A couple of weeks ago, I had the craziest day Of My Life. OF. MY. LIFE.
It began at 4 am, when I ran a Star Wars-themed 10K in Disneyland.
I’d been so nervous about it, I hardly got any sleep the night before. In fact I kept on having nightmares that I had to stop in the middle of the race so I could finish household chores.
It didn’t help that at the seedy hotel where we stayed, I was sharing a bed with my sister. (The Taylor Swift one.)
(She really did say that.)
Anyway. While it is crazy that I did any kind of outdoor activity, the REALLY crazy thing happened that night!
It turned out my friend, Christina (who’s as obsessed with Mary Poppins as I am!) was helping out at a Vantastix concert in California that same weekend!
The Vantastix is the acapella group that sings with Dick Van Dyke!!
And she asked if I wanted to come along!!!
I said yes…of COURSE!
I helped set up at the booth in the theater lobby, with CD’s and books and DVD DVD’s and things. I also met Dick Van Dyke’s wife, Arlene.
She was really sweet, and on the ball too. In fact, she hosted a Dick Van Dyke art show a couple of months ago! I’ve heard rumors there’s going to be another art show soon–all you artists who read this blog, get your Dick Van Dyke artwork gussied up!! I bet there’ll be a call for entries soon!
When the concert began, the stagehands even found me a seat, so I could see Dick Van Dyke himself in concert!!
I loved it when he told stories between the songs.
He told about when he was filming Mary Poppins, he also played the Elder Mister Dawes. (You probably already knew this.)
Sometimes, when he was still in costume, he went out on the studio lot where buses full of tourists were being taken around the studio to sightsee.
The bus would stop to wait for him to cross the road…
and he would take…
Then, when he finally passed, the bus would get going and he would kick up his legs and race the bus, hightailing it past all the stunned tourists! Hahaha!
I wish I coulda seen that :D :D
After the concert I helped pack up the booth, and Christina was like:
We followed a stagehand through a bunch of double doors, and there, at the end of the hall with the other Vantastix, there HE was!!!
Dick Van Dyke!!
I GOT TO MEET HIM!!
By george, I got my picture with him!!
We went back to the lobby to finish packing up the stuff, but I was kind of in a daze and don’t remember much.
But WAIT. It gets even CRAZIER.
…Because as we finished putting cleaning up the last of the booth, Dick Van Dyke himself came out into the lobby!! Just chatting and milling about and having a good time!
I am not kidding!
He began to dance like this!!
He’s still totally, totally got it.
When everything was packed up, Arlene was like, “What places are open til late around here?” and the stagehand was like “Cheesecake factory is open until midnight” and Arlene to everyone was like
“Okay, let’s go!”
And lest my ears were deceiving me, Christina was like:
WAS THAT OK
I WENT TO THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY
WITH DICK FREAKING VAN DYKE!!!!!!!
I still am trying to process this.
All through the restaurant, everyone was going nuts.
People were taking pictures and selfies.
Even the Cheesecake Factory waiters were geeking out!
Heck, the waiters…I was geeking out!
In case you were wondering…he’s exactly like he is in all those movies!! It’s so crazy how full of life he is. Just so bright.
He’d just look around the table and grin and everybody!
At one point, the waiter set a giant appetizer platter in front of him, with tons of leaves and fancy lettuce sticking up, and Dick Van Dyke was like:
At the end of the night, I ordered a lemon raspberry cheesecake to go (their best flavor) because I wanted to share with my sisters.
But when I asked for the bill…
I found out that Mr. and Mrs. Van Dyke were already paying it!
(I probably would’ve only ordered a glass of water and napkin had I known this)
(But still…awesome :) :)
We all left the factory as a group.
Dick Van Dyke held the door open for me!!! (!!!!!!!)
Needless to say, it was an amazing night.
I showed up at our seedy hotel around 1 AM, excited to tell my sissies the story and to share our cheesecake…compliments of Dick Van Dyke :)
And we ate it up, every crumb.
Here’s my picture from that night:
It was…the best night of my life.
(I can only go downhill from here!)
BTW, if you share this post, be sure to tag The Cheesecake Factory. I’m trying to convince them to change the name of their lemon raspberry cheesecake to “Dick Van Dyke” cheesecake.