TBT: Magical MAUI Sunsets

Sunsets on magical Maui! 

Hawaii, USA – Magic Hour on the Garden Island. These pictures are only memories of the real thing… you really had to be there.

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Hawaii - Lahaina Sunset

Maui, Hawaii – Lahaina Sunset (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Lahaina Sunset - Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Lahaina Sunset – Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Magic Hour! Maui Sunset (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Magic Hour! Maui Sunset (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Magical Maui - Lahaina, Maui, HI

Magical Maui – Lahaina, Maui, HI (copyright 21010 JoshWillTravel)

What are your favorite memories of Hawaii? I took this sailboat picture during an evening dinner cruise out of Lahaina, Maui. When I see this picture I think about the blue Pacific ocean, tropical breezes, “umbrella drinks” and the beautiful sunsets.

BONUS: Sunrise in Hana, Maui

Hana Maui Sunrise - Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Hana Maui Sunrise – Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

 

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Lots of Free Things to do in Las Vegas!

Lots of Free Things to do in Las Vegas!

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Walk the The Strip and the Fremont Street Experience downtown. Lots of “Only in Las Vegas” things to see day or night!

Visit Circus Circus Hotel & Casino (great for kids).

Watch the Fountains of Bellagio (and visit the Bellagio Gardens) and catch the Volcano eruption at The Mirage. Walk around the The Venetian, the MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Cosmopolitan or any of the other large resorts.

Most of the Casino lounges still have live entertainment. The Carnaval Court at Harrah’s is happening. The Rio Hotel & Casino has live music in the Masquerade Bar on Friday and Saturdays.

Art and architecture at City Center, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign, Wildlife habitat (flamingos) at the Flamingo Las Vegas, Auto collection at The Quad Resort & Casino (get free tickets on the website), the Downtown Container Park giant treehouse, and visit the Ethel M Chocolate Factory & Cactus Garden.

Window shop at Forum Shops at Caesars, The Grand Canal Shoppes or the Fashion Show mall.

Visit the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon or The Valley of Fire.

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“Fare Thee Well” = Go to Hell! If Bill Graham were alive he would kick the sh*t out of Peter Shapiro.

“Fare Thee Well” = Go to Hell!

In December 1983, I sat on the sidewalk before one of the New Year’s shows and watched Bill Graham yell at a scalper (and threaten him with violence) on the street corner in front of the San Francisco Civic Auditorium for selling tickets above face value (which was $15 for each of the 3 shows and $20 on New Year’s Eve plus service charges).

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead! Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Band from Palo Alto became The Warlocks and they became The Grateful Dead in 1965.

The Grateful Dead early 70s

The Grateful Dead early 70s

So to CASH IN on the anniversary, the “Core Four” (Bobby, Phil, Bill and Mickey) and promoter Peter Shapiro, have resurrected the band name, retired after Jerry’s death in 1995, and announced three “final” shows at Soldier Field in Chicago 4th of July weekend.*

Here are the TOP TEN REASONS WHY “FARE THEE WELL” CAN GO TO HELL:

1. There is no Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia.

2. Chicago in July on 4th of July weekend? WRONG.

3. Only 3 shows in Chicago… (rumors of additional shows in Santa Clara and New York at the end of June without Phil and Trey are currently circulating)

4. Trey from Phish. WRONG.

5. No Camping in Chicago on 4th of July weekend? Where are 200,000 people going to sleep?

6. Ticket availability and pricing. Mail Order. Ticket Master. VIP packages. CASH GRAB.

7. Ticket scalping. Chicago Bears ticket holders. StubHub. CASH GRAB.

(see the article at the bottom of the Blog for all the GREEDY DETAILS)

8. Phish heads = “In-the-Dark heads”. WRONG. JUST WRONG.

9. All the ingredients for a “Bad Trip”. It’s not about the music or the fans, it’s a CASH GRAB and all about MONEY. How much will you “pay-per-view”?

