October 11, 2012

The Vampire Diaries || The Set Visit

Tonight marks the return of one of my favorite TV shows – The Vampire Diaries is back on TV with its fourth season, and I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this day. I’m definitely devoted to the show, in equal parts because I love the cast (hello Ian Somerhalder + Joseph Morgan, I love you!) and the story.

If you're not watching it yet, I highly suggest you give it a try. Paranormal creatures and love triangle aside, it's a great example of storytelling and character growth, and I draw a lot of inspiration from watching how the writers continue to develop the story.

It definitely is not a secret that what happened in March earlier this year was one of the most epic, amazing and unexpected gifts in my life: I got to visit the set of The Vampire Diaries along with my sister Melissa.

I'm going to take a moment and let that sink in, because even now, months later, I still can't believe it happened. (You can check out this promo plug while I recover!)

It all started when my sister called me back in February, saying she needed to tell me something important. Imagine my surprise when she dropped a bomb on me: she'd entered this contest from the TV channel that airs The Vampire Diaries in the Philippines and won. And her prize was the best part: she got an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Atlanta to visit the set!

Of course, I was happy and excited for her because she loves the show like no other. When she told me she was inviting a guest, I was certain it was going to be Carmela, who is just as obsessed with the show as she is. But because of circumstances (like no current visa and being underage), Mel quickly informed me that she was asking me to join her on the trip.

I was surprised and pleased and excited, though the final details had to be worked out since I was already here in New York and not going to be flying from the Philippines like Mel. We both hoped and prayed things would work out... and luckily, they did!

On March 14, I boarded a flight to Atlanta, Georgia, and touched down a few hours later. It took a few frantic minutes of searching, but I was reunited with Mel (who I hadn't seen in nearly two years!) and we were on our way to the hotel.

We spent the morning of March 15 sightseeing in downtown Atlanta, but were giddy with excitement when we got the call that the set visit was going to be happening that day! I was nervous, jumpy, excited, and just plain crazy with joy. We both had absolutely no idea what to expect, and there was fear in equal parts – fear that it wouldn’t live up to our expectations, and fear that we would make absolute fools of ourselves.

Our guide, PR guru Michelle, was one of the nicest people we’ve ever met and she was instrumental in making us feel comfortable and welcome. As we walked towards the buildings where the set was housed, the anticipation just kept growing… and growing… I could feel my heart pounding like crazy!

Stepping into the office, it was clear that the show was everyone’s primary reason for being here. One of the things I liked best were the character posters hung up all over the hallways, which looked so good.  We didn’t wait too long before one of the show’s production assistants showed up and ushered us through the hallway and down the hall to a door.

You guys, behind that door waited just one thing - the world of The Vampire Diaries. I got goosebumps as we walked from place to place – we were actually standing in and walking through and seeing places that were normal haunts for everyone on the show.

Highlights of our visit included seeing (and fully exploring) the Salvatore mansion, the Salvatore crypt, Klaus’ house, Caroline’s house, the Gilbert house and Mystic Grill. We also got to see a few more places quite briefly, such as Alaric’s flat, Meredith’s apartment, the motel room, the outside of the school, and the Lockwood mansion.

The Salvatore Mansion

Honestly, the fact that we visited this place first set the bar very high for the rest of our visit. As we approached the entryway, I found myself speechless. We were able to walk through the whole mansion, visiting the living room, the dining room (where the dinner party was held), the library (which was obviously my favorite bit as they were actual books and where most of the time, you can find the Salvatore brothers), the hallway and staircase, Stefan’s room (which was huge – and where we found the first Harry Potter book!) and, the bedroom you’d be most likely to find me in – Damon’s room.

Welcome to the Salvatore mansion!
Take a seat while we wait for the brothers to arrive.
Maybe I'll take a page from Damon and mix a drink or two...
.... or should I host a dinner party for the Originals?
The library is (obviously) my favorite room.
Look familiar?
Stefan's room
Stefan has eclectic reading tastes... 
My sister would have loved to stay behind and wait for Stefan...
Oops! Got stuck in Damon's shower! 
I'm sitting here patiently waiting for Damon to come home...

The Salvatore Crypt

Remember that episode when Caroline celebrated her first birthday as a vampire? Or the heartbreaking episode with Alaric last season? Well, walking into the graveyard where the crypt is located was definitely very creepy. I didn’t venture too far inside (because I’m a majorly jumpy person), but I did convince my sister to go. Being there was very spooky, but the place was utterly spectacular in detail.

I just couldn't go in, because it was so creepy!

Klaus’ Mansion

If you don’t find me lounging on Damon’s extremely large and comfortable bed, you’ll probably find me over at Klaus’ place. You guys, Klaus is probably my soulmate among all the VD characters – he’s got an artistic soul, he’s got a ton of books, there are love letters surrounding his bed and he loves to travel. So it’s no surprise that I absolutely adored his house. I would like to live there, please and thank you!

