Blogging, Friends, Humor

NYC BABY!!! Bethenny Doesn’t Know Who The Hell I Am

I flew to New York City with my friend Jen last week and boy are my arms tired, as my dad would say.
A few months ago, I wrote about how Jen won a trip to see the Bethenny show, all expenses paid for two, and she invited me to go along with her.


Kari and Jen
Me and my friend Jen. I am definitely the Rhoda in this friendship.


I was so honored that she chose me to go and since I had never been to New York City before, I was very excited
Until the week of.
Then I started getting nervous.
REALLY nervous.

2020 note- shit got real, real quick. The week of the trip I had so many anxiety attacks that I am shocked I even got on the airplane. 

I have many neuroses that if I told all of them to you here, you would probably stop reading my blog.
Or give me the number to a really good therapist.
One of the said neuroses is that I am terrified of flying without my children.
Should the plane go down in flames and leave my daughters orphans.
I have only flown twice without both children.
Once when Anna was three to go to a wedding with Mike in South Carolina and once with Annie but without Ellie when we went to Florida in June.

I told Jen on the plane, in essence, that it took almost everything I could muster to leave my car that morning at the airport (with a sobbing five-year-old in the back seat, mind you) and get on this plane.
So this trip was big.
For many reasons but definitely because of the above.
And it will never happen again.
Or my entire family is just going with me.


Planning and organizing

It takes a lot of note-taking and organizing when mommy goes away.
This is just for one day.
And I was gone for two and a half days.


My suitcase died

Then my suitcase got sick and died.
But my friend Rebecca came to my rescue by lending me one of her suitcases.

2020 note- I was almost hoping that my suitcase dying was an excuse not to go. That is anxiety for you. 


Our plane waiting to take us to NYC


Side story: I politely asked the person at the American Airlines desk if our plane was on time.
She (obviously annoyed by my question) replied, “Should be”.
I came back relayed the reply to Jen and said something about how I was so glad we are flying with confidence here at American Airlines.
It wasn’t until we got off the plane in New York City that we noticed Mrs. Personality was our co-pilot.
Lesson: don’t ask your pilots about flight schedules. ISN’T IT ENOUGH THAT THEY GET YOU FROM POINT A TO POINT B??

Jen and I on the plane after landing in NYC
photo courtesy of Jennifer Evers
New York City, are you ready for all this kind of awesome?
Also, why are we all dressed up for a plane ride?
Our nice driver in NYC

The Bethenny show sent a driver for Jen (and me by default).
We had a driver!! 
I wanted to somehow work that into a conversation the entire time we were there.
Something like, “Oh yes, our driver wears a cologne like that” or “I don’t know how to navigate midtown traffic, you know since we have a driver and all.”
Meet Walter.
Our driver.
Never gets old.


Sign for Brooklyn

While Walter (our driver) was driving us from LaGuardia Airport to our hotel somewhere in Manhattan, I tried to take out the window pictures.
See that green sign under the rearview mirror?
It said Brooklyn on it and I got so excited because we were close enough to Brooklyn to see a sign for Brooklyn.
So that sign says, Brooklyn, you’re just going to have to trust me.


Driving over the bridge into Manhattan NYC

Hello, New York City.


Interior of Hudson Hotel NYC


This, my friends, was the hotel lobby.
It was fantasmical.
I needed a made-up word to describe it.
I never saw anything like it in my life.
And I can guarantee, had this been on my dime, I would be at the Super 8 in Queens.


Cool chandelier in our NYC hotel room

See that chandelier?
It was above only one side of the registration desk.
And I would never have noticed it until the lady ahead of us said something like, “so do only the fancy people go under the chandelier to check-in?
By the way, we didn’t get to check-in under the chandelier.


Our cool NYC hotel room

Isn’t this room amazing?
It looked like a Ralph Lauren store in here, without all of all the polo shirts.


That's NYC outside my window


The cute guy at the front desk gave us a view.
A room with a view, people, get your heads out of the gutter.
NYC at night


I am in a room with a view.
In New York City.
Pinch me.
Tiny hotel bathroom NYC

New York City is famous for many things.
One of such things?
Miniscule bathrooms.
Which is a logistical nightmare when you have two females trying to get ready for their television debut.
Actually, it was MY television debut since Jen has been on TV several times. Of course, she has.

