Welcome to the OASN Blog for Our Spring 2020 Tour!
PRESIDENT SPENCER COBEN
OASN tour is something that every member of the group looks forward to all year, so it’s an understatement to say that planning it is relaxing. However, with a group like we have, it is impossible to feel unsupported or unloved.
This Spring Tour will go down in history as the most shocking one that OASN has ever had, with countless twists and turns throughout.
The twists began on the Saturday that we left. At 7 am, myself, Corey, and Daniel went to Reagan Airport to pick up the two 12 passenger vans that we had rented through American University’s Club Council. Unfortunately, there was a mishap and we had to resort to our nuclear option of using three of our members’ cars. We are very grateful that they allowed us to use them.
The next two days were pretty busy. We got to have some incredible experiences with College of Charleston’s Acabelles, and UCF’s Crescendudes. After staying with the McAuliffe’s at their lovely home, we made our way to Miami late Sunday night and immediately ate some cuban food before calling it a night.
Monday was a day to relax after basically 20 hours of driving. I made 3 separate Walmart runs with other members and stocked the house with food! Matt Ollendorf and Hunter made some delicious burgers and hot dogs for dinner. We called it a night soon after!
On Tuesday, we headed into Downtown Miami. (Travel tip: if you’re going to Miami you can skip the city, there’s not much going on). We went to the Bayside Marketplace and on the metromover (Adam’s favorite part). Sitting in Miami’s City Center, we received news that AU would be moving online til April 3rd due to the Coronavirus. This shook the group, after a long discussion amongst all of us we headed to lunch on the river and then went home. That night we went to Florida International University to sing with the HeartBeats!
Wednesday was by far my favorite day. It started somewhat late, but once it started it was amazing. Ten of us headed to the Everglades for about 3 hours. It was by far one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The immersive environment of the park was surreal. There were many times that myself and others were only feet away from giant alligators. Adam, David, Hunter and I rented bikes and cruised for about 4 miles into the park before we had to turn around. Later that night we went to one of the last games of the NBA season. Having all 14 of us at the Miami Heat game was so fun, it was many of the group’s first NBA game. While we were there, a lot of news came out about the impact of the Coronavirus. It was scary. Being surrounded by so many people at the same time while it seemed like the world around us was shutting down. We took precautions to try and avoid large crowds on our way out, and remained together. We got home safely, debriefed, and went to bed.
Thursday was beach day!!!! OASN embarked to Key Biscayne to experience Miami without the millions of people being rowdy. We showed up to virtually a private beach with warm weather and nice water. As we arrived we received some crazy news. First, and most importantly, Corey got accepted into his first choice for grad school!!! We were all very excited and proud. Following hours of playing frisbee and football, we got notice that AU was moving the entire semester online and removing students from dorms. Members called family and friends to make plans. Again, a scary time, but we have a strong and intelligent group that handled themselves well. We went home to relax, all very sunburnt. We then had our tradition of pasta table for dinner and went to bed early before our long drive.
We woke up early on Friday and left our palace of an Airbnb. The drive to Charleston was long but very fun! Again the McAuliffe’s were very kind to have us stay one more time at their wonderful home. We ate pizza and did a little ceremony for our seniors who would be unable to have their final concert due to the school’s cancellation. It was a lovely night full of love and comradeship.
Saturday, the final day of tour, was primarily driving. We woke up relatively early, sang some songs for the McAuliffe’s and some neighbors to give Corey and Adam an opportunity for one more song with the group. Tears were shed, I cried my eyes out. We hugged everyone and drove off.
Tour is a special time for all of us. We get closer, our family gets tighter, and we all have an amazing time. I’m so lucky to get to lead such an incredible group of people. I’m saddened that this semester is ending early, but OASN will be back stronger than ever in Fall 2020.
A special thank you and congratulations to our graduating seniors, Corey and Adam. Thank you for your years of hard work and dedication to the group. You both left indelible marks on OASN and all of the people in it with whom you interacted. You are forever in our hearts.
Thank you for reading our blog. Til next year.
Our last day of tour was as surreal as the previous two. We packed up what things we had left at the house and ate a delicious breakfast generously provided by Corey‘s parents. The drive from Charleston to DC was constantly interrupted with emails and updates from loved ones, university officials, and the news concerning COVID 19 and it’s effects on our spring semester. At this point we knew that no in-person classes would be taking place and that members of the group who lived on campus housing were rapidly attempting to figure out how to get home to their parents or to find alternative solutions in the DC area. The closer we got to DC the more real the issue became. What head seemed like a far off distance threat before we departed for Miami, when concerns surrounding rental vans and homework over the course of spring break dominated our worries, now seemed closer than ever. We know it’s going to be a hard few weeks or months, but we also know that we have a great support community in our friends in our fellow members in our parents. Stay home when you can. Call your friends. Forego your social outing. Read a book. Accomplish that home project you’ve itching to do. For the love of god only buy toilet paper if you need it. Wash your hands. This too shall pass.
