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Our names are Amanda & Megan. If you're reading this right now we can only assume that you are a fan of Straight No Chaser! We have had so many adventures in our journeys to see them that we needed a place to write them all down. Cue blog! We can only imagine the adventures will continue and we can't wait to see where they lead us.


EPIC (7.18.2011)

Disclaimer: This blog contains spoilers!

So naturally I was going to let Megan write the blog about Monday’s happenings but all she had written was “OH. MY. GOD.” over and over again, so I stepped in and took over.  Seeing as there were many events leading up to those that rendered her speechless we should probably start at the beginning….

But first, there were a few honorable mentions that Megan forgot to talk about in her last blog. The craziest things always seem to happen while we’re standing in the meet and greet line. While we were waiting for group pictures, a kind stranger stared awkwardly at us and then finally got the nerve to ask us, “Hi, we’re you guys at the show in Boston?” our response was, of course, “Yes, we were.” She said “You’re the girls with the shirts! We stood behind you in the meet and greet line and talked with you.” (The shirts being the “SNC” ones we made that were covered in glitter and glowed in the dark) Oops, I didn’t remember her. (this must be an inside glimpse of how the guys feel meeting so many people after every show.) Also, Sunday night upon returning to our hotel, Megan and I entered the elevator at resorts. It’s a casino, so it would be unreasonable for us to assume we could have the elevators to ourselves. We were joined by some familiar faces who had also just been at the SNC show. The woman turned around and looked us and turned back to the people she was with stating, “They just came from the show too!” She was stating the obvious considering I don’t normally walk around in ALL my chaser apparel at once on just any day. She turned around and glanced at our “I’m A Chaser” shirt and made a comment about how we had not bought them at the show that night (also something we had prior knowledge of, since they were OUR shirts and we put them on BEFORE the show.) We were polite though and said no, we hadn’t just purchased them. She then, in a somewhat condescending tone, said “I got a shirt, and I got mine signed” and then held it up for us to see. Clearly, she didn’t understand what our shirts said. I’m not sure why she took the tone she did with us but it’s okay because whatever she was doing, didn’t work. We could not be brought down and we happily breezed by her as we exited the elevators.

Now onto Monday…..

The morning didn’t bring much excitement our way, mostly because we didn’t leave our hotel room. When we finally did, it was nearing 11:00 and the hunt was on for Starbucks. My blackberry application, poynt, told me there was one within 2 minutes of where we were. What it did not tell me was that it was hidden within the depths of the Trump Taj Mahal (nor did it tell me that our hotel, Resorts, and the Trump Taj Mahal were connected. Rude.) Starbucks was eventually found and our day was back on track. We knew if we went back to our room we would just start getting ready for the concert, so we distracted ourselves with a nice walk along the boardwalk. We stumbled upon Dunkin Donuts (a reassuring sight for anyone from MA), which angered us since we’d spent so much time scouring the boardwalk for Starbucks. With our newfound anger at the boardwalk we returned to our room and proceeded to get “dolled up” for the show.  It wasn’t Megan’s actual birthday (July 9th) but since we both had to work and couldn’t properly celebrate her actual birthday we decided to save the celebrations for Atlantic City.  She had all the necessary essentials to properly celebrate, a crown that said “Happy Birthday” and a necklace that said “It’s My Birthday”, which I bought and she had no choice in wearing. (Not to mention the light up lei and SNC buttons) She would prove to be unmistakable and hard to ignore in the crowd.

Anyways, where was I? Oh, right. It was about 4:45pm when we were finally ready and we made our way to Harrah’s to meet up with all the other chasers. They weren’t back at Harrah’s yet but they arrived shortly after we got there. We were invited up to their room to watch the SNC-TV Web chat.  We got to watch the web chat with Mary, Lynnette, Denise, Dottie, & Valarie (from the UK.) The only problem we had was the volume was so low it was hard to hear the guys talking. It seemed like such a silly problem considering they were sitting only 7 floors below us (We probably should have just went and listened through the concert venue doors.) When the web chat ended some of the other chasers needed to go pick up their tickets from the box office so we headed down. There we met up with Sara and Cindy.  We all headed in to find our seats, which lead to there being a bout of frantic waving followed by “Hey * insert name here * We’re over here!” I’m always a little worried about whom I’m sitting near at the shows because lets be honest, Megan and I could be considered a huge distraction to the others trying to view the show. We were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief when our “seat neighbor” walked over and it was Mary. Man, oh man, she’s a fun lady to be around.

