By Jamie Bertolini
Just, Lisa Vanderpump knows who I am. Like officially, thanks to Twitter.
I’ll give you some background. I was visiting my cousin in Southern California for the week and we went to LA for the weekend. We decided to stay in West Hollywood because we knew that we’d basically spend our entire evening out at SUR Lounge.
We took the WeHoPickup trolley to the beginning of West Hollywood which is where Lisa & Ken (Todd)’s newest bar/restaurant, PUMP is located. SUR is just a block or two away so we decided to drop into PUMP to see if perhaps we’d bump into Lisa; and then she’d adopt me, we’d drive into The Hills in her Bentley, andI’d live happily ever after with Giggy and the swans. Well, that didn’t quite happen, instead we bumped in to this guy:
Ken was the best! Not only was he more than happy to take a picture with us, he embraced us, and thanked us for stopping in. We could have happily ended our evening there, but SUR was still calling our names so we pressed on in our hunt for the ultimate Real Housewife of Beverly Hills.
I had sent Lisa a tweet the previous night alerting her that I’d be at SUR. I casually stated that she should stop by as I knew she “couldn’t wait to see me.”
We arrived at SUR and got THE BEST standing spot at the front bar. No Jax Taylor, no Tom Sandoval, no Ariana Madix, no Scheana Shay, no Stassi Schroeder (we were bummed) BUT Chad, who I don’t think we’ve ever seen on the show was there and, show or not, he’s an awesome bartender. He kept us hydrated (HA!) while we enjoyed the music and the crowd around us.
We stood right in front of the large SUR letters that grace the bar and to the right of a huge, white lily flower arrangement that I couldn’t help but think Lisa had her hands in just hours prior. To the left of the front bar, near the DJ, we saw Lisa & Ken’s business partner, Guillermo Zapata. Later on in the evening, we met and talked with him but the guy who took our picture clearly had too many to use an iPhone camera properly because I had no picture on my phone. You win some you lose some, and later on we got a win when we saw Peter Madrigal. He was busy working, but more than happy to talk with us and pose for this picture:
After that we walked around the restaurant because we all know that Lisa’s interior design taste is impeccable so we had to explore. In my opinion, Vanderpump Rules does the space ZERO justice. Even at night, in dim lighting, it’s beautiful. Even the bathroom. And the garden? You know where Joyce Giraud’s husband yelled at Brandi Glanville? So nice. Anyway…
It was a little after midnight when we decided we’d walk down to Laurel Hardware to cap off our already pretty awesome evening. We walked by PUMP again and I said to my cousin, “let’s just go in one more time and see if maybe Lisa’s here.” She obliged and we went in. We knew since the Walk for Aids, which she and Ken were set to start, was the following day, chances were they had probably long gone home, but I just had this feeling… After my cousin sweet talked a server, he told us that Lisa was indeed there, sitting at a table in the garden, and as long as she wasn’t eating that we could go meet her. There was a girl crouched down next to her, I’m guessing so as not to make a scene, so we went to the back bar and ordered some champagne while we waited.
The girl walked away, we walked up to Lisa, I put my hand on her back… “Lisa?” Her name barely left my mouth when she jumped out of her chair and exclaimed: “James Bertolini!”
I nearly died. Not only did my favorite Real Housewife just happen to be standing right in front of me –she knew exactly who I was before I even introduced myself! That right there proves that it is pays to be nice to people on Twitter.
Ken, who was across the table then mentioned that he had met us earlier. Lisa replied, “Oh, you saw them earlier?!” Almost in a way that she couldn’t believe that he didn’t tell her that he saw us! She also said, “You have always supported me and especially when I needed it most so thank you.” I couldn’t even make this up. I told my cousin it was a good thing she was witness to this because no one would believe me. My cousin took our picture, which she mentioned she doesn’t normally do in the restaurant. After a hug and a double cheek kiss, we walked to a nearby table for some more champagne. Lisa and Ken left shortly after our meeting.
We ended up spending so much time at PUMP that Laurel Hardware wasn’t letting anyone else in by the time we ventured back there. We walked back to our room and settled in for the night. And what a night it was
The next morning I woke up to tweets from Lisa recapping the evening. She is truly the most gracious person and I really appreciated her making us feel so welcome. I also woke up to my Instagram and Facebook totally blowing up from my friends and family, who obviously knew just how much meeting Lisa Vanderpump meant to me.
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