Return to Ashland, Oregon and Oakland, California in May-June 2019

Return to Ashland, Oregon and Oakland, California
May – June 2019

Ashland visitor map 1

Ashland, Oregon Visitor’s Map

It’s been a year (and a half) since we planted my father’s body in the ground in Southern Oregon. The headstone unveiling, after a year of mourning, is a Jewish tradition, so we returned to Ashland for the dedication, to see family, and to take care of a little business.

Dad 1

Lee Weisel RIP

NOTE: We started this Blog Post in June after we got back and now it is October.
It is finally time to finish and publish it as promised. There are a lot of previous Blog Posts about Ashland, Oregon! If you are interested in more travel and tourism info, you should search for them using the SEARCH BOX or checking out The Archives.

ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon!
Los Angeles, California to Ashland, Oregon via I-5 north
Thurs 10:15pm – Fri 8:25am

“I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hand’s wet on the wheel
There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel”

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We have found the drive from Los Angeles is much better at night. Interstate 5 between The Grapevine and Sacramento and Sacramento and Redding is a long flat drive through the Central Valley of California. There are a lot of “big rig” trucks and only two lanes most of the way, which makes for slow tourists trying to pass, and that creates dangerous situations when other drivers “can’t wait” and do stupid things. So, there are not a lot of tourists if you drive after 9pm, most are asleep for the night, and the truckers have restrictions on the hours they can drive, so many of them have to stop and rest. And that means less traffic, less stupid drivers, fewer cops and better road conditions if you don’t mind driving at night and the bugs on your windshield. Also, the heat and sun can be terrible during the day (even with air conditioning) so there’s that too.

Sunrise at Lake Shasta

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Sunrise at Lake Shasta, California

If the timing is right, you will get a beautiful sunrise sometime after you pass Redding! Sunrise on Mount Shasta, or coming through the Siskiyou Pass, is a fine experience. There are nice places to stop along the way if you get tired: rest stops, motels, casinos and trucker rest areas along the highway (both commercial and off-ramp/road-side turnouts). We like to drive straight through, stopping only for gas and rest breaks, if we’re doing it at night. We pack food, drink and a change of clothes. Our car is prepared for roadside emergencies, and we have the enhanced auto club coverage with 100 miles towing for our long road trips.

Breakfast at the Morning Glory Cafe in Ashland, Oregon!

We arrived in Ashland early morning and decided to stop for a big breakfast at the Morning Glory Cafe. We like the place but it can get very busy. Free parking next door at the M-otel. We parked, stretched, and then we got a seat at the counter without having to wait and enjoyed our food.

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The Morning Glory Cafe in Ashland

On The Menu: Belgian Bacon Waffle with walnut butter, marionberry jam and maple syrup, fresh orange juice and coffee

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After breakfast we drove to the motel and tried to get an early check-in, but no luck. So, we went thrifting/antiquing for a couple hours. We drove to Medford and back, made a few stops, and drove to The Ranch. We hung out until it was time to check-in, then drove back to the motel and moved into our room.

Family stuff all weekend and then Dad’s headstone unveiling on Sunday afternoon.
Most of the family activities were small and personal and we didn’t take pictures. We had family dinner at The Ranch on Friday, dinner at Beasy’s on The Creek in Ashland on Saturday, and a post-ceremony gathering at The Ranch after the unveiling on Sunday.

Our accommodations for the weekend:
Comfort Inn in Ashland, Oregon – 3 nights (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Breakfast and Free WiFi included

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Comfort Inn in Ashland, Oregon (at exit 19)

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The room was spacious, clean and equipped with a fridge and microwave. There was also a large “Jacuzzi Tub” in the room, set in a weird space adjacent. We were told it was the only room with this kind of tub. There was also a skylight in the weird space, and there was no way to cover it or block the light from the rest of the room, which was a problem because we like it dark. We got some black trash bags and tape from the front desk and tried to jury rig a “blackout” shade, but it was not very successful.

We could have moved to another room, but it was also graduation weekend for the local high schools and Southern Oregon University in Ashland, so everything was booked solid on Friday night everywhere in Jackson county, so we just decided to go with it and enjoy the tub.

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Bubble Bath in the “Jacuzzi Tub” at the Comfort Inn

We stayed here last year for the funeral weekend and it was a pretty good “no frills” option, convenient to roads that lead to The Ranch. And yes we were invited to stay at the house, but we would be surrounded by family, and without private space, so we spent the additional money for the motel room and “peace of mind”.

The Comfort Inn has a nice daily Breakfast Buffet served in a large dining room next to the lobby. The start serving the hot breakfast early and it’s a pretty nice spread with good options. And they also have FREE coffee all day and night.

