After practically collapsing into bed on Wednesday evening from traveling the better part of the day and adjusting to the heat of the city - I awoke Thursday morning about 6 am and showered. We (A and I) had plans to go on over to Rockefeller Center to see The Today Show with Matt and Katie. This activity topped A's list of "Must Do" while on vacation. She didn't have to "be" on tv, she just wanted to say that she had been in the crowd and to see what it was all about.
It didn't take us long to get over there - a few blocks up and a few blocks over and we found ourselves rounding the corner and on the edge of the gathering crowd. I had seen "the plaza" on a previous trip to the city and knew what to expect - A hadn't and was totally surprised at the size of the area.
They were set up with a NYC firetruck and were going to promote the release of the FDNY 2006 calendar that day. We moved on around the crowd and found our way to the corner nearest to where they exit the building to come out onto the plaza. We waited. A was excited and I was excited for her. I was more exhausted than excited but the more awake I became, the better it got for me. I was trying to remember if I had seen a Starbucks on the walk over.
We arrived on the plaza a few minutes after the show started and it was less than 15 minutes before Al came out to meet the crowd. Most everything was previously set up and the crew was busy readying the last minute things that needed to be done. It was fun to watch them and to be able to see "behind the scenes" of those things that the television viewing audience never gets the chance to see. Al came out and the crowd roared. He walked around, shook hands, worked the crowd in an extremely "personal way" which impressed me. Everyone observing him could tell that he liked this part of his job - meeting the people. He took in gifts from the crowd and when he stopped at the girl right in front of us and asked her if she'd like to be on TV today - we became excited that we were standing right behind her. Well - A was standing behind her and I was standing behind the daddy in the blue shirt, LOL.
Al did the spot and my cell phone rang. It was my mother in Georgia. "I saw A on TV! I saw A on TV! Were are you?" was all I could hear her shouting through the phone. "I'm behind the man in the blue shirt - its not that important that I be on TV Mom" I replied. We chatted briefly about how much fun we were already having and how I had left the other 3 (daddy, Baby K and J) all asleep in the hotel room just 40 minutes ago. We asked if she had been taping the show and she said "no" - oh, well.
I hung up the phone and it rang within 2 minutes. It was B saying that J and he were watching The Today Show on TV and J had seen A and recognized her and was running around the room chanting, "I saw A on TV." There was no taping capability in the hotel room. Oh well. During the day - A talked to several other people who would all lead the conversation by saying that they had seen her on TV that Thursday morning but none of them could say that they had taped it so that she could see it. Oh well. She has the memory and she loved it.
A little while passed and I knew that it was time for Katie and Matt to come out to the crowd - and they did. Matt worked the crowd like Al did - taking time to stop and talk to people and accept their gifts but Katie finished the 'out on the plaza' and went right back inside. Poo poo on her....she never even stopped to talk or smile to anyone. I wondered if she even liked being there and if the reports of her not being happy on the set and with the show were true. Its so different to see how personable and friendly they are when the camera is "on" and then how they totally turn away from each other when the light goes out. Its very telling. We were still having a great time.
The thought occurred to us that with the first hour being predominately "news" focused that perhaps the second hour might bring a more "relaxed" Matt and Katie to the crowd so we decided to stick around. It was during that next phase that the happenings in London took place and the morning show was interrupted by the special news report from London.
The entire crowd just stood there, staring at the monitors and listening to the information being shared to the world. Within what I estimate to be less than 3 minutes - there were loud sirens all over the city. I could hear them echoing through the streets and rolling around between the tall buildings. I knew then that Matt and Katie would be at the news desk for the rest of the show and we were not going to spend the next hour and a half waiting for the 'possibility' to see them. It was past breakfast time, B was in the hotel room with two small kids and no breakfast, we had a long list of things to do that day and it was time to move on. A had gotten her wish - to be in TheTodayShow crowd PLUS she had been on live TV in that crowd.
Here is my favorite picture that was taken that morning:
And so we left the crowd (without seeing the FDNY Calendar Men) and ventured back to the hotel. We stopped on the way at this wonderful Deli and picked up breakfast. When we opened the hotel room door, we were greeted by hugs and squeals - but we don't know if it was because they were glad to see us or that we came with food :)
Since that morning, we've probably had 15 people tell us that they say A on The Today Show - but when we asked if they taped it - everyone replied with a no. Oh well. Everyone saw her but her.