The show was amazing. Although I’m pretty sure Megan spent a good majority of the beginning portion of the show freaking out that Seggie would spot her in the audience and bring her up on stage. It was a rational fear though; She was wearing a birthday crown and light up lei, for goodness sake.  * Disclaimer: We didn’t walk into the show thinking this. When the usher walked us to our seats he told Megan that she stood out and would definitely be going up on stage. Naturally, she panicked * When *SPOILERS* Uptown Girl passed without incident she was able relax a little.  The relaxation didn’t last very long. She was finally able to breathe a little and then the guys started singing “End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men. When they started singing there was no panicking involved but then Charlie started coming down the stairs and the panic she had in the beginning of the show came rushing back. We both noticed that it was taking him a significantly longer time to get down the stairs to the audience than it had the night before. And then it happened he came right over to her seat and asked her to dance.  I’ll let the video Mary took do all the talking for me (I mean honestly, If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video must be worth millions) Dottie also snapped some amazing pictures. 

Megan Dancing with Charlie
Courtesy of Dottie.
I, on the other hand, her supposed best friend did nothing but sit in my seat and laugh. When Charlie returned her to her seat the only thing she said to me was “I hate you!” (All though there may have been a “You’re a jerk” somewhere in there as well) Once Charlie and Jerome left the audience the hilarity didn’t stop there. They continued to sing to her and Jerome even told her “You light up my world.” Seriously, ALL I could do was laugh and I looked up on stage and DR was most definitely joining in on that laughter as well.
DR laughing
Charlie Reaching for Megan
From what Megan tells me, that portion of the concert seemed like it went on for hours, but Mary’s video is only about a minute or so long.

The concert ended and we needed to take a few moments to put ourselves back together.  The other chasers joined up and we were ready to go wait for the meet and greet line. We didn’t get in the line right away because Megan and I had some gift bags we needed to get ready for the guys. They were too bulky to be carrying around already put together so we split the stuff up and loaded up our purses.  Inside the bags there was a shot glass, hand decorated with “Straight No Chaser” at the top and their name at the bottom (and we even made one for Richard), a Postcard of Boston that we wrote a little thank you note on, a little bag filled with Throat Coat Tea, a “Beah” O’ Honey (and yes, we were walking around with 10 bears of honey in our purses. I’m pretty sure they could have been used as weapons.) If you need the back-story of the bears of honey, just go back to our Q&A with Ryan. He mentioned one of his pet peeves was when “someone” left the cover loose on the honey and it got all sticky. Ryan does NOT like sticky bears. We tried to be stealthy with the gift bags but we had to walk right by them and it was inevitable that they were noticed, especially considering they were brightly colored.

Thank goodness the meet and greet lines aren’t too long and they seem to move quickly. Those bags were starting to get heavy!  We did have a fun encounter before our turn. A man who had been sitting near us came up to Megan and asked, “Aren’t you the one who danced with Charlie?” when she responded yes, he then replied with, “Oh, can I have YOUR autograph!” We both laughed and Megan said “Sure!” Apparently he was only kidding, she was not.  By this point it was our turn to go up those magical stairs. We got up to Jerome and I told him that we felt a little bit guilty giving gifts to only some of the guys the day before so today we came with gifts for everyone. He immediately stood up, gave me a hug, and said, “You know you don’t need to do that!”… We know, but we wanted to! (the gifts for all of them came well before our gift ideas for Charlie, Ryan, and DR) We made sure to explain the postcard they were given. For instance, when we wrote Jerome’s card, we didn’t make it out to Jerome but instead “Jahrome” because that is how we say it in our Boston accents. Tyler became “Tylah”, DR was “D. ah.” (Which sometimes gets shortened even further to just duh), Walter was “Waltah”, Charlie was “Chahlie” and lastly, Richard become “Richahd.

