Unless you’ve been completely away from my facebook, twitter, instagram, or blog, you know that I had the AWESOME opportunity to visit Candace Cameron Bure last week! I’m sure you are wondering how it all came to be, why I went out, and what we did, so this post is going to answer all your questions!! (Beware: Very long with LOTS of pics!!)
People ask me if it was a surreal experience and the answer is yes and no. One minute I’d be having a surreal moment (see below) but then would be snapped back to reality by how down to earth and real she was!
Let’s start with the HOW I know Candace.
A little over 2 years ago, my real life friend Courtney from Women Living Well told me to put my name in to write the health/fitness articles for Candace’s new online magazine that she was going to be starting. Courtney was friends with Darlene, Time Warp Wife (also the co-author of Candace’s book, “Reshaping It All,”) and Darlene was going to be heading up Candace’s magazine. After some prayer, I put my name in and was accepted. Mind you, this is BEFORE I even had a blog! Peak313 wasn’t even in my mind, but it was in God’s!
After some convincing from Courtney and Darlene, I decided to start my own blog (enter Peak313) so that I had a spot that readers could come to find out more about me after reading my stuff on the new site. 1 year passed and it was time for Candace’s site to launch. The editor position came open and through a few interesting conversations, it was decided that Ruth (The Better Mom), Courtney, and I would work as a team to head up Candace’s site…RooMag.
Roo has been up for a year now, so Candace and I have had the chance to email, text, and chat on the phone during this time. We knew we had similar interests, but didn’t really know how similar we would be!
WHY I went out to visit her
Candace and I are personal facebook friends so she would see things pop up that I posted. I ran a local relay race and she saw my picture album of it and commented that I should come out and run the Spartan race with her. Didn’t think much about it until the next morning when I woke up with an email from her with all the details. After a few emails back and forth, I decided to book the flight (got a KILLER deal…a total God thing) and make my way out to California!!
WHAT we did
(Pictures are located below the explanations!)
I flew out on Thursday afternoon from Ohio and landed in LAX Thursday night. Got some well needed sleep and woke up Friday morning to the normal routine of a family! (Yes, I stayed at her house the whole trip. So sweet of her to offer!) After the kids (she has 3) got off to school, we decided to go to her gym to exercise. SURREAL moment #1. We took a core class and did some cardio on the elliptical. Chatted away the whole time and was getting to know each other. I remember sweating away in that class, looking to my right and seeing her thinking to myself, “Am I really exercising with Candace right now?!”
Lunch, errands, emails, shuffling kids…(sounds like your day, right?) Dinner at a food truck and did some shopping!! We don’t have food trucks where I live and if we do, they certainly aren’t anything exciting, however these were great!
Got some yogurt at her favorite place. (For the record, I ate yogurt 3 times this weekend!)
Woke up to a gorgeous view and some coffee. I was able to go on a family run with her husband and kids! (Her husband, Val, is a retired professional hockey player so the run was no JOKE!) We laughed that I was the fill in mom (Candace was busy) and on our way back, a few folks complimented “our family”! Hey. I’ll take it!
Then off to lunch with some friends I knew from OHIO! Here I am with Matt Lanter (Liam of 90210), his fiancee, Angela (I used to go to church with her when she lived in Ohio), and Candace. So good meeting Matt and catching up with Angela!
Now, if you were in LA, wouldn’t you want to visit the Goodwill?! GOOD! Glad I’m not alone! Candace took me to one of their Goodwills and it was her first time shopping at one! (She drops off there often though!) It was a total MISS day though. BUMMER! Fun times though! Surreal Moment #2: Am I really thrift shopping with a celeb?
Then we spent a quiet evening at home with an OUTSTANDING dinner prepared by her hubby. I made my avocado black bean dip for a snack Surreal Moment #3: Chopping away on a recipe with Candace that I typically make in my kitchen in Ohio! We stayed up late chatting away and laughing while her daughter watched “Full House” on tv. Surreal Moment #4: Sitting with “DJ Tanner” as I watched DJ Tanner on TV!
RACE DAY! We were very excited and nervous all at the same time to do this thing called a Spartan Race. The weather had not been the best since I arrived and it wasn’t looking too promising for our race. We had a nice sized team called, “Muddy Buddies”! Candace arranged for cute shirts for us to wear and we looked tough! (except not in the pic below. We looked totally cute! HAHA)
You may recognize another member of my team. Think back to your Full House days…yes! It’s Kimmy Gibbler, otherwise known as, Andrea Barber! Andrea is a fit mama! She runs half marathons and has 2 small children. (Here is an article about her on Roo!) Such a sweetheart and I wish that we were able to hang out more. Next time!
