Another Birthday….They Keep Coming…Faster

Yesterday was my Birthday. It is the day I catch up with Rich and we are the same age. lol….. In December he will become older than me again. lol. Its a good way to look at it. Now I’ve never been one to celebrate my birthday much. Its just a sign the clock is ticking. It seems to be ticking faster all the time. But today ended up a Very special day. Rich asked me, do you want to go out to eat or just grill out. I had to work at the theater in the afternoon, so I said “Lets just grill”. Ok, so he was going to go to the store and find something good. Around 12:30 I left for Cinemark 10.

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Some of the crew, hard at work

That’s when things started happening. It was a just a different day of good things……lol… First I stopped at Stripes. Its a gas Station like Casey’s back home. 1 on every other corner. I always get a Slushy and put it my insulated cup. I’m their a number of times a week. I filled my Mango slushy and went to the register. The girl that is always their said. “Just take it, you come all the time”.….Really!!!!!….I was so surprised ….I said “Thank You, Its my birthday”. Her face lite up with surprise, and she wished me a Happy Birthday. So off to the theater. As I walked in, my co-workers started to wish me a Happy Birthday. How Nice of them I thought. One of the Stephanie, actually came in and waited till I was free of customers and wished me a Happy Birthday. Steph, I wish I had more time to talk with you, but those customers kept coming, but “THANK YOU”. Awhile later something else strange but enjoyable happened. I was selling tickets and heard music. I looked in the street and seen a car stop in front of the theater. The guy turned up his music and got out of the car. He was dancing around the car. Everyone was laughing. It was such a funny sight to see. He was dancing waving his arms and then waved back at us, got in the car, and drove away. ….. Hilarious.…The ticket line was full of Happy People….. Later as the afternoon went, another special moment. I had 2 older lady’s in line. She got out all her money and she was 75 cents short. She was explaining how she had collected all her change. I started to count what she had, and Another lady spoke up……She said “I’ll pay for your tickets, put your money away”. She gave me her Credit card and paid for the 2 ladies. They were so grateful to her. So many kind people. What a great day it was turning out to be. My shift was over at 5:30. Around 10 to 5, several of the girls came in….I was shocked.

I was given a bouquet of flowers and a HUGE cake with a balloon.

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They said to come up to the breakroom after my shift, to cut the cake. The rest of the crew was going to sing Happy Birthday...…Wow….I surely didn’t expect that. When my shift was over, I went up stairs. They left Melissa in Box Office, and one person in Concession, the rest came upstairs.

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They all sang Happy Birthday. Then we cut the cake, ate cookies, and laughed some more.

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On the wall was a bulletin board. Their was notes that I had never read before. This was so nice. I had never really paid attention to the board before. It had other birthday notifications and notes on it. It is a Great way to recognize people for special days or things.

I opened my card, and everyone had signed it with a Special message. How thoughtful.

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Finally time to go….I stopped to get a few more pictures as I left. Here’s Dora and Correa at the Podium.

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Then I stopped at the Box Office. Of course I had to get Melissa. She usually comes in for the night shift and relieves me. Finally I got home around 6:15. It turned out we were going out to eat with friends. So by 6:40 we were on the road to Longhorn Cattle Co.

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So much food. Rich had a rack of ribs and I had a loaded Baked Potato with Brisket. Of course we had left overs. After we were back home, I got a call from the Grand kids. They all wished me Happy Birthday. So the end of a Birthday Day……It was a Great Day..

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So Thank You to All, Everyone at Cinemark and all of you on FB really made it a memorable day…….It will be a Birthday I will always Remember…..

Happy “68th” Birthday to Me

lol…Now you all know my age…

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Visiting Friends, At Son’s Graduation…Air Force Basic