Well anyways, back to the M&G line, we gave Mike his gift and as he opened the shot glass he exclaimed “Are you promoting drinking?!” WHAT! US? NEVER! That then prompted the reaction of “I don’t drink” From Seggie. (Seggie- you lie!) Next up was Tyler. He took some time to look at this postcard (he needed no explanation of the “Tylah” written on the back) he then looked up at us and said, “So, I know your twitter handles but what are your real names?”
Seggie chimed in with “Don’t you read their blog? It’s all about how hot they think Tyler is” (again, lies from Seggie) He then said, “Oh wait, that’s mine, but actually it is really good.” (Thanks Seggie, we appreciate it!)

When we got to Charlie, he told us that Julia and his mother in law really enjoyed the book we wrote for Hayden. (Which was such a relief to us.  I’m so happy they liked it. We were hoping they would) He then said to Megan “I hope I didn’t embarrass you.”  Embarrassment was indeed NOT how Megan was feeling when the event occurred. I regret to inform you that I cant write for sure how she was feeling because she legitimately had no words to describe it to me when I asked her. After that, Charlie unwrapped his gift and asked if his shot glass was dishwasher safe. I’m pretty sure he was caught off guard by the simultaneous “YES!” that came from us both. (Charlie- if you’re reading this: We never cut corners on anything we do)

When we gave Walter his gift, Megan made sure to tell him about the story behind Da Waltah. It goes a little something like this. Megan and I were watching a Red Sox game one afternoon, when behind one of the batters there was a sign that read “DeWalt”, of course that reminded us of Walt. This led us to start calling him De Walt, which turned into Da Walter, and in our Boston accents was magically changed to Da Waltah. So of course, we wrote his thank you note on the back of a postcard with a picture of Fenway Park and addressed it to “Waltah”

We got to Don and he opened his gift bag and looked at his postcard. He started talking about Boston and how “it was going to be an amazing show.” Of course it will be! Boston is a very rowdy bunch (even if we are the only chasers there.) Our conversation with Don kind of ended abruptly, well, I think. I don’t actually remember how we switched from Don to Ryan, but I’m pretty sure it’s because Ryan joined our Boston conversation and another person in line behind us approached Don. Ryan brought up the book we had given him the night before and told us it was going to be “a staple on the tour bus this fall.” I’m glad we could provide some entertainment for the road.

When we gave Ryan his gift, I had to make sure to tell him that while the honey bears were in my purse one of them had gotten his gift a bit sticky. (Oh, the irony) He told us we always “one up ourselves” during each meet and greet. He may have exaggerated a little, but we still appreciate it.  He first looked at his postcard and asked, “Is that Paul Revere?” We told him it was and he began telling us about the song he’s writing about Paul Revere and then asked “Did I already tell you about this?” He had (during the Q&A from before, which is why we gave him that postcard) but I was willing to listen to it again. He then told us that Don was helping him with the song (then jokingly added, that he would not be given credit for it) and told us he was going to hang up the postcard we gave him as motivation.  He then proceeded to open the shot glass we gave him. After, he informed us that they were not in fact shot glasses, but shooters, he asked, “How did you do these?” My response? “A little glass paint and a steady hand.” True Story. After that Ryan told us about how funny the mental image of the two of us was going into a store and just filling a cart with 10 bears of honey. Let’s be fair, the actual image was hysterical, it involved Megan climbing on shelves and everything. Also, when carrying the bears with did not use a cart! We were each holding a giant heap of bears in our arms as we walked towards the cashier. She didn’t say anything to us when we approached her but her look was priceless when she asked “Paper or plastic.” Apparently, forklift was not an option.

After we finished chatting with Ryan, the hunt was on for Richard, (I’m sorry, I have a hard time calling him Korby since the first time he we met him he introduced himself as Richard.) We had a shot glass to give to him too.  He didn’t open it until after group photos had finished because he needed to take on the role of photographer extraordinaire during group pictures, but he did give us a hug and thanked us for the gift when we gave it to him. We took the opportunity to have a Chaser group photo taken with the guys. It came out fabulous. After pictures, Richard opened the gift and read his postcard in an almost perfect Boston accent (who knew!) I couldn’t help but laugh while he was doing it, but in reality, I couldn’t tell what was wrong with the way he was saying things.

