It's Sunday morning in Punta Cana and I decided to sit somewhere new to write my final blog entry of the week. My laptop has been everywhere with me throughout this trip. I've blogged and edited videos from my room, the hotel lobby, poolside, the beach, and on buses. As I get ready to depart in a few hours, I'm typing up my thoughts from the little porch off of my hotel room. There is a palm tree about 12 feet to my left. When I look up from the computer screen, I see sand and the blue ocean through countless palm trees in front of me. Since it's still a little early, the only sounds I can hear are the voices of a few people who walk by here and there, the gentle breeze blowing and the ocean hitting the beach off in the distance. This might be the most relaxed I've felt on this entire trip.
Let me share two quick stories from this week that I have had yet to mention…
Yesterday, after we arrived back from our excursion to a private island, I was walking from my room to the lobby, sporting a Ravens t-shirt and carrying my laptop. A group of young men were walking in front of me and one turned to the others and excitedly said, "Dude! The Ravens cheerleaders are here shooting a calendar this week!" Almost expecting for it to happen, the guy then turned around and saw me.
He immediately asked if I was working on the shoot and when I told him what I do, he began asking me how I got my job and saying that I am very lucky to have it and started wondering how he could get one just like it. (As it turns out, the kid has an identical twin brother and they are both the same age as the twins. He asked if it would be alright to take a picture together with Chase and Paige if they ran into each other and I let him know that not only would it be OK, it would be a cool picture to take.)
And on Thursday night, our entire group had just returned to the hotel from our big dinner off-site. Everyone—including our 18 stunning cheerleader models—was dressed to impress and most of us were still idling around in the lobby. I was standing between and talking to a few of the girls when a man who said he was from Miami approached us. I could tell that he had probably had a few drinks already and was prepared to prevent him from harassing our young ladies.
Instead of making conversation with the girls however, this guy wanted to talk to me. (PS- During all the times I've stood next to the cheerleaders on this trip, no one has ever wanted to talk to me.) The first thing this man said was, "You have the greatest job on earth, man! You must love your job!" I cracked up laughing, knowing that this guy has most likely not been following my blog on BR.com, but that his reaction was one that we knew people would have when reading my chronicles of this week. That's the reason we decided to name my blog the I Love My Job Blog.
This man in the lobby who made me laugh hysterically at first actually began to make me (and I think a few of the girls) a little uncomfortable as he carried on for about five minutes, saying that I was not lucky, but that I was blessed, and that he needed to find a company that would pay him to do nothing but follow around 18 young, beautiful women in a tropical setting.
And that is where this man was a little bit mistaken.
All this week, I've been bringing you videos and written accounts of all the fun I've been having as a part of this calendar shoot. In my Day 4 blog, I spoke about the reality of the cheerleaders' responsibilities and that this week really has been hard work for them. The big secret that I've been hiding from the world is just how tough this week has been for me.
First of all, let me just say that none of the videos I shot were staged. Everything you saw were things that I was actually doing. And I never lied about my feelings in any of my blogs. I really did enjoy myself this week and had a ton of fun. The truth is though, my days were long and my responsibilities were numerous.
Before I left Baltimore, I decided that I wanted to bring all the action of our Punta Cana calendar shoot to all of you back home and around the world. Since you can't be here, I wanted to give you content to make you feel like you were. Amazingly, I was just about able to fulfill my vision of giving fans daily blog entries by three different people as well as multiple behind-the-scenes videos a day from myself and Melissa. The only way to make that happen, however, was to carry my laptop wherever I went, always be willing to shoot video, spend time talking to the girls, and sacrifice sleep. Although it may have seemed to you like this was a vacation for me, the truth was that it was anything but.
I hope that you enjoyed our coverage on BaltimoreRavens.com all this week. There were a few hiccups here and there—like when Melissa asked me to hold her video camera and I put it in my pocket and then walked into the ocean. (The camera still hasn't turned back on. I'm assuming that it's dead.) But overall, I think that all our fans out there were able to get a pretty complete inside look at most of the things that went on with us this week in the DR.
Personally, one the greatest parts of the trip for me was that I had the chance to be seriously involved in the fantastic production of something really special. This will be the first ever Ravens swimsuit calendar and there's no doubt in my mind that it will turn out to be a huge success. I don't need to take this opportunity to plug the calendar. I know it will be one of the best cheerleader calendars in the NFL. I've seen some of the pictures that were shot in this picturesque location and the girls look amazing.
Which brings me to the other notable element that I will take away from this trip…I know the major reason why everyone told me that my job is fabulous is because I got to spend a week with 18 beautiful models. I didn't personally know any of the girls before we left Maryland last Monday, so that is exactly what they were to me—a group of pretty faces. After spending almost every waking moment of my week with the 10 blondies, 6 cockroaches, and the unmistakable Red, I was able to get to know who these girls actually are. I learned a lot about them and their personalities that surprised and amazed me. And although they all possess stunningly attractive good looks, the greatest part about each of them is that they are all really wonderful young women. I can only believe that the other 22 members of the 2008 Ravens cheerleading squad are equally remarkable and that the upcoming season will be nothing short of a great success for them.
So that's going to be all for me from Punta Cana. I have to run and pack because I'll be leaving in a few hours. Then, Tuesday it's back to my cubicle in Owings Mills to do my "normal" job—being a part of the best organization in the National Football League and a team that should be really exciting to watch this season. Instead of bumping into gorgeous cheerleaders in the hallway each day, I'll be looking out the window to check out Joe Flacco's arm and eatting lunch at a table right next to Derrick Mason and Chris McAlister.
Hey, I may not have the easiest job in the world, but I sure do love it!