Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Some Paparazzi YOU make!"

So I'm way overdue to comment on the last post, a post in which my husband popped in for a surprise report from his perspective back at the home front. I always enjoy his cameo appearances, but this was an especially welcome addition since I made empty promises of daily updates during my trip and then left you hanging. Not that you lost sleep over it, but the blog bully that sits on my shoulder was not impressed with my blogging etiquette.

But as you'll recall, on "Day One" I was alone in the Airport Inn wondering if and how I would cope with six days of being gone from my family--so you got the full cathartic scoop.

You were there when I needed you and I love you for that.

But then I got busy vacationing and spaced the blogging--which is not much of a thank you, the blog bully tells me, but really is the sign of a good vacation, I think, so no need for apologies, right? We're all friends here.

But back to my husband. It was playful of him to add his two cents from the 'babysitter' perspective, I thought. (On top of the rest of the vacation bill he footed, of course). And although I always enjoy his eloquent writing style and loved his post, I must confess it may have contained some truth-stretching.

You see, Brian was (and has always been and will always be) 110% on top of things while 'manning the fort'.

And not in a wink-wink, gratuitous, "thanks for the trip, Sweetie" kind of way, but in an I-tell-him-all-the-time-he-makes-a-better-mom-than-me kind of way.

A man mom.

Which is different from a dad. (Though he fills that role extremely well also.)

Here's a picture he sent on Sunday morning, the day he handily got all four kids ready and to church on time by himself.

So yes, he survived. And I survived. And Grandma survived. And the kids survived. And I came home to the cutest welcome home party you can imagine complete with pizza, ginger-ale, chocolate and dancing with my four beautiful children, which made me cry all over again (remember those tears when I LEFT? I can't win.)

Two weeks later my four year old was still saying "Welcome home, Mommy." I think all moms should get away once in a while, if for nothing more than the incredibly fulfilling feeling of having both missed and been missed in return.

And now, because you are here reading my tale when it must be the last list of things to do in your busy day, you deserve


Where did I go? Mostly Salt Lake City with time spent in Park City, Midway, and Utah Valley at varying times.

Why did I go? Three main reasons: Girl's weekend, Sundance Film Festival, and the ever important job of celebrity stalking. But the three events fused quite nicely into one tidy package o' madness that turned the "why" into more of a "why not?"

Did I see anyone famous? Yes, but not because I recognized them without help or necessarily knew who they were in many cases. Bottom line is, despite being born with a good dose of Star Fever, I am terrible at stalking celebrities, and because I don't see 90% of movies anyway, even when people are famous, I've often never heard of them. But that doesn't stop me from flying 700 miles to try to spot them, and dragging friends along to help me.

The full scoop: My brother and his wife work at the Festival each year, and my sister in law is in charge of coordinating the airport arrivals of a large percentage of the celebrities and VIPs involved with the festival, so I had good insider info. But I also had my brother's car at my disposal, so much airport stalking time lost out to cruising around visiting family and friends in the first few days. The festival workers kept a running list of C-lebs that came through, and by day two I had missed about 20.

Alpha, Maggie and Myron officially in action above. Tami and I pretending to be official below.

But Friday night as my friends and I converged for our girl's weekend, we noticed the paparazzi hovering near baggage claim. We already knew Adrienne Brody was due to arrive that evening (don't know him, and haven't seen the movies he's in, but like I said before, that doesn't thwart me) but this was an hour and a half before his arrival so we knew there must be others on their way.

We shamelessly shadowed the "real" paprazzi with our cameras out and ready to roll, which the paparazzi didn't seem to like very much. When they moved, we moved. We studied them, followed them, took pictures of them (small taste of their own medicine?)

A paparazzo in waiting

We even spoke to them--or at least Kathleen tried when she asked one of them outright who he was waiting for--a question he did not answer. We may have looked like competition toting our big cameras initially...

....but we took care of that in no time.

Our amateur nature was clearly revealed when Kareem Abdul Jabar walked straight past us and we never even aimed our cameras at him. We were too busy pointing out "the tall guy" with no clue that he was anyone famous, until we noticed the paparazzi following him with their cameras and video equipment.

So then a paparazzo brushed past me and said snidely in my ear: "SOME PAPARAZZI YOU MAKE!

I asked: "Why, who was that?" And he told me: "Only the greatest basketball player EVER."

So we ran back to baggage claim to snap a few pictures of 'the tall guy' since we now understood him to be of import.

"That tall guy" (AKA Kareem Abdul Jabar)

And that is when the paparazzi decided we were a joke and in no way a threat so they warmed up to us after that-- even telling us who else was coming, who tolerated picture taking and who didn't etc.

