And now for something a little different!

I’m home from 12 glorious days in London! Perfect weather, amazing friends, delicious food, I couldn’t have asked for more! Although Orla and I did come down with cold/flu bugs in the middle of last week, which made the end of the trip fly by far too quickly. I could have done without that… But, all-in-all, it was a wonderful trip!

But, that’s not what I came here to write about. I will get a London blog up, just not this soon!

Tonight I wanted to write a little about two of my dearest friends and a little adventure they recently had!

Laura and Melissa are identical twins that I met while studying in England back in 2005-2006. They’re the sweetest, kindest, warmest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Although we were only together for that one year, we’ve managed to stay close friends since!

Here we are in Greece back in 2006:

And here we are about 3 weeks ago (same order too!):

Anyway! Laura and Melissa recently found themselves on a rather exciting adventure! Here’s an excerpt from their blog about it:

Here’s how it all went down…

Tuesday, January 17th: 7:00 pm

The phone rings. It’s a number no one recognizes…who would be calling with the area code ‘917’? Not another telemarketer! We don’t answer. Instantaneously, it rings again – same number. Come on now, if we didn’t answer the first time, why would we again? We don’t. To our surprise, yup, it rings again – same number!!! Mom finally agrees to answer, with a rather short and harsh tone, ‘HELLO?’, trying to put this ‘caller’ in their place. Immediately, Mom’s facial expressions perk up as she hands me the phone. Huh? Who would really be calling me on a Tuesday night? I mean, really.

AHHHH!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!! WHAT IS GOING ON?????? THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!!!!!

Turns out that ‘that caller’ was a producer from the Rachael Ray Show, asking if Laura and I were available to fly out to NYC the next day for makeovers!!! No, this was a scam, a joke, a horrible prank – it had to be! But it wasn’t!! Can you imagine if no one had answer that phone call…..??? Don’t want to think about it….

Rachael's Daytime Talk Show

After the initial shock and rush set in, the rest of the evening we went into overdrive. We were communicating back and forth with producers from the show as they booked our flights and hotel. We took horrible ‘before’ pictures, which really solidified why we really did need these makeovers!! Somewhere in there we managed to pack (and not forget anything!), plan a few days in NYC on our own and send them pictures of ourselves over the years. Ugh…makes me exhausted just thinking about it!! (We even had to miss Glee that night and had to wait an entire week to see the best episode of the season – that’s dedication on our part!)

SIDE NOTE: We had written into the show about two and a half years ago about getting makeovers. Since then though, we’d pretty much forgotten about it. So, needless-to-say this came out of the blue and was completely unexpected! We were actually able to find that letter – quite amusing to read!!! Unfortunately, not a lot had changed in 2 years!!!!

Wednesday, January 18th

We leave for the airport at 7:30 am (just over 12 hours after receiving the call!). We won’t discuss the flights, as they were rather rough…..rollercoaster-like….but we made it to NYC by the evening and were able to catch our breath that night before the craziness that was soon to ensure!

Thursday, January 19th – THE BIG DAY

We must admit that we were rather nervous/scared/anxious for the day to begin as not only did we not know (or have any control over!) what was going to happen, but we really hadn’t had much time to think the whole thing through. Everyone was so welcoming, friendly, and enthusiastic, which helped us feel comfortable and right at home. We tried on a ton of outfits, some we liked better than others and all of which we would never have chosen on our own. We taped a quick segment with Rachael Ray (yes the Rachael Ray!!) where she asked us about being twins and why we wanted to get makeovers. Then, we were whisked offstage and separated for the rest of the day. They were very serious about keeping us apart – we even had escorts to the bathroom!!

This was a huge ordeal for us – looking the same had always been ‘our thing’, basically our identity. People knew us as twins – what would happen if we looked different?? These were all questions swirling around our brains as we had our hair dyed and cut, our makeup done (complete with fake eyelashes!), and a spray tan (which was an experience in its own right!). Putting on my outfit at the end of the day and looking into that mirror, I wanted nothing more than to see my sister!!!! If I looked this different, I couldn’t imagine what they did to her!!

When we finally made it to ‘the reveal’, words can’t describe the emotions! We were both in shock, overwhelmed and frankly amazed!! How did this happen? The rest is basically a blur!! Before we knew it, it was all over! Besides a short plea to not have my hair cut so short, which was quickly shot down, I must add, the whole day was a smashing success! As we walked back to the hotel that evening, and shared a celebratory dinner, we couldn’t help but stare at each other – who was the person looking back at me? A little weird – definitely something to get used to!

So there you have it – a chance telephone call, a spontaneous decision, and ultimately a life-changing experience. You see, we can say with much certainty that we never in a million years would have drastically cut our hair or dyed it (at least not until age required us to!) on our own, never mind in different ways! But low and behold – we acutally like it! In the end, it was this opportunity that really proved to us that life’s about taking risks. Life’s too short to sit in the comforts of your own home and wait for things to happen. It’s about seeing the world, learning new things, challenging yourself and making the most of every experience. Even though this isn’t some state of the art revelation, it took this Rachael Ray makeover for us to realize its importance. And for that, we couldn’t be more grateful!

The show aired today and it was all very exciting! Here’s a clip from their portion of the show:

And their “After” shot taken backstage!

They’ve also just started their own blog, and I encourage everyone to check it out:

The Drive to 25

That’s everything, I think. I’ll try and post London in the next week or so. But maybe don’t hold me to that… Heh.

~S

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