Step 74 - NKOTB Friendship Stories: Volume #1 - New Kids on the Block Stories of Friendship from our friends Michelle & Amy, Madelyn & Cara, Christian & Jenny, and Jenny & Rod
The friendships are amazing and the #BHLove is strong in this episode. Brooke and Nikki celebrate 30 years of friendship as we read some friendship stories from our friends Michelle & Amy, Madelyn & Cara, Christian & Jenny, and last a love and NKOTB story from Jenny & Rod. Follow along with some pretty amazing pics and video on our website.
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Amy & Michelle's Friendship Story
My Friendship with Amy (Told by Michelle)
In my 43 years, I’ve made friends, lost friends, I’ve loved, and I’ve lost but that one thing that has always been a constant (with a brief lapse) is my friendship with Amy Bruno. If you’ve seen pictures of me at a NK even in the past 10 years, she’s been with me (minus the 2013 cruise) because without her, a NK event is just not as fun! This is our story, from my perspective.
Let’s take this back to 1990, I believe it was the Summer and I had recently started working at a grocery store as a cashier. I was going into my Junior year of high school and I had just turned 16. I was at my register one day and this very friendly girl that worked in the bakery (YUM) came up to me and said, “I heard you like New Kids on the Block” and that’s how this thing started. My high school years were not that great because I hated my small town high school and life at home could’ve been better, but then I had this super awesome friend that’s a couple of years older than me and she could drive, WOO! She’s always been the type of person that is not afraid to just be herself and have fun and she certainly doesn’t care what people think and I’ve always envied that about her. We spent a lot of time together, I’d sleep at her house and she’d sleep at mine. I always enjoyed her house more than mine because her mom was always so nice. We would watch NK video tapes, read magazines like Bop and Tiger Beat, we dressed up like NK and tried to act like them (that was funny). We tried to learn everything there was to know about them, her favorite has and always will be Donnie and Jordan was and will always be mine. I remember her sharing her story of how she met Donnie on her way to a concert in CT, I love to hear her tell the story now as much as I loved it the first time because you can still hear the excitement in her voice.
We were very lucky to live in MA, so we often took trips into Boston via the T. We would go to the Hard Rock Café just to see the guys pictures (because you know that made us feel closer to them), we would venture in Dorchester by ourselves to try and find the guys or just go anywhere they would talk about (Hi-Fi Pizza, the Dorchester Youth Collaborative, etc), we went to Joe’s house in Jamaica Plain once and got yelled at by his sister because we made the dogs bark and we woke up a baby (sorry Joe’s family), we went to the Wahlberg home in Braintree where we met Marky Mark and asked him to play basketball in his yard – he said no because Alma would get mad, we hitchhiked back from the Wahlberg house in the rain and got picked up by a lady that took us back to the train station – glad we weren’t kidnapped! We had so much fun together! All that time and we still can’t seem to remember if we went to a NK concert together, crazy, huh? We did see a Marky Mark concert together in Providence and we thought we were the shit because we took a limo to the show and everyone was looking. We also saw him at Whalom Park and the NK were there, while we didn’t meet them, we did spot them. We would walk down Newbury Street because I thin Tower Records was there or someplace the guys used to hang out. We even bought ourselves the Hardwear baseball hat that Donnie would sometimes wear. If there was something going on in Boston where there was a slight chance the guys would be there, and we could get there, we were there!
After graduation in 1992, I went on to college in Providence, RI and I would still see Amy on the weekends, but we didn’t spend as much time doing things as we used to. We’d go to clubs sometimes either in Worcester or Boston. NK were starting to ‘die down’ more but we both still loved them, we never stopped, they always had that place in our hearts on lock.
After college graduation in 1994 I moved back home for a while, had some boyfriends, did the nightclub scene, listened to all kinds of music, had various jobs, did a tiny bit of traveling and life went on without NK. I had my son in 1996 and then my daughter in 1999. Fast forward to September of 2001 when I got married, I was living in Providence and she was one of my bridesmaids. I’m not sure why, but there was a period after this where we fell out of touch, nothing bad happened, it just happened. Occasionally I would get on the old NK fan pages, I think Jordan also had a fan page, and I would spend time looking for her (not sure if I ever told her that). I searched her name a lot because I really missed her. Years went by, and along came this thing called FB and that’s where I found Amy. It was after the NK had reunited and when I searched for her I found a person that looked like her, but the last name was different, so I sent her a message asking if she was the Amy I was looking for, she was, we re-connected and it was like we never left each other. I was worried that after years we wouldn’t be able to pick up where we left off, what the heck was I thinking?