Wait a second! I HAVE been on TV before!

Outside Channel 7 News in Chicago

At the end of the Channel 7 newscast here in Chicago, while waiting outside on the street.
I am movin’ on up!


Bethenny show exterior


See that long line of guests waiting to get in?
Line waiting to get in to the Bethenny Show


We didn’t have to wait in it.

VIP baby.
VIP room at the Bethenny Show

Above is what the “VIP room” looks like.
This is nothing like the “green room” because we aren’t THAT important.

We didn’t get snacks or bottled water and I am pretty sure my rider said I like the WHITE M and M’s to be removed, hmph.
We DID, however, get to watch a video about Bethenny Frankel’s life over and over.
And over.
And over.

Forms at the Bethenny show

They gave everyone one of these forms to fill out and that was their first mistake.
Giving me ANYTHING with spaces to write something on, that is.
I turned this in, as is.
I have no filter.


I ruined my nail before my Bethenny show debut


 I mentioned my mani night friggin mare in the original post.
Keepin’ the dream alive.
I have a reputation to keep up.
Cool papers at the Bethenny Show

Backstage, there were “important” papers just laying around, like schedules and rundowns and scripts.
I don’t know why I didn’t take a couple because that is something I would normally do.
But then I didn’t want to be the “bad seed” who “ruins it for everyone”, according to Jen.


Waiting backstage at Bethenny to get to our seats

We had to wait in line and I hate waiting in line for celebrities.

Especially talk shows. I mean we are doing HER a favor by being here. Shouldn’t she be waiting on US? We aren’t even getting paid!

I should have eaten breakfast. I guess I thought there would be M&M’s or something in the VIP room.

I get really mean when I’m hungry.

I guess Bethenny’s life story should have kept me from gnawing my arm off.



Backstage at the Bethenny Show

Ooh, I do love behind the scenes.

I wonder what this button does…

Bethenny show

I am not gonna lie, when I got out here, I was a little giddy.
Or maybe that was the caffeine on an empty stomach.


Bethenny show set

The colors and cool decorations were pretty sweet.


Bethenny Show set

See those monitors?
We weren’t allowed to look at them.
Now imagine being told you cannot look at these or the camera, only Bethenny wherever she is in the studio for an entire hour plus.

Now imagine being smart ass me.

Hungry, smart ass, ADHD me.


Because if you put me in front of a TV screen of any kind, chances are, I am gonna look at it.

I mean, what are they gonna do. Fire me?

Bethenny Show Set


I want that dresser.
Or whatever it is for.
I bet the staff has cookies shoved in there.
I am going to look. Be right back.
Jen and I doing duck face at the Bethenny show,


I made a duck face.
Because I was so hungry, my face just started puckering.

This was actually the last picture we took until the show was over because taking pictures is frowned upon while taping even during commercials, as Jen found out. Don’t ask me how I know.


So here is what happened:

– the “audience coordinator” or as I called her ” the funny lady with curly hair” told jokes, held dance contests on stage, had us dance to Beyoncé ..etc 

– they work you into a frenzy. They do. Case in point, when I would watch the show at home and hear/see the audience dancing and going crazy while the theme song Calling All My Girls was playing? I was shaking my head and thinking LOOK HOW STUPID THEY LOOK. NO WAY WILL THAT BE ME. 


You get so much adrenaline pumped into you from the curly-haired girl who yells, WHO IS COMIN’ OUT THAT DOOR???? WHO IS COMIN’ OUT THAT DOOR?? That by the time Bethenny is comin’ out that door, I was ready to buy any and all of the Amway products she was selling. YES, YES I NEED THE FLOOR WAX BETHENNY!!!! CALLIN ALL MY GIRLSSSSS!!!! PASS THE FLOOR CLEANER!!!! 

– Bethenny is good at what she does. She didn’t have to do any takes or whatever they call it when celebrities mess their lines up. She was professional and seemed pretty down to earth, for a celebrity anyway. She even offered a guest in the audience a breath mint. Don’t worry, we all probably needed it since they didn’t give us snacks.