I love the art!
Oh hello there piano, my old friend.
Look at those full shelves!
Klaus' bed... surrounded by framed letters.

Caroline’s House

Her house is actually as small as I imagined it would be. But I enjoyed visiting her bedroom, and seeing the bed where that scene where Klaus heals her happens. Oh, my heart!

Eep, the bed where that big Klaroline scene happened!

The Gilbert House

A lot of stuff goes down in this house. My personal favorite room was the kitchen – I feel like a lot of things happen over there, including one of my favorite scenes where Damon cooks. I also liked visiting Jeremy’s room (bringing back fond memories of when he and Anna were still a thing), and seeing Elena’s room (with the window seat, the horse painting above the bed and a hastily scrawled love letter in a notebook). But of course, we had to take a moment and stop on the porch where epic kissing scenes have occurred.

I wish I had a front porch...
My favorite room was the kitchen.
Jeremy's bedroom
Elena's bedroom
I would love to have a window seat like this one!

Mystic Grill

It’s everyone’s favorite hangout – the Mystic Grill. I love the fact that it could totally be an actual, working restaurant. I sat a booth, at a table, visited the bathroom, stood behind the bar and, of course, sat in front of the bar where Damon and Alaric have had some of my favorite moments. This was our last stop on the tour, and well, it’s pretty darn epic.

I'll be your hostess for the night! 
Now it's time to go behind the bar... 
My favorite spot in the house -and Damon's too!

After the incredible walk through the various sets of the show, we obviously were incredibly hyped up and happy. It was surreal to have just ventured into this world that we’d both come to love and know so well, and I really could not have asked for more! As we walked back into the office area, we were both giddy and I just knew that when we got back to the hotel, we would be freaking out like crazy people! This was such an amazing opportunity, and we were so very lucky to even just be here.

Apparently, our good fortune had not run out just yet.

But you’ll have to wait till next week for that story.


  1. OMG. What an amazing experience!!! YOU GOT TO SIT ON JEREMY'S BED!!! aaahhhhh *dies* I would have totally fangirled at every location. I love that there are actual books & REAL props in each room. Makes it more authentic, ya know? So so very cool Alexa.

  2. You told me about visiting the set but actually seeing the pictures.. I am even more jealous than I was before! lol. So amazing that you got to visit the set. And I am super excited about the premiere tonight :)

  3. Ha, cliffhanger!

    Thanks for sharing your pics & everything -- it's so cool to see everything like that, so I can only imagine how cool it was to actually be there.

  4. Wow, how very, very cool!!! I haven't seen the show but that's so neat. Thanks for sharing that with us!

  5. NO WAY! THIS IS SO COOL! Omg this sounds like so much fun!!

  6. Oh, how fun!! Now I'm curious to find out where this adventure took you next. Can't wait for your next post about it! :D

  7. This is so cool! You got to get up close and personal with Stefan's bed. Not many people can say that. ;) Lucky you! :D

  8. Eep! You are so cute (and lucky!) Can't wait for tonight's episode. Will probably be squealing with you on Twitter at some point! :)

  9. HOW FUN! I'm so jealous! I love that show, but only watch it on DVD. IT kills me otherwise. So, I'm still waiting to buy season 3. :D

  10. This is basically the best thing EVER!

  11. SO VERY COOL! Wow! I think I would've waited on Damon's bed, too. :)

    What an awesome contest to win! Your sister is so lucky!

  12. You are so lucky, Alexa! Thanks for sharing so many photos, the set looks amazing (Stefan's bedroom!!) I can't wait for your next post :)

  13. THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!! I had no idea you did this! WOW! Too cool!

  14. Wow, that is pretty amazing you got to visit the set of The Vampire Diaries! I agree with you that while this show seems like it could be a shallow and cliched show for teens, there is a ton of depth and character development. It's definitely one of my favorite shows and I can't wait to see what happens in it this season. Looks like you had an amazing time - thanks for sharing your pictures!

  15. this looks like SO MUCH FUN and you are an evil cliffhanger person.

  16. I am still freaking out about this! And now that the show is FINALLY back on, I'm even more excited to see your pics from the set. TVD FTW!!!

  17. I actually don't think I ever knew that you were able to do this but oh my word, how incredibly awesome!!!! I don't even watch the show (I know, I know. It's totally embarrassing) and I am jealous of this experience. I LOVE all of the pictures and I am hoping you spill the beans about what happened next very soon!

  18. Dude, you guys are SO lucky! Love all the pics! Man, what I wouldn't give to be in Damon's shower (with Damon of course), lol!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  19. How awesome. I wouldn't mind getting stuck in Damon's shower either ;)


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