Travel Channel has told me they would like to do a girls\’ weekend getaway as one of our weekend trips. South Beach is looking like the perfect destination. I immediately fire off emails to Nancy and Liz, we\’ve been good friends since college but our friendship was locked in forever when all three of us moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Hell\’s Kitchen, NYC. I can\’t believe my luck when the both of them with their crazy schedules can make it down in February.
We are worried that much of what we say is not television appropriate. Not because of content, but talking about people\’s ex-boyfriends, bad girlfriends, bad jobs. We need to protect the innocent and, of course, when girlfriends get together, things get very personal. Do I really want my personal life on television? Not really. As soon as the cameras
roll, it\’s obvious that there\’s so much to talk about, finding things that can remain somewhat generic for the camera will not be a problem.
We had a really special time, all of us together, something we haven\’t done in almost 15 years. That\’s what makes girlfriends\’ weekends so important. You really honor each other as women. You are each other\’s history, a mark of where you were and what you have become. I am so proud of Liz and Nancy; each one has independently created for
themselves their best life. Nancy was always the leader of the pack. She was the first to get a waitressing job in NYC, the first to land a high-paying acting gig and the first to get blond highlights. She was also the first to have children, one of the bravest acts one can do. Still after four years and two beautiful girls later, I will turn to Nancy and say, \”Can you believe you\’re a mom?\” \”No!\” she\’ll say with a glow to her smile.
And as for Liz, I remember at Syracuse University that there wasn\’t anyone more beautiful than Liz. She simply had the best perm I had ever seen. When we moved in together, we were all dirt poor. Nancy and I both had waitressing jobs, Liz had many jobs, but the only one I remember was that she was the coat-check girl at the restaurant with the view of the ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center. At the end of her shift, her arms would ache from the weight of the heavy wool and fur coats of the upper class. Even though none of us had any money, Liz would always treat herself to high luxury items, like a box of Champagne truffles or a nice pair of Donna Karan panty hose. Liz was and is the most composed, elegant woman I know. She also has a razor-sharp wit. She is someone who has five projects going at once and still finds time to volunteer, being a big sister to a few
high-school-aged girls and taking Spanish on the side so she can communicate better with them.
The Today Show
Before the Miami shoot, we find out that I have been asked back on The Today Show. The first time was back in January and was such a surreal experience. It is absolutely nerve-racking knowing you are going on the #1 morning talk show, about to see the people you have watched almost every morning of your life for the last 10 years. The first time I went on, I as so nervous leading up to it that I lost weight. I couldn\’t eat and I certainly couldn\’t sleep. After my first segment with Al, I honestly had no recollection of what I said, it was if I was channeling someone else. The second time they asked me back on, they wanted me for three segments for a show they were telecasting from Vermont. The only problem is, I am shooting in Miami. But for the Today Show and a chance to talk to Al Roker again, we\’ll do anything, including cutting the show by a day. The only way to make it work is for me and Christina (my stylist and very good friend) to shoot for Great Weekends in the morning from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. then get in a car and get to the airport
for two connecting flights to Vermont. We arrive at 7:30 and still have an hour\’s drive to the ski resort where the show will be broadcast live. Waiting for us is Karen Hansen, one of the hardest-working women in publicity, who has arranged for a ski shop to stay open past its closing time so that I may get some clothes, as all I have for my trip are summer things for the Miami, Carnival and Orlando shoot. The warmest thing I have is a sweatshirt that reads Brooklyn across the front. The 70-degree weather change hits Christina and I like a ton of bricks. It\’s REALLY cold! Karen gets me suited up, I\’m given a nice warm down coat, ski gloves, warm socks and cool new boots that look like the kind you would ride on a motorcycle. We go out for a nice dinner and that\’s when we get the call. The Today show would like us camera-ready (that means hair and makeup) by 5 a.m. My mouth drops. That means Christina and I have to start the clown process at 4:30, it\’s 10:30 now, and we still have to find a ride to our condo. The bus service stopped three hours ago and so, asking around, we find that a very nice line cook who has finished his shift has agreed to give us a ride in his jeep. When I wake up for my 3:30 alarm, I feel like death. I think to myself \”How did Katie Couric do it? Matt? Al?\” I have a lot of respect for what they do. A car is set to pick us up at 4:50 a.m. It\’s black outside, except for the snow and the glow of the moon. We have no phone and no cell service, and we all worry what will happen when no one comes to pick us up. What will we do? We see headlights in our icy driveway and leave with our bags. I think five hours is the shortest time I have ever spent in an accommodation. When we get to the mountain lodge, we are told to go into the \”talent room.\” When we open the door, it\’s a room filled with people from production to Matt, Ann and Meredith themselves. There\’s a kitchen, and there is quite a spread laid out, as well as a caterer preparing omelets. All three of us feel we are definitely in the wrong room, these are the stars! But we are told we are in the right place, and all three of us sort of slouch by to not create a disturbance. From that moment on, it\’s like we are all experiencing a snow day from school. The entire atmosphere is
completely convivial and festive, and we have fun talking to all the guests. Being from New Hampshire, this is my kind of weather and being at a ski lodge is unbelievably energizing. The entire crew of The Today Show are so good at what they do and they go out of their way to make sure you are okay. We all had such a great time. I am on for three segments, two with Al,, one with Ann and once I am done at 10:05, we rush to the waiting car, which will drive us the hour to the airport and get us on the 11:50 flight. Eight hours later, I am back in Miami. Now I knew when I was asked to do the Vermont show that they were also doing one in South Beach as part of a Fire and Ice special. When I went out for a jog at 7 a.m., there on the beach right in front of my hotel … was The Today Show. Man, they work hard. At least I have the morning off. I laughed at the irony of it all, but was still so glad I got to be in the Vermont show as that was sooooo much fun.
It\’s also not a girl weekend unless there\’s copious amounts of eating.