Friday, December 11, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time

One of the girls and my favorite things to do is listen to "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" on NPR, usually by listening to the podcast, because the 11-12 hour on Saturday morning is usually filled with something else. DD1 literally cheers every morning that Carl Kasell, the scorekeeper for "Wait Wait," comes on to do the news - she is a HUGE fan of his. Earlier this year I found out that they would be recording one of the broadcasts in Atlanta, and I managed to get tickets for the three of us to go as our family Christmas present.

So Thursday, I got the girls out of school early, and we headed to Atlanta - first to meet my brother and his new girlfriend [we approve!] for dinner, and then to the show. And the show did not disappoint.

Towards the end of the show, the host, Peter Sagal, made a comment that they were staying at the hotel across the street. The girls and I looked at each other. WE were staying at the hotel across the street, too!

The excitement just bubbled from there. We checked in, scoped out the place - the girls were excited, because I spent a little more than I normally would since it's Christmas (my goal was to find a place with an indoor pool) - they thought the room and the hotel was just incredible (side note - it wasn't THAT incredible, but in their eyes, it was). After about an hour, though, I managed to convince them to go to bed.

This morning the girls didn't want to get up, but I figured... free hot breakfast.. if the "Wait, Wait" crew is really staying here, we might see some of them at breakfast.... "come on girls, let's get going!"

So we did.

DD2 had to go back to the room for her coat. DD1 and I were in line for omelettes, and a bearded gentleman comes to the line as well. He looked familiar, and then he spoke - yep, it was Charlie Pierce from "Wait, Wait." I said something to DD2 about it when she got back, and she said, "I talked to him by the elevator!"

That confirmed it. They were at.. our... hotel!

We ate breakfast, and I recognized the show's producers sitting near us, too. DD2 decided to go up to the room - she was bored, but DD1 and I stuck it out, scoping out the place for other "Wait Wait" celebrities.

A little later I see an older gentleman coming down the elevator. It looked like Carl Kasell. Wait.. Wait.... It IS Carl Kasell!!

Oh, this is too good! He gets his breakfast, and DD1 and I decide - do we say something?

Finally - we just did. We went up to him, and told him we were big fans, and would be missing him when he retires later this month. I shook his hand. DD1 stood there smiling and just shell shocked! But oh, soooo excited!

We went to the room, told DD2, and then we looked out our door so she could see him. She wanted to go meet him, too, but I said, "No, that's rude - we've already been rude enough," but we did decide we would complete our celebrity stalking by taking a picture of him from our hotel room door:

The girls then went swimming, and by the time we came out, there were no signs of any NPR celebrities.

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing a little shopping, having lunch at my parents' house, and then venturing back home so DD1 could go caroling this evening.

On the way home, DD1 and I started talking - somehow we got on the subject of the divorce, and she made the comment that I'm happier now, and that we do more fun things than we we used to do. Probably true.

But what I got out of that conversation is that - for right now, at least - we are on the same wavelength. She likes to go shopping with me, she likes spending time with me, and more than that - she wants me to "get" her. And while I really did enjoy going to see "Wait, Wait" - watching her face, and seeing her genuine excitement to see Carl Kasell both last night and this morning - wow. It was just awesome.

That was the best part of this Christmas present for me.

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