Kid Rock's Chillin The Most Cruise - Chapter 5, Day 3 - Saturday, Port Day
Saturday was the day we ported at a Bahaman Island. Our original plans to port at Grand Cayman were changed on Thursday. Kid Rock announced during his Sail Away Party, that the weather was bad towards Cayman, so the decision was made for us to change course and visit a Bahaman Island in the Bahama's instead.
Arlene and I ate breakfast aboard the ship before leaving to visit the island...many stayed on the boat, but most appeared to take advantage of sight-seeing on the island, as we ran into quite a few familiar faces and friends here and there while walking about the islands marketplace and retail shops. We visited the Harley Store first, where we ran into our long time Kid Rockin friend Alicia, who was buying a Harley shirt for her son as I was. My son was thrilled with his shirt by the way, declaring he would be the only member among his touring club with a Harley t-shirt representing the Bahama's, haha. From there we visited an outdoor marketplace, of which many island natives peddled their wares and crafts. I purchased a t-shirt each for my grand-daughter and step-grand-daughter, as well, two ballcaps one each for my grandson and step-grandson...all representative of the Bahama's.
I also bought my daughter a handcrafted bead necklace, of which I was told the handicap children on the island crafted. I assume the peddler's were honest, but they are very experienced in tugging on heartstrings to make a sale, and very aggressive at times also...not taking no for an answer right away. With my personality it was difficult to walk away rudely without buying from the peddlers, especially considering their heartfelt sales pitches. I am not naive, but yet tend to have a soft heart. Once I bought the souvenir's I intended, I told Arlene I was going to go outside across the street and sit, while she continued to browse the marketplace...to escape the peddlers pitches, also my knee and leg were very swollen from irritating my knee the night before during the Lido Deck Dance Contest, so sitting was a welcome break from walking and standing.
I was sitting on a curb people watching and enjoying the beautiful sunny warm day on the island, when the cutest island native boy came and sat down beside me. I speculate he was around 10 to 12 years old, and in his hand he had a bundle of souvenir bamboo flutes stamped with 'The Bahama's'. He asked me to buy one of his flutes and I asked him how much, he told me $12.00. I then told him that I would need to buy four, one each for my grandkids, and $48.00 was beyond my budget, as I had already bought them each an island souvenir. He told me he would sell me four for $8.00 each, but I told him no, that I needed to watch my pennies having a day and a half remaining of the cruise, and having to pay the airline for my luggage on the flight home. He asked me how old I was...I replied, "I'm 53 and why do you ask?". He said, "you're very pretty and don't look like a grandma"...I replied with a bit of laughter, "thank you, but I think my being pretty has something to do with your wanting to sell me some flutes, hahaha." He said, "no really, you're very pretty so for you I will make a better deal for 4 flutes, how much can you pay for four?"
How could I not buy flutes from this sweet adorable island boy, hahaha. I looked in my billfold and all I had was a $5, four $1.00 bills, a couple $50's, and some change in my pocket. I asked him if he had change for a $50...he said no. I told him, "well, all I have is $9.00 and some change then, so that is what I can pay for four flutes...he said, "you gotta a deal!", hahaha. For the record, the bamboo flutes are similar to the inexpensive ones you find in stores for maybe a couple bucks each at best, so I did not take advantage, haha. My grandkids were thrilled with their flutes, my daughter not so thrilled, hahaha. As I watched the boy disappear among the many people walking around the marketplace, I felt regret not asking someone to take our picture together. I am not sure why, but the 20 minutes or so I spent talking with him are a fond cruise memory, he struck me as a very special young man...not out playing with other children I saw on the island, rather in the marketplace area peddling his flutes...very well spoken, polite, and charming the ladies no doubt attempting to peddle his flutes, haha.
