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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.

7.23.2011

Harrah's 2011...Finally!


Amanda and I started our adventures to Atlantic City at 8 am on Sunday, July 17th. With a few quick stops at the bank, gas station, and Dunkin Donuts, we were safely on the road and our Sunday Adventure to SNC had begun!!! I was seriously afraid that this week would never come (or with my luck, it would just be skipped over). We hit very little traffic (with the exception of some congestion at the George Washington Bridge…silly New York) and made excellent time to Atlantic City. We were staying at Resorts Casino instead of Harrah’s because of its location to the boardwalk, cheaper prices, and the length of our stay…you never know, we could want to do something else other than just going to see Straight No Chaser.



We arrived at Resorts at 3 pm. Excellent…plenty of time to check into the hotel, get the stench of traveling off of us (ew!), and head to Harrah’s to get tickets for that night’s show. Originally we figured we wouldn’t make it to Atlantic City in time to catch the show on the 17th so we hadn’t purchased tickets in advance, however, once we arrived in AC we couldn’t stand to be in the same location as Straight No Chaser and not be there… that’s just blasphemous. Unfortunately, Resorts was not as understanding of our needs. The only thing the hotel workers could tell us was that they couldn’t guarantee our room to be ready for us until 6 pm… so not helpful!

As Amanda and I anxiously awaited the arrival of 6 pm we entertained ourselves by waiting in line to check on our hotel room every 30 minutes or so, and then by singing Hi-De-Ho (including dance moves) in the lobby…we refer to it as Hi-De-Ho-ing. It is a verb…you should try it sometime (you will find yourselves doing it randomly without even noticing it…so much fun). By 5 pm I think the hotel staff was so impressed by our exceptional entertainment that they let us into our room an hour early. Yay! We got ready at warp speed…I’m pretty sure some records were broken…and we headed over to Harrah’s around 6 pm. We were both dressed in our “I’m a Chaser” t-shirts…we got some crazy looks from the hotel guests, but we decided that we were okay with that…everyone should be Chasers after all.

When we got to Harrah’s, we had 2 missions to complete before the show started. One: get tickets. This didn’t prove to be too difficult. We pretty much ran right to the box office from the parking garage (good thing Amanda has a terrific memory and remembered how to get there just from our one trip last summer) and bought our tickets. We got front row balcony seats…when the nice box office lady told us this, however, Amanda told her to shut up. She didn’t quite know how to react. Amanda quickly apologized and told her that she didn’t mean to tell her to shut up, she was just really excited. The woman was a little confused, but the kid working in the back was laughing hysterically…at least someone thinks we’re funny.

Now on to mission two: get “Ask us about Straight No Chaser” buttons (and maybe some food…we hadn’t eaten anything in a while). We decided to go to the café in Harrah’s seeing as we didn’t have much time before the doors to the concert venue opened at 7pm. As we wandered that way, Amanda exclaimed that she just saw Don walking in the opposite direction. I didn’t see him…I was clearly in my own little world…but we’re pretty sure he spotted us. I mean come on, how couldn’t he. We were adorned from head to toe in Chaser gear after all. We made it to the café without completely freaking out and giddily waited in line. While waiting we realized that one of the workers had the very Straight No Chaser button on that we were looking for. They had to be added to our ensemble. Amanda asked the worker if they were willing to part with the button. She seemed rather attached to it, so the other café worker went out back and retrieved 2 buttons for us (probably off of someone else’s uniforms). Let’s be fair, we would put those buttons to much better use then they would anyway.

SNC Promoters, right?
After forcing ourselves to eat some food, we decided to head back toward the concert venue. We knew that some of the other Chasers were coming to the show so we figured we would wait outside the venue for a little while in hopes that we would spot one of them. Instead of spotting Chasers, however, we ended up spotting some of the men of Straight No Chaser as they entered the concert venue. During this time we managed to spot Walt, Don, Ryan, Mike, Seggie, and Charlie. Walt was actually so close to us that we could have tripped him. Naturally we climbed into the nearest potted plant and tried to camouflage ourselves into the nice iron fence behind us. We couldn’t risk being spotted. During this time people walking by the box office took the opportunity to ask us questions about Straight No Chaser (clearly the buttons work). One common question was “what is this show about?” it’s a concert, people, and these guys sing a cappella. Amanda was tempted to give very absurd answers, but refrained. We do want people to actually go see the show. One guy nicely stared at my chest while reading my button. He got way too close for comfort and invaded my personal space. Oddly enough, he had a Boston College shirt on. Normally people from Boston refrain from such behavior. Some guy also walked by yelling “why do all these shirts say Straight No Chaser on them?” It could be because you’re next to the concert venue…just a thought.

