Stars, Rainbows and Graupel

My experience of the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony was filled
with wonder, chance occurrences and wild weather formations. I
arrived at LAX on Saturday, February 26th and was promptly
whisked away by taxi to the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood to
pick up my Set-Up credentials. As I exited my taxi, in front of the
hotel, I noticed a familiar lady walking toward me with a large
body guard. How do I know this woman? As they approached, I
almost reached out to say hello, but they continued moving past
me as if I wasn’t there. It was then that I realized the familiar lady
was Tabatha Coffey of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. I love that
show!!! What a thrill to be greeted upon my arrival by such a big
star. Who set this up? Sufficiently humbled, I entered the
Renaissance and promptly found other members of my group,
the Red Carpet Concierge of Chicago. After retrieving my
credentials and visiting a bit, I stood at the hotel entrance
watching the comings and goings and just, generally taking in the
scene. “I’m in LA, ya’ll!” I wanted to scream, but that wouldn’t
have been cool. It had been more than 20 years since I’d been to
LA and I was so excited to be back. Just then Al Roker, the
legendary Today Show weather anchor, walked up to me. I said,
“hello”, he did too and just like that, I had met Al Roker. He’s
shorter than I thought he’d be.

I really enjoyed capturing various moments of the trip with my
camera. Outside the Kodak Theatre, before the show, we
mingled amongst the press and a few celebrities. Good Morning
America co-Anchor, Robin Roberts, did her preliminary walk
through and camera/light set-ups. Chris Jenner, the mother of
the Kardashian ladies, posed for as many pictures as we
requested. She was delightful! And taller than I expected. I met
some of the finalists and the winner of the 2011 MTV Oscars Red
Carpet Correspondent Contest, Luz Pena. And plenty of pictures
were taken with Oscar himself. Outside the Kodak Theatre there
were several larger than life golden statues of a very svelte
Oscar. How cool is that to pose next to Oscar?

One of the most enjoyable parts of the trip was when a few of us
took a journey into Burbank, California. The weather was getting
stormy and forecasters were predicting snow which is rare in
Burbank. We traveled the smooth winding roads past NBC
Studios where the Jay Leno show is taped. As we drove, we
noticed that light snow was beginning to fall. It ended up dropping
a light coating of snow or as we learned later, Graupel; which is a
2 to 5 millimeter ball of rime that has been supercooled so that
the original snowflake is no longer identifiable. That’s a confusing
way of defining snow. But Burbank seemed determined to
distinguish their snow from everybody elses. It is LA after all.
After the snow fell and the sky began to clear we noticed that a
beautiful rainbow had formed behind the mountains. Then we
drove a short distance further and saw a 2nd rainbow. Movie
stars, double rainbows and Graupel. How could we ask for
anything more from our Academy Awards experience?