Here are some of my favorite pics during our flights in the valley lately.
February 8th, 2018 - I am excited about watching the Olympics and see athletes from around the world reach a dream that has been burning in them for a lifetime. Sweet memories as I think back to the Olympic Torch Relay for the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2001 that was made possible by Tony, my incredible husband. He nominated me to participate and I was selected to run with the torch in Hagerstown, MD. An experience of a lifetime and I will never forget it! I remember that they said when you are carrying the torch, you are the only person on earth carrying the Olympic flame for that period of time. The relay starts in Greece and makes its way across the world and ultimately ends up in the stadium of the selected country and the cauldron is lit during the opening ceremonies. I look forward to seeing the events unfold throughout the month of February.
January 27th, 2018- We all enjoyed the cruise this week and we are so thankful for the opportunity to relax on the cruise. Tony and I got up early and watched the ship pull into port and I enjoyed watching the planes take off from Fort Lauderdale Airport at 6 am. We pulled into port 2 miles from the end of the runway. The blue lights outline the runway.
We headed back to KFXE (Fort Lauderdale Executive) and looked around the HUGE pilot shop. So many things to look and what we usually see in the flight magazine.
The skies were not as clear going home, but we found a nice layer of clear skies on top of the clouds at 9,000'. Even got a little bit of icing as we came into Virginia.
January 26th 2018- Climbed up the stairs to the top deck early to workout and the doors were locked. 50 mph winds and 6 foot waves are keeping us off the Royal Caribbean private island Coco Cay. We could even feel the ship swaying side to side down in the lower decks. Tony doesn't like big crowds so we had another day of dodging lots of folks.
January 25th, 2018 Today is out to sea in the wide open ocean. No sunrise and that is a bummer since the sunset is during our concert time each day. I am such a sucker for sunrises and sunsets. I love seeing the beauty of the Lord as He splashes color across the sky!
I decided to hit all the sports today. Bill and Colleen showed up at the volleyball tournament and we ended up winning the round robin! Tony hopped in as a emcee on the microphone. What fun!
Britt Nicole and Jeremy Camp provided the concerts tonight. Formal dress night so we all got dressed up for a concert and dinner. Nice treat!
Fun day and I wore myself out with all the activities.
January 24th, 2018 We continue to get up early each day, walk on the top deck to see the sunrise, eat breakfast and go to 8:30 am worship and preaching. Great way to start the morning.
We got off the ship today and joined Crossfire Ministries at C.R.Walker High School. We had the school assembly outside since they have no gymnasium. The pep band played and it was neat to see the school outside.
Randy and Jamie use basketball as a tool to share the gospel of Jesus with people around the world. Sharing the gospel with high school students at a school wide assembly- we should do that here in the USA!! Tony and I decided this was the one excursion worth getting off the boat for and we enjoyed seeing the polite and well mannered young people in grades 10-12. I love the fact that they have uniforms and wish we did too. Makes a level playing field for all students, develops a sense of pride and nobody stands out. Let your character and accomplishments set you apart rather than fast talking, money or socio economic status.
I walked up to a lady afterwards and asked her what she teaches. She said "PE". I could spot her and knew it! Physical Education teachers all look and dress alike. Made me laugh. The other teachers were dressed up. Tyrice Curry and I talked for a bit and she introduced me to one of her students who plays the tuba in the band. He wants to learn how to fly. We exchanged emails and I look forward to keeping in touch with her. Guess what their mascot is.....the Knights! Same as the Turner Ashby Knights. Pretty sweet!
Tyrice went to college in Kansas and ran track. She loves teaching high school and is passionate about her students just like me. Common interests even when miles separate us.
We made were walking back to the port and I spotted a man with a Bridgewater College shirt (I am a '96 graduate from BC and grateful for the education I received). I asked him where he is from and he says "Singers Glen, Va". Really???? We live 4 miles from each other. So funny that we are in the middle of the Caribbean. We met other members of his group and they are the grandparents of 2 students at TAHS. We laughed and enjoyed meeting new friends on this K Love cruise.
After a jogging workout in the pool, we got ready for the concert with Plumb and Danny Gokey. I knew more songs than I thought I would and Danny has quite a band including a bari saxophone and trumpet player. His drummer has a HUGE afro to match his HUGE smile!
We meet Bill and Colleen each night for the concert and dinner at 7 pm. Food on a cruise is amazing and I love that I don't have to plan it, prepare it or clean it up. I just have to eat it and many is it delicious! Good thing I am working out each day or I would gain a ton of weight!
January 23rd, 2018 One of the things I noticed around the ship immediately were all the older K Love cruise shirts from people who had come before. Lots of folks do this cruise every year and I can see why....the atmosphere is amazing and is what I anticipated before our arrival. It is so pleasant to not see drunk people everywhere and everyone is so friendly and smiling. 8:30 am worship by Josh Maze starts each day helps to fan the flame in our hearts for Jesus. Here is his website JOSHMAZE.com
The Lord is working through that young man and energized the ship each morning. Loved it! He is the worship leader at Highpoint Church in Memphis Tennessee. Thank you Josh for sharing your gifts with us each day.