After the marketplace Arlene and I walked to the public beach area, of which I speculate was a mile or so from the port. Spending time on the beach had been a priority for me since first learning I would be going on the cruise last August. I had brought with me from home a few large ziploc freezer bags to use for the white Caribbean beach sand I intended to gather as a souvenir. I had put those bags in my purse prior to leaving the ship, but somewhere along the way I lost them, haha. I was able to use a couple of the plastic bags from souvenir purchases, doubling them for strength considering the weight of the sand, which weighed about 20 lbs. according to airport scales at Tampa's airport on Monday morning. I was not surprised my bag of beach sand weighed close to 20 lbs., as with carrying the bag of sand from the beach, through additional shops making our way back to port...was a bit of a burden on my shoulder and arm muscles, but well worth the pain I assure you.
After gathering my sand Arlene and I simply enjoyed being at the beach for about an hour or so. There were not many people on the beach, a few scattered about here and there. I took off my sandals and with much anticipated joy began walking in the sand barefoot...it had been years since I last visited an ocean beach having the opportunity to walk barefoot in the sand. There is something simplistically wonderful related to walking barefoot in the sand on an ocean beach, and I have felt that wonder since childhood, though rarely have the opportunity with living in Northeast Kansas. On the beach there are small Caribbean theme huts, of which house beer vendors and others, as well there was a small stage with a hut nearby from where a DJ was playing Reggae music. I thought to myself...as the music began to inspire my natural instinct to dance when hearing most music...'if walking in the sand on an ocean beach brings such joy to my soul, then dancing will bring an even greater joy!'
I walked to one of the beer vendor huts and bought myself a bottle of famed Bahama label beer, and as I drank my beer began dancing alone on the beach to the Reggae music, and I was indeed correct! That was the first time in my life I have ever danced on an ocean beach, and it was absolute joy! I am very anxious to do it again on next years cruise, hahaha. When the music stopped I sat down on the concrete pier with Arlene, and I envisoned what the beach would be like at night attending a beach party with music and dancing. My vision did not stop there, hahaha. Those who know me best in life can vouch, that my imagination is quite a vivid and creative one. I envision with much detail including color, objects, movement, sound, and people as if it is real. In my vision it was not just any music playing as all of my 'Chillin The Most' cruisin' friends joined me on the beach drinking beer and dancing. We partied and danced to the music of Kid Rock & TBT, but of course! I envisioned Kid & TBT on the beach stage nearby making their awesome music, and the beach was full with fan's and friend's dancing, laughing, creating Kid Rock & TBT beach party lifetime memories together, under the Caribbean starlite sky! Oh yes, I envisioned the stars too! I saw a small bon-fire and we roasted marshmallows as well! HA!
My vision came to an end when a sweet native islander woman approached peddling her beautiful bundle of handcrafted bead and shell jewelry. She and I began to chat about many subjects, not simply her jewelry. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with her, as she was a very charming woman, of whom I sensed held a beautiful soul within. Remembering my regrets of not taking a photo with the young boy peddling his island flutes earlier, I asked Arlene to take a couple photo's of my new Bahaman friend and I...I've included one of those photo's below. The necklace I am wearing in the photo is the necklace I bought for myself as a souvenir from 'Caraline'...I asked her how she spelled it when asking her name, as she pronounced it with an 'a' sound rather than an 'o' as with Caroline. The necklace is handcrafted of quality, with strands of tiny natural wooden beads and the focal point is a beautiful Caribbean shell...it became a necklace I cherish from the moment I bought it.
Caraline had asked me during our conversing, if we were aboard the ship that was suppose to go to Cayman, and I had told her yes. Apparently the island peddlers and store owners are informed in advance of ships porting, allowing them to prepare for potential business, based upon what I was told by some. When I asked Caraline how much did she want for the necklace I chose, she said her normal price is $12.00, but to those who missed porting at Cayman, she was offering her necklaces for $10.00. I can assure you, that had I felt I could afford to pay more than the $10.00, I would have happily done so, as the necklace in my opinion is worth more, considering the time spent crafting it, and knowing it would become priceless to me in sentimental value.