10. Complete SELL OUT and CASH GRAB! What Would Jerry Do?

“Come hear Uncle John’s Band by the riverside…”

There is no Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia. PERIOD. END OF STORY.

NOTE: Historically, the Chicago Police and the Illinois State Police have a bad record with “hippies” and Grateful Dead fans. Why wasn’t a state where marijuana is legal chosen?

The Grateful Dead Movie 1977 directed by Jerry Garcia

Grateful Dead Movie 1977 directed by Jerry Garcia

NOTE: I saw The Dead in May, 2009 at the Forum in Los Angeles with Warren Haynes and it was cool, but it was not the Grateful Dead.

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It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Good Ol’ Grateful Dead!

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I got on the bus in the late 70s. Dad was in the music business. I discovered American Beauty and Skull & Roses among the Warner Brothers promotional albums that were delivered to the house. I was a rebellious young teenager, and it was just after the Grateful Dead’s historic trip to Egypt, the Closing of Winterland and “The Grateful Dead Movie” and before the 15th Anniversary shows at the Warfield and Radio City Music Hall, that I became a fan.

Before the internet, it was a simple message inside the Skull & Roses album liner notes:

“DEAD FREAKS UNITE: Who are you? Where are you? How are you?
Send us your name and address and we’ll keep you informed.
Dead Heads, P.O. Box 1065, San Rafael, California 94901.”

The first live show I saw was December 13, 1980** at the Long Beach Arena. I remember the Grateful Dead played a full acoustic set before playing two electric sets, but I don’t find any mention of the acoustic set in the historical record.

Feel Like a Stranger, Sugaree, C.C. Rider, To Lay Me Down, New Minglewood Blues, Ramble on Rose, Lost Sailor, Saint of Circumstance, Deal

Scarlet Begonias, Fire on the Mountain, Playin’ in the Band, Drums, Not Fade Away, Black Peter, Sugar Magnolia

Encore: One More Saturday Night

I saw some amazing shows! New Year’s Eve 83-84 with The Band and 84-85 with the Neville Brothers at the San Francisco Civic (now Bill Graham Memorial) Auditorium, New Year’s Eve 85-86 at Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium, the Marin Benefit shows, Chinese New Year 85 & 86, Anaheim 87 with Dylan, Santa Cruz/Watsonville 84, Ventura 82-83-84-85, UCLA 82, Laguna Seca 87, the Greek Theater 84 “Darkstar” and many more. I also saw the Jerry Garcia Band at The Stone in San Francisco a few times back in the 80s.

Grateful Dead ticket stubs (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Some of my Grateful Dead ticket stubs (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

I went to college at UC Santa Cruz and connected with fellow Deadheads there. We had a connection to first generation soundboard tapes 83-85. I became friends with Bob Thomas through friends at the Renaissance Faire and developed a list of one-named deadhead friends: Leo from Berkeley, Shorty from UMass, Jim from Santa Cruz, Dave from Humboldt, Robert & Frannie from Willets, and many others. I never met any of the band members in person, but I would see Phil’s red BMW and Bobby’s Corvette when I lived in Marin. And I did meet Grace Slick once at the movies at Larkspur Landing.

Remember cassette tapes?

Remember cassette tapes? This was how you heard live shows before the internet.

I lost it a little when Jerry got busted in Golden Gate Park for heroin. I pretty much stopped going to shows after 1988, when the crowd was overrun by ignorant “In-the-Darkheads”, and everyone was selling something instead of sharing the experience. I was saddened and disappointed by Brent’s overdose in 1990, such a waste….

The last Grateful Dead show I saw was December 18, 1994 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. We sat behind the stage and watched Jerry “recharge” backstage during the breaks in the show.