At this point, the chasers were a bit scattered in front of the concert venue. We started gathering back together so that we could go properly celebrate fellow chaser, Denise’s, birthday. We got to the restaurant and Mary stepped up as our leader. She had made the reservations earlier in the day for our celebration. We were walked back to our table and given our menus, which read “Happy Birthday Denise!” at the top. Korby had told us to tell them that we were friends of his, so we did. We then found out that our waitress, Kelly, was also a friend of the guys. She then took our drink orders and left to give us a few minutes to look over the menu (just like any waitress at a restaurant would.) Unlike any other restaurant, when she came back to our table, she came baring gifts, going by the names of Mike, Randy, and Don.  They came to our table and just chatted with us for a bit. If I recall correctly it was Don who said, “I love to see you guys eating dinner all together like this.” I completely agree it was nice to see us all together like that. After Mike tried to steal the rolls off the table, the guys went back to where they were sitting to enjoy their own dinner and drinks. Once they had walked away we were all a bit in shock.  “Did that just happen?” was definitely muttered once or twice. Everyone was silent and we were now all just staring at each other. Once we had finally recovered from that experience our food was being served to us and we all started joking, laughing, and enjoying our dinner (yes, at 11:00 at night)

It was then I heard a little squeak out of Megan, who had seen Mike and Ryan approaching before anyone else.  They started talking and then Mike left Ryan while we were all chatting. (I really hope Ryan didn’t feel obligated to stay and chat with us, I would never want any of them to feel like that.) He left shortly after because he didn’t want to intrude on our dinner. I’m pretty sure after he left none of us really ate anymore anyways.  It was all too overwhelming.  I may only be speaking for myself but after that I think all I did was push my food around my plate. That’s fine though.

Not long went by before we noticed a man standing in the corner holding up an iPhone (What a creep!)  We could definitely tell that his camera was pointed our way but we were all a bit concerned since none of us were really sure who he was or what he was doing. We all got a little nervous as to why he was filming us (or taking photos, we couldn’t tell at that point) Once again, that tell all squeak came from Megan and I looked up to see our waitress Kelly, Mike, Ryan, Jerome, Randy, and Don coming around the corner with a little dessert complete with candle. They walked over to Denise and started singing Happy Birthday to her. 

They took a picture with her and then she blew out the candle (I’m pretty sure she was shaking the entire time) they already had walked away (with the exception of Jerome) and Denise couldn’t contain herself anymore. She spit out a “SWEET BABY JESUS!” which had Jerome laughing and saying, “I’m so glad I was here to hear that.”

After he left, we paid our bill and decided that we would head over to the bar area for a bit.  Once there, we found ourselves in the presence of Mike, Don, Walt, Richard, and David Britz.  We got over there only to find out that the bar had already stopped serving drinks. The other chasers began discussing where we would head to next. At one point Megan and I thought we were in the way of people so we moved over. That kind of put us outside of the loop of the other chasers but awkwardly standing next to Don and Walt.  We got distracted (not hard to do) by the TV in the bar, which happened to show a clip of the Red Sox game from earlier in the day and kind of faded out of whatever was happening behind us. We were brought back to reality by Don, who had noticed us awkwardly standing there, saying, “Hey girls, how are you?” We then began discussing the dinner we had just finished. He asked us how our meals were and we honestly didn’t have an answer for him because neither of us even remembered eating at all.  He told us we should have tried the Salmon and when I told him I didn’t eat seafood he told me I still should have tried the Salmon because it’s his favorite.