While on the beach two couples also aboard the 'Chillin The Most' boat, recognized me and approached introducing themselves. The first couple were from Michigan, and taking advantage of the beach as well...swimming in the ocean and sunbathing on the beach. Upon returning home many new Kid Rockin friends I met while on the cruise...found me on Facebook, sending friends requests, of which I am grateful for, as I can put names to faces with many now, haha. The couple from Michigan I met on the beach are fellow Kid Rock & TBT fans and friends Mark Biliti and his wife. It was a pleasure, as always when meeting other Kid Rock fans who 'get it', haha. I also met Gerry David and Ken Lancaster, of whom I had become familiar with prior to going on the cruise...at related cruise websites, such as Sixthman's Kid Rock Cruise forums, and Facebook pages related to the cruise. Gerry and Ken both are 'Sixthman Cruise Alumni', and were extremely helpful with us first time cruisers. They posted much information of which I found very useful and valuable as a first time cruiser, and it was certainly my privilege to meet them both on the beach. I would have been disappointed had I missed the opportunity to meet them at some point during the cruise.
I said my goodbyes to 'my' wonderful Bahaman beach, which was difficult, as I did not want to leave, especially so soon, but we were instructed to be back on the ship no later than 3 PM. One of my suggestions to Sixthman and Kid Rock to improve next years Chillin The Most Cruise...of which they emailed cruisers and requested such suggestions...will be to increase the length of the cruise by at least one day, allowing us to spend more time into the evening hours upon the island they choose for us to port at. I will suggest my vision of a Kid Rock & TBT Beach Party for us all too! HA! Arlene and I then began our mile or so walk back to the ship, allowing enough time to visit a few more shops along the way Arlene had interest in, such as the 'Pirate Shop', haha. There was a real life pirate who strolled in while we were there, so I asked him for a photo...much to my surprise he not only agreed, but without warning swooped me up into his arms lifting me the air as he handed me his pirates gun! hahaha Other cruiser's were in the shop at the same time, and I know of at least two photo's taken when the pirate picked me up, I will include the one Arlene took, haha. He has my rear in the air, and it appears 'baby has back', hahaha. He totally swept me off my feet...FOR REAL! hahaha
Arlene and I continued to make our way towards the boat. We had spotted a Hard Rock Cafe earlier on one of the islands narrow streets, and decided then to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe on our way back prior to re-boarding the ship. Another first in life for me...I had never eaten in a Hard Rock Cafe before, hahaha. I came close August of 2008, when I road-tripped to Memphis visiting Dillon while he was there for his quarterly MRI and check up, as well as we all attended the Kid Rock & TBT show that weekend in Memphis together...but that is another story, of which I have already written and is posted at Kid Rock's Community fan club website among my blogs. I was still so full from all the food I had eaten over the 2 day's prior, and though the Hard Rock cheeseburger I ordered was totally yummy...the chocolate shake I ordered with it filled me up quickly, and I only ate about one third of my cheeseburger!
While eating at the Hard Rock Cafe we ran into friends Susan aka Lady Viper and her hubby Jay. When it came time to pay for lunch, much to our surprise Susan had paid for Arlene and I's beverages complete with a souvenir Hard Rock Cafe glass etched with their logo and 'The Bahama's' on it. We thanked Susan and Jay later, as they left before we did, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again! Once home, I put some of my precious Caribbean white beach sand in my Hard Rock souvenir glass and topped it off with one of those cute little paper umbrella's they put in one of my Strawberry Daiquiri's I had aboard the ship, hahaha. I cherish my Hard Rock glass with the 'Bahama's beach vignette' it now holds, haha. We returned to the ship once finishing our late lunch at Hard Rock Cafe.
I have special thanks I intend to give to Sixthman, Barbara in particular, Kid Rock, TBT, Ty Stone, special friends in particular and others who made my cruise one of the most memorable and cherished experiences of my lifetime, but I am including those special thanks in my final chapter. Saturday began with porting at a Bahama Island that morning, and it did not conclude until the wee morning hours of Sunday...making it a very full day and night of priceless memories, some emotional and sentimental. As such, I have decided to write two chapters relating to my Saturday cruise memories, one related to memories on the island, one related to Saturday's memories upon return to the boat. Chapter 6 will be memories re-living late Saturday afternoon and night.
Related Chapter 5 Port Day photo's are below. :)