– Bethenny recognized Jen when she raised her hand to talk about the topic at hand. She said to Jen, “don’t I know you” or something like that. Jen mentioned how she won the contest and something to the effect of “here is Kari, you talked to her on the phone”.

And this is when Bethenny looked at me like she had no idea what the hell Jen was talking about. The camera probably won’t capture that but I saw it. It’s all good though. I got on camera. But I can’t wait to see the goofy CALLIN ALL MY GIRLS I LOVE YOU BETHENNY look I gave to millions of viewers. Which is part of the reason I might not tell you when the show airs? 2020 note- they cut that part out. I got on camera all of once when the camera panned through the audience. Wah wah. 

So since Jen is all chummy with Bethenny, during a commercial break as Bethenny walks by Jen says to Bethenny “can we get a picture together?”
Bethenny gets down off of the stage after filming, looks up at us, and waves us down which was really nice. That did seem quite genuine because she was really busy and for her to remember that we wanted a picture, was a nice gesture.
The only other people down there were security guards (lots of them) and producers, etc.


Jen Evers, Bethenny Frankel and Kari Wagner Hoban

Remember the time I stood next to Bethenny Frankel?
Neither do I.
It was a blur and I was numb from the neck down.
And see those girls above our heads?
Don’t they look a little upset?
Because here is the thing, we were the only people in the audience that day to get a picture with Bethenny.
The more I look at it, I realize it is quite possibly the best photobomb ever.

Listen, I would have made that face that day too if I didn’t get a picture with her. I feel your pain, ladies.


Look at me! I'm on the Bethenny show! Word.
This was taken after the show. It’s okay, everyone got the chance to do this.

I look bloated because Mother Nature has a sense of humor.
She gave me my period in full blast on the plane ride home.

Hudson Hotel Exterior NYC


An outside shot of the cool hotel they put us up in, The Hudson.
Hudson Hotel NYC

The restaurant right behind the registration desk is called Tequila Park and leads to an outdoor area.
This had so many dope colors and textures that I put the picture in black and white so you could just enjoy how cool this is.
It looks like Pinterest hurled in here, doesn’t it?


Cool outdoor patio on top of Hudson Hotel NYC

The coolest bar I have ever seen.


Cool library bar inside Hudson Hotel NYC

Hallway to the lobby.


Brick walls inside the Hudson Hotel

One last look at the city from our room.

NYC skyline from hotel


New York City from the highway.
NYC from the highway

It was the coolest experience.
I am so glad I got to share it with a friend.

The episode of Bethenny will air today, November 18th.
Check your local listings.
Stay tuned for part two of my NYC BABY!! post where I show you how NOT to be a tourist in NYC.
No, I don’t actually know how to do that.


18 thoughts on “NYC BABY!!! Bethenny Doesn’t Know Who The Hell I Am”

  1. I love that first picture of you and Jen. It shows your personalities so well. IDolly Parton's weave. You're funny . That's not where I thought you were going with that one.


  2. You are going to be famous!!! I have set my recording device (it's not a DVR, so who knows what they call it nowadays) and am ready to watch you two (three if your count Bethenny). Those girls behind you in the photo sure had their attitude showing. Didn't they know you were VIP's!


  3. I am so freaking jealous of you guys… because you look like you had a BLAST! And you both look AH-MA-ZING in your pictures. Even the homies one… can you please teach me how to NOT look like a dork in pictures?!Anyways, I'm jealous and I need friends who are famous so I can go to stuff like this. Know anyone at Nate Burkus because I love him and want to make out with his face. Just saying.


  4. I am crying from laughing so hard. I can't decide which picture is my favorite but the one from your ABC-7 debut is up there.Also, I LOVE experiencing NYC with newbies. It's so magical. Glad you two had so much fun! Off to share this. xo


  5. I could read your blog posts over and over again — and sometimes do 😀 When are you going to write a book, not kidding! You just Crack. Me. Up!!Now for the important stuff:Did you have the same DRIVER on the way back? Did you see how I worked that in there so you could use "your driver" in a sentence again? Glad you had so much fun!


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