We woke up bright and early at 8 a.m. to clean the airbnb before loading into the cars for an 8 hour drive to Charleston. Ofcourse, along the way we had to stop at Cookout to eat an absolutely dirty amount of food. We love naps in the car.
When we arrived at my parents house in Charleston, eboard made arrangements to still fulfill the oldest OASN tradition for the Seniors: the roast. Adam was savagely roasted by Spencer and Ben and I was roasted by LEINADY and Matt. My feelings were only a little hurt, but in reality I knew that I atleast had the power over Matt during my roast since he clogged my toilet and made my house leak through the living room (yikes).
Sadly, I came to the realization that this was the last night I had with the group that was undoubtedly the largest part of my college experience. Weird and abrupt way to end it all, but I am so glad that I got to finish it with such a unique, weird, lovable group of folks.
TODAY IS BEACH DAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Story time: I. LOVE!!!!!!!!! THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!!
I love the water, the sand, the trees, the shells, and more importantly the people (:
SO! Today -most of us- woke up at our usual time, around 10 am or so, and some people had made breakfasts, some were reading, and some were, still sleeping off the busy day from yesterday.
After we all got up and ready, we figured out what beach we would be going to today and we left!! Some people wanted to stay back at the house today and do some schoolwork by the pool- so we left them to do their thing and we couldn’t wait to be reunited later in the day! The car ride to the beach consisted of me screaming about palm trees, singing baby shark, Selena Gomez, as well as our tour song: “Thing About Things”. We finally got to the beach and played some football, got some burns, and threw each other into the ocean too! BY THE WAY!!!!! ME: a musical theatre major at American University, caught the ball twice in football and one of them was a touchdown that let us WIN. THE. GAME. I found that super funny because for the majority of the game I was walking and accidentally injured a few people -I’m so sorry Matt Markay.
After some quality football time- which I never thought I would ever say in my life- some sadness arose. We had received an email from American University stating that we had to move our belongings off campus by the 23rd and the rest of our classes would be online for the remainder of the semester. This put us all in a state of shock and despair- we didn’t know what that would mean for the future of OASN this semester, something that was especially hard to hear because we didn’t know if we could have our final concert. This was also devastating because as so many questions were spiraling around in our heads, we also realized that this would be Adam and Corey’s last concert with OASN. However, pessimism never helped anyone, so we did our best to focus on each other and the time that we all had left together before we wouldn’t see each other until next year.
And THEN, some good news! Corey had received a message accepting him into grad school!!!! We were so excited for him and it helped to distract us from how we were previously feeling. By this time, we were all a little bit hungry, so we went to this kinda fun area with some food options. We all ate in groups and headed home. We had plans to go to Dave & Busters tonight, however, we felt like based on the news, we should stay in. So! Some of us did a puzzle, some of us swam, and some of us tanned for the remainder of the day. For dinner we did our annual Pasta Table with a twist so we would all have plates and utensils to serve the pasta with- in attempt to being sanitary.
While we continued to hang out and enjoy each other’s company for the rest of the night, today reminded me of what OASN really is… we are a family, forever. Whether you are a graduate, alumni, or had to leave the group, OASN loves and supports and will always be there for one another in difficult times with deadly viruses and also in happy times when members get accepted into grad school. OASN will forever have my heart and although we received some difficult news today, I’m looking forward to the next few days full of laughter, happiness, and memories to last a lifetime (:
Love always (:
9:00 a.m. — The House — I’m typing this on a lounge chair by the pool, bacon and cheese omelette in hand. There are ducks on the roof again and they’re quacking loudly and I want to give them a hug. It’s 70 degrees out and there’s a light breeze. Daniel is sipping coffee and reading his book; Tobey and I are complaining about Biden. Life is good.
10:00 a.m. Coronavirus is scary and I don’t want to miss school 😦 go away
11:00 a.m. Currently driving through some SUPER flat land on our way to the Everglades. I feel like I’m back home in Ohio. Craving corn all of a sudden.
12:00 p.m. oh my GOD there are gators everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Bret can’t stop screaming. Daniel and Matt keep getting super close and “doing it to ‘em.” My reaction is somewhere between the two extremes.
1:00 p.m. Ok the gators are cool but the real stars of the show are the birbs. They are so colorful and some of them have the LOMGest necks ever ?? I love them ??? Also join this Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lomgbois/ <https://www.faceb>
2:00 p.m. I recommended that we busk for a momma alligator and her kiddos. This request was shot down; I’m leaving OASN I hate it here. jk!!!!!
3:00 p.m. Got my National Parks passport stamp!! ‘Twas a nice distraction from our inevitable school cancellation and my home state getting coronavirus. Heading back to the house for sunburn recovery and Miami Heat game prep.
4:00 p.m. I make another omelette for no reason. Omelette yum. I happy.
5:00 p.m. Leaving for the Heat game. If we don’t see Pitbull I’m catching the next flight home. PLS Mr. Worldwise I luhuuu!!
6:00 p.m. Downtown Miami is the best. The weather is temperate and breezy. American Airlines Arena is humongous and has such a neat atmosphere. I see why everyone wants to retire here.