Last month Rich and I drove to San Antonio for an overnighter.  We met our friends Tammy and Dan, from Illinois, now Kentucky at the KOA.  Their son Travis, graduated from High School and entered the Air Force.  He was graduating from Lackland Airforce Basic Training.  Tammy messaged me about a month before asking if I would come up.  She thought that we wouldn’t want to drive the 4 hours to see them.  Now I said “Tammy, 4 hours in Texas is nothing.  Of course well come up.”  So plans were made.
PrintTammy and I met when I worked at Plano Molding in Mendota Illinois.  I started in Feb 1991.  It was a newly built plastic injection molding plant that made Caboodles and Tackle Boxes.  I’m sure most fishermen know the name and have certainly owned a Plano Molding tackle box.  When school graduated, in June Tammy got a job at Plano.  She was fresh out of High School.  We worked on what they called a Pod.  Their was 3 different injection press’s shooting out parts placed in a U shape.  The tables were arranged so that 5-8 workers had work stations to assemble the pieces and a finished product was made in minutes, if not faster.  We had 4 different pods.  We were all teams that worked together all the time.  We would rotate the different pods, but our teams would stay together.  So we all worked 12 hour shifts and became friends.  We often said we were more like family, cause we seen each other more that our kids.  We worked 12 hour nites.   We had so much fun during those years.  It was very long nites assembling all those tackleboxes and caboodles.  So it wasn’t long before we made our own fun.  We did a lot of really not so nice things…..lol….We should have been fired so many times, but our supervisor didn’t really care as long as we got the job done.  We even brought in Super Shooter squirt guns and would shoot each other as well as shooting the stream of water up and over into the next pod.  That was dangerous, but we didn’t care.  …….We  were “”BAD””…….During that time Tammy became engaged to her boyfriend Dan, that she had dated in High School.  Finally they married.  327561_1888455018776_7145052_o.jpg

She said she would never have kids….lol….  Now many of us say that don’t we.  But of course once pregnancy occurs, their only 1 way out.  You have 9 months to think about it and then you can’t wait.  You just want it over.  Before you know it you have a little bundle of joy.  Tammy and Dan had Travis and then about 6 years later, they had Racheal.

About 10 years ago Dan’s job caused them to move to Kentucky.  I had already left Plano and moved on.  We still kept in contact.  It seems that no matter where you work, you usually have a coworker that will be a special friend for life.  You share a bond that is hard to explain.  Well that was Tammy.  Even after she moved to Kentucky, we visited her several times.  When we first got our Beaver motorhome, that was the first trip we took.  To Kentucky for the weekend.309909_4654225041298_546320600_n.jpg

She just loves when friends from home come and visit.  Our first year out in the MH we stopped again on the way back to Illinois from Texas.  Again she was so excited.   She is the kind of friend that you know your always welcome.  Even if you haven’t talked for a long time, you just pick up where you left off.35509516_10205012817516744_3064731144500019200_n

So now its so hard to believe that Travis graduated High School in May, joined the Air Force and now graduated Basic Training.  This has been very hard on TammyDan also.  They have been such great parents.  It is now time to let go of that first born, and it has been very hard.  Especially since he couldn’t even contact them for weeks.  38448917_10205188286103349_1342074063345942528_n

So that morning we drove up to San Antonio to meet them.  They had already been at KOA for a week.  Many family members came.  The was able to see Travis Graduate, and spend time with him.  Every nite he had to be back early to the base.  He was still under strict orders.  38411982_10205188285183326_9204871100155035648_n

They had such a great time visiting with him.  They are all so Proud, even Racheal.  Finally the day came he was back at base under orders again.  He would be leaving for Tech School soon.

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So that was when we came.  They had several days to wind down before heading home.  We rented a cabin at KOA.  They said it was a rustic cabin.  Yes it was.  We brought our bedding, and pillows.  We had A/C thank goodness, but no sink, or bathroom…..grrrrrrr…..for over $70.  Nice profit…..but we had a great time.  We stayed up that night to almost 1am.   We talked about old times.  All the kids, her friends and just everything under the sun.  We always talk about our years at Plano.  We recite all the story’s about our……. BAD DEEDS…..lol…..Dan and Rich always laugh !!!!  Gees I wonder if they get sick of hearing them all the time.   lol.   This is our attempt at a selfie….Not Good….38490894_10205188580230702_715337381653250048_n

This was our selfie about 4 years ago…..

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The next afternoon we took off and headed back south.  I was a wonderful visit with a Special Friend.  Friends who are Awesome parents, and are so so Proud of their son.38511390_10205188286983371_673752348652208128_n

…….Thank You Travis For Your Service…..

