As Charlie would say, let me set a scene for you…. You’re 23, and it’s 6:00 am. Your eyes don’t pop open, but they get there eventually. You finally find the motivation to get out of bed and put something decent looking on, maybe take a brush to your hair and brush your teeth. You stop at Dunky’s for a coffee and probably an under cooked muffin because they use just a light bulb as well. Then you come home and wait patiently for your mom to drive you to the Amtrak station (when she’s done freaking out of course.) This was the scene early Thursday morning for Megan and I, and yes my mom was freaking out because she had to drive us and she didn’t know how to get there or home. And no, neither of us got a muffin at Dunky’s. We got to the train station perfectly fine. I gave my mom STRICT instructions on how to get back home. They were as follows: drive straight until you hit Route 1, turn right. That’s it. She didn’t listen and got hopelessly lost. That’s what she gets for not staying straight (no chaser).
|Lost photo. Notice John Travolta|
impersonator in the background!
|Stops along the way|
It’s now 8:30, a lot has happened since our eyes pretended to pop open at 6 am, and we’re finally on the train bound for Philadelphia (because trains don’t go straight to Reading, that would be too easy). We’re cruising at solid highway speeds and things seem to be going just fine….until we make a stop, but not at any stations. A voice from above informs us that “ahh, we got problems.” Apparently our train has hit a “gap”, which means NOTHING to me, and has no more electricity. We spent nearly two hours stranded behind a couple of nice families' houses. I felt very close to them after the whole ordeal. We sent out a couple of rescue tweets to Walter and Jerome because we were near NYC and figured they would be closest to us. We tagged them as #SOT (save our train). Megan and I used this time to have a photo shoot. (We were NOT camera ready, let me tell you!) We had our matching “I’m A Chaser” T-shirts on and we wanted to document it. Sorry guys, those photos have been destroyed. Finally our rescue engine arrived, tugged us to safety, and then sat in our way for about 20 minutes. FINALLY, we were back on our way to Philly.
|all we had to look at for 2 hours.|
We made a new friend and a new “friend” on the train. Our “friend” was a woman sitting across from us who kept calling people and talking about her “show” and how she needed to be there and blah blah blah. She also mentioned (or perhaps I eavesdropped) she had two kids at home, a 2 year old and an 8 WEEK old. Interesting. But not really, keep your phone calls down woman! Our other friend got the pleasure of sitting next to her for only a short while. He was from Virginia and owned a convenience store. (Hello life story) We started chatting about Facebook and he asked us where we were going. Naturally, he opened the floodgates of Straight No Chaser information. I think he was overwhelmed. Luckily for him, it was our stop. 30th Street Station Philadelphia, PA! What I now know to be Land of the Hobos (but we’ll discuss this later, like a few blog posts later)
Our next stop on this trip was to Hertz to get our rental car. The lady asked me lots of questions, which naturally I answered. Unfortunately, she couldn’t understand what I was saying and I had to repeat myself multiple times. (Perhaps it was the Boston accent or the fact that I talk wayyy too fast, as most Bostonians do, either way she didn’t get it.) When we finally got all the paperwork out of the way, she handed us the keys to our Toyota Rav 4 and asked us if we knew how to get downstairs. Being from Boston, of course we didn’t! She started to give us directions and then just yelled “FOLLOW ABRAHAM!” At first we didn’t know who she was talking to or about. Maybe she’s just very religious, I don’t know!? We did find Abraham though and he led the way for most of the time. Once we got downstairs to the parking lot he asked me to hand him the keys, which I did. He then proceeded to set off the panic button and told us to follow the sound of the alarm. Thanks Abraham, you were SUPER helpful! Trying to get out of the station in our Rav 4 proved to be a daunting task. We spent upwards of 10 minutes driving in circles and almost landing back in the parking lot we started in!
