Ahh Baltimore….Another whirlwind trip, but that’s just how we like it. The person to thank for this trip is Tara. She was very persistent and relentless in her efforts to get us to Baltimore. It worked, we caved, and everyone was happy!
Luckily, the show the night before in Boston was only about 20 minutes from my house so it wasn’t a super late night. There was cause for concern before leaving for the airport thought. After conversation the past couple nights had revolved greatly around our light up necklaces, we were concerned with the battery life and the fact that many of our lights were starting to grow dim. We made the executive decision to get up early the next day and get new lights. We got our lights at a local craft store (A.C. Moore) but they didn’t open until 9 and we have to be at the airport by 10. Since we were no strangers to buying these lights, we knew exactly where to go, grabbed several strands, and were on our way to the airport with plenty of time to spare. It was comforting to know we wouldn’t be disappointing Seggie.
These trips always involve a lot of “hurry up so you can sit and wait” moments but we were far too excited to care. It is in fact, a very short flight from Boston to Baltimore, right around an hour and a half. We were in Baltimore by 1:30 and our hotel was ON airport property. We didn’t have a car and no one was picking us up because the hotel was so close and they had a free shuttle, we just didn’t know how to get to it. We went to the information desk and were greeted by a man who took his job way too seriously. He told us to call using the phone that was right near us and the hotel would send the shuttle and we should wait by door 1 for it. Well I called and the woman was very pleasant and sent the shuttle to come and get us but she told us to stand at door 4. This upset the information worker so much that he then proceeded to bang on the window and wave his arms at us. We choose to ignore these actions so he came outside and told us the shuttle wouldn’t find us at this door but I then turned and said “Oh, you mean that shuttle?” it had indeed found us at door 4. He was so disgruntled that he exchanged angry words with the shuttle driver who told him that because the hotel is on airport property they have special privileges and can pick up at any door. Megan and I were already in the shuttle at this point but the information guy felt the need to open the door and explain this to us. We did NOT care. We just needed to get to our hotel to shower and get the smell of airplane off us. We left the airport and was at our hotel about 90 seconds later. We honestly could have just walked there.
There was no time for lollygagging once we were at the hotel. I had my laptop so we put on some music, even though there was a sign RIGHT outside our door that said, “quiet please”, and started getting ready. We also were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our third roommate, Jenn. When we got the text that she was at the hotel I went to retrieve her from the lobby. When I first got to the lobby Jenn was nowhere to be found, just lots of people there for some kind of conference. I spotted a place to sit and wait. I managed to maneuver through the crowd and took the seat on a near by couch. I could see the door from the couch so I knew there was no way I’d miss Jenn when she walked into the hotel. Not too long after, my mission was complete, Jenn walked into the lobby and we made our way back to the room. While we were getting ready for the show we realized that EVERYTHING in our room had a label on it and they had provided us with ONE free bottle of water. At around 4:00, we decided it was time to leave for the show since the dinner started at 5:00. Jenn so graciously offered to drive, being from New Jersey, she was a little iffy on those left hand turns, but she got us to the venue unharmed. Getting to the venue proved to be the easy part, trying to find parking was the challenge. We made a few laps around the venue before we found a parking garage. Well that’s kind of a lie; the first one we found was closed. The one we choose had the scariest elevators known to man. I’m pretty sure it’s where diseases are born. We made our way to the venue and while we waited to cross the street, a total stranger walked up to us and asked us for change so she could get the bus. Normally, I would have felt bad but she had a shopping bag filled with stuff from a near by store, so she did have money at some point. She kind of gave me the heebie-jeebies.