On The Menu: scrambled eggs with bacon or sausage, Mexican egg scramble, waffles (make them yourself), fresh fruit, cereals, milk, juices, coffee, tea, bagels, bread for toasting, mini-croissants, donuts, muffins, yogurt and more.

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View of the Rogue Valley from The Ranch

Family Dinner at The Ranch on Friday night

After checking in, cleaning up, and taking a short nap at the motel, we drove back to The Ranch and had a nice dinner with the immediate family. After dinner we stopped at the market, bought provisions for the weekend and a bottle of Mister Bubble, and then returned to the motel and took a long hot bubble bath in the in-room “Jacuzzi Tub”.

We slept and woke up early on Saturday. After enjoying the breakfast buffet at the motel, we went back to bed. We woke up, got ready and went up to The Ranch to be social, and then went into Ashland, and then up to Medford, before returning to the motel to clean up and get ready for dinner.

Dinner at Beasy’s on the Creek on Saturday night

The family went out to dinner at Beasy’s on The Creek in downtown Ashland. It was Dad’s favorite restaurant for entertaining, the Chef/Owner is a good friend, and we had his “Bilbo Baggin’s” Farewell Party for all his friends there. It was a great meal but there was a lot of emotional stuff happening at the table during dinner.

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Chef Rob in the Kitchen at Beasy’s on The Creek in Ashland, Oregon

On The Menu:
6oz filet with 2 prawns, broccoli, potatoes au gratin, clam chowder, bread and butter, wine, a coke, and pot du chocolate for dessert.
Pressed pinot noir red wine with dinner.

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“Surf & Turf” Dinner at Beazy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Oregon

After dinner we went back to the motel and tried to sleep, but we couldn’t. Too much stuff going on in our head and not tired/insomnia. It was a long night at the motel. We finally fell asleep for a little while and then hit the Sunday breakfast buffet. We hung out until it was time to caravan over to the cemetery for Dad’s headstone unveiling.

It was a truly beautiful day and the weather was absolutely perfect. There was a gathering of family and close friends at the gravesite, and the Rabbi performed a brief service to dedicate the headstone. It is a Jewish tradition to wait a year (and mourn the dead) before placing the headstone at the grave. And so, we gathered and the headstone was unveiled, and it was a very emotional afternoon. Then after the service we went back to The Ranch for a reception and celebration of his life with more food and drink.

After the reception we went back to the motel and took a nap, and when we woke up we hung out until we got hungry. We drove up to Medford to the In-n-Out Burger (the first one in the state) and got some late-night food.

Dinner at In-n-Out Burger in Medford, Oregon on Sunday night

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In-N-Out Burger in Medford, Oregon

Got that In-n-Out Urge! Also, there aren’t a lot of late night options on Sunday in Ashland, so two Double-Double cheeseburgers and a chocolate shake was a terrific choice for familiar and inexpensive comfort food after a long and emotional day.

 

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In-n-Out Double-Double Cheeseburger

We returned to the motel, took another hot bath in the “Jacuzzi Tub”, took a hot shower, and tried to sleep. When the morning came around we woke up and enjoyed the breakfast buffet again. We packed up our stuff and loaded the car and checked out of the Comfort Inn at noon on Monday.

Family stuff is just exhausting! Our brother flew in Saturday morning and left on Sunday afternoon. Our east coast aunt left on the early morning flight to New York from Medford with a layover in Denver. Our sister left on a later flight Monday for Los Angeles with a layover in San Francisco. And our other aunt and uncle (and their caregiver) left Tuesday around noon on a flight to Phoenix, Arizona.

We moved to The Ranch for the next two nights (Monday and Tuesday) after my brother, sister and east coast aunt had left town. We checked out of the motel and moved into our east coast aunt’s guest room, which used to be my father’s office. It was weird being in the space and sleeping in a bed located where his desk once was, and there were still remnants of his office stuff and the same pictures on the wall to add to the weirdness….

We stayed around the house and there was an afternoon nap, before we went out to dinner in downtown Ashland.

Dinner at Lark’s Kitchen at the Historic Ashland Springs Hotel on Monday evening

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The Historic Ashland Springs Hotel (from an earlier visit)

We went out to eat again with our aunt and uncle (and their caregiver) and stepmother at Lark’s Country Kitchen in the Historic Ashland Springs Hotel. Our aunt and uncle wanted a good burger. and they have a good burger on the lunch menu, also available “off the menu” at dinner on request. We called and confirmed this and made an early reservation. There is no theatre in Ashland on Mondays, the stages are dark, and the OSF has the day off, so there was no pre-theatre dinner rush to worry about. We enjoyed a wonderful relaxed dinner in the dining room with a nice view of Ashland’s main drag, also less crowded on Monday, but alway good for people watching.