When Megan’s GPS finally figured out where we were (she was a little slow on the uptake, but she is British, why would she know anything about PA?!) we were on our way. We sat in traffic for a while but we weren’t lost….yet. We couldn’t get any of the radio stations to come in, but the car had a CD player. The only CD we had with us was Ryan’s Malibu EP, which was there to get signed after the concert, so we popped it in. In case any of you don’t have it (shame on you, go buy it! CDBaby.com stat!) there are only 8 songs on the CD so it’s not too long. We listened to it on repeat a solid 5 times on the drive to our hotel. Loved every second of it because we got to sing as loud as we wanted in the privacy of our Toyota (this had NOT been the case on the train. Not to say that that stopped us in any way.) Driving down the highway we noticed an exit to Allentown. As you all know, we have a friend from there, his name’s Jerome Collins, maybe you’ve heard of him? We yelled as loud as we could for him but he didn’t answer. He was probably washing his hair or something. I’m sure we’ll catch up with him later so off we went. We were enjoying the fact that our GPS was getting us where we needed to be, but that was short lived. It told us to take a left hand turn, we did. It told us to take a right turn. We tried, except we would have died. There was no road, only a nice river. So we turned around and tried again...still no road. We then took some back roads into the heart of Reading, well Shillington, until it finally recalculated and got us to the Best Western Hotel. We later found out that if we had just ignored her and not taken that first left hand turn and stayed straight we would have basically driven into the damn hotel. That’s what we get for not staying straight (no chaser)!!!!!
We checked into the hotel and went to our room. It’s been some time since we’ve eaten, what with the rescue train and all. We decided on a nice little place to get some take out, and by decide I mean the only place we had a menu for. We called in the order to a VERY personable young man on the phone whose only responses consisted of “What?”/ “what else”, “ok”, and “bye.” He decided that he didn’t need to know my name or tell me how much our order was going to cost. We were to just show up at any given time and pay the man some money and in return we would get some sort of food (hopefully, our original order). We got there and naturally we went in the back way. Who uses the front door anyways? I asked the bartender where I would go to pick up my take out order, and it took her a few moments to process what I had just said to her before she could respond. She was about as helpful as Megan’s GPS. When we FINALLY found where we needed to be, we told the guy at the counter we were here to pick up an order. He asked us what we had ordered (I’d bet money we ordered what was in the ONE and only take out bag you have sitting on your counter, Good Sir!) It took at least two of them several minutes to get the situation of the missing food that was in plain view sorted out. We pretty much ran out of there with our food because at this point we were STARVING. We got back to our room and decided we needed drinks, this warranted an adventure to the vending machine. This was where we encountered what I believe to be the only other person staying in the hotel, and what a creepy man he was. I would also like to point out that he was wearing only socks. No shoes. Ew.
After we made it safely back to the room and ate our food we decided to settle down and watch some good ol’ television. FX was playing the movie Zodiac. We started watching it but we both decided it was time for bed, tomorrow was an important day and we needed our beauty sleep. Good Night, Zodiac Killer. The next morning we got up and started getting ready, we turned the tv on for some background noise, and we found that Zodiac was back on in almost the exact place we left off the night before. SWEET! Then it was time to go get our nails done. Good bye, once again, Zodiac Killer. Some day I will find out who you are!
|Apparently the show got it wrong.|
We set out into Reading to do a dry run to the Sovereign Center (we now didn’t trust that pesky GPS) and to find a place called French Nails which had been suggested to us by a fellow chaser named Laura (if she reads this, Thanks!) They did a good job, interesting clientele to say the least. I’ve learned that people from PA are very different than people from MA. We met up with some Spanish singing gang members, or that’s what I imagined them to be in my head. We headed back to the hotel to try and pass time before getting ready for dinner. When we got there the only thing on tv was Jersey Shore (quality programming MTV) It was the first time either of us had seen even one episode, but we spent a solid 3 hours watching it. I’m still not sure why it even exists. The entire time I thought of “Jersey Girl” from SNC. It made the show that much better. It seemed at this point the clock in our room was broken. How could we have spent so much time watching this absurd show and not be any closer to seeing SNC?!
Stay Tuned....Enjoy a little ditty from the guys courtesy of DaisyKary! (I'm sure you all know her)