Crew Olympics etc.

During the past three cruises, the Serenade of the Seas was taken over by the Crew Olympics. We had a crew Quest, karaoke, volleyball, pool, basketball, dodgeball, soccer, swimming, hula hoop, and I think trivia is the last competition tonight.  Cruise division consists of the musicians, singers, dancers, youth staff, stage staff, and cruise staff, and technically the Olympics were our idea.  Every department on the ship comes out and gets pretty competitive, and I think it’s been fun to see everyone having a good time.

What else has gone on?  Well, at the beginning of last week we had a guest entertainer show that didn’t use the band, so we had one day off.  Greg Bonham came back at the end of the week, and his show is always fun to play.  We had an all crew boat drill and US coast guard inspection on Sunday, and this week is a six-day cruise.  I went on an excursion this week in St. Lucia.  It was my first time in six months of traveling to this island that I actually saw more than the area directly around the port.  The main part of the excursion was a trip to a little village called Soufrière, at the base of the Pitons.  They’re technically called volcanic plugs, and they’re beautiful! We drove through the rainforest to get to Soufrière and stopped at some fishing villages along the way.  After we passed through Soufrière, the tour guide took us to a pretty little waterfall and we got to swim for a while.  The water was cold but refreshing, and I loved getting to see more of the island.

I have just three cruises left after this week!  Next week I’ll have friends onboard for Thanksgiving, we’re getting new islands (Tortola, Dominica, and Grenada), and then I’ll be in my final week. I’m going to do laundry in my own machines! Technically my mom’s, yes, but I’m so excited. I can cook! I will be able to be on land at night! Oh my goodness, I can wake up with the sun! I love this job, and I’ll be excited to see Europe next contract, but a little break will be perfect for the holidays.  I have a gig lined up for the week after I come home (Max Wellman’s Home for the Holidays-check it out if you’re in Des Moines.  December 15, 16, 17, and 18 at the Temple Theater), and I’m going to Cedar Falls to see friends during that week. The next week I’m going to reunite with Emily and Cassie, my roommates from last year, and since Cassie’s been studying in Brazil it will be a happy reunion for sure.  From Christmas through New Year’s Eve I’m going to be in Maryland visiting family with Mom and Sam.  A few days after I get back to Iowa, I’m going on another trip, but this time to France and England. I’ll have friends in both places, and I’m starting to plan out those trips more and more.  Then I’ll still have some time after I get back to relax in Iowa.  This vacation will be wonderful!

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