Sunday, March 31, 2013

The roof is for the birds...

When we're in the outdoor eating area at the back of the ship, one of Jeannie's favorite things is to look up to the canvas tent-like covering to see the shadow of the birds that are there.

She especially likes how dark the feet are!
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The Track...

I ran on the ship track on Friday.

It's treacherous.

Not dangereous because it's slick or anything. Just treacherous because of all the obstacles.

Even though it's clearly listed as the running track and cautions people to be mindful of people running on it, no one ever pay attention. Why? Because the only people on a cruise ship who ever use the track are the ship entertainers.

People on a cruise aren't terribly interested in logging their miles in. Who can blame them, they're on vacation.

It's also not a convienant track. It's kind of thrown on the ship as an afterthought. It's like someone thought, "Hey, we don't have an outdoor running track. Why don't we toss one here around the shuffleboard deck with lots of hairpin turns around the narrow walkway surrounding the basketball court!"

The trickiest part of running here is the pack of teenagers that swarm and wander around the ship.

Why they decide to gather in the most narrow of walkways is beyond me.

5 times around the track is one mile. I ran 5 miles so I circled the track 25 times. This is Christopher.

I know his name because all 25 times I circled the track, his mother said, "Christopher, watch out for the runner!" and all 25 times Christopher intentionally stepped into the track to try to run into me. Everytime I swerved to get out of the way, his mother squealed, "Oh Christopher, be careful, you almost ran into him again." On my list trip around, Christopher sat in the middle of the track and even though his mom sweetly yelled for him to get away from the track, he stayed there. At the last minute, he looked out of the corner of his eye to make sure his mom wasn't looking, and then thrust his legs out in the air to trip me.

Christopher is a monster.

Aside from Christopher and the crazy layout, the track is enjoyable. So nice to be outdoors and to feel the breeze. You can see other cruise ships sailing along.

And, you get a nice view of the pool deck.

I just have to find a good time to use the deck when there are no people around.
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Thursday, March 28, 2013


Sometimes when you're in the islands you'll look out the window of a cafe and see a giant lizard crawling up a tree.

Sometimes, you'll cross a parking lot and see an iguana casing some wild roosters.

Do people who come to Illinois see squirrels and are as fascinated by them as we are with lizards?

Yesterday we were in Jamaica and I enjoyed a really great plate of Jerk Shrimp.

I've had Jerk Chicken and Shrimp before, but man, it doesn't come close to matching the flavor, spicyness and heat of actual Jamaican chicken. It was nice and hot, but I added a little more heat for fun.

It was good.

Aside from the Jerk Chicken, I'm not a huge fan of Jamaica. The locals are pushy, bordering on aggressive and rude. If you don't stop to listen to their sales pitch for their tours, they call you racist.

Also, I haven't gone 5 feet without someone trying to get me to buy ganja. I've even had several Jamaican cops try to sell me marihuana.

So yeah, not my favorite place.

Grand Cayman, where we are on Thursdays is much better. The only downfall is that we've tried to go to the beach the past few times we've been here and it's been very cloudy, windy and rainy.

Hopefully we'll be able to go next week!
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Sunday, March 24, 2013


2 of these 3 have travelled around the world.

They are not what you would call tourists. Still, they can be tricked by a tourist trap.

Ready for it?

First, Brett, Jeannie, Kelsey and I went to South Beach and had breakfast at our Producer Beth's favorite restaurant, The News Cafe.

It was a very nice, lovely breakfast.

From there we went to the beach, which was a bit windy.

It was still very nice though.

After that, we walked down Ocean Drive and had a nice time looking at the buildings and shops.

We told Brett and Kelsey about a drink that they have at the restaurants in South Beach called a Beergarita. They pour 2 beers into a margarita and it slowly pours into the drink. Our castmate on the Epic, Sam Super got one once and told us about it.

Brett and Kelsey were very excited to get one.

We stopped at a place that was offering a 2 for 1 special.

Jeannie joined in on their drink parade and and the three of them were having a grand ole time.

Then, something curious happened. The waitress dropped off two to go jugs with two more drinks.

It was very confusing, then we figured it out. It was a bait and switch. They tell you that you're doing a 2 for 1 special so you buy 2 drinks, but the 2nd drink is actually a take home drink that you get on your way out.

They'd been duped.

Then the bill came.

The menu leads you to believe the drinks are $20. Sharing that between 3 people seemed to be a good deal. However, now that they knew that they'd been tricked into buying a second drink, they thought they'd be contributing toward 2 drinks. Which, they thought would total $40. They were wrong.

