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Mele Kalikimaka

Ok so I know it has been WAY too long since my last post, but I have been WAY too busy to sit down and type for the last few weeks. The ship has been insane with the holidays, and I am just now seeing some rest in my future! Lots has happened since I wrote last, and I am learning more and more about ship life daily.There is a lot that separates my life now from my life 2 months ago. I used to come home at the end of the day and walk right into my house. Now, I go through 3 security check points and a metal detector every time i enter my "house." I used to drive around town and grab a bite to eat with friends, now, without a car, I have to walk through drive-thrus when the inside of a restaurant is closed. I used to have to leave 15-30 minutes early to make it to class or work on time. Now, I leave 2 minutes before my shift! I used to wake up to a concrete plant and creepy neighbors. Now, I wake up to oceans and mountains. I used to walk around and see squirrels everywhere. Now, I see wild chickens parading around. Life is definitely different, but it is definitely interesting, and I am loving all of these new experiences!On Mondays, Kate, Adrienne and I have started a beach tradition. We wake up early on Monday mornings and head to the beach to relax, swim, catch some rays, and just have fun. Sometimes, we take our ribbon dancers along with us to add to the excitement of our favorite morning of the week!I have officially become a star on Dancing With The Stars. Each week the ship hosts a version of the hit tv show. The "stars" are paired up with random passengers that we meet approximately 30 seconds before we hit the stage for round 1. The music is random and the competition boils down to who can improv the most entertaining routine. I have awesome friends that come to cheer me on as well, so that makes the nights much more fun! My first week I was paired with a man named Boras. Boras did not speak any English, and the minute I met him, I worried how far we would make it in the competition. I was not surprised at all when we got out the first round, and I am happy to say I have done better since then!Later that week, Boras' wife came and explained to me that she did not think Boras knew what he was signing up for when he got into the competition because he had never danced a day in his life. I laughed and told her I still had fun. The next day, I saw her again while I was working in the gallery. She was staring at me and writing in a notebook. I asked her if I could help her and she said no, but all of her staring was making me uncomfortable. After a few minutes she approached me, explained that she was a professional artist, and gave me a drawing she had done of me to thank me for dancing with her husband! It was so neat to get something so unique and personal, and now it hangs proudly on my wall!The Saturday before Christmas I received a package from my mom filled with a Christmas party in a box. It came complete with a snow tiara, stocking (stuffed with goodies), cards, an 8 inch pre-lit tree, and presents! I was so happy to decorate the room a little, but shocked at how fast the holidays snuck up on me. The warm weather really throws things off and makes you forget it is actually winter here!On December 23, the ship hosted a Christmas meal for all of the staff. It was a lot like the Thanksgiving meal we had, only we got gifts! Everyone got a polo, luggage tag, alarm clock, and baseball cap. On Christmas day, I got to skype my family for the first time! It was so good to see the twins, who are growing so much! That evening I went to dinner with two of the photographers. We got reservations for the Jefferson Bistro, which is the nicest restaurant on the ship. I devoured every bite of my 6 course meal and loved every second of it! It was really nice to have a fancy meal on Christmas, and i had a blast getting to know Matt and Brad.The next week was busy again with a full ship and lots to do for both Christmas and New Years. I made my first student loan payments, and sadly said good bye to our friend Karlo who decided to head back to Denver for a career opportunity he had there. Also, I took a photo that my bosses loved and it is now used as a display photograph on the ship. They even sent it in as a possibility to be a photo displayed on all of the ships! It was nice to know that they approve of the work I am doing.On New Years eve, Goran took Kate, Adrienne, and I to the Jazz brunch at the Bistro. We had a delicious meal to end the year, and the jazz music reminded me of home. After brunch it was back to work to get ready for a late night of work and fun.The New Years celebration on the ship was unlike any new years party I have ever been to. The deck was filled with people, fireworks went off for an hour, all of the hot tubs were drained and filled with wine and champagne, and the dancing lasted all night.I was busy running around the decks taking pictures of everyone and everything, but I managed to get a few pictures of myself with friends as well. We all had a lot of fun. Sadly, Adrienne was working inside the ship for most of it, but I found her after midnight to wish her a happy new year.A few days later, I went to the Maui Ocean Center with my friend Sammy. Sammy is from Haiti. He is very intelligent and knows several languages, plus he has traveled all over so it is fun to hear all of his stories. He and i toured the aquarium and saw all of the turtles, sharks, and fish. When we got to the starfish tank, Sammy admitted that he never knew starfish were living and that he had always thought starfish were just cool shaped rocks! I guess he doesn't know everything!
Now, I am proud to say I got 8 hours of sleep for the first time in a long time. My work schedule is starting to go back to normal. There has been an outbreak of people getting sick on the ship lately so we have gone to silver service. That means that all of the buffets are not self service and that someone must serve everything from the drinks to salt and pepper to keep from people touching stuff. Hopefully we will go back to normal services soon because the bar and restaurant departments are having to work double time to keep everything in check.On a brighter note, I passed my 30 day review with flying colors. Also, yesterday was my half birthday, and it was a great one. I went to the luau and some of the locals made me a birthday tiara out of coconut leaves. After work the girls and I hit the town with our dancing shoes on and a purse full of horns and noisemakers to share with everyone we met! I had an awesome time and I can't wait to see 2011 unfold!

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  1. Yeah shout out! You got an alarm clock? I got a flashlight...

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