Amy and I finally went to our first NK concert together, June 4, 2011 at the Garden in Boston for the NKOTBSB tour and this was the first and last time we ever sat “far” away from the guys! This is where the second round of our super awesome NKOTB friendship takes off. This night was the first time I met a NK and that was Donnie. Then in August Jordan announced that he was going on tour for his Unfinished album and that’s also when I first met him (Aug. 20, 2011). If it wasn’t for Amy, I wouldn’t have met him that first time. I had the opportunity to do an intimate and small M&G with him after his concert and I didn’t have the cash so Amy told me “I’ll let you borrow the money, this may be the only chance you ever have to meet Jordan” so I took her up on that offer and I will forever be thankful. We now laugh about that being the only chance to meet him, because we’ve been lucky together. There was only one NK event that we didn’t attend together and that was the 2013 cruise, I had a great time, but it wasn’t the same without her. We have had some AMAZING times together with NK and for every tour we have been fortunate enough to get closer and closer to the stage. I don’t think I can do any NK event without her as it would never be the same. Here we are in our 40s and we still jump up and down and hug each other like we did when we were teenagers, we can’t believe how lucky we are to be able to do the things we do. Back in 1990, we never would’ve believed we’d be here, where we think Donnie and Jordan recognize us, or we like to pretend they do. These guys have also brought many amazing women into our lives (most recent being Nikki & Brooke – that was surely a meant to be situation). We have SO MANY fun stories for every NK event we’ve been to since 2011.
Times have changed, I’ve learned what kind of friends I really want in my life but one thing that remains the same is the friendship I have with Amy. She’s the first person I text when I need to talk to someone, her and her husband joined my family on vacation this past summer (can’t wait to do that again), she’s funny, she’s creative, she’s just awesomely fun and I really can’t imagine my life without her, it would just be sad. She’s seen my kids grow up and graduate from high school, I share their struggles and accomplishments with her, share my own struggles with her. She doesn’t judge me, she’ll tell me to shut up if she needs to as I will her. Without NKOTB I’m not sure we would’ve become friends because we grew up in different towns and we didn’t work in the same department. I do know that we would’ve missed a friggin amazing friendship! Sometimes I don’t know how she puts up with me, I’m not an easy person to love, I get moody, I think I’m always right and I think I know everything but she’s still here, so I must be doing something right. ☺ I love you, Amy, thank you for an amazing 27 years!
Simply Titled ~ My Best Friend Michelle (By Amy)
When you're growing up, you have many "best friends". Your childhood best friend, adolescent best friend, high school best friend, college best friend, etc. etc. My best friends were Bobbie, Faith, Kim, Kathy and Jen. The scope and depth of my friendships with them was dependent upon the ages that we were at the time, and what we had in common. Then along came Michelle, and over the years I've learned exactly what a best friend is and should be.
At one point, I was friends with Jen and Michelle at the same time, but my friendship with Jen was toxic. Jen would've said her and I were "best friends", and was the type who would've put me in the uncomfortable position of "picking" between her and Michelle. She never actually did, but if she had, I would've picked Michelle over her any day. There was something so different about my relationship with her and my relationship with Michelle. With Jen, it was very one sided, and I've never felt like that with Michelle.
With Michelle, I never have to pretend.
So let's go back to the beginning. When people ask how we met, we get to tell them it was because of New Kids on the Block. We worked together at a grocery store, but didn't know of each other until one of us said to the other "So I heard you like New Kids?" (I forget who approached who, maybe Michelle knows?) But it all started from there. It didn't hurt that around the same time Paul Wahlberg was a chef at a nearby restaurant and used to buy food at our store, so we got to share the experiences of hiding in the bakery to spy on him and see what he bought (french bread), and trying to act cool when he checked out at our register.
