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birthday city

What better way to start off the birthday festivities than a little pampering? That is exactly what this girl did. I got a pedicure during my time off on Saturday. It was much needed and left my feet feeling fancy free!After the pedicure, I met up with Rich and Seth for our much anticipated tour of the bridge. This is not just any bridge, this is THE bridge. The bridge of the ship to be exact. The bridge is where they control everything on the ship. They drive from here, make announcements, answer 911 calls, view security camera footage, and control all water tight and fire screen doors. I expected a giant wheel in the center of the room to steer the ship, but what I found looked more like Star Trek. It was very interesting to see where all the important stuff takes place, and Keegan was a great tour guide for the adventure, they even let us drive the ship! Just kidding, but we tried to make it look authentic!
When I got back to my room, my roommate had left for vacation, and my new one was moving in. Brianne is from the jewelery department on board and we are having a blast together. I am so glad we are roommates, and I should probably send a little thank you to personnel for the great match up!
Monday was the 4th of July. Our schedules were a little out of whack with all of the holiday festivities, but I like a little mix-up every once in a while. The ship ported off the coast of Maui to watch their grand fireworks display. I was out on the top deck of the ship to shoot families with the fireworks behind them. Unfortunately, it was a pretty lame fireworks display. It lasted less than 10 minutes. The Royals get a better display after they lose on a Friday night. On the bright side, with another Independence day under my belt, my birthday was just around the corner.On Tuesday, the crew hosted a breast cancer benefit. One of the bartenders has recently left the ship and the crew has teamed up to raise money for her treatments. People around the ship volunteered to model and take photographs for a "Sailors for a Cause" calendar. I took pictures of my fellow Chiefs fan, Brian, who is the fire fighter on board. We had a lot of fun with his shoot, and one of the photographs was used for the month of August! I guess I can add calendar photographer to my resume now!The day had finally arrived on Wednesday, and as I clocked in for work at 5:30am, I had a little more bounce in my step than usual. After all, I was 23 now! I was able to take a little break from work to grab birthday lunch with some pals. We adorned our heads with sparkly birthday hats and headed to Lulu's to grab one of those Mac Daddys I raved about in a previous post.After work that night, I headed to the White Hot party on board where my pals were waiting to continue the celebration. We began an orchestra of party whistles, blowers, flutes, and horns, and continued the partying until midnight. I am so blessed to have such fun friends on board.
The day after my birthday, we ported in Kauai. My cousins were staying there on vacation and I had some time off. We were able to meet up at the local beach, and I introduced them to the loco moco at lunchtime. They liked it too. I am surprised such a simple dish hasn't become popular on the mainland yet! It was great to catch up with family from home. Being 5000 miles away is definitely a long distance and it is nice to have the people you love close by.On Saturday, crew activities hosted a dancing with the star competition for crew only. Officers were the stars and crew volunteered to be their dance partners. Keegan was one of the officers competing and we had to go support him. The competition got a little crazy and a lot wild in the hour that it took place, but it was a lot of fun to see some crew members come out of their shells and get down on the dance floor!
Yesterday I woke up and headed to the beach for a wedding! Robin is back in town and the two of us were requested as the wedding photographers. It was a beautiful landscape of sandy beach, palm trees, lava rocks, blue ocean, and mountains in the distance. The ceremony was gorgeous and we had so much fun stepping off the ship and doing something different. In the evening I headed up to VIP party then helped train the new photographer in the gallery. I love the days where my job takes me all over the place, and life in Hawaii isn't so bad either!

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