For those unaware, the blogging process usually begins with me sitting down and writing out an outline depicting the most important details of the SNC adventure. For this blog, I sat down and just could not focus on the outline, so I’m going to try something new. Free write, with only my brain as guidance. I apologize in advance if this goes terribly wrong…which is quite feasible, especially if this blog goes unattended for long periods of time which unfortunately has become a norm lately (the real-world really gets in the way sometimes).
Amanda and I had an extremely long week at school. There was just a lot going on and we couldn’t wait for Friday to come so we could make our journey down to Atlantic City. Friday finally did arrive and we muddled through our long 6+ hour work day in high anticipation of what was to come. I left school promptly after the buses had exited the parking lot and cautiously, just above the speed limit and side-skirting some traffic by utilizing the breakdown lane (which is completely legal at that time of day btw), drove to Amanda’s house. When I got to Amanda’s she was packing up a few last minute items, we piled into her car, and made a quick stop for gas. We were on the road by 4:30. Only a 6 hour drive now stood in our way. Nothing overly exciting happened during the long drive. We spent the time reminiscing about all of the adventures we had had so far. We discussed the bittersweet sentiment of how excited we were for the weekend, but we were wary that we would be sad with Ryan’s looming departure. We decided that we would try not to think about this and enjoy all of the time we had left to spend with him.
As we pulled into Caesar’s parking garage we sent Jenn a text message to inform her that we had successfully made the journey. She promptly responded that the concert had just ended and we should meet her by the venue. We quickly checked into our hotel room, deposited our belongings, and made our way down toward our meeting spot. As we approached the venue Trist was walking out. We stopped briefly to talk to him and he told us many things he loved about being here including that it’s a “dry venue”…whatever that means. We told him we had just arrived in Atlantic City and he quickly questioned “on purpose?” Yes, this was an intentional decision and we did not miss the concert that night. We told him we were meeting up with Chasers and may try and just find them in the venue. He wished us good luck (seriously believing this wouldn’t be possible) and made his way to his room.
When we got there we noticed the door was open and people were going in and out with ease, so we decided to try. We entered the venue without anyone thinking it was the least bit suspicious. We spotted Jenn and creepily sent her a text asking if she was wearing a green shirt. We met up with her in line, were scolded by a woman standing behind her, and exited the line to wait for her. We smiled and waved at the guys as they went about their jobs.
As we were waiting for Jenn, Stacey spotted us and gave us copies of a newspaper on which the guys were featured. We glanced at them and decided that we could get at the end of the line and get them signed. I mean we were here, and hadn’t been escorted out yet, so why not?
As we approached the table, Richard came over to say hi and asked how everything was going. We suddenly felt guilt ridden for sneaking in and just told him everything was fine. We were usually rule followers and we were definitely breaking the rules today. We tried not to let our panic show. We had reached the pinnacle of our escapade and adrenaline was coursing through our bodies.
The security guard handed our newspapers to Charlie and he, along with Ryan, began talking about how great it was to see us. Ryan even said he had seen “our Lite Brites in the audience.” At that moment the guilt was too much and Amanda exclaimed, “Do you want to hear a secret?” They were obviously intrigued and said yes. That was when we confessed that we hadn’t been at the show; we had just arrived at Caesar’s. Ryan’s response, “Wait, you didn’t have tickets to this show at all?” Nope. Their reactions transitioned from shock to amazement. This obviously warranted a hug from Ryan although he really shouldn’t condone such behaviors.
We moved our way down the meet and greet line, having the usual idle chit-chat with the guys, and letting our secret become more and more known. It was quite relieving to be truthful and let the guys in on our covert mission. When we reached Seggie, he questioned how this had been possible, and we joked that they should beef up security. He laughed and agreed, however, also countered his remark by saying, “They wouldn’t even let Ryan into the venue before the show.” Well, obviously we’re just awesome, Seggie.
We continued our chit-chat until we were abruptly halted by Jerome. He stood up from his seat, slammed his hands down on the table, and yelled, “Where the hell have you been?! This is bullshit!” Amanda and I were a bit shocked by this reaction and while wide-eyed tried to formulate a response. Glancing at Walt, Amanda managed to say, “But we have to work.” Walt aptly responded with “don’t look at me, I understand.” He seemed just as shocked at Jerome’s reaction to seeing us as we were. My brain and my mouth finally connected at this point and I said, “Wait, we snuck in here to see you. We weren’t even at the show!” Jerome’s logical reply was “give me a hug!” We obviously obliged and made our way down to the end of the meet and greet table. We were still in shock and had very little to say to the remaining guys (Walt, DR, and Tyler). We collected our newspapers (actually just one had made it to the end of the table successfully…and Tyler had no clue where the other went) and rejoined Jenn.
