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January 26th, 2019

Back to Life

Hi Everyone!

Let's catch up from last week. After Stacey and I cleaned our cabin and walked out for the last time, we went down to the mess for breakfast. I typed up my blog as the other band members slowly filtered in. We killed about an hour sitting and talking together, then made our way to the Princess Theater for disembarkation. While we were there, Doug (our boss's boss) came onboard to thank us and wish us the best. Doug has been an awesome boss and an awesome human being, I'm very happy to have gotten to know him during this contract and I hope to see him again soon!

Our passports were distributed while we stood at the top of the stairs yapping. I got to meet the onboarding trombonist, his name is Narding and he's awesome! I'm glad to be leaving the Disco Deck Party in good hands!! LOL

And then...it was finally. FINALLY. Time to go. For reals.

Jane hugged us all and tried not to cry. Many entertainment folks came to give hugs and farewells. It was amazing. And so was stepping through the door on deck 7, and onto the long zig-zag guest gangway, and walking down to US Customs. Here we go!!

First we went through customs screening, basically talking to a border agent while they looked over your passport and other documents. Having no contraband, I was quickly admitted to the luggage screening area. I heaved my 50lb bag onto the scanner, and then my trombone and backpack. After just a few minutes I was given the all-clear to collect my things and head to the pickup area. I stepped outside into the sunlight. I'm freeeee!



I enjoyed waiting in the sun for Kayle and Skylar to come get me. It was a lovely day!
Eventually they pulled up, and I loaded their car with luggage and my ass and off we went! Kayle knows a great Jamaican place and Skylar and I had never been, so we went there for lunch. They had stuff that I am not yet brave enough to try like cow's feet, chicken feet, and gizzards. But they also had jerk and curried beef and chicken. We got that, and some really tasty pasties. Each meal came with rice and beans, slaw, plantains, and a sort of hush puppy. It was delicious!! I'll have to look for Jamaican food in Florida!



After our meal we drove back to the house for a little rest before going for a walk to the pier. I forgot my phone so there are no pictures, but it was very nice. There were lots of people out because the weather was so nice. We watched the waves roll in to shore and admired the way the sun made them look like shining teal glass. We saw a whale spout several miles away, but although we stared and stared we were unable to see the whales. Still, it was cool!

We wandered back to the main pier area which had lots of restaurants and shops. Kayle gave me the choice of getting an ice cream sandwich from The Baked Bear or donuts from Blue Star. I have lactose intolerance, but c'mon. You've got to LIVE. I chose the ice cream!!!



Ooooh my goodness. It was SO GOOD. We tried pieces of each others' sandwiches. Kayle got a donut sandwich (I forget what kind of ice cream she had!!), Skylar had a brownie sandwich with the signature Baked Bear ice cream, and I had oatmeal cookies with blackberry crumble ice cream. All of them were fantastic, but I liked Skylar's combination the best! What an amazing treat :)
Post-ice cream photo!



Too soon it was time to walk home and get ready to go. We enjoyed a Portal session with our parents while resting and digesting. They're excited for the new baby!


Then Kayle let me weigh my luggage, and I was dismayed to see that it was overweight. This was easily solved by leaving a bag of crap at Kayle's house, but I felt bad dumping stuff on her. Then, of course, I weighed myself and was disappointed to see that I've gained a few pounds since joining the cruise. I mean, the food was really good, and they served dessert with every meal!! I'm talking only 2-3 pounds, it'll probably come off simply by returning to my normal eating habits. But in that moment I was harsh with myself. I need to form a more positive self-image.

ANYWAY. Kayle let me take a quick shower, then she and Skylar drove me to the airport. I hugged them goodbye and got started on getting back to Orlando! Molly (drummer) was on the same flight as me, so I met up with her and we chatted while waiting to board the plane. I was worried (as usual) about being allowed to take my trombone as carry on, so tried approaching the concierge desk to ask about it (sometimes they'll let you board early, and they always appreciate knowing what I'm trying to do in advance). The concierge told me to "try my luck", so I did...and it fit in the overhead! YAY!!!

The flight was fairly smooth but there were moments of turbulence. It's winter after all. When we landed in DC, I hugged Molly goodbye and we went to our separate gates. My second flight was on time and less turbulent than the first, though the landing was rough because it was windy. The clouds looked like whipped cream.



Once in the terminal I began heading toward the luggage area. Jameson intecepted me in the lobby. I almost ran over a person in a wheelchair and a small child to get to him!! I squeezed him very hard. Finally. It felt very good.