See me hanging with the paparazzi like we're old friends? OK, I look a little unsure in this picture. Maybe not super close friends.

They gave us the head's up that Dakota Fanning was upstairs signing autographs, so we went upstairs to photograph her, except that she was done signing autographs and was coming down the stairs as we went up. Yet did we notice her? Of course not. I'm not kidding that we stunk at this. So Tami had to come find us to tell us we'd missed yet another.

We found Dakota at baggage claim and because she'd been labeled a "sweet" one by the paparazzi, we actually had our picture taken with her.

See? Sweet.

And noticeably less torturous without those red JANE eyes from New Moon.

Though Kathleen was pretty stoked that the red eye in this picture of hers put the deadly right back into Dakota.

There was another miss when we got bad information about Noah Wyle on a plane. It didn't end up being him, but we got some great shots of his doppleganger.

Celebrity photo FAIL

Lastly Adrienne Brody arrived, and Kathleen got the best picture by far because she actually asked his permission to take a picture. He was resistant and not so happy to say yes but ultimately said: "I guess you can since other people are taking it anyway--without asking." And of course, one of the non-askers was me--so although my paparazzi skills were sorely lacking, I think I got the "annoying" part of it down.

Me capturing Adrienne off guard in true Paparazzi fashion

Kathleen getting a MUCH better shot because she simply asked. There's a lesson in here...

On the streets of Park City the next day, we unsuccessfully stalked Ben Affleck. Notice the guy with the clipboard telling us Ben had just left out the back door.

Celebrity Sighting Fail

But I did get video of yet another star unknown to me. (Joshua Duhamel, the guy from When in Rome, which I expect will be more exciting for me after I've seen the movie. If I see it.)

A still shot from my video of Joshua Duhamel

Another "celebrity" sighting in Park City.

To add to the drama of the day, we missed the film we bought tickets to from a lady on the bus. Blame the bus. Blame the weather. Blame the long restroom lines at Pizza and Noodle. It was all part of the adventure, and we weren't hurting for good times.

The Bed and Breakfast our friends run was beautiful. Midway was a winter wonderland in spite of near death on the mountain roads driving two wheel drive in our four wheel drive SUV, and the time with friends, family and more friends during the six days was very rewarding and relaxing. A few more pics:

View from the Chalet where we stayed

Jason toured us through Midway--first stop: Elk

Next stop: Hot Pots (Natural hot springs)

Tami looking good in her makeover!

Kathleen looking warm, no wait, HOT.

Photo a la Kathleen

Zermatt Ice Castles

"The Crater"--outside

"The Crater"--inside

The biggest, oldest tree in town (on left)

Taken from underneath--can't tell from the picture but it was like a fort inside there!

The crowded streets of the festival

Sure this bus is cute, but if you ever go to the film festival in Park City, tell yourself this:
I can probably get to main street faster on foot than by bus...
(photo credit to Leen)

And wrapping up this mega blog entry, a nice little glimpse of driving in the snow. (Quite the adventure in 2 wheel drive through the canyon.) So-Cal-ers everywhere, put on some shorts and go bask in the warmth that is home.


Hey Maughan said...

Congrats if you made it through this entry my friends, family, or other readers. It was long and I am tired. Goodnight.

Kirbell said...

Amy, that was well worth the read. I need to get a away. :-)

John said...

Can I copy this and paste it to my blog? :) BTW I see that guy from When In Rome on TV all the time now. He's in everything!

John said...

That was Kathleen, not John. And so is this.

Marie said...

Ok, so let's get one thing clear. I am going with you next year. We will stalk like no two other SIBS can. There will be quick shots, sneaky jumps, and hide outs, they won't know what hit them!

I'm so glad you had such a great trip!

Kayleen T. Photography said...

Hey Amy, just got the email for the Lyon Shop in Vegas and sadly won't make it to the dinner the night before so I just wanted to reach out to everyone and say HI and introduce myself! :) It will be my first year to WPPI! I hope this is the right Amy Maughan....if not just disregard this random comment! haha. If it is the right Amy then hopefully we can talk more at the Lyonshop! YAY! -Kayleen

Janna said...

Your posts are so entertaining. We love having you bro and fam 7 houses down from us. When are you coming to visit??

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Nat D said...

sigh... you're so lucky. BTW I think that's Dax Shepard, not Josh. But I'm probably wrong since I'm not a pro celeb profile recognizer.

nevali said...

nice blog

abbebusoni said...

The only one I recognized was Noah Wyle, except it wasn't him ;)

melissa said...

I really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for posting. I enjoy finding new blogs and making new bloggy friends. :-D
So just wanted to leave a note saying that I liked your blog. I'm now a follower. And I will be back more for updates

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