You may be young, but your growing into a

FINE YOUNG MAN

 

 

Summer Camp 2018…We Attended..Again

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During our time back home in Illinois, we also decided to work the Summer Camp Music Festival….Also called….SCAMP. We have Level 2 Texas Security License. That enables us to get a Security job for the Festival that is on Memorial Day weekend. This event is now the host of more than 20,000 attendees, from young children to 80 year olds and over 125 bands on nine stages over three days (four if you make it to the Thursday Pre-Party!). Summer Camp is the biggest event in the Midwest every Memorial Day Weekend! It is organized and run by Jay Goldberg Productions. It is an awesome, mindboggling festival that you will never forget. It is like revisiting Woodstock from years ago. We so enjoyed our selves last year that we decided to do it again. I contacted Tina in the Security Dept and set us up again for this year. This year was easy as they knew us. The easiest way to work is to stay on the grounds. The shifts are for 12 hours. Since we drove the car up from Texas this year, we borrowed Scott & Brandys MH. We pulled in on Tue and were guided into the Security compound. Wednesday our shifts began. I like days, and Rich likes nites.

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This is my set up. A comfy chair, clip on umbrella for the sun. My back pack from the cruise, complements of Get Out Their Vacations. It contained my cell phone, extra external battery. A roll of toilet paper for emergency….lol…(ya never know)…..snacks and drinks…..Most of the time we were given a walkie talkie. I was positioned back in VIP again.

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Behind Vip tent was the New Glamping Set up. These tents came with full set up. You could choose your bed, single, 2 twins, or queen with linens. They had electric and contained a lamp, a throw rug, and a chair or 2. Now the prices was exorbitant. After you bought you reservation with upgrade for VIP, and then your Glamping reservation, you have spent well over $1,000. You still don’t have a bathroom or shower. All Glamping tents were sold out.

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This time I was positioned to watch the line up for the gates to open. Their were thousands of them lined up all over the park at different entrances. They had wagons, wheelbarrows, back packs, canopy’s, sleeping bags and coolers. They were all ready to begin partying.

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Finally the gates opened. You can see them on the hillside. They looked like ants scurrying up the hill into the forest. Now they were also searched as they went in. The Guards were looking for drugs, firearms, and weapons of any sort and alcohol. So much was confiscated. Rich was up by the Main Gate where he was last year. He was near the main search area. They found so much stuff. Of course not only the Security was their, the cops were also. They have a big force in the park comprised of Local, (Chillicothe), County, State, Drug Enforcement Officers and I believe the Homeland Security was even their. Their was also a Task Force of Undercover Officers. They showed me their badges to get through one of the gates I was on.

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The music would start in the morning around 10. It would revolve around all the stages in the park. Their were a number of these Taxi’s in the park.

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Here is some of the props they had. Almost anything would go. Many hula hoops, and different type of banners. They would hold them high and dance to the music.

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Some of the out fits……. or lack of…..Lets just paint and decorate with sequins, our body parts!!!

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Now I seen this guy last year. I hear he attends every year looking like this. He is not a young man, nor physically fit. Why you want to walk around showing those body parts, I don’t know.

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This stage, Moonshine, is the only permanent stage in the Park. They all congregate, enjoy the concert, dance and sing, and then disperse to the next venue they want to see. The day is never ending with music through out the park.

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This is one of the large stages brought in. At night the colors were beautiful. Music continued till 4am somewhere every nite. Our Security Compound was behind one of the stages. When I went to bed at nite, the music shook the windows in the MH. And I mean they rattled. Kitty was with us, but he actually did pretty good. He must have remembered from last year….lol…

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Many of the kids were back up early in the morning, but many were slow. Their tents and hammocks were strung all around in the forest areas. In the mornings I seemed to be down by VIP everyday. Across from VIP was some food stands. They would come staggering in to buy breakfast and coffee. They were such a mess from the nite before. Hung over or what ever. Portable showers and bathrooms were placed all over the park. Always full of people. The trucks were constantly driving around pumping out the pottys.

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Here is another crazy costume. Yep, he’s wearing a diaper. Finally it was Monday. Park closed at 12 noon. Well they try, but it never works. All the kids know that. In the morning the security, and officers start going through the park waking everyone up and telling them to leave. They come stumbling out the gate. We seen many who could hardly walk. They packed up the things the best they could. So much stuff is left. They not only leave their trash, but they leave tents, coolers, chairs, wagons, wallets, cell phones and what ever they don’t want anymore.