But I fully believe that if New Kids hadn't been around back then, or if we weren't fans (gasp!) we would still be friends, best friends, because we have so much in common and have such similar personalities. Who else can you text to tell that your poop looked like a meatball sub?
Throughout the years we've shared so many life experiences, ups and downs. We did lose touch twice, in the mid 90's and once again in the late 2000's. but facebook brought us back together, and it was like no time had passed. New Kids were already back together, so we still had that in common, but what I love about our friendship is that our adventures and conversations do not always revolve around NKOTB.
We go out to eat, we love to cook and talk about recipes, we shop, I was in her wedding, and finally this past year there was a new milestone- our families went on vacation together. Our husbands even get along and have much in common. We've shared weddings, graduations, dance recitals, holidays and more. Just going for a ride in the car to drop her daughter off at college is an adventure. I've even been with her when she wrecked the rental car. Her dog bit me in the stomach and I didn't even care, lol. Things like that have been known to tear apart friendships and families, but not ours. Totally joking, but I don't think there's any hurdle I wouldn't cross to save our friendship if we were having a falling out.
As I said at the beginning, I don't need to pretend around her. Our friendship is so real. It's the kind of friendship where I could walk into a room naked in front of her and not feel awkward. I can text her late at night and know if her phone is on, she won't mind. and I never mind if she does the same to me. We wake up in the morning and send pictures of "morning hair", or pictures of tissues hanging out of our nose when we have a cold. Or pictures titled "Guess where I am?" when the answer is "sitting on the toilet." She gets me to try new foods, like goat cheese. She books hotels for us without asking if I care about the price or where we're staying because she knows I trust her judgement and won't care. I could go on and on about the silly side of our friendship, but I'd like to offer another, so on a serious note...
There isn't a thing in the world that I don't feel like I can tell her, no feeling or emotion or sentiment that is off limits to our friendship. We've laughed, cried, been mad at each other and let each other know, and our friendship has survived to tell about it. She has seen me at my worst. She knows that I haven't exactly had the best marriage, and she knows about my struggles with infertility, how bitter I can be as much as I try to hide it, but what she doesn't know is that having her in my life is part of what keeps me sane. I don't have a large circle of family or friends to talk to. It's basically my mom, dad, my brother and his wife, my niece and my husband. I have "work friends" and friends my husband and I hang out with socially, but no females that I feel close enough to share the more personal details. So hopefully it doesn't sound creepy to say that Michelle and her friendship are pretty all encompassing to my life. I've told her things I cant even tell my mother, and she knows how close my mom and I are. If something is exciting, I want to tell her. If I'm sad or mad, I want to tell her because she will either comfort me or say something dopey to make me laugh. We know each other well enough that we know which direction a conversation should take, if the other needs comfort, or needs a good laugh. Sometimes she says I complain too much, but when I gripe I don't think of it as complaining, it's just me sharing an aspect or a detail of what is going on in my life at the moment.
She offers so much to the friendship with her love, compassion, kindness, wisdom and opinions, and to say that I don't know what I'd do without her is an understatement. I'd be lost. Devastated. Broken. A hole and void bigger than the black hole. But no worries, I trust that our friendship isn't going anywhere, because it's solid. There's friends, and then there's BEST friends, and that's Michelle. The epitome of what a "best friend" means. I love you Michelle!
Madelyn & Cara's Friendship Story
I’m Madelyn (@maddy_75 on Twitter) and you had requested our friendship story and here it is! Please let me know if this will be read on the podcast. Thanks for asking about it!