By 7:30 we decided to head into the concert venue. We would catch up with the other Chasers after the show. We met an usher who was super friendly and we had some fun laughs with her. She wanted to make sure we had tickets for Labor Day weekend already because they were going fast. We assured her that tickets had already been purchased. Not long after, we spotted Mary, Denise, and Lynnette down below. We waved frantically to them, but no one saw. We didn’t want to shout and bring too much unnecessary attention to ourselves, so we decided that we would just tell them that we saw them after the show at the meet and greet…we knew we would all be at the back of the line anyway. Minutes later, however, I received a tweet from Mary asking us where we were. I responded back stating that we were in the balcony and I can see you! Mary ran over to talk to us; yielding concerned looks from David Britz and Richard…that quickly dissipated, however, when they glanced up and saw us in our Chaser apparel. The Chasers had taken over Atlantic City!

Then it was finally time for the show to begin! Amanda and I were so excited!!! We had successfully managed to stay off of YouTube, and neither one of us knew what to expect from the show…other than it would be fabulous, of course! I will not describe the events from the show. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything about the show for any of the Chasers that are still steering clear of spoilers…we know and understand how hard it is. I will say, however, that my mind was officially blown by the show at Harrah’s this summer. The guys managed to outdo themselves by about 10 million percent. Seriously, if you haven’t seen the show at Harrah’s this summer, it is beyond worth it to make the trip to Atlantic City!

Once we composed ourselves from the show, it was time to make our way to the meet and greet line. We were both relieved to hear that the horrendous casino band at Eden had returned. This time singing the entire set list of songs we had just heard SNC sing (who were obviously much better). We made our way up the familiar steps and was pleasantly surprised with the looks of recognition from the guys as they saw us.

Jerome: Hey ya’ll!

Mike: You’re back!

Seggie: Are you the British ones?
Megan: (laughing) yes.
Seggie (pointing at us): Where are your leis?!?!
(Seggie, it’s rude to point!)
Megan (pointing back): oh don’t worry; they’re back in the hotel room. We will have them for the show tomorrow.
(We didn’t want them to cover all of our Chaser apparel.)
                     
We had then made our way to Tyler in the meet and greet line.  Here’s a little back story for our conversation with Tyler: Amanda and I had gone to see Hyannis Sound a week prior to the SNC concert. I had talked to Tyler before then, and he had told me to send his best to the guys if we made it to a show. Naturally, Amanda and I were silly, hyper, and overtired by the time the show started. I reminded Amanda that Tyler had told me to send his best to the guys…so we wrote “Tyler Trepp sends his best” on the back of the paper we had received about Hyannis Sound. Amanda then decided that it needed a little more decoration, so she added “purple kittens!” to the bottom. As we laughed about this, we started talking about who would actually enjoy purple kittens…obviously it would be Seggie (because we’re pretty convinced that he loves purple AND kittens). The page then evolved to say “Seggie <3’s purple kittens! Meow!” and Amanda folded it into a paper airplane. This made it look like the paper just said “Trepp sends purple kittens! Meow!” I couldn’t suppress the urge…I HAD to tweet a picture of the plane to Hyannis Sound (they are @TheHyannisSound…you should check them out!). The tweet conversation occurred like this:

@racer8and9: @TheHyannisSound if I threw this at you, would you open it?
@TheHyannisSound: @racer8and9 Throw it. We dare you.
@therealsnctyler: @TheHyannisSound @racer8and9 wait, all that says is Trepp sends purple kittens. I'm confused.

Ok back to the meet and greet line with Straight No Chaser…
Megan (to Tyler): So you don’t like purple kittens?
Tyler (laughing): I was so confused. What did the paper actually say?
Megan: It said Tyler Trepp sends his best.
Tyler: Oh cool. So how were they? I haven’t seen the new group yet.
Megan and Amanda: They were awesome!
Seggie: What group are you talking about?
Megan: Hyannis Sound.
Seggie: Oh I heard they’re terrible, especially in 2005. (Tyler then motioned for him to go higher).
Seggie: Oh I mean 2007.
Megan: No, they were actually really good!
Tyler: Cool, I’m excited to see them.

We then moved on to DR, who we had a present for. He seemed surprised and exclaimed “for me?” I explained that this was a little something for him for helping us with trivia questions for our blog giveaways. He opened it, and said, “oooh that will be put to good use.” We had given him a bottle of wine we had picked up at the Cape Cod Winery. Knowing DR is a wine connoisseur, we thought it would be fun to give him some of our own local wine. We had done a wine tasting there, and thought DR would love the one we picked out for him (well, it was one of our favorites after all).

Then it was Charlie’s turn. We had been anxiously waiting months (literally) for this day. From the moment we had found out that Charlie was going to be a father we knew that there was a special project that had to become a reality for this baby. Amanda and I had been joking around that we would make great authors and that we should write a book…this was the perfect opportunity to put this to the test. We wrote an ABC book all about Straight No Chaser (we’re the next Dr. Seuss if I do say so myself). The book will be posted below for all of your viewing pleasure. I should also add a disclaimer at this point stating that we used actual photos of the guys as illustrations. We put a general thank you to all the Chasers for letting us use pictures for our illustrations. If you see a picture that you know is yours and would like special recognition for it, please let us know. Charlie is currently the only proud owner of a printed copy of this book, and changes can be made if need be.