Jenn was in line to get a group photo, however, we decided we had already caused enough ruckus and would step out of the way for this one. We aptly propped ourselves against a nearby wall and watched the hilarity that always ensues during group photos. When pictures were done, we exited the venue and hit some slot machines. Actually, Amanda and I watched Jenn and Vicky hit some slot machines while we did some people watching. A few of the guys wandered out of the venue during this time and waved at us. Seggie even yelled that we should play Wheel of Fortune. No thanks, Seggie. When Jenn and Vicky had lost all of their money (haha just kidding), we decided to get a few drinks before heading to bed. We wandered into the only bar that seemed to be open and ordered some drinks. This was apparently where a few members of SNC had headed as well after the show. We took up a nice spot on some comfy couches and chairs (Jenn deemed hers the pimp chair) and had some good laughs together.
After a few drinks (and Jerome accusing Jenn of having pink eye…he misheard her when she was telling him about her pimp chair) we went a few floors up to our room. This was super handy and I’ve decided I really like having the venue and my room in the same location. Jenn propped herself up in our armchair and the three of us passed out rather quickly. When we awoke, Jenn had found her way to the floor and was covered in towels from the bathroom. It was quite an amusing sight to say the least. Jenn readied herself for work and we readied ourselves for a relaxing day in Atlantic City.
We wandered to the Pier Shops in search of caffeine. Starbucks received our love by providing us with giant peppermint mocha coffees and some muffins and scones. We sat and enjoyed the view of the ocean as we allowed the caffeine to work its magic. The water show was about to begin in a few minutes so we decided to wander in that direction. Those magical, musical lights and water could mesmerize us for hours. There was even a cute little girl there who would scream and clap every time a jet of water would propel higher than her (which happened quite a lot, she was tiny). If it was acceptable for a 25 year old woman to do the same thing, I would have been right there with her, but instead I just enjoyed her enthusiasm. As we exited the Pier Shops we saw Jerome and Kristin (his girlfriend) entering. Jerome waved and blew us kisses. We have such adoring fans. He then motioned to his eye, questioning how our pink eye was doing. It was clearing up; thanks for asking, Jerome.
After this exciting adventure we made our way back to our room where we just relaxed, readied for the show, and made sure the Christmas ornaments we had made the guys had made the long journey from MA unscathed (no worries, they had). We did venture back out for some dinner, but other than that we took the time before the show to relax and ignore the stack of grading that had traveled with us. Around 8:30 Jenn successfully got out of her work duties and arrived at Caesars. We made our way to the venue and make a quick stop to see Trist. He was displeased with the seats we had chosen, so we distracted him by showing him Gumby (who takes most of our adventures with us). Our distraction tactics worked because it caused Trist to break out into the Gumby theme song which was thoroughly entertaining and hysterical. We loved every second of it. We let Trist get back to work and found our seats which were nicely (in our opinions) placed in the second row. This may sound trivial, but it led to many shenanigans throughout the show. Some shenanigans included Ryan being out of control and making us laugh the entire time (you would have thought it was the Ryan show the way he was acting), Mike pointing at me during Moves like Jagger and then blaming us for the light-up glasses they wore during the closing medley…he literally looked at us and yelled “this is all your fault!”, and Jerome throwing his water bottle cap at us. There was one point where we were just casually talking to Jerome and Mike, because we weren’t sure where all of this torment was coming from, and the two guys sitting next to us were thoroughly entertained by it all. They gave us a weird look after it all went down; apparently it’s not normal for singers to do that to their audience members.
We gathered our belongings and organized ourselves for the meet and greet line (or as organized and ready as you can be after being harassed by the guys you were about to see). Before heading out to the lobby we made a stop to see Trist again, who kindly gave Amanda his set-list. In the line we tried to get as prepared as we could for the calamity we envisioned the meet and greet would be. We had made each of the guys ornaments that we had to give them, plus we had each made a new 2013 SNC calendar that we wanted them to sign. There was going to be a lot going on and it was bound to get messy (we were also a little weary of them discovering what we had put in for July and August…especially Jerome because he loves Hyannis Sound so much). As we approached Walt, we just decided to go with whatever happened. Disastrous meet and greets are always memorable after all.
|One side of the ornaments we made.|
We gave Walt his Christmas ornament (which was wrapped in a cute little bag with a cute little bow) and brought his attention to our calendars by telling him that we had to make new ones. He looked at them and asked “what happened to the old ones?” We logically answered by saying nothing happened, it was just a new year. He realized these were actually 2013 calendars and promptly looked to see when Christmas would be (it’s on a Wednesday in case you were curious). His page was conveniently December so he didn’t have to go very far to look. After signing Amanda’s calendar, he took mine and instantly saw a hysterical photo of himself. Laughing he asked “where was this taken?” Logically the answer was the cruise. It became more clear to him then and he said, “Oh the 70s party, I drank way too much that night.” We couldn’t let this comment pass without retorting with “we must have missed the 70s party…the 80s party, however, was a blast.” He asked who took the picture of him and suitably DR was sitting next to him and answered, “Me!” He flipped to February (because that was the month he was featured) and as Walt glanced at his page he started laughing hysterically at a picture of DR and asked who took that picture? DR’s logical answer was once again, “ME!” He was so excited about the picture he even signed right next to it. He was very proud of his picture taking skills the night of the 80s party.
|Other side: some of our favorite things.|
So this is around the time those issues I was foreseeing at the beginning begin to happen. As we gave out ornaments the guys were extremely thankful and our calendars were being passed down the line with many compliments. There were many moments when many of the guys were just talking to each other about our calendars and completely ignoring the flow of the meet and greet line. At one point my calendar started to be passed in the wrong direction so that someone near the beginning could check out a fun picture I had used and I was fairly certain I would never see that calendar again.
