It just seems fitting that as I sit here writing and reminiscing about my time in Atlantic City, OneRepublic is telling me that “This has gotta be the good life.” I’m going to have to agree with that statement.
We got ourselves ready for what had now become our morning routine of waking up at about 10:00 and heading out for coffee from Dunkin Donuts. We were feeling much better this morning, without that “chase over” we had been feeling the day before. This time the walk to Dunky’s did not feel like forever nor did we get harassed for being from Boston, finally a day where the morning occurred without incident! When we got back we both had the very strategic plan of drinking our coffee’s before we showered and got ready (you know so we wouldn’t be ready super early) but instead we both just sucked down our coffee’s super fast and took off getting ready. When we were both ready we were able to hold off the urge to immediately leave for Harrah’s. We kept busy by going through the left over postcards and then watching the videos I had taken from the previous shows.
we finally decided to head over to Harrah’s, We had spotted those fancy glasses from the SNC website in the gift shop at Harrah’s and we wanted to check them out, plus we also needed to buy the photos from the merchandise table. We got to Harrah’s and immediately went over to the gift shop. We poked around in there for a bit and went to some of the other shops. After that we decided to go exploring. Having gotten lost in the basement of Harrah’s once before, we were very cautious about where we explored. We knew that we were having a chaser meet up at the food court by the pool, and even though we were pretty sure we knew where that was, we decided to wander over, just in case. As we were walking we saw Mike heading towards the elevator and a swift change in direction occurred. As we wandered around a bit longer we ended up going out to the boardwalk near the concert venue.
We did all the touristy things while standing out there: taking photos, dodging bird poop, and eavesdropping on other casino goers phone conversations.
The last one wasn’t hard to accomplish because the man we were listening to was holding his cell phone up to his ear but it was most definitely on speakerphone. It was at this point we realized he nor the woman on the phone had anything interesting we wanted to listen to and it was nearing 5:15 so we figured we go see if the merchandise table was set up. It was not. Instead of finding the merchandise table we found Tara, Marna, and their friend Jackie. After chatting with the box office people for a while and getting almost attacked by a bird trapped in Harrah’s we went over to meet up with some other chasers. We met up with Cindy, Terry, and Tracy then headed over to the food court where we saw Victoria (and a large group of her friends and family) I apologize for not remembering everybody’s names.
While we were all standing outside, we saw Walt walk by us. He gave us a little smile and continued on his way, I’m not going to lie, I’m surprised he didn’t break into a brisk jog after seeing us and run for safety. There was A LOT of us standing there. Victoria and co. did not stay with us to eat dinner. So in total there were 8 of us at the food court and 3 of us put our heads together to try and find an arrangement of tables that would accommodate all of us. It didn’t take very long. The three of us working hard were all teachers. It’s pretty much in our blood to solving seating arrangement debacles.
After we finished eating we decided to head over closer to the concert venue. Doors weren’t open yet but there was still adventure to be had. Some chasers took a detour to use the restrooms while others trekked onward. Megan and I somehow separated from the rest of the group (only by a few steps really, Megan was in heels.) People from Boston always walk with a sense of urgency and we’re always in a constant state of rushing; we pretty much end up ahead of the group no matter where we are. We saw a familiar face round the corner in front of us. It was Jerome. He kind of tilted his sunglasses down, looked at us, and gave a little wave. We didn’t do anything except wave back. It was a nice moment, but inside I was freaking out a bit. Terry witnessed the interaction and when we were joined with the group again told us that moment had been “SO CUTE!”
When we got over to the concert venue, we decided to go into the Eden Lounge. (That’s the place that usually has the ear piercing noise, that they call music, coming from inside after the show) Megan and I took a quick detour to buy our pictures to get signed from the merchandise table. We’d been attempting to do this all afternoon. SUCCESS! Feeling victorious, we walked into the Eden Lounge and ordered our drinks (obviously getting carded, because we’re always told we look super young. Incase you’re wondering Megan’s 24 and I will be 24 in September) After getting our drinks we returned to where the group of chasers were, not soon after that we welcomed Latricia to our group. I’m not sure when it happened but we also acquired a new chaser. The box office people sent him along with Tara. His name was Alex and we were happy to welcome him into our group, he was there seeing SNC for the first time by himself.