I suppose our story is no different from that of many Blockheads that have met because of our love of the New Kids On The Block but I feel like ours is special. The guys had announced The Package Tour, I was laid off from my job and was stressing about how I was going to afford to go, I’d become accustomed to being in the front row (I know...spoiled lol), and I just didn’t know how I was going to swing it much less go at all. I drove myself crazy searching for tickets and agonizing seeing first row seats disappear in front of my eyes. I had my eyes on a certain section (at the tip and we all know what the tip is lol), I was at my Moms house and she graciously purchased 2 front row seats for me as an early birthday gift (thank you Mom). The last 2 of 6 front row seats left. All the while I’d been tweeting about the ordeal when a mutual friend (@jennpuffer) said that her friend was looking for tickets. That is when she connected me with Cara (@myloveis4d_dub)! We began talking and come to find out she was in the same boat as me, laid off from her job and wanting to be in the front row. As we were talking, she told me she had purchased 2 seats front row seats and when I asked her where they were right next to mine and she had purchased them out of the same desperation to be in the front row with time running out. So we were set to finally meet at our show! Without knowing her we already had so much in common, laid off front row snobs lol. We began talking on Twitter and the conversation was so easy, we share the same sarcastic sense of humor, we are both around the same age, we’re both married with 2 children each, we love the same tv shows, movies and music and we’re both Donnie girls! The day finally came and it was concert time and I was going to finally meet Cara. I got to my seat and we met and for me it was like meeting a long lost friend, not at all the typical first meeting awkwardness. We both enjoyed the concert and we’re totally engrossed in our guys. It was about 100 degrees in Chicago at the time and seemed hotter inside. After the show we were so exhausted we just went home. We lived about an hour and a half from each other but talked often. We both struggled to find work. Several months after the show I found work with my former employer. There was a location near Cara’s Home so I referred her and she was hired so we were now working at the same company. My daughter was getting ready to enter high school and we were looking to move for better schools. We joked about me moving to her town. As my husband and I were searching we did look at her town and it looked like a great place to live and the schools were great. So my husband and I started searching for a place to live and found a great house in a quiet subdivision. I was going to transfer to the office Cara was working in and move my family. I signed the lease on our place and prepared to move. When I spoke to Cara to tell her we we’re moving to town she asked me where at...and as fate would have it and with no knowledge of where she lived, we were set to move in 1 block away from her Home. Since that time we have shared so much, our ups and downs, concerts, Blondies signings, touring college campuses with our daughters and so much more. She is like a sister to me and it’s hard to imagine my life before she was in it. I’m so thankful for the New Kids for bringing this person into my life and I will be forever grateful.
Christian & Jenny - My Best Friend/Thankful for Joey
Here is my 1st story for you ladies! I’m sending some pics ( in 2nd email) of Jenny’s trip to Boston, some postcards of other trips and still trying to get a pic of my friends high school yearbook pic where she put her last name as McIntyre. LoL
I’ve been hearing a lot of stories of friendship recently so let me begin by introducing you to my high school best friend Jennifer Metz. Yep another Jenny! I feel I should mention up front that she is no longer with us but before you get sad let me share some beautiful memories!
Our friendship began to grow sometime in 1989! We discovered we both had a slight obsession with the movie “Elvis and Me” (the stuff dreams are made of), and an even deeper growing love for these 5 boys from bean town. New Kids On The Block!!!! Right off that bat she was a Joey girl fanatic!! I was of course a Donnie girl from day 1!! We spent countless hours dancing singing watching videos memorizing every word and every step to the new kids albums, hanging posters in our rooms, recording every scrap of coverage on tv we could. One summer Jenny’s aunt took her to Boston and they drove all around to see the new kids houses, old and new, and of course she brought me back a menu from Hi-fi pizza. I actually can’t remember what or why that was a thing, but I guess it was. See pics! We shared a locker in school and were known for having this fanatical love for NKOTB and had posters all over it. We began referring to ourselves as Mrs. McIntyre and Mrs. Wahlberg, and clearly the postman had no problems delivering our mail! See postcards! Jenny even went so far as to change her name our junior year of high school to Jennifer McIntyre in the year book! Pic to come! We even managed to pass our crazy love on to my 4 younger sisters too! Though my baby sister has no memory of that time I love to remind her how she boogied right along with us and enjoyed those mornings of New Kids cartoons with her big sis!! But after several years of squeals and new albums and camping out for tickets and concerts, and even my own magical on stage moment (story to come), and out of this world love for our boys we were graduating high school and as much as we were wanting more of them, I think the next year the New Kids broke up! We both ended up working in the same company after high school and sadly began packing up our dolls and buttons and posters as we slowly crawled into adulthood!!!
