Katelynn Groh—Okay so I know this blog is for prospective students, but this story is just TOO good not to share! And there’s a point to it I promise! 😉 But hang on because this is one looonnngggg story.
On Labor Day weekend, Toronto was holding a Fan Expo and at this expo was going to be Ian Somerhalder from the Vampire Diaries (my fav show!). My Aunt Nikki texted me 2 weeks prior and the message started off with, “Okay. I need you to sit down for what I’m about to tell you…” Naturally I wanted to go to this…I mean it’s IAN SOMERHALDER.
Fast forward 2 weeks to the day of, Saturday August 30th. I had the perfect outfit picked out and even picked out my “lucky underwear” (don’t worry…I wash them)! I didn’t want ANYTHING to go wrong on this glorious day. Anyways, we leave my aunt’s house at approximately 9:45am. And from where we live, Toronto is but a mere 2 hours away. A hop, skip, and a jump really. And if you do the math, we should’ve been in the city by 11:45. We were planning on walking around all the booths at the expo, grabbing something to eat, etc before our photo-op at 2:45. This would’ve all happened…until we hit bumper to bumper traffic at 12:00. We could see the city; our GPS said we were 20 minutes away. This is about the time I fall asleep. When I wake up its 12:52 and our GPS says 6 minutes, but we were MUCH farther than 6 minutes with all this traffic. At this point I start getting a little antsy. We were cutting it too close for comfort.
It is now 1:52 and we FINALLY made it into Toronto and we realize what the hold up is. In Toronto there is the Fan Expo, an air-show, a carnival, a Blue Jays vs. Yankees baseball game, and construction on every FREAKING street that left all streets one-way. Now we have to find a parking spot with everyone and their mother driving and/or walking around the city. We sit through 4 red lights (which seem extra long in Canada) to get to one of the first parking garages. It’s probably about 2:00 and we are 2 cars away from getting into this garage. BAM…we’ve hit our first road block (pun intended). The volunteer puts a cone out in front and motions to us that his parking garage is now all full. You’ve got to be kidding me. This same thing happened about 4 more times. It is now 2:30 and we find another parking garage but because of the construction we have to go around the block to get to the entrance. We pull up and BAM. Parking garage is full. We roll down our windows and talk to the guy asking him if there is just one parking spot open. “No mam, we are all full.” Just WONDERFUL. So we pull up and start to make our way onto the main street. I look behind us and this guy is letting in 3 cars! EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!?! At 2:45 (the time we were supposed to be meeting Ian Somerhalder keep in mind) we finally find a parking spot on the side of the road. My Aunt Alicia, Aunt Nikki, and I all book it out of the car and run the 6 blocks to the expo. Hallelujah we’re gunna make it!!!!
We’re running and running and find the ramp that leads up to the doors into the building anddddd wait for it…BAM. A crowd of 200+ people standing outside waiting to get in…but no one is moving. Now we start asking questions to which they reply, “We’ve been locked out for the past HOUR because the building is at full capacity.” Just stop it. At this point we start asking security guards if they would let us in because we have our tickets and have paid for a time slot to which they all replied, “No mam, I’m just a security guard. I have to wait for the phone call.” Now it’s 3:30…45 minutes LATE to the photo-op and they start letting people in. But only the first 100. Guess what number we were. 1. 0. 1. YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. At the front of the crowd there is a different security guard and we plead our case to him and he replies with, “Yea…you’re probably not gunna make it. Sorry.” Sorry? SORRY!? We just drove all this way…we ARE going to meet Ian Somerhalder.
10 minutes go by and then finally let us in. And you guessed it…BAM. Insert hundreds of people waiting in lines to get in. We’re standing and waiting…and waiting…and waiting. There are curtains up everywhere that make the building look like a maze and behind these curtains are a huge line of girls. My Aunt Nikki asks one of them who they’re here to see. They say, “Ian Somerhalder at 2:45…he’s running late so they had to push it back.” SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL THERE IS STILL HOPE! Meanwhile, in the same line as us is a mother and daughter in the same exact situation so we pair up and start figuring out what to do. While we’re talking to these 2 women the line of girls has moved and they are no where to be seen. Wonderful. The mom goes back behind the curtain and finds a Fan Expo volunteer lady who by the grace of God is understanding and willing to help us. She takes us through the building and gets us our wristbands and tells us where to go from there. Got it, lets GO.