Once inside the venue we found Tara, Marna, Cindy, Kary, Annie, Crystal, Kim, Kelli, Eileen, Julie, and Jenn. I may have forgotten some people. If I did I apologize. We had a blast at dinner. We were seated right by the elevator, which had a mind of it’s own and just kept opening and closing. We were all very nervous of who was going to jump out of the elevator at us at any given moment. After a while, Richard made the rounds saying hello to people, then made some announcements to us. We were then herded into the venue for a little preshow show with the guys. The guys serenaded us with Joy to the World first, after which, they allowed us to ask some questions, followed by This Christmas, a song we would later find out (on Thanksgiving) they were singing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
After our preshow event had ended we were told to exit the venue so that we could reenter with everyone else. Which was the only logical choice, considering we were practically already in our seats. Oh well, we took this opportunity to wait in the ridiculously long bathroom lines and chat. Megan and I considered drinks, but knew that’d be a bad idea. We also considered heading to the merch table, but with our experience in Manchester, NH and a clear visual of the mob scene poor k-merch was trying to control, we thought it best just to find out seats (again.)
Once the show started it was a pretty normal show. You know, people slow dancing in the aisles to “Let’s Get It On”, glowing necklaces and glow sticks every where you turned, and an audience filled with chasers in buddy holly glasses, soooo the usual. I must admit, on more then one occasion I found myself admiring the unique layout of the venue. Different from anywhere I’ve ever seen. When the show ended Megan and I set out to get set lists from the show, a pretty easy task usually. We asked one of the stage crew guys if he could pull one up. He was very accommodating and happy to help except when he went to go pull it up he wasn’t prepared for the set list/duct tape to fight back. It did, but the crew guy put it in its place and came out victorious in the end. With the exception of a small chunk at the bottom where it looked like Megan had nibbled on the paper, it was relatively unscathed. Oh, right, you might wonder why I am picking on Megan. I’m not really, there was only one left at the time and so when the battle royale ended I let Megan have the set list. Good news though, when we were leaving the venue we had to walk right by Trist, who at the time we were unaware was Trist, and there was a set list just sitting there on a ledge. I asked him if I could take it and he said “Sure!” So it all worked out in the end.
We moseyed around the lobby of the venue for a bit then we decided to hop in the M&G line, which was already on the move. We hopped in line with the other chasers, they’re never hard to find, especially when there is a large group of us. We were on a tight schedule at this point because we were informed that the parking garage in which most of us had parked our cars closed at midnight and we had to have our cars out by then. At this point I believe it was only around 10 or 10:30 so we had plenty of time. There were shenanigans in line while we waited (like I’m pretty sure Tara tried to push me down some stairs) which helped pass the time.
We finally made it to the beginning of the line and we were greeted with appropriate response from Tyler of “it’s been SO LONG!” He was right; it had been almost a full 24 hours. I gave him my set list to sign and he said, “Do you want me to sign both of them?” I said, “If you want?” he must have wanted to, because he did. So now I have a set list that has 11 signatures instead of 10. Megan then handed her set list to him and said, “Sorry, I got hungry and took a bite” Tyler replied (through his laughter), “It was a long line” touché, Tyler.
When we got to Seggie, we informed him that we had made a special stop at the store before our flight to Baltimore, JUST for him. If I recall correctly, his only response to that was “good.” We also gave him a very small gift, a light up snowflake necklace. We told him that now he would never have to have a piece of him missing again. (Because remember, when we don’t wear our lights, a piece of HIM is missing.) He told us that he was going to make a random person in the audience wear it at every show.
