Growing Up Martha

Growing Up martha

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Let’s Get Lost

                                        WOW!!! 

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                             What a cruise, you guys!

One might even venture to say it was the #BestCruiseEver, no? We certainly had a blast!! There were so many amazing memories this year, that just like last year, it takes two of us to recap the experience! 

Our group arrived in NYC the day before departure. We did all the normal NYC shit and celebrated a night out in Times Square to prepare for our journey. You would think since NYC is the busiest place in the World that it would be difficult, maybe impossible, to spot any fellow blockheads before getting on the boat.

                                         WRONG.

                                 We are everywhere.

The great thing about the NYC departure is that no one looks like a jackass in head-to-toe nkotb gear since there’s always an assless chaps cowboy around the corner to steal your thunder. 

Thursday morning came with the usual excitement and rush to get to the port. It was different this year as no one had a “routine” like in prior years so there was nothing to do but get there and follow directions (something many blockheads have a difficult time with.) 

Boarding was a piece of cake. Fastest fucking boarding in our four years of cruising. Guessing the fact that no one looked at (Martha’s) passport OR checked our carry-ons had something to do with that, but watevz…..we were on the boat within an hour. 

                         HIGH-FIVE, Port Authority! 

Once upon the boat we booked it to Lido to look at the design of the stages (AKA: drink). After a quick review of the layout (finding drinks) we headed down to our cabin on deck seven. We reserved a balcony cabin this year and were NOT disappointed in what we received. It made a wonderful place for us to experience the Muster Drill. Shhh….(if the boat sinks, we’re all goners anyway.) 

Our balcony view alone  was worth the thirty grand and second mortgages this trip cost us. Check out THIS view! 

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The Sail Away Party is always the real beginning of the weekend. It’s awesome to see all five guys make their entrance and hype the crowd for the next four days of NONSTOP parties! This year was no different. They were all fucking stoked and ready to party and they made that VERY obvious! Apparently there was a cool moment during sail away when we went under some bridge…..awesome if you like that kinda shit, we have no photos though. Sorry. 

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                              LET’S FUCKING GO!!! 

We were late diners which meant our first event of the trip was the #NKOTBFEUD gameshow. This was (obviously) the first time we got to see our seats in the theater. 

THEY SUCKED. #omgmoment 

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We could literally see Danny’s muscles rippling in the right light. SCORE! (you will see what we mean by that later down the blog :) )

The game show was a blast. Blockheads are some sick fucks, you guys! Every single answer was somehow related to a naked New Kid….and if it wasn’t, we certainly made it become one! #DaddysSpecialTreat #whiteballs

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Point blank: We are all sick bastards and the game show ruled!!! 

MASQUERADE NIGHT:

As far as theme nights go, we were not initially fans of the Masquerade night idea. We pay to see pretty New Kids faces, not masks! But it turned out to be a win, because not only did they not keep their masks on for long (with the exception of Jordan, who had the good sense to have his painted on), the masks also made it impossible to tell who was mean mugging who in the crowd! It definitely brought down the catty factor among everyone. 

DANNY WOOD PONG:

Wait, was there any pong actually being played? We heard there was, but we couldn’t see anything. It was mostly just a Danny Q&A. We personally love Danny Q&A’s, because he can’t hide his disdain for stupid questions. His intolerance for being asked the same questions over and over is fun to listen to. “Maybe. Possibly. I don’t know.” Pretty sure that was his response to 99% of the questions. Love smartass Danny! At least you always know where you stand with him! Now onto the….

                                     DAY PARTY?

Pretty sure the guys didn’t know what the hell to do with the “day party” concept. They all just stood around looking confused for a prolonged period of time, even admitting at one point they didn’t know what was going on. Donnie eventually took charge, and he & Joe provided the entertainment as the other guys kind of filtered out confused. It was still pretty fun, of course. If anyone can make a party out of nothing, it’s Donnie and Joe!!

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COWBOY UP:

               Our ONLY group photo of the whole trip! 

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First of all……lets talk about Jordan. Sweet Geeeeeezus!!!

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Only one of us, who shall remain nameless (hint: it starts with a B & rhymes with “hookers”), voted for country night. (SIdebar-I’m not a country fan by any stretchI just like the idea of a cute, easy and comfortable theme outfit-B). Who knew that our boyband boyfriends would look so good in flannel, boots and ten gallon hats? Smoking hot! Maybe you country fans know something we don’t. As far as how good our five favorite guys looked, this one calls for a YEEHAW! Gives new meaning to save a horse, ride a New Kid. Especially once the stripping started (here’s looking at you, Joe).

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BERMUDA:

We tell ourselves every year we will check out wherever we dock. And every year, we sleep the day away and manage to get off the boat for an hour tops. This year, we broke our record: we were off the boat for FIFTEEN MINUTES. Yep. Walked off, walked back on. We’re sure Bermuda would be a lovely place to visit on a regular cruise. Not for this trip. Not enough bright and shiny things to hold our attention after two nights of staring at New Kids. But it made for great nap time for one of us, and great balcony day drinking time for the other one!