Looking at the menu, there's no way anyone thinks the drink costs anything more than $20. Most people, by the time they're done with those colossal drinks, are so inebriated they pay without noticing.

So tricky.

So crazy.

So funny.

Outraged, they paid their bill and voiced their outrage and we watched every table at every restaurant along the strip figure out the same thing as their bills arrived.

South Beach. So pretty. So enjoyable. So tricky and hilarious.
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Friday, March 22, 2013


It's Friday and it's only the second time I've gotten off the ship this week. We get to spend a couple extra hours in Cozumel today, so we're pretty happy about that.

My friend Melissa told me that I don't talk enough about the crazy things we encounter on our trips, so the rest of this post will be all about the weirdness I've seen this week.

1- on Monday, I watched a seagull grab a woman's chicken sandwich and try to carry it away. The woman shoo'd the bird away, picked the sandwich back up and proceeded to eat it.

That blows my mind. There is food everywhere on this ship. If a bird grabbed my sandwich, I would tip my hat to the bird, declare it the winner and then go back up to the buffet and grab a new sandwich. Also, if a bird grabbed a chicken sandwich, I wouldn't fight it because that bird has proved that it is a cannibal and is willing to eat it's own kind. I'm not fighting a cannibal bird.

2- Wednesday I stepped into the locker room of the gym to the bathroom and a naked, old, chubby, hairy man with a mustache waddled up to me. He had locked his locker key in his locker with all his clothes. He'd been there for an hour, waiting for someone to come and help him. I went to the front desk and got the master key and opened the locker for him.

Sadly, this is not the only encounter this week that I've had with a hairy, chubby, naked guy.

3- Our mainstage shows are on Wednesday nights. Here's the 1,100 seat theater where we do our shows.

Here's the poster of our cast.

On Thursday, I walked through the gym locker room and heard a yelp from the steam room. I thought it was odd, but kept walking. The door to the steam room slammed open as I opened the locker door to leave. I heard a high pitched voice squeal, "Excuse me! Excuse me! Are you from Second City?"

I turned to see a very sweaty, chubby older man padding toward me. He was holding a towel around his waist, but he was barefoot and chasing after me and the sweat that was pouring off of him pooled around his chubby feet and he skidded three feet across the floor. His hands went up in the air and his towel flew off as he hugged the wall to keep from falling. I was still standing at the doorway with the door wide open. I shut it before too many people saw anything.

When he had fully composed himself, he told me he really liked our show and told me his favorite parts of the show.

4- This isn't really weird, it's just funny. Mark, our musical director taught us a brand new game. It was really fun. Jeannie particularly enjoyed it because Brett finished in last place.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013


We had nice, relaxing day in South Beach today.

After a long week of rehearsal after rehearsal after rehearsal after rehearsal, it was nice to sit down and relax and not think about notes on how to properly intro Blind Line.

We got up at 5:30am for immigration, since it was out first week on the ship. At 9am, we sleepwalked off the ship and caught a cab to South Beach.

We had a small breakfast at a French cafe. They had a bizarre shaped pastry that was supposed to taste like a rum soaked crepe.

It was good, but tasted nothing like a crepe or rum.

We then wandered down Lincoln Avenue and stopped in a few places. We went into Dylan's Candy Store.

We also stopped at Publix, a grocery store that Jeannie read about.

It's just a normal grocery store like Jewell or Dominic's, but Jeannie had it in her mind that it was a fine dining grocery store.

She was excited to go there. Brett was not.

Another thing that's weird about the place is that Jeannie mispronounces it as Pube-lix. It's kind of embarrassing when she yells from one aisle to the next, "Jeff, we need to get a lot of Pube-lix hand soap!"

After our trip to the grocery store, we went back to Lincoln, had lunch and then headed back to the ship.

It was a great day. Sunny and 79 degrees in a cool breezy city.

And now, we're headed to the Bahamas.
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jamaica, part 2...

We ate at Mama Marley's. It's a touristy place that supposedly has some relationship with Bob Marley's mother.

We found some funny things while we were shopping. It's a Jamaican Cubs t-shirt.

And, Jamaican wicker Cubs hat.

Jeannie bought a Jamaican bobsled hat.

That hat makes her so happy. She keeps singing Jamaica, we have a bobsled team.

Walking around we saw signs for some interesting clubs.

Jamaica made Kelsey drink funny.

And, break her glasses.

Last night, we had our cast dinner at Teppenyaki.

Kelsey was amazed by the show.

We went to the nightclub afterward where we discovered our director TJ may have had a little too much stir fried lobster.

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