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Security goes through again tearing down all tents. Making sure all people are gone. They also go through bag and consolidate all the trash. I was at the main gate as they were leaving. It was my job to not let them back in. I had one lady come to me and ask “which way to Chicago, right or left at the entrance of the park.” OMG….They were hitchhiking. Another had their nephew leave them. They lived in Ohio, 2 states away. Imagine that. They weren’t all that upset. They hitched a ride with some lighting people. They were going to Indiana. Then someone was going to met them and pick them up from their. Another mother lived a hour away. She dropped her daughter off on Friday. She told her to meet her at the main gate Monday morning. She waited and waited. 3 hours later, she came by and said her daughter was home. She hitched a ride. I would have been just steaming mad…..OMG….How can a girl do that, hitchhike, and not tell her mom where she was until she got home. She know her mom was their waiting.

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Some of the Graffiti on the fences

They don’t find all the drugs of course. Their were many cases for the ambulances to take care of. They had a full staff of medical their for all issues. The worst case was a 36 year old man took a hit of acid in the wee hours of the morning. He walked down to the highway which must be a half mile, was naked and walked in front of a car. He’s lucky he didn’t die, but he broke many bones in his body. I heard he would be hospitalized and in rehab for months. So another year over. 20,000 people herded back out by 3pm. Most left by car, some hitchhiking. Some called Uber or Taxi’s to take them into Peoria to the Airport. Their also was a bus shuttle to Chicago which was 2 hours away. They flew in from all over the country.

Another Summerfest over. We were asked to stay a few days and work. Now the vendors and all the equipment had to be packed up and leave the park.

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Just a few of the Portable Showers

Their was many people, we found out, who came in and wanted to supposedly help to clean up. Basically there a number of scavengers who want to loot. So that was our purpose. Check each vehicle and make sure they were their for a legitimate reason.

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Its seems every Memorial Day it rains. Weather was beautiful…..Until Wed. Morning…..A huge rainstorm came through. We woke up and found we were surrounded by a lake. Our power cord was under water but still working. So we sure weren’t stepping out.

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Couldn’t believe all the water that was dumped. We stayed in till it went down. It went fast. Rich finished his day guarding, I stayed home. I had had enough.

So Summer Camp 2018 was now officially over. Time for us to head back to McNabb.

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Granddaughter’s Graduation’s…..

Last May we headed back home to Illinois for the 2 Granddaughter’s Graduation’s. Cassidy was graduating 8th grade and little Carly, Kindergarten. We decided to just drive the car and leave the Motor Home in Texas. It would be cheaper. Now what about the cat. He has never been in the car. When we were in Adventureland in Iowa, we took him home in the truck. We almost gave him a heart attack, and that was only 4 hours. Now were talking 24 hours if you drive it straight through. We couldn’t ask anyone to take care of him for several weeks, so we decided Kitty was going on a road trip. Rich said he’s never to old to learn. I bought him a soft sided zip up carrier. I laid it open for several days and he crawled in and laid in it. So maybe it will work??? But he is an old man, set in his ways. He doesn’t like change. So finally the day came.

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We put the back seats down so he had the whole back. Put his kitty litter, food and water in the back on a blanket. His carrier was in the middle so he could see between the seats. He hated when I carried him to the car, he meowed for the first half hour. Finally we went through the Border Check point at Falfurrias. We kept him in until then because you just never know what may happen their. The Border Patrol agents have dogs that sniff every car. Not that we have a reason to worry…..lol…but you never know. Then we unzipped him. He actually did wonderful. He adapted so well to the car. He roamed at first, checking everything out. But he was so good. We pretty much drove straight through stopping only to sleep a few hours. About 2 hours from home in Lincoln Illinois is a Bonanza Restaurant.

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Its an old time favorite of ours. We try to stop if the timing is right. This one is a franchise but they have kept the menu the same. They have a wonderful salad bar.

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I always get my favorite…..Sirloin Tips with grilled mushrooms and onions.….Yum Yum…Theirs nothing like it.

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Finally we arrived and little Carly was so excited to see us. She had her fairy outfit on. She went and posed in the family tree. That nite Austin had a Softball game.