He was clearly excited about the book!
We handed Charlie the baby gift bag and he excitedly ask if it was footie pajamas. When he opened it, he did indeed find footie pajamas. He then said, “Yes! They’re even Winnie the Pooh!” How could they not be after Gettysburg? The footie pajamas were way too big for Hayden, and the other guys jokingly asked if they were for Hayden or for Charlie. We told them it could go either way (hand me downs). Charlie then took the book out of the bag. I think he may have been in shock by it. Randy was sitting next to him, and exclaimed that it was awesome before Charlie could even process what it was. All of the other guys seemed interested in the book too (sorry to the other Chasers who were trying to talk to them). As Charlie began to flip through the book, he slowly began forming words again. Mostly, “wow, this is amazing” and “this is such a great idea”. As he was flipping through the book, he got to "B" and said, "aww man, I have to share B with baritone." I distinctly remember Walt laughing at this. We then asked him to flip to “L” because that page is just too funny and we had to see his reaction to it! We also wanted to make sure that he understood that one of the pictures is taken out of context (see if you can figure out which one). Naturally, he loved it! Phew. Ok, so I won't make you try too hard to figure it out. There's a picture of Charlie on the "L" page, which is for lyrics. It looks like he is reading lyrics from a piece of paper. When Charlie saw this picture he exclaimed, "What am I reading?!" He told him that it was actually a picture of him reading trivia questions during the Harrah's show from last summer. He then stated that he wished he could read the lyrics. So funny!

We then moved over to Randy (we couldn’t hog Charlie all night after all). He remembered we were the Chasers who wrote the blog and asked us what it was called again. (That would be Adventures Made by Chasers, Mr. Stine). Walt kindly introduced himself to us (again) and shook our hands…how sweet. Then somehow we skipped right over Don, still not quite sure how that happened… we may have been really excited to speak to Ryan (sorry, Don!).

Like DR and Charlie, we also had a gift for Ryan. This was for doing the interview with us for our blog and just being his naturally awesome self. We had found a Boston Dictionary that spelled everything phonetically. We saw it and knew that Ryan HAD to have it. He likes to discuss our accent with us.

Ryan (looking at the cover and laughing): Bawstin dryviz
Amanda (laughing): We saw this and decided you had to have it.
Megan: Just make sure you read it out loud to yourself. We read through it and we can guarantee that it is all accurate.
Ryan: Are you staying for pictures?
Megan and Amanda: Of course!
Ryan: Oh good, we’ll take a picture with the book afterwards!

We made sure to tell Ryan to check out the book we had written for Charlie (it seemed like something he would like) and he told us, “You girls are so talented!” Thank, Ryan!

Bawstin Chasahz
We then got in line to get a group picture with all of the guys. We knew it would be a good one with all of our Chaser apparel on. Ryan asked again if we would stay for a picture afterward and Charlie also wanted a picture with our book and footie pajamas. Of course we had to oblige. When the guys were done with the group pictures Ryan and Charlie made their way over to us. This led to some chit-chat. Ryan thanked us again for the book (he seriously loved it, and hadn’t put it down since we gave it to him). He asked us where we found it. Naturally it was inside the Boston Museum of Science. He got excited and told us that that was one of his favorite field trips. He also told us that the book hit home because he had gotten into ancestery.com and found out that he had ancestors that had lived in Boston (too cool!). He continued to flip through the book. He spotted “My kahkiz ah in my kahkis.” (Translated this is: My car keys are in my khakis.) He thought this was hysterical and had to show Charlie, who informed us that this would be all that they would hear about for the rest of the night. Ryan then retold Charlie the story he told us in Gettysburg about his sister and the BEAH cheer. Ryan continued to flip through the book and landed on a page discussing seafood. He laughed and then read to us “Steemiz, lobstah, cawd, and tuner.” Laughing was done by all (but secretly Amanda and I weren’t too sure what was wrong with those words…with the exception of tuner…that’s just silly).  Ryan then remembered that we wanted to get pictures and called Korby over (after he realized there was no longer anyone else around).

We left Harrah’s happy and giddy. Our minds were still blown from the show and we were both relieved that DR, Charlie, and Ryan had enjoyed their gifts. I honestly didn’t know how that night was going to be surpassed. We then got a shoutout via twitter from Ryan: @racer8and9 and @xmanderrrrx This book is hilarious, btdubs. You two are always so thoughtful. Thanks for the laugh!

This week definitely began on a high note! As promised, here is the book we wrote for Charlie and Hayden! Click on the picture of the book below. It will bring you to the link to the ebook on bookemon.com. You can then click on the picture of the book on that website to read the book!

The Everything Straight No Chaser Alphabet Book
by Amanda Abate & Megan Dumais

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