For the past two years, my mom and I have attended the Miami Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, FL. We had a great time both years but we wanted to switch things up for 2016 and go to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA instead. I had recently learned that attending a taping of The Price is Right (TPIR) was on my mom’s bucket list, as was attending a taping of the Ellen show. I’m a big Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) fan and would love to attend a taping of that one day. Those things, coupled with the fact that it had been several years since we were in California, made it an easy decision to head west for this year’s spring tennis trip.
We always booked the Gold vacation package at the Miami Open so the first priority was seeing if Indian Wells offered something similar. They did, so we booked one of their vacation packages for the opening rounds of the tournament. We chose the opening rounds because at Miami we always went for the semi-finals and finals. While this meant that we always saw the top players, it also meant that we saw pretty much the same players both years. By going early in the tournament at Indian Wells we did get to see players we haven’t seen before, but it also meant that we didn’t get to see many of the top seeds that we haven’t seen since they had byes for the first round. In the future, I think the earliest I would attend is the second round because watching the early round matches were honestly a little boring.
Since we were planning on spending a few days in Los Angeles prior to going to Indian Wells I knew that we would need an L.A hotel and transportation from L.A to Indian Wells. I initially looked into booking roundtrip flights from DCA to LAX and getting one-way flights from LAX to Palm Springs (PSP) as that was the most convenient airport for Indian Wells. During my research I read that flights from LAX to PSP were expensive, and my research proved correct because the prices were ridiculous and they weren’t even direct flights. We decided to rent a car at LAX and make the drive to Indian Wells ourselves. This was a huge deal for me because I hate driving and have never driven for more than an hour or so at a time but it turned out to be a really easy (and scenic) drive and I would absolutely do it again.
Since tickets for show tapings aren’t available until a few weeks prior to the taping date, they were only thing I couldn’t take care of way in advance. Requesting tickets is super easy as the requests are made online directly on the show’s website or through a third party company. I put my name on the waitlist for DWTS as soon as it opened for the next season but I knew it was a long shot to get tickets. The next priority was TPIR so I went to their website and was able to request priority tickets for the 12:00pm taping for Tuesday (the tickets and overall experience will be explained in a later post). I then requested tickets for Monday’s taping of Ellen by going to their website and crossed my fingers that we would get it. Since we were already confirmed for TPIR I waited patiently to hear back from Ellen but we didn’t hear back from them within a week of our requested date so unfortunately that meant we didn’t get tickets. Since it turned out that DWTS wouldn’t start until a few weeks after our trip to L.A we now had Monday available to attend another taping. We attended Jimmy Kimmel Live during our last trip to L.A, and my mom wanted to see something different this time, so we decided to try for tickets to The Talk. I wasn’t sure they would have any tickets available since by this time it was about five days before our trip, but the link on their website to request tickets for our desired date was still available so I submitted my request. I was very happy to receive a phone call the next day confirming my submission and asking if we were still interested in attending. We definitely were, and after going over the dress code and some other general information the nice representative from the show emailed me our official confirmation and tickets.
Now that the show tapings were booked, we were ready to start packing and begin our California adventure!