Here is Bermuda from our balcony. #HiBermudaByeBermuda

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LET’S GET INTIMATE CONCERT:

Of course the concert was amazing. Especially with our horrible seats in the very front row on the side of the stage. Eww, who wants to be that close to the New Kids? ;) Considering how much partying they had done, we don’t know how they manage to still look and sound so good. We’ll have what they’re having!

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MOVIE NIGHT:

Since we are irresponsible and never take pictures of our actual group…..here is what we wore. :) #MeanGirls 

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Movie Night started out with the guys coming out in their respective movie tribute outfits. It brought one of the biggest laughs of the cruise-Donnie and Jon doing their best Brokeback Mountain impersonations. Would it be wrong to say it was kinda hot? Do we care? Nope! Movie night provided the best people watching. Blockheads really are some creative people! And most of the people with gigantic costumes (here’s looking at you, super cool Gingerbread Man ;) ) were kind enough to stand on the periphery and not in the middle of the crowd. We shorties thank you! The movie portion of movie night could’ve been about an hour shorter (we’ve all seen the Step By Step VHS 900 times, duh). But once the party got started, it was a blast! Especially because this happened:

                                  Birthday Girl!!!! image

(Brookers here: 4 cruises in, the New Kids don’t really make me nervous anymore. Joe is the exception. I’m a lifelong Joe girl, and every time I’m near him I get dumbstruck. Downright stupid. So when he pulled me up to dance, courtesy of my birthday crown presented to me by Martha, I was pumped and stupified at the same time. I have rewatched the video of our dance several times, critiquing my moves, analyzing his. Why did I turn my back to him for pretty much the entire time? Because of those damn Medusa eyes. I can’t look him in the eyes. I panicked when I made eye contact, and the rest is video history that I will continue to overanalyze until the chance to dance with him presents itself again. Oh, Joe…I love you.-B) 

McCARTHY’S SCREENING:

Hey, this show looks pretty good! At first, we weren’t convinced. The promos don’t do it justice. Hope the show is a success, Joe deserves it! (Not just the Joe girl in the partnership saying that, either)

DUETS AT DUSK:

Can anything compare to the first year of Duets at Dusk? Fat chance. Last year was so special. The talent was amazing, it was emotional (we’re talking about you, Edith), it was raw. But this year was also good, and we loved that Martha’s new boyfriend Jordan got involved! Keep Duets at Dusk coming! 

GPS

We love GPS Night! Not only because it’s a chance to see where everyone is from, which in itself can be pretty cool, but because it’s the biggest party of the entire trip! It’s when we prepare to say our goodbyes to our boys and to each other. And to the remaining smuggled booze. A large part of our group did the Wobble with four out of five New Kids (or at least attempted it; booze makes it hard to get the steps right). It was well past sunrise when we hobbled back to bed for our 20 minute pre-disembarkation nap. #brutal

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Random observations:

- “You won’t notice the cameras.” and “Just ignore the cameras.” literally made us laugh out loud throughout the entire weekend. That flying saucer drone was totally unnoticeable though. And we saw a boom mic get dropped on some poor girl’s head. Ouch!

                                    Ummmmmm……image

- The replacement of “selfies” instead of autographs was absolutely GENIUS! HOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLA to whoever the mastermind behind that was! It was SUCH a relief to not have to watch Jordan sign some weirdo’s Jordan doll collection from the 1990’s. Yes… there were still a few “women” who insisted on getting up front to have their 1988 Hangin Tough bed-sheets (gross) signed (why?) and there’s always the autographed sign-n-sail card girls (really?)…. but overall the autos were down substantially and it made for a better view for EVERYONE! Let’s keep that up next year! 

- If YOU’RE going to take the time to make a door decoration, under NO circumstance is it acceptable for you to spell any group member’s name incorrectly. If you come on this cruise, spelling each group members name correctly should be a prerequisite. How many tv shows does Donnie WAHLBERG produce…..you couldn’t get that right? Furthermore….we were on a cruise with NKOTB not NOTKB. Something to remember before you spend money making a sign everyone will remember (not in a good way.)  Jesus. 

- Perhaps it was our location on Deck 7 this year, but there seemed to be WAAAAAAAAY less “campers” on the stairwells than in previous years….and for that, we thank you. It was very obvious that all five guys went out of their way to socialize with us cruisers more than any other year. They stayed down on lido longer to take photos, they were more approachable during down time, and every single one of them made it their mission to meet and talk to as many fans as possible, HOORAY for that! By far, this year they worked harder than ever to satisfy the masses. High-five, boys! 

-Out of four cruises, this crowd seemed to be the most well-behaved (except for maybe us). A lot more “excuse me,” a lot less pushing. Don’t get us wrong, there were still random assholes-you know who you are. But overall, this crowd made us a little less cynical. Notice, we said a little.