7:00 p.m. Game starting! Bret screaming! Corey online betting! Matt and I cheering on all the former Celtics playing! Jordan having no idea what’s going on! David really getting into it!
8:00 p.m. It’s latin music night and I really do be dancin doe. Ozuna ?? Maluma ??? Silvestre Dangond ???? heck yeah babeyyy
9:00 p.m. Rudy Gobert just tested positive for coronavirus and probably gave it to half the NBA and now the season is technically suspended BUT our game is still going on. What on EARTH is happening we are truly witnessing history. Crazy times and a crazy day!!
10:00 p.m. Heading back to the house. I’m about to take the most sumptuous car nap ever known to man. Until next time, friends! Stay healthy < 33
Our Tuesday in Miami was spent exploring the city and making new friends at Florida International University. Public transit is FREE in Miami, so we took advantage of the MetroMover to see areas of the city like Riverwalk, Bayside Marketplace, and the Brickell City Centre mall. We decided to grab lunch at a restaurant called “American Social,” which had an awesome Taco Tuesday deal (unlimited tacos for $15!). After lunch, we zipped home to prepare for our Pop-Up Concert with the HEARTbeats at Florida International University.
FIU’s campus is beautiful. Palm trees surround community areas like quads and campus centers, making the school feel like a tropical paradise. We met up with HEARTbeats and took turns sharing a little bit of our repertoire. Since we sang in what was more or less a tunnel, the wind whipping through made capturing video with decent audio especially difficult. Still, we crushed Brandy, High Horse, and Mr. Brightside, with solos from Corey, Matty O, and yours truly. After the performance, we split ways with HEARTbeats and walked to another beautiful spot on campus. Here, we took our OASN class photos as the sun set behind us. Finally, we headed back to our Air B&B, where we hung out for a while. Tomorrow we’re planning to head to the Everglades, so I’m really looking forward to that!
The second day of tour began bright and early as we had to get on the road to Orlando to sing with UCF’s Crescendudes. Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Corey supplied us with bagels and coffee and sent us on our way! I was in Corey’s car with Spencer, Adam, and Denton for the 5 ½ hour ride down. The ride consisted of a singular round of the alphabet game and some light napping, so we were all going a little stir crazy by the time we arrived on the UCF campus. At UCF, we hung out and sang with the Crescendudes and it was awesome! Not only are they a fantastic and talented group, but they also took us to Steak ‘n Shake (always a HUGE plus in my book). After saying goodbye to our new friends, we finally began the last leg of our journey to MIAMI!!! It was a relatively quick drive from UCF to Miami and let me tell you, it felt so good to finally arrive at our air bnb after two full days of driving. We settled into our new home for the week and got to bed early so we could be ready to take on the upcoming week of hanging out, singing, sightseeing, and everything else that comes our way.
We began our journey BRIGHT and early right around 7am when Corey, Spencer, and I headed to Reagan National Airport to pick up our rented vans! Upon arrival, there was a major mixup with our reservation, so we left without our beloved vans. Luckily, Corey, Hunter and Cannon were gracious enough for us to drive in their vehicles for this trip!! Without losing much time, we all met up at East Campus parking lot for our send off… and we DEPARTED!!! We split into the three cars and braved the 6+ hour journey to Charleston, South Carolina, stopping at Cookout (one of my favorites). The food, as always, was absolutely amazing and the perfect cure for a long drive. At 6pm, we arrived in Charleston. Cannon, Ben, Spencer, and I saw Fort Sumner and explored while the other cars caught up. Once we linked up, together at last, we walked around Charleston before our performance. Finally, we performed with Acabelles, a group from College of Charleston, and it was GREAT!! They are amazingly talented and we were all so happy to perform with them. After our brief performance, we headed to Corey’s house where his family graciously opened their home (and food) to us. Having been there for a night last tour, it was so great to see his parents once again. We had GREAT BBQ at Coreys and then spent time with Acabelles before turning in before the long drive the next day.
Pre-Tour Blog by Ben Rader
I am beyond excited for our tour this year. We are going to sun filled, fun filled Miami. There is something in the air among our group this year that is different from all past years. I’ve been on tour three times during my tenure in this group, and I feel more excited for this tour than I have for any in the past. We will be doing a lot more singing and outreach than we have in the past which will be very fun. As the music director the most exciting part for me will be the multitude of concerts we are doing with a wide variety of groups, up and down the eastern seaboard. We have strived to make tour as accessible as possible, and this year we have reached even larger heights than we ever excepted. The fact that almost every person in the group is able to come is a testament to us reaching our goals.
The week will be filled with so many activities from exploring the everglades, to soaking up the sun at the beach, to watching the Miami Heat crush the Hornets, to basking in the sites of Miami. This tour will be one for the record books and I am excited to make countless memories that will last with me throughout the rest of my college experience and beyond. Tour is a great way for our group to bond and get to know each other in a more intimate fashion. I can say that I am not the only one who shares this sentiment, but I am so excited to see what this week (and Miami) has to offer. Miami won’t know what’s coming to them.
Follow My Blog
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.