Touch of Grey, Greatest Story Ever Told, Althea, Walkin’ Blues, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, El Paso, Loose Lucy, Let It Grow

Victim or the Crime, Crazy Fingers, Playing in the Band, Terrapin Station, Drums, Space (aborted Spanish Jam), This Might Be The Last Time, Attics of My Life, Johnny B. Goode

Encore: It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

Jerry died in 1995 and the Grateful Dead as a performing band died with him.

p.s.  If Bill Graham were alive he would kick the sh*t out of Peter Shapiro.

In December 1983, I sat on the sidewalk before one of the New Year’s shows and watched Bill Graham yell at a scalper on the street corner in front of the San Francisco Civic Auditorium for selling tickets above face value (which was $15 for each of the 3 shows and $20 on New Year’s Eve).

**I actually first saw the Grateful Dead live around 1970 when I was taken to an outdoor festival by my parents, but it’s just a hazy memory of childhood now.

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*HERE IS A LINK TO AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE FROM THE BOULDER WEEKLY:

Ladies and gentlemen, not the Grateful Dead by Stuart Sallo

“that’s the Grateful Dead I want to remember, not a cover band that happens to have some of the original members, and certainly not a musical spectacle that serves big-moneyed interests, such as Ticketmaster, StubHub, eBay, the City of Chicago and whatever other corporate entities are in on this colossal rip off.”

RIGHT CLICK TO OPEN A NEW WINDOW!

http://www.boulderweekly.com/article-14082-ladies-and-gentlemen-not-the-grateful-dead.html

Jerry RIP

Jerry RIP

UPDATED 6 April 2015: This was posted on ebay!

DO NOT PAY SCALPER PRICES! BUY IN JUNE  Keep these auctions at 0 bids!! Scalpers are holding on to their better seats to sell later after they liquidate the crappy ones. Dead Heads stick together and wait until June, there will be lots of tickets available. Many Heads will receive their tickets and realize they can’t go and sell for a fair price. Scalper Scum will also have a ton left to sell. All these scalpers are scattered throughout the country, they will not be coming to Soldier Field to peddle them outside the stadium, they will need them sold before show dates. Most Dead Heads are NOT buying at these inflated and outrageous prices. Only a handful of people with what seems to be more money than brains are buying. Almost all auctions are ending unsold and have to be re-posted. Stub Hub have 851 more tickets to sell today than they did on March 7!! 254 more tickets on StubHub in just 3 days!!! Even with some sold, more are now for sale, does that tell you something, inventory is growing!!

More tickets, better seats, and lower prices will be what follows over the course of time. We just need to remain calm and good things will follow. Dead Heads did NOT pay over face value for 30 years when Jerry was alive, let’s not start now. Maybe a small premium but that is it. Honor Jerry and the band, we WILL get tickets. Teach the Scalper Scum that you don’t mess with Dead Heads!!


READ THE “HAPPY JERRY DAY” BLOG>> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1g1


UPDATE 12-2-2016: editing old drafts that never got published I found this:

Fare Thee Well – Not the Grateful Dead, but an incredible simulation!

“What a long strange trip it’s been!”

The farewell concerts! Two shows in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium (San Jose) in the San Francisco Bay Area and three shows in Chicago at Soldier Field.

I had the urge to jump in the car and drive to San Jose, but “real life” obligations prevented it from happening. My friends live 15 minutes from the stadium and by most reports, I could have scored tickets for both shows cheap. No regrets? Hmmmmm…..

Funny thing about Chicago: My father’s family has a reunion and picnic every 5 years in Lincoln Park in Chicago on the 4th of July weekend. It’s been family tradition since the 1920’s, and it was scheduled for this year. So when the concerts were announced in February, we already had an invitation and a group rate at a hotel close to Soldier Field. But after much consideration, we decided not to make the trip and/or pay the high ticket prices. No regrets? Hmmmmm…..

I also decided not to spend $100 on the five show internet stream broadcast or $30 on the “pay-per-view” 4th of July broadcast. Instead I listened to a FREE live audio stream on UStream and another on Mixlr (and on SiriusXM Grateful Dead channel which I have in the car). I also saw some of the Santa Clara video broadcast on a “bootleg” stream and then watched the post-show videos on Youtube.