When we got to Tyler we had a little extra gift in his bag for him. I took it out as to make sure he knew it was there. It was a pink whale sticker from Vineyard Vines. From a little ways down the table, Ryan saw me holding it and questioned what it was about in a silent manner. My reasonable response was “isn’t it amazing! It’s a pink whale!” He seemed confused, but I waited until we got closer for further explanation, instead I turned to Tyler and said, “This gift is for you and so is this” as I handed him the pink whale. He needed no explanation whatsoever and just said, “Yes! Vineyard Vines and Puritan of Cape Cod.” He signed my calendar and thanked us for the gifts, however, there seemed to be some sort of hold up so Tyler glanced through both of our calendars and noticed the Hyannis Sound pages. He said, “Hey that’s Kevin, and that’s that guy!” It was nice to see that he was excited to see those guys in our calendars.
Compliments on our calendars and gifts continued until we reached Ryan who we also had a whale sticker for. Amanda gave it to him and he questioned what it was all about. She told him that Tyler could explain in more detail but it came from Cape Cod. He instantly had a better understanding of it and told us that it would find a home on his guitar case. We moved down the line (not before Ryan left notes on our calendars of course) and came to Mike. He instantly apologized for placing the blame on us for the light up glasses. He hadn’t realized it was actually Kris who had given them to them (I guess we were a logical choice for such shenanigans). I told him it was okay I would gladly take the blame for such awesomeness, but I had honestly been so confused when it happened. After the apology, Mike spent some time flipping through our calendars as well. He happened upon Hyannis Sounds pages and zeroed in on one guy in particular. He said, “Hey, who’s that guy?” Amanda glanced down and chuckled to herself as she responded, “Oh that’s Mike. He’s in Hyannis Sound.” Oh the irony.
When Jerome got our calendars he complimented us on them and then asked, “Where are your Hyannis Sound calendars?” He clearly hadn’t been paying attention to our discussion with Mike so this obviously made us laugh and state, “you’re holding them. Look at July and August.” Jerome refused to look so when Amanda reacquired hers she flipped to those months and made him look. He wasn’t as angry as we had suspected him to be.
We moved out of the meet and greet line at this point and got in line for group pictures. Many of the Chasers took this time to look at our calendars and we received more compliments. We stepped up for our turn for group pictures and pretty positive there were shouts of “come here, Bawstin” and other words in a Boston accent. This has become the norm and I tend to ignore what is actually being said. Everything seemed normal except for Walt laughing at something next to me (which honestly wasn’t that unusual). Richard snapped the picture, and glancing at my camera said, “Oh you’re going to like this one.” I could only imagine what could have possibly gone on behind us. I was not surprised to see Seggie’s antics in the picture after retrieving my camera.
As we left the group picture Amanda asked Ryan if we could take a picture with him. He obviously said yes so we stood out of the way and waited for everyone to finish with their group pictures. After some fighting with the flash on my camera (our light necklaces were messing with it) and some forcible moving about by Ryan (he literally turned us about without us even doing anything to get the right spot for the lighting of the picture) we finally got our picture with Ryan. Someone behind us then said “We’re going to take a picture with Ryan” so I stepped out of the way but Amanda did not. Her comment was directed at me as she said, “sorry you can’t; I call dibs.” However I was already out of the way and not standing near her and she said it right to Ryan. He smiled and shook his head saying, “You need to step aside now.” This is one of the many comments we will either say to each other or keep locked firmly in our heads. She quickly apologized to Ryan and moved out of the way so they could have their picture. He was completely understanding about the situation and probably found the whole encounter hysterical (because it was).
We exited the venue after this and debated going to get drinks. There was so much discussion and indecisiveness that we managed to see many of the guys leaving the venue. We even saw Ryan and Mike carrying very large amounts of gifts with them. They said thank you for everything and headed in the direction of what we assumed was the bus. We ended up deciding on getting some food at the gelato place. Amanda and I both got a brownie and some soda. They were delightful. While here we saw some of the guys wander by again (this time really going to the buses). We said our goodbyes and went back up to our room. We had an evening of sugar and giggles with Jenn before drifting off to sleep. We awoke early and headed back to Massachusetts in an uneventful manner. We had an extremely busy week ahead of us before our winter break and another weekend of SNC!