But then there was a new thing happening in mid 90’s,and one night after stopping by Jenny’s parents house for visit she showed me the disk that started to change the world.... AOL!! Your hearing that dial up connection sound now… Eeeeerrrrr, aaarrrrr, kadong dong eeeeeeeeeeee dong…(pause)…. You’ve Got Mail!! She showed me how to log in, how to navigate to chat rooms and the aim messaging and friends lists... the works! I eventually ended up creating my own screenname on my mom’s account and the World Wide Web was mine to explore!!! One night Jenny called me and said she began chatting with someone on a Joey... (something)screename and told me to get on and go into the chat room she was in with Joey…. So we began chatting with this Joey... screenname. After a while I found out it was a woman who worked for him. I don’t remember how that info came out but after that we began to have an online friendship that went beyond being an awesome Joey connection. She was a sweet woman and said hi every time I logged on. I think at this time Joe was doing a lot with his solo career and had a new album out too. I had always been careful not to ask things that might be invasive to his privacy but sometime in 1999 I did ask if she thought that Joe would maybe sign something that she could send me. I wanted something to give Jenny for her 24 birthday (in November). Few weeks later low and behold she had mailed me a huge poster signed to Jenny from Joe and a copy of his first solo album Stay the Same! I was beside myself thankful and so excited to get to Jenny’s apartment that night. I baked her a cake and took it over that evening and she was in awe she couldn’t believe he had signed something to her!!! It was truly an amazing birthday and memory!
Sadly She passed away the next year, on August 16 (day Elvis died) of 2000, after tragic car accident up in Tennessee. She was on her way to Graceland for Another visit. I don’t know how many time she’d been but I was jealous, And i still haven’t made it! (Heavy Sigh) After the accident we were told she was taken to the hospital where Elvis was also taken when he passed and she passed away in the wing that was named after him. If there can be any reason to smile after losing a friend, it was there in those seemingly small insignificant facts surrounding her passing that those of us who knew just how big of an Elvis fan she was also, we got it and we couldn’t help but smile! It’s Definitely an understatement to say she had the biggest heart, the biggest smile and the biggest laugh of anyone I’ve ever met and she was truly loved by everyone who’s path she came across!
I think it was a year or so after her passing I must have shared the news with my online Joey... friend and in the mail shortly after came another gift. It was Joe’s latestCD “Meet Joe Mac” and this time autographed to me...It simply said… Christian, Peace 2 U! Love Joe McIntyre! It was the sweetest gesture and I’m sure I cried and smiled all at the same time, I was extremely thankful. It made me realize looking back that Joe’s generosity and the time he took was more then just a scribbled message on a poster and cd. He gave me a memory that will last my lifetime of a truly amazing birthday I got to spend with my best friend, one more time, with our NKOTB love rekindled!! That is a priceless cherished memory! Joe if your listening… from the bottom of my heart I sincerely and humbly thank you!
Jenny loves Joe!
I was extremely blessed to have her friendship for a wonderful 10 Years though it seems like it was so much longer. Till we meet again my sweet friend. #loveeternal
Jenny & Rod
Roddy Loves Jenny: Jenny's side
My New Kid story starts with the year I got the pink Sony Walkman for Christmas, I was about 7 or 8 . Some memories from childhood are a blur, such as the specific year this happened (it had to be 88 or 89), but I clearly remember my mom taking my sister and I, who is 1.5 years older, to Kmart for us each to pick out a tape for the Walkman. My sister is an old soul and went directly to The Beach Boys. I hadn’t heard any of their songs yet, but I was instantly gravitated towards the New Kids On The Block tape, thanks to cute little Joey Joe on the cover. I thought I was so cool walking around with my Walkman blasting new kids. I would go to sleep every night listening to my tape, rewinding Popsicle and Stop It Girl over and over. When I was in about second grade, new kids had really blown up to where we were even watching the Hangin Tough vhs in the auditorium at lunch time. We grew up with a single mom who did her best to make sure we had as much as she could give us, and for my birthday that year my mom went ALL OUT and bought me ALL the stuff - the sheets, curtains, decals for the window, lunch box, water bottle, fanny pack. I even had a door sized poster of Joey McIntyre. Unfortunately for my sister, we shared a room and had bunk beds, so guess who had the bedding too. When I was in 3rd grade my friend had these dangly pink heart earrings with Joes face in them. I had to have them. She would let me wear them during the day at school, but By 4th grade I had my own pair. Since I was so young I didn’t go to concerts or anything, but I was ok with that because I didn’t even really understand it then. I honestly don’t even remember the break-up.