We fetched my luggage and drove back to the house, stopping at a new sushi place that Jameson wanted me to experience (it was REALLY good, more on that the next time I go!). Then we had Christmas! I felt bad because I didn't have any actual physical present for Jameson to unwrap :( but I got us a gift card to Del Frisco's Steakhouse! This particular steakhouse chain is special to both of us...we've been there twice in Fort Worth in 2014 and 2016. I can't wait to revisit this place with him for an amazing meal!!

The presents that Jameson got me were much more interesting! Stocking stuffers included a plunger-shaped wine stopper and a wind-up piece of sushi that would run around on the floor! As well as chocolate of course! I was surprised and touched by the gifts he got me: a copy of my trombone professor's new album, the entire Sandman/J.H. Williams collection, and an absolutely gorgeous tea set from Harney & Sons featuring their best looseleaf black teas and a stainless steel strainer! Wow! Among other things! I feel very loved and very lucky :)



After that we drove out to Jameson's gig at The Villages! It was very cold, especially for Florida, especially for me having just come from hot Mexico! But I didn't care. I was just happy to be on land, happy to be outside, happy to be with Jameson, happy. I danced around like an idiot and had a great time.
https://instagram.com/p/Bs33ZrSgFpH
I barely made it to bed when we got home, I was so tired! We wanted to see the lunar eclipse/blood moon, but both of us were exhausted.

The next day I had rehearsal at 10am with the Winter Park Playhouse for "Ain't Misbehavin'"! I was excited and a little nervous, but everyone was friendly and the staging is AWESOME!! The band is going to be on stage with the performers, and the horns will be lofted on a narrow balcony above the stage!



A picture after they put some more detail into the stage. We'll have little bandstand thingees.


What it looks like up there.


Rehearsal went really well! And I'm sure it'll get even better as time goes on! I mean listen to these amazing vocalists!! I was blown away!!
https://instagram.com/p/Bs6o7HwAZxI
After rehearsal I came home, and Jameson and I went grocery shopping. While I've been gone he hasn't done much home cooking, poor guy! He's just been too busy. We had to restock our empty fridge! When that was done we relaxed and watched tv together. It was great.

The next day was very similar, another rehearsal that again went really well! Afterward I came home to find that Jameson had made us his famous enchiladas! Yum!! I scarfed them down while we watched Kids Baking Championship.

On Wednesday the cast of Ain't Misbehavin' had a photoshoot in the morning. The band wasn't really involved, but we had to be present in case of wide-angle shots. Afterward I got some lunch and we had rehearsal, which went so well that we were let out a little early! I came home to relax and watch Jameson play some video games, then he took me out to dinner at The Melting Pot!!! (He'd gotten a gift card from work!)

Oh my goodness. Everything was delicious of course! There were some fancy new meat options, including duck and lobster! We really enjoyed our meal, but dessert was the best! We got the bananas Foster, only with dark chocolate instead of white! It was SO DANG GOOD.

https://instagram.com/p/Bs_-_3mgqGn

We both went to bed a bit early tonight since Jameson has a work meeting tomorrow and I have some interviews, and opening night for Ain't Misbehavin'!

Thursday. I got up early and had a job interview. It went....ok. I'm not entirely qualified for the position, but I do have skills that could be helpful, so they might consider me for general office work instead. Which would be great. I was a little disappointed...the optimistic part of me hoped that I'd be a better fit. But perhaps I can work up to it. Or maybe my approach needs to change.

Anyway, then I had another interview, one that I knew was not going to lead to a job but that might be good just for local arts involvement. Then I went home to rest a bit before the show. When it was time I packed up the car and went to the theater. The show went very well, and I'm looking forward to two more tomorrow night!

On Friday morning I had a nice breakfast, then did some work online. Gathering my tax documents and such too. Bleh.
After lunch it was time for the first show of the day, which went well (a few mistakes, but it was a preview show after all). Afterward I picked up dinner and went home for a bit to eat it with Jameson, then drove back to the Playhouse for our ACTUAL first show! It also went well. And if it's this good now, I'm sure it'll be great in a week or two!

Well, this has been a pretty long blog post as I get back into "life on land". It's Saturday and I'm eating breakfast before doing some chores and getting ready for another round of shows. I'm not sure that there will be any "adventures" other than trying to find a job again. Hopefully this time around I can maintain a better attitude. Thanks for reading :)