Sky: The Musical – Act 1: Sky

The Story
The sky towers above – seemingly endless, but is it?

The sky is a place for imagination – imagining the swift flight of a bird – imagining  floating like a butterfly – imagining soaring like an eagle – imagining being on a plane that takes you to an exotic land.

The sky is a place for dreams – the dreams to fly – the dreams to go beyond – the dreams of a future love we don’t yet know – the dreams of the love we have – the dreams of a love that remains – the dreams serving as memories of a loved one who is gone.

The sky – a place for contemplation – wondering about what to do – wondering what will be – wondering what has been.

The sky as a metaphor – a smoke – whether haunting or hopeful, a sign of brightness and darkness – for calm and storm – a blanket – infinity.

The sky is a place for everyday things – a place that never seems the same – the place that is the steadiness of the sun, the moon, the clouds, and the stars.

Welcome to Sky: The Musical.

PlaybillSkyAct 1: The Sky

Together we can face any challenges as deep as the ocean and as high as the sky. (Sonia Gandhi)

The sky is an infinite movie to me. I never get tired of looking at what’s happening up there. (K. D. Lang)

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Excuse me while I kiss the sky. (Jimi Hendrix)

The way of fortune is like the Milky Way in the sky; which is a number of small stars, not seen asunder, but giving light together: so it is a number of little and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate. (Francis Bacon)


  • Songs with either Sky or Skies must be in the title
  • Caution: No songs using Sky/Skies as a compound word (skyward, skylark, skydive, etc)
  • No duplicates (first-come, first-serve)

Production Note
To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Welcome to Opening Night for Sky: The Musical. This blog musical has great potential, so let’s get on with the show. Any classic rockers in the crowd? Let’s hear for The Alan Parsons Project with Eye in the Sky.

On Personal Shorts

This is a good image to lead me back to my regular blogging routine because this post is about personal shorts – as opposed to Opinions in the Shorts (which should return next week). Then again, there is that question of personal preference of boxes or briefs.

Our trip to Spain and Portugal was wonderful, and thanks for coming along on the travel posts. It was fun to share the highlights, yet it was important for me to have a balance of text and images – thus not be overwhelming on either.

It was also a walking vacation for us. Experts say 10,000 steps a day is a good goal – and 12,000 steps is better. We logged our steps each day and averaged 16,000 steps per day. That includes 3 days at sea (no land stops), but we went over 20,000 on 4 land days.

Yes, I still yearn for Barcelona – and still hope to make a video to that song using our images – but time will tell if I get to it.

Volunteering in English Second Language (ESL) continues to be very rewarding for me … and to think it happens on the same day as my ballroom dance time with the Downs Syndrome adults. Rewards galore!!! Sorry to say this, but one of the downsides of this year’s vacation was that I missed the dance competition for these wonderful people.

PlaybillSkyMajor announcement!

For those who didn’t get the advanced notice on the Hear Ye page, the next musical is Sky: The Musical. Act 1. Although the production team hasn’t finalized the details, I’m guessing 5 acts. Opening Night is this Tuesday, November 10 at 9:30 pm (Eastern US). All songs must have either Sky or Skies in the title – but no to compound words with sky (such as skyward, skyrocket, skyscraper). Meanwhile, I still have to secure an opening act and prepare the playbill – but at least I’ve completed the cover.

Ladies, do you need an outfit for Opening Night? See the Hear Ye page.

You may recall I was in the midst of working on a tango routine. We were very close to show ready at our goal – the end of September – which we had to do because of our cruise. The first time we practiced after getting back, we did well – which was a relief to both us. Last week we had a dress rehearsal at another studio with a live audience. It was far from our best, but we didn’t collapse … and it was a good learning experience for me because this idea is new to me. On to the show very soon. (Here’s the song … again)

We recently went to a young couple’s wedding. One song caught my attention because everyone was doing the same dance to a song I’d never heard! If you have an upcoming wedding, you may want to learn Watch Me Nae Nae.