Fast forward to the reunion. 2007/2008 was a weird time for me after going through a quarter-century crisis and then meeting Roddy. I was so consumed with life that I didn’t pay much attention to what they were doing, I had heard the new music and loved it, but I didn’t attend the reunion tour. In 2011 my sister bought me NKOTBSB tickets for my birthday at Izod center in NJ. My birthday is May 29, and the show was a week or 2 after so it was perfect. She didn’t come with me though, instead I brought Roddy. He had been exposed to new kids as a kid when his cousin used to babysit him. The show was everything I expected. This was the first time I heard my first crush Joey McIntyre sing Please Don’t Go Girl in person and I teared up. I remember posting on Facebook that my life was now complete. We didn’t attend the Package Tour because if I remember correctly we were on vacation when they were coming to our area. We went to the Main Event at MSG in NYC, the night Marky Mark was in the House.
At this point we had never cruised. I was on the waitlist for I think 2014, when they left from NYC. After Watching RTB season 1 and seeing Main Event, I said I HAVE TO CRUISE! We didn’t make it on 2015 either. When the 2016 cruise was announced, I told Roddy I’m going on the NKOTB cruise, you can come if you want to, if not I’ll take my sister, because none of my friends are into it. He said no way. RTB was on Netflix, so I made him watch it, he still said no. The morning the cruise went on sale, I called him an hour before and I said are you going or not. He said.... “F🤬CK IT LETS GO!!!!” I got our cabin and patiently waited for October.
I joined all the cruise groups and did my research on what to do and what to expect. One day while watching Donnie Loves Jenny, the lightbulb went off. I said that’s our door theme - Roddy Loves Jenny, and it stuck. Cruise time comes and we don’t know a soul. We met some fellow cruisers while hanging around NOLA, and got to know our cabin neighbors. We got to be part of the Guinness world record selfie line that Donnie was doing and it was so much fun. Donnie likes to take selfies on his phone, but I didn't know that. After a theater show he came and walked up the aisle we were sitting in and was taking selfies with people. He came up to me so I put my phone up to take the photo and he yelled "NO Look At MY Phone!" That's why my dumb arm is in the photo below. We had never done VIP for the concerts, so photo op day was the best day so far, when I got to hug and stand next to Joey McIntyre. Fast forward to GPS night, Donnie calls the husbands on stage, so I tell Rod to get up there, not knowing he was about to twerk up a storm on that stage (see photo/video) We left this cruise with great memories and so many new friends.
Once you cruise, you will never want to miss another event again! A month after the cruise we went to the today show in the pouring rain when The Total Package Tour was announced. Donnie is such a gem - he’s the only new kid that came out in the rain and took a selfie with every person out there. When tickets went on sale, as Rod would tell you, I lost my shit. I got our first barstools for Brooklyn, pit tickets for NJ, and turf tickets for Fenway. We also went back to the Today Show when they performed outside, and Rod got the best photo with Donnie.
When it was time for our Brooklyn show, we were ready with our matching pink glitter shirts, of course Rod’s said Donnie Girl. My group was the first to go on stage for the photo. I was so nervous to go first, but I had to since Joe was at the end. While going down the line someone was on the phone, so I didn’t get to interact, but then got to Jordan and Jon and they were the best. Jordan told me he loved my shirt and the sneakers I was wearing and Jon said I smelled good. I get to Joe and forget how to speak. When it’s over i start walking away and realized Roddy isn’t there. I turn around and him and Donnie are taking selfies together. I freaked out from excitement. It made me completely forget that a certain guy was on his phone when it was my turn. Cue Rod’s story for how those selfies happened.
