Ben and Erin Napier thought their recent trip to Los Angeles for press interviews and a little family fun would be so quick, they wouldn’t have a chance to see any friends who live out there. But the HGTV stars say the trip wound up so jam-packed with chance meet-ups and unexpected connections — including quality time with comedian Jay Leno, music superstar Kelly Clarkson, and HGTV’s “Property Brothers” Jonathan and Drew Scott — that it turned into the “trip of a lifetime.”
The Napiers, who live in and film their hit show “Home Town” in Laurel, Mississippi, shared a variety of photos and videos on Instagram throughout their trip, showing that they brought along their young daughters — five-year-old Helen and Mae, who turns two in May — as well as the couple’s trusted creative director Laura Jones, who started out in 2020 as their personal assistant.
Ben Napier Shares Details of Celebrity Meet-Ups
On March 24, 2023, Ben Napier shared a series of photos from the California trip in an Instagram post, beginning with a photo of him and Erin with Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson on the set of her talk show. The Napiers’ appearance is scheduled to air on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” on March 29.
When a fan commented with excitement about them getting to meet Clarkson and actress Zooey Deschanel, who’s also the longtime love of fellow HGTV star Jonathan Scott, Ben replied, “yes, and they’re both awesome and normal!”
“We knew we would be coming to LA for press, but it was such a fast trip we decided not to call any of our California friends and tell them,” he wrote in his post, adding that they spent their first day in LA in meetings at Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of HGTV, where Erin shared a post from the studio lot, calling it “a very special day.”
In her post, Erin also shared videos of their daughters playing on the beach, including Helen writing her name in the sand. The next day, per Ben’s post, they were at Universal Studios, where Clarkson tapes her show.
At the suggestion of a friend, the couple took Helen for lunch that day at Bob’s Big Boy, a famous 50s-themed diner, and had a chance encounter with their former show director Jim MacPherson after recognizing his orange jeep driving by.
“While there,” he wrote, “I recognized @jimmacpherson’s orange jeep at the red light outside. In a metropolitan area of nearly 13 million, I saw our good friend and former director 30ft from where we chose to eat lunch. I fought back tears when we hugged for the first time since spring of 2020.”
Ben added that MacPherson is now a director for the “Property Brothers,” Drew and Jonathan Scott, “who were filming less than 200 yards away.” MacPherson also wrote about their chance encounter, sharing a photo on Instagram of him sitting in a booth at Bob’s Big Boy with the Napiers.
MacPherson wrote, “I’m so glad I drive an Orange jeep!!❤️Erin, I almost ran over 4 pedestrians when you called me saying you, Ben and Helen were sitting at Bob’s 🍔 when I drove past you! #onlyinla”
Erin commented on his post, “my favorite accidental encounter EVER EVER EVER. we love you!!”
Erin & Ben Napier Spend Evening With Scott Brothers’ Families
Once the Scott brothers knew the Napiers were in town, everyone wanted to get together, Ben wrote in his post. So, when the Napiers discovered the Titanic exhibit they’d planned to visit was closed, they changed their plans and headed over to the home Jonathan Scott shares with Deschanel, for pizza with their family.
Jonathan shared an Instagram photo of the whole crew, including his brother Drew and his wife Linda, the Scotts’ parents. He also shared a video of them in his Instagram Stories, which started with a closeup of himself saying, “I was just gonna go to sleep” and then he panned out the camera to show the whole group.
“And then had all these people who I really love (show up),” he said, with Drew chiming in, “Aww! All night party!”
“It was more fun than you can imagine,” Ben wrote in his post about their evening with the Scotts. “There were magic tricks, and a light show, and a house tour, and incredible stories. The brothers felt bad that Helen’s Titanic dreams had been crushed, and went to work trying to give her a great experience.”
The next morning, Ben continued, they received an invitation to meet Jay Leno, who’s a classic car lover like him, and has a car collection valued at $52 million, per the Dupont Registry.
“So, after a 45 minute drive through LA in a 1965 Cadillac, we were greeted by the man himself,” Ben wrote. “He went to work winning over my daughter who is now bragging about ‘meeting the man who gave her a Barbie and has cars just like daddy (daddy wishes)!'”
Ben concluded, “So, a work trip with zero plans turned into the trip of a lifetime with memories made, and a chance for us to catch up with old friends and make new ones. The world is tiny.”
Drew commented on Ben’s post, “The magic of Hollywood😂❤️” and Jonathan wrote, “What a delight to see you both 😊”
On March 25, Erin shared a post featuring a series of Polariod photos from California, taken by Helen. The five-year-old’s artistic collection included images of the beach, rain on the window of their car, and backstage at “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”