow tape and signs "Please stay off the set" so you could only get so close. Then a lady, I'm not sure who she was, maybe a producer, came out to say "Welcome to Trading Spaces!" to all of us and ask us to move back off the sidewalk and grass, so they could do their taping. Then one set of homeowners came out and got into a car, and started driving away. I was standing close to someone that knew them, and they yelled out, asking where they were going. Apparently, they had to "drive off and back up" for the reveal. Interesting, very. Then Laurie came out. She was in her signature green, looked great. She didn't stop for autographs immediately, did a lot of walking back and forth quickly, it wasn't easy to get a picture of her facing the crowd. She did stop way across on the other side of the "set" to talk and sign autographs, but there was a quick crowd of kids on her, and she didn't stop for long. Andrew was getting a little antsy and kept creeping closer and closer to the grass where we weren't supposed to be, so I took him to the edge of the crowd. I had this fear of having to chase him up to the HO's door in front of ALL these people.
Then I met a very sweet, wonderful, sneaky teenage girl, who tells me that Ty is on the back deck, with a set of HO's, drinking a beer, and SHIRTLESS. I looked at her and said "Can we get back there?" She said if we went around this other house, we could. So, off we went. She had a water bottle to spray me with if I passed out. We stopped at the edge of a neighbor's yard, so as not to get run off, and I just stared and drooled. He is so very fine. ::deep breath:: I took a couple pictures. Dang that cheapy digital for not having a ZOOM feature. I was almost HOPING Andrew would take off running this time, so I could get closer ::wink::
So we wouldn't look like total stalkers, we headed back around the house. That's when we saw Paige head into the house. She's TALL in person too, I could tell even from a respectable distance.
After sharing information with some people about the street name of the next set of houses, I decided it was time to go. Andrew was getting very
antsy by now, poor kid, and it was about 5:30pm. Not sure how well "Honey, I'm at the set of Trading Spaces, can you hang out at your office for another few hours?" would have went over with my "not in my house" husband, I packed Andrew back into his car seat, *very carefully* put my cameras on the passenger side seat, and attempted to find my way back out of this neighborhood. I'm not sure how many entrance/exits that place has, because I sure didn't go out of the same one I came in at, but found my way fairly easily. As I got back on the freeway, I called Jokerette to let her know, and to pass on to my fellow Trading Spaces/JokersUpdates fans, that I was back on the road, and pictures and an update would be coming soon. Then I called all my friends/family that love TS but live too far away to go with me or had to work and rubbed it in! : )
After picking up my husband, getting dinner at Burger King, and getting stuck in construction traffic, I got home, and quickly, but carefully, brought the cameras into the house, and downloaded the pictures. You can see them by joining the jokersfiles group at www.yahoogroups.com
. They are in a folder called Jecka's TS Adventure. Enjoy!
Now, should I go Friday morning to the last Louisville location? Whatcha think? I, um, have the street name, and the Yahoo Map! directions printed out. ::wink::