I've not been sleeping well lately...so might as well share some thoughts.
Last August I learned I would be taking my first cruise in life! It's also my first trip outside of the US! For the first time as well, related to the cruise, I applied for and received my passport last Fall. When it arrived & I looked at it...I was overcome with a 'James Bondish' feeling...I can be a goof like that sometimes, haha.
The ship depart's April 29th in Tampa heading for Grand Cayman. We port at Grand Cayman for one day, then return to sea. It's a 5 day cruise, returning to Tampa on May 3rd. I'll be flying to Tampa the day before, April 28th. There will be a Bon Voyage Party the night of the 28th at the Marriott Hotel near Tampa's Port, related to the cruise, that I'll be attending as well.
Now, this is no typical crusie, hahaha. It is a very unique and exclusive cruise. The entire theme of the cruise is oriented around music and live concert performances, of which are associated with the exclusive artist the Carnival Cruise Ship is contracted on behalf of. The featured artist hand picks all acts performing during the cruise.
The artist on board, of which the cruise is exclusive to...is Kid Rock! The cruise is appropriately titled, "Chillin The Most"...originating from lyric's in Kid Rock's hit song "Cowboy"..."buy a yacht with a flag sayin' chillin' the most, then rock that bi*ch up and down the coast...give a toast to the sun, drink with the stars."
I was born loving music, it's in my bones! My maternal grandpa was a GREAT steel guitar player for his own Country Music band he founded in the 50's. He never found that Neon Rainbow he went chasing after...he came close though, with his band opening for known recording artists of the 50's...including Hank Williams Sr..
I love 'Classic Country', but I'm not a fan of today's Country Music much...it's too poppish & teeny bopper sounding for my ear. Very few of today's so called Country acts have a steel guitar in their band, which to my ear is the defining instrument and sound of true Country Music. Rock, Classic Rock, is my favorite music genre, and has been since I was a kid. I attended my first live concert at the age of 11...'Paul Revere and The Raiders', hahaha.
I have sacrificed some of my hearing as a result of attending so many live music concerts in my life, with no regrets. I'm as close to the stage & music as possible...foolishly no doubt, but there is so much musical energy and artist expression that is missed when not close to the stage.
In 2000, my friend from Germany, also my best Chiefs buddy...introduced me to the music of Kid Rock, listening to Kid's 'Devil Without A Cause' CD...which to date has sold over 22 million copies! I was hooked! It had been many years since an artists original creativity & music had appealed to me.
Kid's music was a unique concept mixing the music genre's of Rock, Hip Hop, Rap, and Country. His music was genuine, real, a fresh approach...I loved it! I still do, Kid Rock remains my favorite recording artist 10 yrs later. Kid Rock's fan club is the only music related fan club I've ever belonged to, that's how much I admire the man, his band, and their music. I joined his fan club website late 2003, of which closed in mid 2006...a new fan club opened late 2007 with the release of his latest CD, of which I'm also a member of.
Kid's style has matured and mellowed over the years, as he himself has too...that's to be expected with the evolution of a creative talented musician. As long as he keeps putting out quality music to my ear, I'll be evolving with him.
Kid Rock's long time friend and recording artist, 'Uncle Kracker', will be one of the act's performing live concert's on the cruise, as well as the Bands...'Rehab', 'Mr.Brownstone', 'John Stone Band', a few others.
Kid Rock will perform two full length live concerts on board in the ships small theatre style venue...my place has been assigned damn near stage center FRONT ROW!! YEEHAW!!
Kid Rock promised the ship bar's would be stocked with his American BadAss Label Lager Beer!...brewed in Michigan, currently only available in Michigan...I'm looking forward to taste testing for the 'first' time!
Bet y'all didn't know that Kid Rock is a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs did ya? His Chiefs buddy Hank Jr. can be thanked for Kid becoming a Chiefs fan too.
My cruise ticket was an unexpected gift from an acquaintance/friend given notice of shortly after the cruise was announced through Kid's fan club, otherwise I couldn't have afforded to go, I'm very blessed and grateful. My cabin reserved is on upper deck, 'The Empress Suite', with an ocean view window...I feel special, haha.
I'm nervous...I've only flown twice in life, the last time was in 1992, to attend the CMA Awards in Nashville, also music related. I've never flown or traveled solo, so another 'first' in life. I'll be meeting Kid Rock related friends once arriving in Tampa, that I've known since late 2003, so that is somewhat comforting.
I've promised in advance to do a bit of 'fun' work while on the cruise, logging many memorable moments, taking photo's, of which I'll incorporate into a written story for members of Kid's fan club upon returning from the cruise, of whom are unable to be on board sharing the experience. The cruise sold out to fan club members exclusively within a few days, many weren't as fortunate and blessed as I with the opportunity to be on board. They say they're looking forward to sharing the cruise through my eyes and words...hope I meet their expectations!
It all began 5 months ago, now in less than 100 days I'll need to put on my big girl panties, take a big deep breath, and board a plane at KCI Airport solo heading for Tampa! The day following I'll need to take a few more deep breath's, and board a GREAT BIG boat to cruise a BIGGER OCEAN! I can do this!!!!!
The green box lower level in front of the stage...is approximately my assigned location for Kid Rock's exclusive concert:
The Ornery, Loyal American and Patriot...Multiple Award Winning Music Making Man Kid Rock!