I’m not sure how the conversation transitioned but we then started talking about the show Jeopardy. Which we learned, Don is very passionate about. He mentioned a rule that he had when watching jeopardy that no one followed (except for Ryan). At this point, I had misheard him and thought he said that no one watches except for Ryan.  Which is why Don was confused when I said “Well, that doesn’t surprise me” Don asked, “why does that not surprise you?” and I said “Oh, I thought you said no one watches with you except Ryan, and he really likes trivia.” At this point, Don had still not mentioned what exactly the rule was he had for Jeopardy. Naturally, being the nosy people that we are, we asked him. If you’re wondering, his rule is: You can’t answer the questions until Alex Trebek is done reading. He made it clear that it should not be about how fast you can read (because then Walt would always win.) I told him I’d like to think I’d be good at Jeopardy and that I know I’d be good at Kids Jeopardy (because I’m definitely smarter than a 5th grader) He did NOT approve of that statement. It sent him into a tizzy reminiscing about a day when DR told him that regular Jeopardy was not on. He was legitimately yelling in the bar and reenacting the hissy fit he took. I’m pretty sure Walt told him to settle down.

It was then that we noticed the other chasers had decided on a plan of action on where we were going.  I should mention that also at this point, Richard, Mike, and David Britz were already gone. As the chasers began the trek to the next bar, we walked by Walt on our way out and I said “See you tomorrow!” which he responded with a simple “yup, see you tomorrow.” And off we went.

Once we got to the next bar, the first thing we noticed was Jerome, Mike, and Richard were inside. The second thing we noticed was that there was no place for any of us to sit. A couple of us stood at the bar waiting for the bartender to come over to us but that never happened (rude). We were becoming very impatient and then someone mentioned that we should just head to one of the rooms and continue Denise’s birthday celebrations there. As we started to make our way out of the bar we ended up stopping in front of the stairway into the bar to gather our thoughts and make a game plan (since what we needed was scattered in different rooms of the hotel) Jerome had noticed that we were about to leave and came over to stairs to chat with us (Megan, Cindy, and I) before we left (not very quickly I may add, those splits really do a number on him) He told us as he literally was using Megan to support him that we should stay young.  Jerome had also told us that he had won $800 playing black jack. This then started a conversation about how black jack is the only game Jerome plays and playing slots “back in the day”, which I might add, Megan and I were too young to remember. The conversation took some twists and turns there (having to do with technology) and landed us right on Kindles.  Jerome said the last thing he read (other than the Ben & Jerry’s menu) was a long time ago, and we all had a good laugh. With that Jerome said good-bye to us and headed back to join Mike and Richard.

Megan and I had decided that we would not be going back to anyone’s room, it was late and since we weren’t staying at Harrah’s we still had to drive back to our hotel. We said good-bye to everyone and told them we’d see them again tomorrow.  As we were leaving we thought it in our best interest to use the ladies’ room before getting in the car. We headed towards the bathroom near the concert venue (mostly because that was the only one we knew how to get to) and I must admit I do not regret that decision.  As we were coming out of the bathroom we ran into our old friend (or at least that’s what it feels like anyways) Ryan Ahlwardt.  He was coming out of the concert venue. He said Hello to us and stopped to chat for a few minutes. I told him I couldn’t believe he was still in there, and he told me that he’s always pretty wired after a show.  He asked us how dinner was and we told him it was AMAZING, but to be honest neither one of us were referring to the food we had eaten.  We somehow started talking about my dislike for seafood again and I was informed that Randy also dislikes seafood. This was relieving because I had gotten some judgment before but it made me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone.  He then thanked us for the gifts we had given (which seemed like years ago at this point) and said, “See you tomorrow, Sleep well.” What a perfect way to end an amazing night!

We finally made our way to the parking garage. There was very little talking between the two of us during the walk back. We were both just in awe of the night we had just had.  When we started our journey back to the Resorts Casino I decided I didn’t need my GPS, I was feeling adventurous.  The entire drive back also had very little conversation. It was mostly filled with “seriously? Did that just happen?” The entire night felt like a dream and I honestly thought I would wake up any minute and realize none of it was real. That didn’t happen and I couldn’t be more thankful. Somehow we made it safely back to our hotel and I’m still not sure how that happened.

Hopefully, you all understand now why Megan was speechless when trying to write about this day. Thank you to each and every member of Straight No Chaser for making this night so amazing.

Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of this week....

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