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We went to Granville to watch him play. Of course we also had to visit Scott and Brandy’s bar One Paw’z Pub.

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Scott singing Karaoke

Finally Graduation came for Carly. Her year in Kindergarten is over. On to 1st Grade.

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Carly, 1st row on far right. Jacob, Carly’s cousin in right next to her.

They were using the Auditorium at Putnam Co. High for the kids. Granville has 3 classes of Kindergarten for all of Putnam Co. They were so cute. They sang songs with cute motions. Finally they gave out the diplomas by class.

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After, I gave her a bouquet of flowers. She is now ready for First Grade. Carly is our youngest grandchild. She is sure growing fast. We had a picnic for both girls. Cassidy graduated 8th and will be a Freshman in High School.

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Tammy invited friends and family and had a cake for each. Now Carly was unhappy cause she thought Cassidy’s cake was prettier. She was crying and then she tried to stop but it was so hard for her…..lol…..Finally it was all better.

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They are so cute together…...That is when their not fighting….lol… We have also gotten 2 new grand dogs. Tammy and the Kids got Jazper.

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He is a Silver Lab. Tammy said she can’t even go to the bathroom by herself. Jazper has to come with. lol. Tina, Ed and the kids got Dee Dee last fall.

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She is a small Golden Doodle. She is more laid back that Dexter was. I had a hard time calling her by her name and not Dexter. She looks just like Dex. She loves playing with her kids Miley and Austin. We also have 2 other restaurants that I usually like to eat at when were home…

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Tenderloin…..Smittys Bar in Leonore

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Taco Salad and Homemade Fries…..Igloo, in Peru

I decided to take the kids to Hobby Lobby and buy some fun stuff to do on one of our last days their. Tina said Miley wanted her toes done, so I took her first to the Nail place at the Mall.

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She picked out her polish which was a silver flake. Miley is 9 years old now going on 10. Time to start doing girly stuff with her…..We also went to Bath and Body and picked out some soaps and body splash. We had a good time smelling everything. Then we met Tina with Austin and Carly at Hobby Lobby. We ended up picking up stuff to make Slime and some other things.

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On Monday I went over to spend the day while Tina and Ed worked. We brought all our stuff outside to make the Slime. I’m sure glad we did it outside as it turned out messy with all the glitter. We needed Elmers Glue, Baking Soda, and Contact Lens solution. We also bought glitter. It was fun but the glitter blew everywhere. Before we were done they kept making different batches until the large bottle of Elmers was all gone. And it was the largest bottle they make. Later when Tina came home, we visited for quite awhile. It was very quiet in Mileys room.

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I walked in and her and Carly were putting makeup all over their faces. Such silly girls. Now I’ve mentioned all the grandkids but Cameron. He is the one that is hard to get a picture of. This is a picture of him and his friend Torri in his boat. One of the toys he bought last year.

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You know how that goes…..Men and their toys??? or is it Boys and their toys??? Its all the same. Here is another purchase. He has finally bought the truck he has always wanted.

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Its a Ford!!!!!.…But Grandpa forgave him. It is pretty. But it wasn’t pretty enough.

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He had to go buy new tires and rims. They are nice…but….I guess live and learn…..He’s Happy, and its his money. Finally it was time to head back to Harlingen. We packed up the car, prepared Kitty’s back end. But now we always bring more back so now the car is really filling up.

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Kitty had to explore all the mountains of stuff in the back of the car. He fell asleep on the mountain…..lol…

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As we traveled he was so good. He liked to sleep on the floor with his head buried under the drivers seat between Rich’s legs. When we stopped to gas up or eat, he would just stay wear he was. He never attempted to get out. We drove almost straight through all the way home. We slept for a couple of hours in the car and made it in around 24 hours. Long Long ways………………While we were in Illinois we also worked at the Summer Camp Festival for 6 days as Security Guards. We did this also last year. My next blog will be about Summer Camp..

…..Another memorable experience….

Our Trip to Roatan, Costa Maya and Cozumel……Part 4

This is my last Blog of our cruise from last April….So so far behind, but I figured I better wrap it up. It was certainly a great time with great friends, old and new. Memories for a lifetime.

