So my very lucky sister-in-law Elizabeth (the one who actually won the 4 tickets after 4 years of trying), our friend Cindy and myself flew out of Grand Junction, CO to Denver on a Thursday night. We then flew to Chicago. (on the plane to Chicago!)
We arrived in Chicago around 10:30 pm their time. (We've made it to CHICAGO!)
We got to our hotel, figured out how we would be getting around Chicago and got to bed around 12:30am. We then were up at 4am to get ready for Oprah! We rode the blue line, kind of like a subway (well it's somewhat of a subway it goes underground and above ground), a bus for a few split second and then walked down Michigan Ave to the ever so famous Harpo Studios. (Cindy and I on the blue line)
Elizabeth was the first to see Harpo and I'll never forget her scream and instant sprint. We were all VERY excited. It was so unbelievable to see Harpo studio-got my heart pumping and made it feel very real what we were there to do.
When we got to Harpo we had to show our ID's to 2 different people in 2 different spots before we even stepped foot in the actually building. We were told there would be no pictures and no cell phones so sadly such a memorable event was only captured in my mind. I would have loved to have took some pictures inside the building, all well. Once inside the building we went through metal detectors, checked our coats and had our purses completely looked through. There were four people doing purse checked wearing white gloves and they where digging and going through every inch of the purse. Myself and Cindy got our purses back minus our camera and cell phones Elizabeth and her sister purses where kept because they were too big along with our phones and cameras till the end of the show . The room where all this is going on has big pictures of Oprah giving away the cars. We then went upstairs where you sign a paper giving your rights away to Harpo of anything you might say or shots taken of you. This room was huge with big pictures of Oprah with different guest. There is probably about 8 and each wall. There were 2 big screen tv's playing her 20th anniversary cd's. We waiting in that room for almost an hour. They then started calling people into the audience. Walking into her audience was so super cool. It was so mind blowing to be passing through areas that I've seen before while watching her show and signs that say the Oprah Winfrey Show. You walk through the area where Oprah use to walk out and touch peoples hands (for those of you who are big time Oprah watchers). The studio looked a lot smaller to me then I had imagined it. We get our seats and there are around 20 crew men getting camera and stage stuff ready. One guy is vacuuming the spot where Oprah will stand and after he's done two guys start scrubbing the floor that has absolutely nothing on it. Upbeat music is playing and then a lady comes out to get you all excited and then they play Black Eye Pea's song "I've got a Feeling" talk about getting your adrenaline going. I didn't catch this lady's name but she beautiful and very well spoken. I enjoyed listening to her. When it's almost time she tells us "Ladies you can hold your pee for 1 hour. Enjoy the show because it's going to go by fast" Boy was she right the whole show felt like only 15 min it went by so fast.
About 45 sec to Oprah Live Oprah walks out--AMAZING! I could feel tears starting to come to my eyes (nerdy I know) it was so amazing to be actually seeing her in person. She asks Dean (her stage manager) how much time he tells her like 30 sec. and she makes some comment about her shoes being only 1 hour shoes and that the clock is ticking. She had on HIGH HIGH heels. She didn't look different size wise to me but she was shorter then I thought she would be. Hair and makeup perfect.
Oprah interviews Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight Series. At one point in the interview Oprah mentions giving away 600 box sets of her books to a school and that the audience would not be left out. Everyone jumped out of their seat we were all soooo excited to be leaving the show with something. After Stephanie Meyers they had Robin Givens on she's Mike Tyson's ex wife. They ended the show with announcing the karaoke winner and having the winner sing us out. While he was sing Oprah walked and stood by the side we were sitting on and she was within feet from me. WOW--heart attach!=)
After the show she stood back on her stage and express her application for us all coming to see her. She was so sincere and knew that sacrifices, time, new clothes and babysitters had to planned for us to be there. I loved Oprah before but REALLY loved her after going to her show. Oprah left a few minutes after the tapping and one of her workers told us we get our Twilight box set as we left and we could take it to the Oprah store and Stephanie would sign one book
(Just after the show with our gift! Waiting in line to get it signed by Stephanie Meyer!)
(Robin Givens came to the Oprah store after the taping. She was skinny and so kind!)
The Oprah store was so beautiful.
In front of the famous Harpo Studios sign! People recognize our Oprah green bags and asked us everywhere we went about Oprah and what free thing she had given to us! So fun!
Walking to the Harpo sign we passed the famous paring lot where the new cars were given away sadly no new cars for us that day.=)
Cindy and I in the Taxi. It was both of us first time to ride a taxi, kind of scary. I would not like to drive down town Chicago--crazy.
A worker at the Oprah store told us we had to eat at Giordano's and have their world famous Chicago deep dish pizza.
We then did some shopping at the famous Magnificent Mile. It's a mile of upscale stores. We went to the Hershey store and the The America Girl Place store before time ran out. We then rode the bus and blue line back to our hotel. Wow we were exhausted from such a memorable perfect day!
Saturday morning we're ready to come back to Utah to our loved ones!