I miss Jerry and Brent! Bobby was alway a great #2 guy, but he can’t lead the band. Phil Lesh is one of the greatest bass guitar players in rock and roll history, but he can’t sing!

Bruce Hornsby played with the Grateful Dead for a couple years in the 90s and he can sing. Jeff Chimenti is a great keyboard player, but neither can play or sing like Brent.

Now I’m going to talk about Trey Anastasio from Phish and the choice to have him play with the band, so Phish-heads and Trey fans get ready….

Trey did a good job playing in the band for these shows, but he’s no Jerry Garcia. I’ve never really been a big Phish or Trey fan. I always thought it was a place where “In-The-Dark-heads” went after Jerry died and the Grateful Dead decided to quit without him. There are other guitar players who know the music better and play more of a “Jerry style” than Trey. I saw The Dead in 2009 with Warren Haynes and it was cool but it wasn’t the Grateful Dead, just like this time around. Trey doesn’t have the experience of jamming with the “core four” for years and has a different musical style.

Noise and Air Traffic Complaint to the FAA part 1

To FAA.gov (via Van Nuys FSDO website):

I am writing to complain about NOISE and AIR TRAFFIC over the SAN FERNANDO VALLEY (Encino) due to low flying airplanes, both commercial and private, and helicopters! In particular, low flying private jets flying into VAN NUYS and SANTA MONICA. This morning two private jets passed over my house creating tremendous noise and drowning out all other sound. This happens everyday. It’s time to fix this problem.

Updated: Sunday 15 March 2015 at noon. Just another routine fly over the neighborhood.

Helicopter in the sky (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Helicopter in the sky (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel) – taken with iPhone in my backyard

Updated 7 April 2015. Added three more pics:

Airshow in Palmdale/Lancaster means lots of old timey planes flying in and out of Van Nuys Airport. This silver Cold War era Boeing B-29 “Superforce” Bomber flew low over the house four times over the weekend and it’s four propellor engines are very loud. In addition, there was a squad of four German World War II vintage planes that buzzed the neighborhood during the week.

Bomber overhead! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Boeing B-29 “Superfortress” Bomber overhead! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Another day, another helicopter buzzing the backyard.

A beautiful day for a helicopter! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

A beautiful day for another helicopter! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

4-7-15 2:30pm – just another Lear Jet into the Sun out of Santa Monica:

Lear Jet into the Sun (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Lear Jet into the Sun (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

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Pictures of Sushi.

Su-su-sushi!

Tuna poke' (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Tuna poke’ (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Albacore sashimi (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Albacore sashimi (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Rainbow roll (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Rainbow roll (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Spicy tuna and Yellowtail jalapeño cut rolls (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Spicy tuna and Yellowtail jalapeño cut rolls (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Eel and avocado (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Eel and avocado (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Spicy yellowtail and tuna cut rolls

Spicy yellowtail and tuna cut rolls

Albacore and Bluefin Tuna sashimi (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Albacore and Bluefin Tuna sashimi (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Spicy tuna and California cut rolls

Spicy tuna and California cut rolls

Albacore sashimi (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Albacore sashimi (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Baked scallops California roll (BSC)

Baked Scallops California roll (BSC)

Spicy tuna cut roll

Spicy tuna cut roll

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A couple of my travel answers about South Lake Tahoe

A couple of travel answers about South Lake Tahoe:

Q: Nice hotels in South Lake Tahoe? I will be traveling to Reno/ Lake Tahoe in the beginning of December and I’m having a tough time figuring out where to stay. I would like to stay between 100-150.00 a night. Any suggestions? I have looked at the Hyatt and Harrahs but wanted to try something maybe a little less corporate. Not much of a skier so I’m trying to stay away from big ski lodges. ~Stacey B., Denver

Aston Lakeland Village (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Aston Lakeland Village (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