Our next show was pit in NJ. This time Rod was wearing his blue glitter Cover Boy T-shirt. Donnie spotted him and shouted out Cover Boy during the Cover Girl performance. At this show Rod was in his own world, dancing all over the pit from one side to another. During Hangin Tough, I knew it was almost over and was looking for him. I turned around only to see Donnie leaning down trying to pull Rod up onto the stage. It was one of those moments where you press record, but then weren’t sure if you did so you press it again only to stop it, but I was able to catch the moment. Donnie & Roddy on stage together during the concert in front of all of those people. I was such a fan girl, not for Donnie, but for my then boyfriend. You can hear me scream “THATS MY BOYFRIEND!” In the video.
Fenway was amazing, we had great seats and saw so many friends. Donnie spotted Rod in his Donnie Girl shirt and pointed at him gave that man signal, the wassup nod.Girls recognized Rod’s Donnie Girl shirt and we kept losing him because they kept stopping him for selfies. Now we just sit and wait for the 2017 cruise to come.
This cruise surpassed the first. We got reunited with so many friends and made so many new ones. We got some great photos with the guys, Rod got in the conga line with Donnie, and we partied our butts off every night. GPS rolls around and by this time Rod’s bad ankle is giving him trouble, so he sits this one out and hung by the bar. When it came time for him to call up the husbands, I was calling for Rod to go, but he didn’t. Donnie was even looking for him, saying “where’s my cover boy husband?” Towards the end of the night I see Donnie motioning to someone behind me and talking, only to realize he’s talking to Rod. When GPS was over he told Rod to come with him upstairs where the guys friends and family are. He told us to go wait in the hall by his room. When Donnie came down he took us to his room, of course we waited outside, and a few minutes later comes back out with a hat that he signed and gave to Rod. I found out then that’s what they were talking during the party, Rod told him he wanted his hat, and Donnie delivered. (see video)
One night I had a random dream that I was in a room with Donnie and he was hugging me and said my name. It felt so real, that I had to tell Rod as soon as I woke up. About a month after the cruise, we went to a Blondies signing to see Jenny in NY, and guess who showed up?! You guessed it, Donnie! When we walked in the room he saw Rod and said that’s the best Donnie Girl right there. We had an amazing experience , Jenny makes you feel like you are the only person in the room. When we were leaving, I went to hug Donnie and said bye Donnie thank you, and he said “Bye Jenny.” My dream flashed in my head instantly. It just happened, Donnie said my name.
I never would have imagined that I would have these experiences with these guys that I loved as a little girl. Plus, I get to share it with Rod. If I had cruised earlier or maybe had gone with my sister instead, I might not have had all of these great experiences and memories. It was meant to happen this way, at this time in my life. I hope you enjoy both of our stories. I can’t wait to see you guys on the cruise! We’re getting married 10/14/18, so be prepared to celebrate our honeymoon on that hot damn ship!!!
Lets pour ourselves a drink it's gonna be a long night...Roddy Loves Jenny...Roddys side !
As I pour myself a glass of wine to start winding down for the night I felt I wanted to share my New Kids story. I apologize in advance for it being so long. Growing up as a kid my older cousin would watch me until my parents got home from work. She was obsessed with the New Kids. She had all of their stuff, the dolls, the bed sheets, the posters, the baseball cards and was always listening to them. Her and her friends would make me do all of the dance moves and I hated it!
Fast foward to 2011 NKOTBSB were on tour and we got to see them at the IZOD center in New Jersey. Jenny was beyond excited! It only took 2 songs before all the dance moves started coming back. I was dancing like a weirdo but I didn't care because Jenny never got to see the New Kids when she was younger and she was having a blast. We got to see them again in 2015 at the Main Event tour in New York @ MSG, that concert was the shit! It had NKOTB, TCL, Nelly, Biz Markie, 50 Cent, and even Markie Mark made a surprise appearance.
