Sorry to keep you in suspense like that…. exhaustion and the real world got in the way. Where did I leave off? Oh right, Jersey Shore. We told ourselves we were going to start getting ready at 3:30 for the big event. At this point though we had watched 3 hours of Jersey Shore and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I caved in and started getting ready at about 3:00. It was a pretty quick process for both of us since we had showered at like 9:00 that morning before we got our nails done. This meant we were both ready to go at approximately 3:45. Dinner didn’t start until 5:30 and we only had about a 15-minute drive to the Sovereign Center. We ended up leaving at about 4:15 and got to the center at 4:30. As everyone knows just because my GPS tells me I have arrived at my destination doesn’t mean I have actually arrived. I had to find a place to park. I drove by a perfectly good parking lot not once but TWICE, why you ask? Because there was a sign that said 3 hour maximum, with another sign hidden in the distance that said if you paid a little more you could park there all night. Luckily we found that sign after wasting just a little bit of gas. Just to be sure I asked the parking attendant if I could park there for the dinner and concert. He said yes, if I gave him $10. I then confessed my love to him because frankly I was sick of driving up and down the street and not finding anywhere to park, so this parking lot across the street from the center was PERFECT! Time check at this point: 5:00ish, but there were already other chasers standing outside the center, so we didn’t feel so out of place. As we were getting out of the car, we noticed a group of folks getting out of their car as well. We immediately noticed that the man getting out of the car, looking dashing in his tux, was Ryan’s dad. I was so excited and instantly decided I HAD to tweet Ryan about it. He always says that he likes our tweets. It was so cold out that a nice gentleman who worked at the center told us we could wait at the bottom of the stairs in the lobby until it was time to go in (he also made sure to tell us to cover our ears since the guys were in the process of a sound check and we weren’t supposed to be hearing it! Woops!)
Starting to get giddy, Megan and I couldn’t control ourselves and began acting silly. At this point we were all done with the wait and we started calling out for Richard (AKA Korby) to come let us in and escort us to where we needed to go. It sounded a bit like this “RICHARD! WHERE ARE YOU! COME LET US IN!” we were getting strange looks from everyone around us but we didn’t care. I bet Richard didn’t know we were that close of friends (but we are).
When it was time to go in we all sort of charged the stairs, except the girl at the top had to rip all the tickets instead of scanning them. Poor girl, I made sure I wished her luck on her ventures of ticket ripping. Hopefully she didn’t get any hand cramps. We made our way downstairs (without our trusty sidekicks the GPS or Abraham) and were seated at table number 5. We introduced ourselves to the people around us. We picked up on the fact that a lot of teachers love SNC (us included, as that is our chosen profession as well.) They soon realized what huge chasers we really were and I could feel the judgment being cast upon us, but it’s fine, we were in our safe place because sitting right next to us was three tables full of the most devout chasers. Since we didn’t really fit in at our table we took the time to introduce ourselves to the table next to us. The person sitting behind me at the next table was Dottie. Everyone was in the middle of eating at this point so we apologized for interrupting, but as soon as I described who I was everyone seemed to recognized Megan and I. There was group hello, almost in unison, which made me feel like I was at a Chasers Anonymous Meeting. We didn’t introduce ourselves to any other tables because people were still eating but it was nice to finally put faces to the names I see every day on the website. A few of the chasers started getting up to take pictures. 2 or 3 times a chaser would come over and snap a photo of Megan and I. I think the people around us were starting to get the paparazzi feeling. We felt very famous, at least out of the people surrounding us (that wasn’t meant to sound rude or anything, It’s just how we felt. No secrets here).
At last! It was time! SNC made their entrance into where the dinner was being held. The entire place suddenly erupted with cheering and applause. Well maybe it was just our section of the room. We were with a very rowdy bunch (I mean that in a good way.) The guys sang their Jackson 5 Medley in the middle of the room. Then they moved to where we were sitting to sing Hey Santa! (I got SUPER excited because, in case you couldn’t tell, Ryan is my favorite and that is my FAVORITE song he sings. It completely made my night! If they had sung nothing else I could have left happy.) They then moved to the complete opposite end of the room to sing Jingle Bells. (It was the silent version. They may have sung it using only sign language because we didn’t hear anything.) Megan and I were kind enough to insert our own “Upsot?!” into the silence. (Alright, so we could hear a little, and knew when it was coming, but for the most part it was just soft whispers.) Up next was a very classy toast from the guys. We were all given champagne to drink. I can speak for Megan and myself when I say neither one of us drinks or likes champagne. But I do as I’m told and when it was time, I drank it all. (If this was a cult, I would totally drink the Kool-Aid.) Megan decided to drink hers like a shot. YUCK!
|Smile! you're on Candid Camera (Mr. Ahlwardt)|
Dinner ended and we entered the concert venue. We were in row CC, third row , on the left side of the stage, seats 1 and 2. At the complete opposite end of our row, in the last two seats were Ryan’s parents. Next to them was who I can only assume were Seggie’s relatives (Clues: They looked just like him and referred to Jerome’s Mom as “Mrs.C”) *We have been informed by Seggie's mom that this is in fact, not true. She did think it was funny though. Sorry for the lies* Sitting next to them were Jerome’s parents and sister. Right next to Jerome’s dad was, oh right, me! I didn’t know what to do with myself, and I remember saying to Megan “We might have to switch seats, I’m not sure I can handle the responsibility.” Jerome’s dad was easily one of the nicest people I’ve met. He started telling us baby stories and that all Jerome’s sweet dance moves came from him *See pictures below* (Although at times I bet he wished he could take that statement back. Donde Estas Santa Claus anyone?) We tried to play it cool and get some candid photos of the families. Can’t say it turned out perfect. I believe we got caught, and by we I mean Megan. She had the camera; I just got to be in the pictures, usually only half my face though.
It’s safe to say, what you already assume anyways, the concert was AH-MAY-ZING! The guys really pulled out all the stops and were hysterical. They were loving the fact that the crowd was so rowdy (so THAT’S what happens when you put all those chasers in one place!) Highlights of the concert include 1) all the chasers yelling “Chasers!” in response to Charlie telling everyone that their fans were NOT called groupies, but chasers. 2) Switching up the parts in songs (i.e. Cartoon Medley – Walt yelling Wilma, Don prompting Spongebob and Tyler impersonating Porky Pig) 3) Their “college days” videos – so fun to see them when they were all just starting out (so young!) and 4) during Up On The Roof, Jerome’s dad sang along as if he was up on stage with them (and he could have been, he can totally carry a tune!) At one point in the show the guys mentioned their friends Blake and Korby. We turned around and who did we see? RICHARD! We had been searching for him ALL NIGHT! You guys seriously have no idea how great we think he is! We’re starting to think we have a problem at this point. It gets worse though, hold your worries until then! Be back soon with the conclusion…we didn’t want to go into to much detail of the concert, we thought it would be better if you enjoyed the videos on youtube instead. (Hop to it people!) Rumor has it Kary has finished uploading all her videos!