It was time to head out to the race, held in Malibu at Calamigos Ranch. We parked then they bussed us into the race start. We were like a bunch of high school kids–with a bit of nerves!
Here we are with Candace’s friend, Rachel. We have stamps and our bib numbers on our heads so they can identify us if we are laying on the side of the road. KIDDING….or am I?!?!?!
Stopped mid race to get a picture. This was before we made our track up the muddy barbed wire hill!
“THE HILL”! (I’m to the left of the big bald dude. :)) Some of the other obstacles: swimming through a FREEZING, deep lake (twice), Hop up a muddy trail with a rubber band around your ankles, Bear Crawl up a muddy trail, throw a spear into a hay stack (one chance), 20 Box Jumps, Cargo net climb, Monkey Bars, Crawl OUT (over, under through) some huge walls…the list goes on and on. (If you missed or could not do any of the obstacles, you had to do 30 burpees. They had people manning each obstacle so they were on you!)
Here we are at the end! I love races, mud (wasn’t my first mud run) and obstacles, but I was so happy to be over! 3 miles, over 15 obstacles and 1 hour and 40 minutes! We stayed together as a team which made it awesome!
Here are some professional pics that were just posted by the Spartan race folks! I’m carrying a 10 pound sandbag in the pic below. Up, down, and through muddy trails, then over two high walls!
That fire wasn’t touching me! (As I nearly knock Candace out!)
Candace, Andrea, and I after the race waiting for the bus to take us to our car. We were FREEZING and STARVING here! Can ya tell? (Candace recapped the race in her post over at Roo!) Surreal Moment #5: Am I really snuggling to stay warm with 2 of my favorite childhood tv stars?
Now what would you want to do after you ran a muddy race? (After taking a shower, of course?!) YES–EAT! And what would you want to pound down? A burger and fries, right? Where else would I go if I were in California? In N Out!! Was so excited to try it out! Totally lived up to it’s reputation!
Final day in LA and it was another busy one! After some time working on the computer and cleaning up emails, we met Michelle Dozois for lunch. Now, if you follow my blog, you know how much I adore her and her work (after all, she is my fav aerobics instructor!) Michelle and I have built a nice relationship online over the past year and a half. When I found out that I was going to California, I knew that I had to meet up with her! I was trying to get to one of her classes so she could kick my tail in real life instead of on DVD, but it was not working with schedules. Anyway, our lunch was fantastic and it was great to put a real life face to the only person who can work me harder than I can work myself.
After lunch we were in major need of a massage and manicure. (We did talk about this during the mud run…it’s what kept us going!) So we stopped by this little salon that has CHEAP manis and pedis. ($10 each! RIGHT?!?!)
After our little spa session, we went home to freshen up and go out on the town! We went to this place called the Magic Castle (or as I kept calling it, Magic City) and met up with one of Candace’s friends, Harris III, a master illusionist. (To check out more of what he does, go to his site. Not only does he entertain you, he also does it with a message.You can even have him speak to students! I’m ready to see him perform!) So he flew to town to kind of guide us through the place and we had a blast that evening! Summer, a fellow contributor on Roo (her own blog is Le Musings of Moi) drove a few hours to hang with us. It was so much fun! Lots of laughs and it honestly was the best way to end my trip!
My time had come to leave my 5 day adventure to LA. Such mixed feelings as I was leaving a new friend with fun memories, but so anxious to get back to my life with my husband, kids, and normal duties! I think we were both surprised at how seamlessly we clicked, especially since we were together from sun up til sun down for 5 days! I’d say it’s a special connection that makes both of you feeling like you found a “long-lost sister”.
I’d just like to say one final thing. Never in my life would I have written, dreamed, or imagined that I would be experiencing what I’ve been able to experience through this online world I entered 2 years ago. Only God could take a small-town Ohio girl and open her world up to reach many in the click of a button! I’ve had so many opportunities to connect with folks online and offline and I feel so blessed that God has allowed me to not only serve Him and help others, but also enjoy life in the process! I was in tears on my flight home, just thanking God for the life He’s given me. And this feeling is not only based on the “celebrity” connections but also what I have with my family, extended family, friends and much, much more. I am truly humbled. At the end of the day, this song sums up best what I feel…
When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the ways things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You Jesus
– Heart of Worship, Matt Redman
(My favorite DJ sporting a little Ohio pride! O-H!!!)