Come 2016 and Jen brings up going on some New Kids on The Block cruise. I'm like what do you mean, like a real cruise? She said yes like a cruise with the New Kids......... Nooope! I love going to concerts but that seemed like a little much, like I'd be the only dude. It's the night before the cruise goes on sale and she said it's either you or my sister, here watch this and tell me in the morning. It was Rock this Boat. Off to bed she went and it was just me, a 6 pack a beer and some whiskey. I watched the entire season that night and was still on the fence about going, plus those European dudes were weirdos lol
Morning comes and I was already at work when Jenny called me to ask if I was going. Something inside me said do it, I believe my exact words were "Fuck it let's go" ! And boy am I glad I did... As we started watching season 2 of Rock this Boat I kinda started getting excited for it even though my plan was to drink and gamble all day. We arrived to NOLA 3 days before the cruise and fell in love with it, the food, the drinks, all the ghosts! We went to the pre party at Mardi Gras World where they keep all the floats. It was a party ! Good music, lots of people (mostly woman) but I started seeing guys ! I quickly made friends, and asked them if they have cruised before and what it was like. I totally wasn't expecting to hear "This is my 3rd cruise", "This is my 6th cruise" ! I definitely felt better about going.
Come cruise day Jenny wouldn't shut up she was so excited. As we pulled up to the port terminal it was mayhem, it all started to make sense. You could feel the excitement, it was contagious. It took a few hours to get on the boat so we had plenty of time to make friends. As soon as we got on we found our room and started decorating the door. Jen had talked about decorating the doors and I have to say some were super funny and really creative. Once we were done with the door we had the safety drill then off to the sail away party. As I walked through the sliding doors onto the lido deck I saw people by the thousands waiting for the guys to come out it was a holy shit moment.
The guys finally came out and the place erupted. People are crying, people are loosing there shit! It came time for "The Oath" which I knew nothing about but halfway into it I was fighting back the tears...Dammit! Its all the right this you need to hear before starting this 4 day adventure. I'm looking around and all you see are tears of joy. People come from all over the world to share this moment with one another. It was at that moment when I realized how special this was. The second you step onto that ship it is all about you, fuck everything else. Fuck the bullshit, fuck work, fuck the stresses of life, it's all about you, you've earned this shit!
Every night was a theme party, they start late and end late. It's non stop drinking, dancing, and if you were lucky you got to be part of "The Breakfast Club", the official after party. We had so much fun each and every night but GPS night was the best night by far. When's the last time you partied for 9 hours till the sun came up. That night Donnie called up all the husbands to the stage and sent us down the catwalk. If you would have told me that I would be getting up on stage dancing in front of 3000 woman and the New Kids I would had said your crazy, but you know what it fucking happened lol Getting off the boat is bitter sweet, such a good time and so many memories made but it was time to get back to the real world. You definitly need a few days after to recover both physically and emotionally. We left the boat knowing we were definitely getting on the next cruise.
2017 rolls in and it was our YOLO year. Jenny lost her shit and got tickets to 3 concerts for the Total Package Tour and actually ended up going to 4 shows, almost 6 and even went to Going Home with Donnie, that was cool. The concerts were so good! I had a moment with Paul Abdul when she sang "Forever Your Girl" to me while grabbing my beard in one show and holy shit moment when Donnie pulled me up on stage at another show. Not to mention 2 roses from Shawn when Boyz II Men were on. Cruise time came and we were ready, we decided to take a step back this time and just enjoy the moments instead of having our phone in hand the entire time. Taking a step back gave me awesome moments like a big man hug from Donnie at the pre-party while he was on his way out the back door.
This cruise we were lucky enough to go to the after parties. Idk how Donnie does it, he goes all night it's crazy! I remember walking to the room at 7am while people were just getting up for breakfast lol The theme parties were awesome but again it came down to GPS night being my best night. We were going to the very end of the party and Donnie and I had been signaling back and forth. I wanted his hat lol He gives me the signal to head to the stairs that lead up to the vip section. I grabbed Jen and we plowed our way through the crowd, I wasn't missing this shit! Once we got to the top there were maybe 15 people their all waiting to take their pics with him. He told me to go wait for him by his room on deck 7. I couldn't believe what was happening! He finally comes down walks in his room and comes out with what he said was his limited edition white Wahlberg hat, the W might just be black Swarovski crystals lol. It was the only one made special for him and he just handed it over, he even signed it!
As I said my final good bye I looked at him and said thank you and I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't go as hard as I wanted to this cruise because I wasn't in the best of health but I promise you that next cruise it's on! His last words to me were Love You Bro! I can sum up the whole cruise experience in about 3 words........ MAGICAL AS FUCK!