When we finally went into the concert venue to find our seats, our seat neighbors were already there. There was a group of them but they were split up so some were behind us and one was next to me. I had some fun conversation with him. When he looked at my dress he said “Oh I’m so glad you’re dressed up too! I wore my best suit tonight.” When I looked over he had a T-shirt on that looked like a tux. Being one SUPER strong rum and coke in, I found it to be hysterical. Soon after Megan left to go to the restroom, and he asked me if he could steal her aisle seat. I told him that he could try but Megan would probably fight him for it, I also added “She’s pretty tough”. Perhaps an exaggeration but he didn’t know that. When Megan came back I told her that he was planning on stealing her seat and her EXACT response was “I would have fought him for it.” Go ahead, take a minute to laugh at that. I did. After this I made sure to pass out the remaining glow sticks I had, which wasn’t many but they served their purpose.
The concert started and it was obviously amazing. We got a few looks from the guys on stage, acknowledging the fact that they had found us in the audience. That was fun; it kind of felt like a real life game of “Where’s Waldo?” I wasn’t sure if they all saw us (but come on, we were legitimately glowing, as always, and they knew we’d be there somewhere.) As the concert ended I felt a little pang of sadness hit. It was a great show but I was sad knowing this was the last one of the week and I’d have to wait the entire month of August before seeing them again Labor Day Weekend. (No worries though, this story has a happy ending.) Megan and I left the venue before the other chasers, so we met up with them outside.
When it was our turn for the meet and greet line we walked up to Jerome and he said hello. I gave him my picture to sign and then I asked for a picture. I told him I was willing to wait until after the group photos (I didn’t want to make him stand before he really had to) but he said I didn’t need to. Megan and I both took our picture with him. I then moved onto Mike and I had something very important to discuss with him.
Me: Mike, has anyone ever told you that Gone by N’sync was actually released in 2001, NOT the 1990’s (Don’t judge me for knowing that, that’s my childhood right there!) I wasn’t sure who arranged it, so I thought I’d tell you since you sing it.
Mike: (through his laughter) Please tell that to Walt, he arranged it.
(I also wanted to tell him that Cry Me A River was also not released in the 90’s but in 2002, and it wasn’t an N’sync song. I thought that might be overkill. Good thing they can read it here now.)
Next up I made my way to Seggie, who the night before had NOT seen us in the audience. I made to sure to ask if he saw us this night.
Me: So Seggie, did you see us tonight?
Seggie (to me): Yes, I did.
Tyler (to me): of course he saw you!
Me (to Tyler): Well, he claims he didn’t last night.
Tyler (to Seggie): * Seggie face*
Seggie (to me): I probably did see you last night. It was a long night.
Tyler (to Seggie): * more Seggie face *
At this point we were about half way down the meet and greet line when I realized that my photo was at the very end of the table, in the capable hands of Ryan. I saw him lift it up and ask, “Whose is this?” from way down the line I frantically waved at him claiming “IT’S MINE!” He then yelled down to me asking if it was for me. Yep! It was, thanks for asking, Ryan! We were still at DR and Charlie, so Ryan would have to keep that safe for now.
I asked DR if he had put the gift we gave him to good use yet. He said no. I’m intrigued to whether he liked it or not. I guess that’s a question for the next meet and greet line. Charlie was the first to mention that he liked watching us make our way from one section of the concert venue to the next.
Me: Oh yeah, we just wanted to check out every section and get a feel for the venue.
Randy: They videoed from all 3 spots and are just going to put it all together.
Charlie: Nice, So our next DVD is already done. (laughing) so where’s the best seats.
Me: Front and center of course.
(Megan was busy having the internal debate on if she should say the seats we sat in on Monday because she got to dance with Charlie.)
DR: If I’m stage right, their favorite seat is on the left.
Are we that obvious?! Next up was Walt and since Mike had told me I needed to tell him about the song Gone, it was the first thing I mentioned to him (otherwise I totally would have forgotten)
Me: So, Mike told me to tell you, that Gone was actually released in 2001, not in the 90’s.
Walt: Wasn’t it 2003?
Megan: No, 2001, Cry Me A River was 2003!
Walt: Well, thanks for calling me out on that.
Don: Walt, get your decades straight!