We run upstairs and to the huge sign that says “PHOTO OPS” but no one is there? And right next to it is a huge wall of actors’ names and Ian’s name was naturally on the other end of the building. So we push and shove our way through this enormous crowd of people and get to Ian’s table. “We’re here! We’re here! Where do we go for our picture with Ian!?” Fan Expo volunteer, “This is his table for autographs…photo-ops are back that way.” Here we go again. More pushing, more shoving. We make it. We go up to the Help Center and ask to go see Ian. And BAM…Help Center Manager, “Ian’s gone, you missed him. He’s not here.” NO. NO NO NO NO NO. This cannot be happening. We explain our situation to him and he says that he didn’t even hear about this whole “full-capacity” thing. Ugh. Just UGH. The nice man was kind enough to give us a refund of our meet-and-greet with Ian, which doesn’t normally happen. Now we all go to the bathroom (because we all had to go for 4 hours) and regroup. We realize our best chance of meeting Ian was at his autograph session so we head back to other end of the building FOR THE THIRD TIME.
We’re standing in line waiting for autographs when we hear Ian’s people say, “Ian is still in photo-ops…he got held up.” HOLD THE FREAKING PHONE. This lady is telling me that Ian IS still in photo-ops???? After we just got a REFUND for our tickets!? We go up to this lady and plead our case for the bajillion-th time and she finds one of the “higher-up” Fan Expo volunteers. This guy leaves to go check and see if Ian is back in some room. Insert another higher-up, “You ladies been helped?” We tell him our story and he goes, “No, Ian’s not back where the other guy went. Follow me.” Now we’re REALLY running, the whole length of the convention center (for the FOURTH TIME mind you). He turns around and tells us to wait. Minutes pass and he comes back, “Ian is still back there and he’s waiting for you. Where are your tickets?” Crap. Having no time at all my aunt throws him all of the refund money and says, “Here! We’ll come back! Let’s go!” While this is going on the Help Center Manager sees us and says, “Oh there you are! Not even 10 minutes after you left I found out Ian was still back there and thought, ‘those ladies are gunna killll meee!'” No crap sherlock!
Now they’re lifting up the curtains for us, motioning for us to come through. We walk/run and see Ian’s people and hear them telling him, “They’re here! The 3 ladies are here!” I turn the corner first and there he is. Just standing there, waiting just for us. I’m first up to see him and he immediately embraces me in a hug and I tell him, “You have NO IDEA what we just went through to see you!” At this point Ian is trying to calm me down because I’m almost on the verge of tears and acting like a frantic lunatic. He’s holding me and says, “Its okay baby! You’re hear now.” Yes Ian, I AM HERE. Then he goes, “Smile for the camera beautiful,” and wraps me in the tightest hug I’ve ever been in. And then here comes the word vomit… I say to him, “Ian I’m here for my birthday, can I please have a birthday kiss?” *insert Ian Somerhalder KISSING ME ON THE CHEEK!!!!* He says, “Happy birthday beautiful.” And I melt. My Aunt Nikki and Aunt Alicia go up next and I’m so starstruck/hard core fan-girling that I don’t even hear what they say to Ian. Although, I did hear my Aunt Alicia say, “Come here you beautiful human!” He was so nice and so sweet, you know that he really loves his fans and would do anything for us.
Now we’re ushered through these curtains to get our pictures and we all look at each other like, “Holy poop. That. Just. Happened.” We start freaking out. I still can’t believe it happened. After everything, we finally did end up meeting him! Its probably 4:30-5:00 and we finally sit down and get something to eat. Meanwhile, I’m taking pictures of our pictures with my phone because with the luck we were having, lightning would strike these 3 pictures. We decide that we are gunna go to his autograph session as well because frankly, why not? We were already there and didn’t have anywhere to be. So we wait in line for an hour and finally get up there and we all say, “Hello again!” He says, “Hello my beautiful girls!” *Swoon* He signs our pictures AND kisses those as well 😉
Overall is was a very “roller-coaster” of a day! I passed OUT for 10 hours that night after going through all those ups and downs of emotions. But it was so worth it. We never gave up. My Aunt Nikki said something that stuck with me, she said, “You put out negativity, you get negativity.” And although there were many times when we wanted to get frustrated we didn’t. And I really think that helped us! So that’s our story. You really can’t make this stuff up.
Here are our pictures!