Music has always been a big part of my life. I hear a song and it can immediately take me back to a time, a place, a feeling. There are certain songs that I have to turn off if I hear them because of the memories I associate with them, even if they make no sense to other people. Michael Buble's Everything - a nice peppy song, right? I associate it with poor decisions. I pretty much love the whole of Sara Evans' Born To Fly album, but that one will always be associated with this one day I spent in Jacksonville, NC with the one that I thought was it for me before the PTSD after the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 completely changed him. Talk Dirty to Me by Poison reminds me of this ridiculously fun summer I had, care free and probably more comfortable in my own skin than I had ever been, and wasn't again for may years after.
In 2005, I had my first experience actually following a band around a little bit. I was living in Maine while my ship was being built, and there wasn't a ton to do, and I'd recently found the band Ingram Hill, and there were shows, so why not? I made some friends, discovered some more awesome independent and up and coming bands, went to a Jesse McCartney show, and drove way too many miles and hours. It was pretty fantastic.
In 2007, I translated that love of music into the most amazing vacation I've ever been on by going on my first Rock Boat. I've posted pretty extensively about that boat on this blog in the past, and the link to the website is on the side of my blog. It was introduced to me by some of the friends I made through Ingram Hill, and when one of them couldn't go, I took her spot on a whim. In the years since, I've done 8 more of them, as well as another cruise by the same company based on the old VH1 show Best Week Ever. I've made some of the best friends I have on that cruise, people that I can talk to about anything, and in reality without that cruise I probably wouldn't know my husband today. I mean, I didn't meet him on the cruise, but if I hadn't gone on the cruise I wouldn't know the friends that I made that convinced me that I should move to Atlanta after I got out of the Navy, and if I hadn't moved to Atlanta, I wouldn't know him. So there's that.
I missed last year's Rock Boat because it was so soon after B had been born. My husband and his mother told me that for XVII they would take care of him so I could go, so I booked at the first opportunity. Bonus, it goes out of Tampa, so no need to worry about driving to Miami or hotels or parking or any of the extra expenses.
Sadly, though, it looks like that isn't going to be enough. I'd been feeling a bit guilty for booking since I did it. We've had a bit of a tough year financially, primarily because of the issues we experienced with my older cat earlier this year (short version, around $3k in vet expenses that ultimately ended up not working, and we lost her in March). We are moving this fall when our lease is up. Finances are just generally tight. And I can't justify spending $1,000+ on just myself anymore. So it looks like I may have to cancel :(
It's not a 100% decision. If they announce a certain band prior to the deadline to cancel for a refund of all payments made so far, then I'll be relooking at the situation. But it's not looking positive right now. I hope to make it back some year in the near future, but for now, I have to be a responsible adult. And it sucks.