Heath Arthur is the emcee and had us all laughing each day! What a comedian, actor and host for the ship!
Tony and I stayed on the ship today and enjoyed the numerous activities. Here is a guided tour I found online- click here. There is a whole section of the ship for sports so I plan on spending a large part of the week working out. The sports teams employees are from all over the world. What a great job as a 20 year old young person sailing around the world. Wow! I didn't know about it, but it would have been right up my alley. There is a wave rider and I enjoyed the 1st of many boogie board and surfing sessions. Harder than it looks! Yes it hurts when you fall down!
There is ping pong, putt putt, rock climbing, basketball, volleyball and pools everywhere. I was LOVING life! 1st time I have played golf on the ocean. Worship and sports all week- YES! Found a 6' adult only pool and did my aqua jogging in it each day along with my dips (to work those triceps) and the in water bar stools made a great place to hold onto so I could do my water ab workout. Tony enjoyed many naps each day and couldn't figure out why I wasn't relaxing...... I was relaxing and enjoying the mental break and a physical workout.
Casting Crowns and Crowder did the concerts today and Crowder instantly made a fan out of Tony and he is such a talented musician. His song I Saw the Light and I'll Fly Away are a boot stoppin' high energy song that makes you say Wow! He plays the banjo, guitar and the piano (may even play more instruments).
The meet and greet with artists, pictures and signing sessions are at 10:45 pm and I never made it to any of them! Ugh!! You all know me and 4 am is awesome and a prime time for me......after 9 pm- not so much! I would love to stay up that late but the circadian rhythm doesn't change just because you go on a cruise. Oh well! Can't do it all on the ship. Although Tony would say I packed as much as I possibly could into my waking hours!
January 22, 2018- I tried to go swimming, but the pool area was locked up. Looking forward to the ship and swimming each day since I never have access to a pool these days.
All of us had breakfast and then walked around the block to get out and get some exercise. I saw a car and said "I don't recognize that hood ornament" which is what I say when the car is too fancy for me to recognize. Tony informed me that it was a Maserati. Oh........ I can identify a Ford, Chevy and Saturn pretty easily. =)
There are some big boats in Florida and we haven't even seen the HUGE ships.
We can board the ship from 12-4 so we got on the shuttle to start our adventure. We used our passports to get through customs (Tony had trouble getting a passport because the ORIGINAL birth certificate he submitted did not have the full names of both parents. In August when he applied, they said 6 months to get it processed so we had to go another route and eventually he got his passport. Post 9-11 required some states to change things and since he was born in Pennsylvania, he had to get a new birth certificate).
The ship is ENORMOUS and called the Independence of the Seas.
Each night at 5 pm we have a concert and then dinner is at 7 pm each night. Today is John Crist a comedian who is so funny and my favorite- Stephen Curtis Chapman! Stephen can make that guitar sing and is the reason I wanted to learn how to play the guitar in college. His tape (yes that was WAY before CD's!) More To This Life was the first Christian music tape I ever bought and I have always loved his music.
He shared about his 30 year career and his song Cinderella is a tear jerker especially after talking about his daughter Maria. Thank you SCC for your amazing ministry and the lives you have impacted over the years. You continue to make a difference in mine and I loved the concert. Earlier today we had the muster drill (emergency evacuation practice) and Stephen walked right in front of me. I could have touched his shoulder and said "What's up!" but only smiled as he walked by me 2 times. Pretty cool!
Out to sea and off to the Bahamas.
January 21, 2018 Tony and I met Colleen and Bill at the airport today and we flew down to KBQK in Georgia to fuel up the plane and our bellies. The Cessna 414 is a sweet plane and we made great time. Bill is a wonderful pilot and I enjoy flying with him.
I tried to get my multi-engine commercial checkride done before we left, but a total electrical failure during my 1st lesson put the Twin Commanche out of service for a week. I will finish up my training when we return and I will just be an observer in the front seat instead of a safety pilot.
When we walked in to the FBO (Fixed Base Operator or the terminal as you would call it) in Florida at KFXE, guess who was standing there smiling at us.......Nate Krobath! My boss (and my instructor for instrument, commercial and CFI prep) who just moved down to Florida to start with Spirit Airlines. What a great surprise and made my day!
Tony learned how to use UBER for the 1st time. We were able to use our time share (finally) for a hotel and started to unwind. Nate came over and we watched the Eagles game with him at a restaurant next to the hotel all decked out for the game. I struggled to stay awake, but made it to the end of the game. I have never been nor will I ever be a night owl!
So excited for the cruise, warm temps and a vacation with Tony, Bill and Colleen!