-The Splendor was cosmetically the prettiest ship so far. But that Lido? Just no. Way too small for nearly 3,000 people vying to see the same thing. Too many blind spots that didn’t allow a view of the action. The retractable roof was cool in theory, until it rained and the sane people who wanted a view from the safety of the top had to come down among us crazies who were forced to inadvertently twerk on each other in the cramped quarters. 

-2 Day Photo Op-YES PLEASE. We were group B, & it was seamless. Our wait was a little long, because I’m pretty sure almost every mixed group lined up with group B to prevent the hangover look that gets worse with each passing day. But it still wasn’t bad, and more importantly, our group did not get split! Because we travel with our entire photo group and are all friends, it is really important to us that we stay together. We don’t care which guy we stand with, but we do care which girls we stand with-our close friends. After last year’s debacle, it was a relief to get it over with early and to have it the way we wanted. Thanks for listening, Rose Tours and NKOBT…er, I mean NKOTB. 

- GLOW STICKS on GPS night: Why did that take so long? NEVER STOP DOING THAT. Regardless if that was a production decision for the “reality” show or not, it looked awesome and it made the last night that much more special. It truly looked amazing. Great call!

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No one on the outside quite gets why we do what we do. Why we have such a passion for this little world that’s been built on love for a “boy band.” But we get it. There is nothing like this thing we all have. Friends, sisters, brothers, strangers, enemies, frenemies. We have something special, and we have it together. No one can take away the memories we’ve made or the families we’ve built. No, no one else will ever get it. And that’s okay. Because this shit is OURS. And we are so lucky to have it, and so grateful for every little piece of it.

             This shit is special. NEVER FORGET THAT.

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                              Thanks for reading! :) :) 

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Filed under nkotb nkotbcruise2014 letsgetlost

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Our sweet Stevie….

This morning, in the loving arms of his Gramma, our sweet, sweet Stevie was sent to Heaven.

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In March of 2006 I randomly went to the Wisconsin Humane Society on my lunch break while working at Miller Park to visit the rescues. We did this often  to have a good excuse for a “long lunch.”…..After speaking several times with an employee at the Humane Society I convinced myself I was ready to get my own dog…….I didn’t even think twice that I worked 70 hours a week during baseball season and was never home…..I NEEDED A DOG! 

But…..I was quite picky about the dog I wanted. As I began communicating with the Humane Society worker she became WELL AWARE of what it was I wanted……at the time I can remember saying, I want a “cool dog, ya know, one that isn’t gonna be clingy,” (can you even believe they let me adopt after saying that?) …..I wanted someone with spunk, a personality that could handle hanging with different people when I was working (Thank you Bartz Family for that first Summer and Fall, I’ll never forget it!)……but most of all, I remember telling her that I had always known when I got my own dog and we met face to face, I would know if he was a “Steve.” My entire life I had wanted to name a dog Steve……..I just had. I don’t know why, I just did. 

And on Sunday March 26, 2006 I got the call, Steve had arrived!  A truck of pups from a Katrina Survivor Shelter (who had not been claimed) were brought to  Milwaukee and Steve was on it!

They named him Guy Noir on his initial paperwork, so naturally I was ready to get him the hell outta there…..just cuz he came from New Orleans meant he spoke French? Whatevz.   Anyways, after filling out endless paperwork to officially adopt Steve (whom I had not even seen in person yet!) was completed….I turned the corner……and there was STEVE. It was him. The dog who was supposed to be with me, and me with him.

 I will never forget when my friend Abbie who was with me saw him and  yelled…..”OMG Martha, he is TOTALLY  Steve, he has a COACH collar!” 

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We were meant to be……that little seven pound furball survived a freaking hurricane for God’s sake, he could certainly deal with me during baseball season! ;)

What I never expected was the immediate impact he would have on not only MY life but my family’s life as well. The day I brought Steve home from the Humane Society was the day my sister moved to start a new chapter in her life…..a life that led her to her husband and son!  I recall the first time I brought Stevie home to my parent’s house, and although my Mom knew I had adopted Stevie ….my Dad did not. You can only imagine the look (and swear words out of his mouth) when he walked into the living room from golfing and said, “God dammit Martha, don’t even f*cking tell me you got a dog.”

Hahahahahahahha……yup Dad…..MEET STEVE!

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Cut to a year later when I had to travel for work and didn’t want Stevie at the “doggie hotel” for a week. Being the kind and loving Mom that she is, Jane offered to take care of Stevie while I was gone…….

That week in Miami was the week my parents kidnapped my dog.  We joke about it ( by “we,” I mean me, but still…) I smartened up and realized that Stevie deserved to live in a bigger house with a large yard where people were retired and could actually spend time with him…..and as a bonus he would have Pat the Cat and Annabelle to party with. 

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My parents fell in love with Steve.

 

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Everyone fell in love with Steve.

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Thank you sweet Stevie for making the Coultas family better. In every sense of the word, you brought a family together. You are gone, but never, EVER will you be forgotten.

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RIP sweet boy. 

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We love you forever.

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Filed under RIP loss of a pet love Hurrican Katrina dog New Orleans Steve best dog ever