We got to Jerome and he looked up at us and said “Well, I follow one of you on twitter, I’m not sure which one.” It was me. He then told Megan to send him something on twitter so he could find her. Later that night she sent him a tweet that just simply said “Hi, Jerome.” This led us into a conversation with several of the guys (Mike, Jerome, Don, Charlie, and I believe at one point Seggie chimed in) about our twitter handles. Mike was even able to recite our twitter names for the guys (which was only shocking because he’s not on twitter all the much.) Megan was quizzed on why her name was racer8and9 and she explained that she’s a huge NASCAR fan and that those were her favorite drivers numbers. (I think, don’t ask me, she’s the NASCAR fan, not me.) We were trying to have a conversation with all of them at the same time and at one point I was asked why my twitter name had an “er” at the end (I was standing in front of Don and Charlie so there’s a good chance it was on of them). I simply explained that since I’m from Boston we drop our R’s off of the end of most words but much like matter & energy *what a nerd* R’s cannot be created or destroyed just transferred to other words. (Don't believe me? read here: http://www.universalhub.com/glossary/pronunciation.html) Usually those other words are words that end with an A. I gave some more examples, such has idea usually becomes idear, tuna becomes tuner, and naturally Amanda becomes Amander. This caused laughter by all involved in the conversation and then Charlie asked me, “Well, how would you say tuner, as in a radio tuner?” well A) I wouldn’t because I’m 24 and I don’t think I ever have and B) I thought about it for a minute and said, “tunah.” More laughter ensued and I like to think I ended that conversation on a high note.
When I got to Walt, I had to make sure to ask him if our outfit choices for the night were okay with him. The night before he had told us that he wanted us to coordinate our outfits with him and when we asked him what we should wear he told us he would text us. Well we waited with bated breath for his text and it never came through so we had to use our best judgment when packing. Fortunately, Fashion Guru Walt approved our outfits and it all turned out okay.
At this point we were all standing around, waiting for group pictures when the security workers tried to kick us out. We politely told them that we would like to wait for group pictures (which would be soon, because the M&G line was almost at it’s end) and he told us no they weren’t doing them and we had to leave. We told him, he was mistaken and no we didn’t. He sort of huffed and puffed as he stormed away to go talk to Richard, who must of told him they would be doing pictures because that man never came back. Not too long after a female worker came over to us and had basically the SAME conversation with us, with the same results. She went over to Richard and then never returned.
When it was our turn, Megan and I walked up, gave Seggie a stern look, tried to take the cup he had away but he wouldn’t hand it over and then finally just turned around for the picture. Right before the picture I had taken off my glasses and Ryan apparently noticed because he said to me “Wait, weren’t you wearing glasses?” I was, and I don’t really know why I took them off. Maybe I do it just to mess with people, who knows ;) After our picture was taken, it was time for a group chaser picture. Megan and I were standing over by Ryan during the picture and right before the picture we had what I’m sure from the outside looked like a “team meeting.” We didn’t discuss too much as we were instructed to turn and smile for the picture and then after we brought it back in for another little team meeting. It was just chitchat basically about the blog and what not (we’re not plotting to take over the world or anything, Ryan just had some kind words to say.)
After we walked away, we went to go grab our things. Then we headed back over to Ryan who was talking with some from friends of his. We didn’t want to interrupt so we stood off to the side until he was finished talking. When he saw us he asked, “what’s up ladies?” I told him we just wanted to say thanks and asked if we could get a hug. Of course he was willing to do such a thing. We were saying good-bye and getting ready to actually leave when my bangs had fallen into my face (where they spend much of their time. Pesky bangs) and Ryan was kind enough to offer a help tree? Yup. That’s right. He was holding a small fiber optic Christmas tree in his hand and used the star on top to move my bangs out of my face. Regardless of the small mark it left on my forehead, it was a very efficient way to remove my hair from my eyes, well that is until I moved my head and they immediately fell back into my face. Oh well, woe is me, I guess. We left the venue and went to retrieve Jenn’s car before the parking garage closed. We found our germ infested elevator once again and made our way to the car. We made it back to the hotel and got ready for a short rest before it was time to get up and hop back on a plane to Boston. That definitely didn’t stop us from having a lot of laughs before we fell asleep (something that would later prove to happen every time we saw/see Jenn)
We got up the next day exhausted and disheveled. A plane ride home is not what we wanted to be doing. To be honest we were in the mindset of quitting our jobs and becoming professional chasers. I’m not exactly sure what that would involve and how much it would pay but at the time it seemed like a good career move. It’s a short plane ride home and once we landed it seemed as though we were instantly thrust back into real life. Our career change would have to wait. (For at least a week, when we would be seeing everyone again in Atlantic City.)