When I left you I was saying how I was promised to work on the build site for the reveal.
They kept their promise.
I woke up after a fitful two hours of sleep and made my way towards the church parking lot where were were meeting up to catch the bus for the house. 0600 comes awful early when you're not well rested, friends. Thank God they furnished us with a never ending supply of energy drinks for the duration of the day.
The last time I saw the house it looked like this:
0700 ish Sunday. That's a completed (mostly) house folks. The only thing left to do was touch up the paint and clean up. Unbelievable. There were at least three hundred volunteers working when I arrived. Just on the house.
There was a LOT of sitting around and people watching for the first two hours or so. Until they let the spectators in. When I had arrived at 0610 or so there were a hundred lined up at the gate to the build site and several dozen lined up at the bussing site about a mile away.
They put me on hydration duty with a few others and we doled out hundreds of water bottles to the crowd and the crew.
Then they put us on trash pick up. That was.... Less than fulfilling, but it passed the time.
We started to hear through the grapevine around 11am that they were going to push the reveal time up to noon instead of 1400 so that we could beat the storm that was heading our way. Apparently shooting a TV show in a torrential downpour is less than ideal. I made my way back up to the house and got to check out the house. I wasn't allowed to take any pictures inside (rest assured, it's stunning. If you manage to catch the episode be on the look out for the "very green bed"), but I did manage to snap a few of the backyard.
They were limited by the fact that the house is in the middle of a heavily populated neighborhood and the lot size just wasn't what is typical for the show. But it was beautiful. If you click on the pictures you can zoom in a little bit. In the above shot you can almost make out the waterfall and the pond in the back corner.
If I had eleven kids I would be calling this my "happy place". It was very peaceful. They also had a very nice firepit, lots of seating, and a great sound system for the back.
Landscaping. Looks a hell of a lot better than my back yard. The grass is actually GREEN.
And then... The actual shooting began. And insanity ensued. The guy above in the cowboy hat was the crew's equivalent of a cruise director. He jumped. He skipped. He break danced. He barked orders to the volunteers and simultaneously apologized for being "a dick". I instantly fell in love.
LITERALLY eight minutes later the island was covered. It only took fifteen people and a few rakes. I need to find them and have them come attack my yard. Yes, for those of you who watch the show, that is "The Bus" that the crowd screams to "move." I think we screamed "Move That Bus" for almost an hour. Fifteen takes from fifty different directions.
Then came the fun part.
The Frisch Family came home. To their new home. For the first time. I was very fortunate to be so close.
I was close enough to see their facial expressions... And I can tell you that they honestly looked humbled by the attention and the crowds, and excited beyond belief. I can also tell you that the crew pulled that limo onto the site (empty) several times to make practice the shot and at the same time ensure that the family wouldn't be able to see the house when they got out. The windows of the Limo were blacked out.
The Frisch Family. If you blow the pic up it's probably going to be out of focus (again, I only had my cell phone camera to use), you might be able to make out Ty, he's to the left of the Frisch's on the right side of the shot... And the cameras, and the dude in the cowboy hat is the "cruise director" of the crew (he's some kind of Production Assistant or Producter or something).
He signaled the crowd to start yelling "Move That BUS!!!" one last time... And this time the bus engine was running. They pulled the bus away and the family instantly fell to pieces. As did most of the crowd. Myself included.
The kids dropped to the ground. Aaron and Jackie (Mom and Dad) were sobbing. The little guy, at just three years old or so, didn't know what to think and clung to his older brother. It was something I'll never forget.
I was sunburned, exhausted, and my feet were cramping up from standing in the same place for a few hours, but happy.
I was happy I got to be a part of it all.
As Ty would say, Welcome Home, Frisch family, welcome home.