To say this was a trip of a lifetime would be an understatement. Since we’d both been on the Lynyrd Skynyrd cruise before, Dee and I knew we were in for a really good time. But the Monsters of Rock cruise was just…more meaningful, at least for me, because these bands were all a little closer to my heart. They were all bands that I grew up listening to but never got the opportunity to see live because I was just too young. So to be to stuck with all of them on a magnificent cruise ship for four days was a dream come true! And the fun started even before we even set foot on the boat!
For a trip like this, you know that not even my plane ride could be boring. I had a three hour layover in the Atlanta airport (which is the most insane airport I’ve ever been to). I decided to get some lunch, so I went to an airport restaurant. Right after I was seated, the cutest lady came up to me and said, “Are you by chance going on the Monsters of Rock cruise?” I said, “Yes! What gave it away?” She replied, “Your Quiet Riot tshirt! My name is Pixie. You should come sit with me and my friends.” So I did exactly that. I sat with Pixie, Rita and Julie who were all from Kansas and were so incredibly nice. As we were chatting about how excited we all were, Pixie said to Rita, “Oh! Show her your book, Rita! Show her your book!” Rita digs into her carry on and pulls out her book: Once Upon a Rock Star. As I flipped through the pages, I said, “You’ve got to be shitting me.” If you haven’t guessed already, it’s a book about Rita’s exploits with some of the most notable rock stars from back in the day. When I got to the picture of her with Nikki Sixx, I looked at her and said, “And now we’re no longer friends!” Ha! I asked her if she brought copies to sell, and of course she said yes. I bought my copy from her after the cruise as I was leaving Miami and I ran into these ladies at my gate…because they were on my flight! It’s an amazingly easy read, and for a girl who wished she was old enough to live the rock & roll life in LA in the 80′s, it was great to read it and live it vicariously through Rita.
The ladies left to catch their plane, and I left to catch mine. Once I landed in Miami, I grabbed a cab and headed to my hotel. As the cab pulled up to the front of the Hilton, I looked out my window and just started laughing: Firehouse were standing outside among tons of other people. I checked in, went to my room, fell on my bed and laughed some more. Why? Because if you would’ve told me when I was 14 years old that I’d pull up to a hotel and Firehouse would be standing outside or that I was going on a cruise with some of my favorite bands, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Unfortunately, Dee’s trip to Miami was adventurous but in a much more terrible way. The airline lost her luggage. Screw you, Southwest Airlines! After a truly strenuous time at the airport, we decided to skip the Kix/Firehouse pre-party and stay low key at the hotel and have dinner and drinks. Well, our hotel wasn’t that low key since quite a few bands were staying there and everyone showed up at the hotel bar after the pre-party…and that was A-OK with us! My friend Monique and her sister Liz arrived early on. We drank and chatted as more and more people strolled in. Monique introduced us to Eric Brittingham of Cinderella and his lovely wife, Inga. She also introduced us to the lovely Nikki Blakk, DJ for San Francisco’s 107.7 The Bone, and one of the hosts on the cruise.
By the end of the night, we made a few new friends, had a wonderful time, and Dee got the call from Southwest Airlines that they found her luggage and it would arrive at the hotel in the morning. Yeah! So we called it a night and went to bed. We had to try to get some rest…because we had a BIG four days ahead of us!!!!!