So I’m home, after a crazy whirlwind two and a half days in New York. I have to say to everyone I know who lives in that city: I salute you. I get bested, physically and emotionally, EVERY single time I go there. It’s so fast and noisy and crowded and busy and wonderful: if I lived there, I’d be a total stress case. Okay: MORE of a stress case. Thank goodness I live in the middle of the country. Can you even imagine what I’d be like with the constant stimulation of a city? I got a taste of it, and just so you know, it’s not pretty.

I got in on Thursday morning, dropped my bag at the hotel, and headed straight down to the Penguin offices, where I got to catch up with everyone and bore them with both pictures of my daughter AND my race cars. Also, I managed to score not only the BRAND new Llama Llama book (just released!!!) but also I Miss You, Mouse. Some of you have no idea what I am talking about, but those acquainted with the toddler set know these were big gets. Then it was off to lunch, followed by a bit of shopping (hello, Theory and Olive & Bette, my credit card is still warm thanks to you), and a return to Penguin, where I got to catch up with MORE friends and meet the woman who designed my beautiful new cover, Theresa, which I Iove more every single time I look at it. Truly. THEN it was off to drinks with my fab publicist Allison, followed by dinner with my best friend from high school, Bianca, who I hadn’t seen in ages. After that I went straight home and set my alarm for 5:30 so I’d be ready for…

GMA! Regular readers know that 1) I am sort of stalker-y obsessed with Good Morning America 2) I’ve been to visit before 3) last time I watched from outside the window in Times Square. THIS visit, however, thanks to my agent, I got to hang out backstage with Juju Chang, who does the news on GMA. She is SO NICE OH MY GOD I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU. She and her producer Kelly brought me up, let me sit right there in the dressing room while they worked like mad all around me (it looks so smooth and easy on TV, but there is a lot of scrambling going on, all the time). I just tried to be quiet and not gush too loudly. Although I could not HELP myself from pointing out that Juju had a Lauren Conrad book on her bookshelf. I am really glad I did not have one of mine with me or I’m not sure I couldn’t have controlled myself from sliding it oh-so-sneakily up beside it. I’m not proud of this. Just honest!

When it was time for Juju to do her segments, we all went down the hallway (often at a fast clip) to the studio upstairs or downstairs. Here’s Juju doing the news:

On the way back to the dressing room, we bumped into Emeril Lagasse:

He was very nice and smelled minty-fresh, like gum. Did you ask me this? No. But I feel compelled to share it anyway.

I also met Dr. Richard Besser, who does all the medical bits (oh, how I wanted to ask him about potty training, thank God I controlled myself) and saw Paulina Porizkova walk by in the hallway several times. She is GORGEOUS, not that that should surprise anyone. But seriously: whoa.

Before I knew it, it was almost 9am and time for the last segment, a cooking one. We ran back downstairs (seriously running: these people MOVE) to watch George Stephanopoulous make a pie and some chicken dish with Emeril. I did not get to meet G-Step, and so therefore do not know if he is minty fresh or not. This is as close as I got:

But I DID get to taste the apple pie Emeril made and it was very good. Not that this should surprise anyone, either.

And then it was over! It went so quickly, I swear. Juju had a plane to catch, so I walked out with her. She is just straight up awesome for so many reasons. She’s a mom, she works her butt off, she’s funny and gracious. My favorite thing, though? When she was about to leave, she kicked off her fancy shoes and put on these sparkly Converse All-Stars. I commented on them and she said she’d gotten them in Florida while she was working on a story about skateboarding….and she bought them at Wal-Mart. How cool is that? Also, she has a Keurig in her dressing room. I mean, come ON!

The rest of the trip was crammed packed with walking, shopping, and catching up with more friends. On Saturday morning, craving something sweet, I went in search of a Crumbs bakery, as my friend Susane Colasanti swears they have the BEST cupcakes ever. I found one, but they weren’t opening for another hour, and I had a plane to catch. So I hit another place instead. It wasn’t the Best Ever, but it was just fine.

Two days in New York all to myself was just…well, different, to be sure. I could sleep in (but didn’t) not have to find things in the playroom (although I ended up helping locate ballet slippers and a missing drumstick via text message). It was like a different life. Fun for a while but…I got to say, I am glad to be home. It may not be glamorous, but it’s all mine. And now, I’ve got a very important third birthday party to attend. Cake will NOT be by Emeril or Crumbs. But I bet it tastes just perfect anyway.

Have a good night, everyone!