We managed to survive Costa Maya. After a very Adventerous day on Thursday on the beach, and a good nites sleep, we arrived at Cozumel on Friday morning very early. Everyone had different plans for Cozumel. Mel and Travis was renting a trike for a fun tour of the island. Theresa and Ron, Lorie and Mark were renting a Jeep for a tour. But the rest of us were just going to just be tourists and shop. Rich actually felt pretty good considering his condition the day before. Now I woke up feeling nauseous. But after several attempts at getting up it went away. But I was really tired. Too much sun the day before I think. We were already docked in Cozumel, so we went to breakfast. Everyone leaving the boat for tours was already gone. I never dreamed that Ron would be up and at it already. He wasn’t in the best of shape either the day before. We went to the Windjammer and looked at the beautiful view of Cozumel.

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You have to realize we were on the 11th floor looking over the city. The view was spectacular. The amazing shades of blues as the sun passed over the water. After breakfast we went ashore and did a little shopping. We were rather tired from the day before…..lol..go figure...so we didn’t go far. We looked at souvenir shops, sat down and did some people watching and Rich of course did a little alcohol sampling. He bought several bottles of booze, then we checked them in at customs. They took control of them, by labeling our room number. They would be brought on board and finally given to us the last day of the cruise.

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Finally back on board we went, time to rest up the rest of the day. We did a lot of people watching. That night a had a fabulous party on the Promenade Deck. On the crossovers high above the people, they had a 60s-70s party.

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It was non-stop music and dancing. They sang some great Songs.…like YMCA and many others. It lasted for hours.. I watched from the window in our room. Their was so much wonderful entertainment on board. Every night was a show in the Theater. We had Comedians, Magicians, and also a couple doing an Aerial Act.

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Also my favorite show was Stephanie Parker. She sang Whitney Houston songs. She was so so talented. Such a quality show. I talked with her later. She has a contract with Royal Caribbean for the season. She was going to have some time off. When we arrived at Cozumel, she was flying home to Las Vegas for some R & R.

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Also they even had a Skating Rink. It was open for free skating at times, and they also held several shows.

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It was really a quite elaborate show. They had beautiful costumes, fabulous lighting, and such creative choreography. On the last nite, we watched the last show in the Platinum Theater. It was a synopsis of all the shows of the week. A storm had come up. The seas picked up and you could feel the boat start to move side to side. You could feel it as you walked, so I was somewhat tense so I wouldn’t stumble. We went and sat in the theater, and waited for the show to begin. We watched the stage curtains. Some had strings of lights hanging down in them. As we watched, the curtains swayed one way……and then the other way……then back the other way….and then back again. lol. I asked Rich, “Do you see those curtains???” He said “yes, I’m trying not to look”...lol….As I sat their, I kept thinking…..above me is a huge swimming pool full of water. lol. Well it was fine. Show was over and we went to bed for the last time. Rich had collected his liquor and purchased more of course. Everyone else had also collected theirs also. We were packed for our departure in the morning. We woke up in the morning and had our schedules as when to get ready to debark. We had set all our luggage out the night before. They take it and unload it for us. All we have to do is claim it in the terminal. Everything is very orderly. Sadly we headed for the terminal. Now all that wonderful warm weather turned to dreary chilly weather. Vacation is over. We were picked up by the parking lot van and returned to our cars.

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Now came the time for goodbyes. Ron, Theresa, Rich and I would head south to Harlingen and the sun. The rest would head north west to the cold of Nebraska. Great Trip……Made some Great New Friends…..Everyone vowed to do it again….

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This was our magnetic door signs that Ron and Theresa made for us all. We autographed them all at the end of the trip. Even Barrington our Room Steward. Next, these are some of our fun shots.

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Now here is our Group Shots.

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It was a FABULOUS CRUISE. I would do it again in a minute. We had such a good time. I believe Royal Caribbean was an AWESOME Cruise Line. You can make this cruise as affordable as you wish. You can relatively spend very little after you board if you wish. All shows are free. So many restaurants and buffets to choose from. All the swimming and fun on the top of the ship. Or you can spend as much as you want in the bars and casino, or shopping. One can buy that special diamond or other precious gems. So its totally up to the person as to how to enjoy the cruise.

This was “A CRUISE OF A LIFETIME”