A: Aston Lakeland Village Resort in South Lake Tahoe is a pretty good value. The lodge rooms are nice (and some have full kitchenettes if you like to cook on your own to save money). The property is right on the lake so you can walk down to the beach and watch the sunset. There are tennis courts and 2 swimming pools, a jacuzzi spa, laundry room and free coffee too. The property is a 10-15 minute drive from state line and the casinos: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harveys Lake Tahoe, MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa and the new Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe. It’s definitely not corporate and there are lots of walking paths and tall pine trees on site. For less expensive accommodation options try the motels along Hwy 50 Lake Tahoe Blvd. (Watch out for the Police and Don’t Speed!)

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Q: Best bars and restaurants in South Lake / near Heavenly? In a few weeks I’ll be spending a weekend snowboarding at Heavenly Mountain in South Lake Tahoe (and will be staying at the new Hard Rock Hotel). What are some of best places to eat in the area? I’m specifically interested in good breakfast spots and must-visit places for dinner (from $-$$$$ I’m open to all suggestions). Also, if there are any great bars (especially those with a great beer selection) I’d love to know. Thanks! ~Trevor M., Los Angeles

A: The Forrest Buffet at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe is pretty good. It’s on the 18th floor and has a great view of the lake and mountains. If you time it right you can watch the sunset while you dine. “All You Can Eat”, there’s a lot of good stuff on the dinner and Saturday/Sunday brunch (sorry no breakfast or lunch) menus and it’s a pretty good value for the price in my opinion. (and you can usually find a coupon for a few dollars off per person)

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Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 

A couple more travel answers about Las Vegas

A couple more travel answers about Las Vegas:

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Q: Best Buffet for the money in Vegas? I’m heading to Vegas and naturally looking for the best all you can eat buffets that will put all other buffets to shame. What are your favorites and why? ~ Cameron W., Los Angeles

A: Best Buffet in Las Vegas?

The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, The Buffet at Bellagio, and The Buffet at Wynn are three of the best ($$$). I also like the Flavors Buffet at Harrah’s which is less expensive and has a huge variety of good things on the menu (and you can usually find coupons for Flavors and save $5 per person on the regular $18-$30 price)

NOTE: I ate at the MGM Grand buffet last year and it was TERRIBLE! It was the worst buffet I’ve ever eaten at in Vegas. The food looked good but literally everything was cold and tasteless…. I would also advise avoiding the buffet at Circus Circus.

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Q: Which hotel would you choose?

Having some difficulty choosing my hotel for my next trip to Vegas.  I actually have a reservation at the newer SLS hotel but am hesitant about it. Hesitant simply because it’s on the North side of the strip which I don’t usually stay. Everything I want to do/see is on the South end. So do I try out the newer hotel with a really nice room or go with something else location wise? Which would you choose and why? ~Karen H., Maryland

SLS –  Lux Deluxe King – Corner High Floor With extra wind – got a great Cyber Monday deal on the room at 1/2 off the regular price.  Price $122 per night

Tropicana –  either a 1 KING BALCONY W/POOL VIEW – BUNGALOW or 1 KING 2 ROOM SUITE – CLUB TOWER Suite.  price either $88 or $100 per night

Treasure Island –  Petite Suite or Tower Suite at $98 per night or $115 per night.

A: SLS Las Vegas Hotel, Tropicana Las Vegas, or Treasure Island?

Tropicana Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Tropicana Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Tropicana has the advantage of being across the street from the MGM Grand Las Vegas (lots of great restaurants just don’t eat at the buffet) and monorail adjacent (which will save you time and money). Spend the extra money on the Suite and ask them to waive the resort fee. Get a monorail pass and you have transit access to Bally’s & Paris, the Flamingo & Caesar’s, Harrah’s & the Linq, and the other “center Strip” hotels: Mirage, Bellagio, Monte Carlo, the Venetian, etc. And also off-strip to the Westgate (Las Vegas Hilton) and SLS (the Sahara) at the north end.

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