Does anyone out there have a foam mattress as Leesa or Casper? If so, please share your thoughts.

It’s been an interesting football year for my teams: an undefeated pro team … my alma mater winning with an explosive offense … my local college having an OK year, but not what was expected.

The opening image gave me an idea for a future post about underwear. So, do you think I wear boxers, briefs, or others?

I really enjoy the song Counting Stars by OneRepublic. I stumbled across this a cappella version done by one person. I think it’s really good. Enjoy … Have a good weekend and I hope to see you on Opening Night!

On the Rest of the Journey

This post is a synopsis of the rest of our trip. Previous post provided info about the most prominent stops. Not that the remaining stops don’t merit their own post, but I don’t want to drone on about this trip.


Gibraltar (UK)
I thought Gibraltar was a small peninsula with a big rock at it’s point. Wow, was I ever wrong because it’s primarily a rock with 30,000 people living around it’s base. We walked from the dock to the tram (which took us to the top), then we walked down, and back to the ship. Of all our days on this trip, this was our highest count of walking steps – 24,500+.

Gibraltar Whole Rock

Caves, tunnels, views, and monkeys entertained us on the way down. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the airport with a main road crossing the runways, so see this 1-minute video. The return trip through the strait was at night … and with city lights on each side of the ship, one can tell Africa and Gibraltar are closer than one may think.

We visited Montserrat while in Barcelona. Located about 30 minutes outside the city, it’s a monastery located at the top of the Serrated Mountains. Within the altar is the Black Madonna. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to experience the stunning views because of the lingering fog – but we are glad we went. Because of the fog, here’s a link to a Google Images search to accompany mine.

Cadiz (KA diz) is the closest port to Seville (Sevilla), but getting there is a 2-hour trip in each direction. Given we were only in port 8-5, we first visited Jerez (the next section), then spent the afternoon in the Cadiz’s Old City. To me, Cadiz was the most unexpected surprise of the trip. The Old City was vibrant, and a grand cathedral serves as its hub. Thumbs up!

Jerez de la Frontera (Jerez)
From Cadiz, we took a ship’s tour to Jerez, a 20-minute ride from the port. Walking through it’s main square and past the Alcazar castle of the Moors, the focus of our tour was the Gonzalez Byass Bodegas that produces sherry (wine). We loved both the tour and the sherry samples.

Founded in 227 BC by the Carthaginians, today’s Cartagena is a small city for 200,000+ nestled in a small bay flanked by 5 mountains. The dock is close, so we strolled the streets to the Roman theater, the old bullring, the waterfront, and to the Castillo de la Concepcion for panoramic views of the city.

Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca, the largest city and capital of the Balearic Islands, was our first stop after leaving Barcelona. It was a Sunday, so many stores were closed and the local free walking tour we wanted wasn’t available. The weather was beautiful, so we made the best of what we could without a map.

Although more posts about this trip may appear over time, the links to past posts from the rest of the cruise are below.

Lisbon Sun Effect

On Malaga

Welcome to Malaga, Spain!
Malaga View Dock

Malaga (MA la ga) is a popular stop for cruise ships. After all, it’s the capital of the Costa del Sol and the port taking travelers inland to Granada and its famed La Alhambra. This city of over 500,000 residents has much to offer because it’s cosmopolitan – thus fusing the new with the old.

Malaga a resort city with nearby resort towns.

Atop a hill, the Alcazaba is a sign for Malaga’s past ties to the Moors …

While being just below a protective fortress (Castle of Gibralfaro), Alcazaba overlooks an older structure from Roman times.

The Old City is right there with the newer parts of the city in the distance and on the other side of the hill.

Predictably, a grand cathedral towers over the Old City.


We loved the other sights as we walked the narrow streets.

Yes – Malaga was a good port on its own – and to think I was going to cover Malaga with a handful of images in the next catch-all post.