I’m sorry to Walt, if people have told him this before and I’m certainly okay with it being in the 90’s medley. I just needed to make sure everyone had their facts straight. So naturally while I was looking through the postcards I mentioned earlier, I found one that needed to be with Ryan. It was of Harvard Square. Naturally, I wrote “Hahvuhd, Hahvuhd, Hahvuhd” on the back of it and gave it to him. I also made sure to cross our where it said “Harvard” and wrote “Hahvuhd” instead. I think Ryan appreciates the attention to detail. Naturally, we started talking about Boston again and Don reassured me that the show at the Wang was going to be a great show, and I still have no doubt in my mind about that. Ryan commented about how The Wang was a silly name and since I had called everyone else out on their facts that night I decided I would inform him of the Theatre’s correct name. It’s now called “The Citi Performing Arts Center at The Wang” (but yeah, everyone still just calls it The Wang, I just happen to have a parent who works at Citi Bank and who would be disappointed if I didn’t tell them the new name.) I can only imagine that I said “The Citi Pahformin Aahts Centah” because Ryan called me out on my Boston accent when I said it.
After that, we moved out of the way of fellow chasers coming down the line. It would be unfair of us to dominate the conversation with the last couple guys. We didn’t make it too far before Ryan asked, “So, girls, what are you doing for your last days here?” That was a tough question he threw our way, because neither one of us had an answer. We hadn’t really thought about it all that much.
Ryan: You should check out this restaurant in Brigantine, it’s right over the bridge.
Me & Megan: (nodding our heads) oh, okay. (In reality, we had NO idea what bridge he was talking about.)
Ryan: Do you have something I can write on?
Me & Megan (Looking at each other): ummm (looking down at signed photo)
Ryan: NOT those!
Apparently, he knows us well. Luckily, I remembered I had my calendar in my purse and it has blank pages at the end for notes. He gave the name and address of a fabulous little place. It was called Laguna Grill. After, he also suggested we go check out Cape May. Marna was standing next to us at the point and she agreed with him. (We did end up going to Laguna Grill the next day for lunch before going to Cape May. I suggest you do both these things if you have the chance!) So, after completely taking over the end of the table, which we trying to avoid, we were told by an usher we had to go back into line for group photos. I’m not one to cause a scene (most of the time) so we did as we were told and headed back into the line.
Megan and I had decided this would be a good day to try something different. We decided that for the first time, we were going to take group pictures separately. It was weird. Ryan seemed concerned for us, asking if “we were going to be okay.” We both came out of the experience mostly unscathed. All right, fine, completely unscathed. Ryan told me that he subtly held up the post card I gave him in the picture. It really wasn’t that subtle, but that could possibly be because when looking at my camera, after he told me, my eye went straight for it. Megan and I discussed later how we both felt totally awkward standing up there because when we were alone neither one of us knew where to stand.
After group pictures, we headed to the bar for drinks, except Megan and I decided against the alcohol at this point. We saw Randy come over to the hostess and then we saw Charlie, Julia, and Hayden (after they arrived, Randy disappeared using some sort of stealth ninja moves. I swear I didn’t even see him leave.) A few of the chasers went over to say hi to them and for a while, Megan and I stayed at the table debating if we should go over there or not. We didn’t want to bombard them but at the same time we wanted to introduce ourselves to Julia (and see that adorable baby!) After squandering our opportunity earlier in the week to meet Julia and Hayden, we seized the moment (fearing we wouldn’t get another opportunity like this) and headed over to where they were standing. Naturally, once over there, our daycare teacher instincts came flooding back and we ended up just making faces at Hayden, completely ignoring the fact that we were out in public. At one point we were definitely caught by Charlie, who just said, “hi girls.” I think in unison we both replied back “hi!” I told Charlie we just wanted to come over and ask Hayden how he liked his book. Charlie told us that he was already up to X, all by himself. Wow! They have one smart little man on their hands! After that, Charlie introduced us to Julia, which was our main objective. After giving Charlie the book, and him telling us how much she liked it, it just felt like we needed to meet her. She was super sweet! Such a nice person and I’m so glad we got to meet her! She was so kind to us, even after we totally bombarded her and her family while they waited for dinner. Hayden has some pretty amazing parents, what a lucky guy!
After we left the bar Megan, Tara, Marna, Jackie, Cindy, and myself went to Ben & Jerry’s for some ice cream. It was a nice way to wind down the evening and have some pretty hysterical conversation as well. When it was time to leave we all were headed to the parking garage, then suddenly Tara and Marna pretty much pinned Megan and I down and wouldn’t let us go until we promised to come back for the PBS taping on August 17th. Ok ok ok. It did not happen that way, but they were pretty convincing and after a little reorganizing of our work schedules, Megan and I WILL be there on August 17th. This means we will forgo one of the concerts we were planning for November, but it’ll be worth it.
Until next time, I bid you adieu.