How many people can say that they got to go on the set of one of their favorite shows? Probably not many, but thanks to my wonderful uncle who just so happens to work at CBS and has connections, the set of CSI:NY is where my mother and I found ourselves Wednesday afternoon of our trip. How freaking cool. I had been looking forward to this day for so long, not wanting to wish my vacation away, I waited patiently. Good thing we went shopping the day before, what does one even wear when they could be in the presence of a movie star?! Okay, I may have gotten a little ahead of myself, but hey one can always dream. After quite the bout of traffic we had finally gotten to Studio City and were in the CBS lot.
We were greeted at the gate with a personal parking pass and got to park right up front by the warehouse. Once parked, our personal chauffeur greeted us in a golf cart ready to show us around. Being the important worker he is, before we could start our tour he had to finish up some work so we got to see his office (how much golf paraphernalia is too much?!), we also saw the lumberyard and the mini home depot-esqe store they had which contained any thing you could think of.
Off we went in the golf cart zipping here and there, seeing all the different places. It's like a whole little town in there! First we went to NY Street. It's a street with all different things like stores, a cafe, an apartment stoop and they switch out what goes in for each show depending on what they need. Also if cars need to be driving by, they just go in circles around the street. We got to see where Entertainment Tonight is taped, the HUGE broadcasting center, various lots where sets were being made for pilots..fun fact about pilots...about 20 will be shot and less than a handful will make it. Aka LOTS of money lost if your pilot does not end up becoming aired. Due to the low chances, they reuse a lot of older sets and change them up so they can work for the pilot.
and finally..the best part:
more like closed set to everyone but us!
Basically, my uncle is pretty darn awesome and got us on the set of CSI:NY, which I happen to have gone through a phase in high school where all I taped every episode possible of the show (sorry for hogging the tivo, daddy) and watch hours and hours of CSI. My goal in life was to be one of them. Had my life planned out perfectly and every thing until I came to the realization it's not as glamorous of a job as they make it seem. Boo. One can always dream though. We met tour guide Tom after exploring and began the tour!
Mac's office (looks just like on TV, who'da thunk!) Flat Teddy even got to sit on his desk! (Flat Teddy made her rounds on set, she was everywhere!)
We went to Mac's office, the morgue, interrogation room, the interview room, ballistics, the jail, the lab and the precinct.
If you look closely out the "window" it's the backdrop of NYC which lights up at night
The morgue, if I wasn't wearing a skirt they were gonna put me on the table..then again even if I wasn't, not sure how I feel being on the table they dissect you on when you're dead, when I'm not dead.
The Precinct. Looks identical to TV and it's pretty big, they change this around and use it for different sets, too. The episode we watched the night before oddly enough took place in a library but was taped in here!
Ballistics..we probably shouldn't have played with them because we ended up here..
just kidding. we stayed out of jail..
Tom the tour guide with Flat Teddy and a gel body they use to shoot/ test bullets with
Blood. which is made of a syrup like material. weird.
Lies. This is not the 35th floor, nor does this thing move.
We got to see some of the other sets like houses or apartments they are taped in and learned all the inside secrets. SO cool. You'd never know that the space they are working in is as small as it is, it seems so big on TV. Watching the show you'd never know how much goes into it. Fun fact, CSI NY and Miami are both taped in California, who knew?!
After exploring the set and being in total awe, we got lunch at the Commissary and we were on our way back to the house to sit by the pool and drink some refreshing
Thursday, ah how was it Thursday, our last day already?? Aunt Donna, mom and myself started the day off at Pickles because dad would of probably had our heads if we didn't go there at least once. All he does is rave about Pickles so off we went for breakfast before the outlets. Dad and B have always liked corned beef hash and I just never tried it, we eat cb and cabbage at home often, I've just never tried hash before, so I decided why not with poached eggs (something else I've never tried). Why have I not had this ever before in my life? It was delicious. I could of ate the whole thing if it wasn't the serving wasn't the size of a small child. After we filled up on breakfast off we went to Camarillo Premium Outlets. Holy moly. This outlet mall could eat ours twice. It was HUGE. Outlet shopping is something my aunt and I do whenever we're together so it only seemed fitting we spend our last day shopping. J Crew happened to have my absolute FAVORITE shorts ever. I have two pairs that I got last year and hadn't been able to find them since and what do you know they had them. Not only did they have them, they weren't too expensive and with my college discount, I was a happy camper. Also, I got a $50 sweatshirt for $17. I love me a good deal, or two! Also, got me some new kicks. It was time for new running sneakers, I had mine since high school and almost put a hole through them. Of course they had sneakers with purple in them, that was an easy choice. After shopping, we some how worked up a mini appetite despite our huge breakfast and decided to stop at Los Arroyos for some nachos. We nachos turned into nachos and lobster quesadillas.
So darn good.
After breakfast, shopping and lunch we headed to Trader Joe's (a new personal favorite store) and then home to pack (boo!) We were a littler nervous as to how much we accumulated over the trip (two shopping trips) and whether or not it would all fit. Crazy thing about being in warm weather is you can pack outside, crazy thing number two, rolling your clothes as opposed to folding saves you lots of room! We fit everything in nicely and got to enjoy the sun too.
3am Friday morning the alarm went off, yikes. Too. Early. It was time to go home, I feel like we just got there! Another 5 hour flight of wanting to pull my hair out, a long lay over and then quick flight and we were finally home. All that crazy nonsense travel was most definitely worth it. I hadn't been to California since I was a little one so I barely remembered anything and am so glad I got to go. So many good times and memories I have. Thanks momma :)
When we were leaving the set of CSI, Tom had told us Gary Sinise had something for me but the admin office was closed so they would mail it to me. About a week after we got home my father sent me a picture..
Yes, that is a package addressed to me, Miss Meli Lembo from Mr. Gary Sinise. Oh you know, we're buddies. I died a little bit when I got the picture. Naturally I needed this hand delivered, no way, no how would I let this go through the mail again, it'd be just my luck it did not find it's way to me. So Sunday my parents met me at the B'Ville Diner for breakfast, naturally I got corned beef hash because it is my latest obsession and they delivered my package.
My newest prized possession. Thank you so very much, Gary Sinise you made my day and quite possibly my life.
I am so glad I got to spend my spring break with you, I wouldn't of had it any other way. I had so much fun spending the week with you and I will cherish all the memories we made over the week. Thank you for making it one of the best weeks/ vacations I have ever had. After spending a whole week with you every minute, it was quite hard going back to school and not seeing you every day, all day. I love you so very much, thank you.
Love, melissa anne
Thanks for staying home for the week to take care of DD so mom and I could go away for the week. We wish you could of been there with us but thanks to you and all your suggestions, it was kind of like you were there! Thanks for everything you do and did to make the vacation possible. I love you very much.
Dear Aunt Donna and Uncle Doug,
Thank you so very much for letting us invade your house for the week. Thank you for being such great hosts, taking us all over and showing us around. I'm so glad I get to see you not only once but twice this year. I cherish the memories we made that week and will always remember our trip. Thank you for making the week so awesome. I love you both very much!
Up next, I promise, cooking will make its return debut.