On Lisbon

Given that neither of us had ever been to Portugal and we’ve heard many good things about it, we were looking forward to our 2-days in Lisbon. My initial plans was a 2-day exploration of the different neighborhoods and city center, but the one-day in Sintra throw the plan out the window. But our overnight stay on the ship gave us these views of the day ahead.

Our Scottish dinner friends (Alex and Evelyn) took a hop-on hop-off tour of Lisbon. It was a two-day ticket, and they unexpectedly gave it to us. The overview was good, and we still had some time to walk and explore. Here’s your quick tour of our beautiful day in Lisbon.

I’ve always thought Lisbon was on the coast, but it actually sits on the Tegas (Tejo) River, a short distance from the Atlantic Ocean. Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square) is a grand square along the river leading to the gates of the city (Baixa district – BYE shah). On our walk to Rosario Station to get our train to Sintra, we saw a lively city center.

Of the neighborhoods, I was most likely forward to Alfama, on old neighborhood a small hill east of Baixa. Dating back to the 6th century, it remains a bustling neighborhood with narrow streets and alleys. Lisbon still uses a few classic trolleys, and one accesses Alfama. Although we got to Alfama, the time was too short for me.

Belem is a district 3 miles (5 km) west of city center. It served as the send-off point for sailors, many who prayed at Monastery of Jeronimos – a very long structure with a beautiful church that houses the tomb of Vasa da Gama.

Belem anchors one end of a bridge that resembles San Francisco’s Golden Gate – yes – the same architect. The Belem Tower guarded the port and the Monument to the Discoveries (a salute to the early Portuguese explorers) are in a park along the water. The large Praça do Império (Empire Square) with a beautiful fountain sits in front of the monastery.

At 5 pm on the second day, it was time to sail away. Great weather and great views touched the heart. Son long Portugal, and may we meet again.

On an Unplanned Journey

When we started our trip, Sintra (SEEN tra) wasn’t on our radar – not even a thought. While on a free walking tour in Barcelona, a couple from New Zealand highly recommended it for our stop in Lisbon.

The cruise ship had tours to Sintra, which several of our dinner-table mates took, but we love to explore on our own. Fortunately, we had American travel guru Rick Steves’ Lisbon book along, which included Sintra – so we followed his suggestions, thus saw sights our fabulous dinner friends didn’t – so this post is for them. (Can you believe I didn’t tell them on the cruise that I was a blogger? … but I have sent them an email about this post.)

Back in the day, the aristocracy loved to retreat to Sintra. The vegetation, hilltop views, the narrow-valley setting turned the area into a collection of palaces and mansions. Lord Byron described Sintra as “glorious Eden”.

It was a 20-minute walk from the ship to Rosario station, where we caught the train to Sintra (11 Euros round-trip for two). After the nice 40-minute ride to the end of the line, we searched for bus #434 that Rick told us to find (10 Euros for 2 on the entire loop) – so up the mountain we went to the first stop. Again, following Rick’s suggestion, we purchased the combo ticket in order to avoid the lines at the next stop – and it worked!

The Castle of the Moors is a Portuguese national treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Moors constructed the castle in the 8th century, and remained in control until the 12th century.

It’s location atop the Sintra mountain provides wonderful views in multiple directions, including the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. The town of Sintra is directly below (with the National Palace), plus one can see various palaces and mansions.

From this location, we could see our next stop sitting atop a nearby mountain – the Pena National Palace – another UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Pena started as a chapel in the late 15th century, and eventually became a monastery. In the 19th century, Portuguese royalty expanded it into a palace of multiple designs and color.

The inside was predictably opulent.

… and we could easily see the Castle of the Moors.


Before ending this post, here’s a quick tour of town. Sintra quaint with many shops. The National Palace (the coned towers) is from the 15th century , was active for 500 years, and is still used today for ceremonial occasions. That palace is in the center of town (see the views from the castle.) Can you spot the Castle of the Moors in a pic?