On The Menu:
Fried chicken breast with bacon gravy, mashed red potatoes, and sub asparagus for collared greens. Sea Smoke Southing pinot noir red wine and a coke to drink.

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The fried chicken breast was excellent! And everyone enjoyed the burgers too. After dinner, we returned to The Ranch and tried to sleep. It was another long night.

Tuesday was a “take care of business” day. We had a mission to document the details of the Music Master Tape Library and go through a few boxes of Dad’s family photographs. It took all day to complete the tasks, and we had leftovers from the weekend for dinner, packed most of our stuff, and went to bed early.

Ashland, Oregon to Oakland, California on Wednesday morning 8am – 1:30pm

We woke up very early, loaded the car, had a quick breakfast sandwich, and hit the road headed south on Wednesday morning with our friend’s house in Oakland, California as our afternoon destination. It was another beautiful day and the drive was pretty easy. We stopped for gas in Santa Nella and missed the I-505 intersection at Winters. So we had to go further south (80 to 680 to Walnut Creek) to go east into the Bay Area. The “detour” added a little extra time, but it was another beautiful day, so we didn’t mind too much. There was a little traffic coming into Oakland, but it was a really nice drive.

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Mount Shasta, California (from the I-5 freeway)

NOTE: WATCH OUT FOR THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL!
There were a lot of cops on the road during the daytime. They drive marked cruisers, Ford Mustangs and SUVs, as well as unmarked cars (white and blue spotted this trip). Watch your speed, watch your mirrors, and watch out for hidden speed traps!

Wednesday Afternoon in Oakland, California (well, actually in Piedmont)

We arrived at our friend’s house and parked around 1:30pm in the afternoon. And after a quick stop there to refresh and relax, we decided to go afternoon day drinking at a local bar within walking distance and then have something to eat TBD nearby in the neighborhood.

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Kerry House in Oakland, California

First stop was Kerry House, a divey neighborhood bar with cheap drinks, on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland.  Asked if they had “fresh cream” and ordered a White Russian (aka “a caucasian” made with vodka, coffee liqueur and fresh half&half) when the bartender said yes. Then we waited while the doorman went to the corner store and bought small cartons of milk and half&half, so yes it was fresh! We also had some chips and our friend had a couple of Cosmopolitans (vodka and cranberry juice).

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We offered to take our friend out to lunch or dinner, whatever they wanted. The sushi restaurant didn’t open until 5pm, and with our day drinking and another stop at the nearby coffee house for an Italian espresso with whipped cream, we could have gone there. Instead it was decided that we would cook dinner for our friend, so we went to the local market and bought some good food to prepare and consume at her house.

On The Menu: Chef JoshWillTravel did a great job!
Big Thunder Ranch BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs and steamed broccoli for dinner
with pita chips and hummus appetizer to start

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Big Thunder Ranch BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Steamed Broccoli

We prepped the food and put the ribs in the oven to cook for an hour and a half.
Then we had a little nap during the Basketball Game which was being played in Oakland.

Final Score: Toronto Raptors 123 – Golden State Warriors 109 (series tied 1-1)

After the game was over, we enjoyed a very nice dinner and hung out until 11pm.
Then we hit the road again for another long night drive to Los Angeles. Because of traffic (caused by the game and construction) we had to go north to go east to go south and we added some extra miles, but probably saved some time by following Google Map back to I-5 south.

“No more speed, I’m almost there
Gotta keep cool now, gotta take care”

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TunnelVision!

Oakland to Los Angeles, California
Wednesday night 11pm – Thursday morning 5:30am
Antioch Bridge $6.00 Toll Fee (crossed it around midnight leaving the Bay Area)

Antioch

Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Photo of the Antioch Bridge

The least-traveled and probably least known of the region’s toll bridges, the Antioch Bridge, is a steel plate-girder automobile/bicycle/pedestrian bridge that crosses the San Joaquin River. The Antioch Bridge links Antioch with Sherman Island in southern Sacramento County, near the city of Rio Vista.

Once we reached the I-5 south it was an uneventful drive, with a stop to fill the gas tank and empty the bladder and a rest stop to stretch and use the restroom. There was a lot of construction work and one bad traffic accident ( a car went off the highway and into a deep ditch off the elevated road) and we were pretty sure there were fatalities as we passed. Another obvious reason to ALWAYS DRIVE SAFE and PAY ATTENTION!

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Incident on the I-5 Freeway South on Thursday Morning

We arrived in the San Fernando Valley just before 5:30am and as we reached the 405 freeway north, there was already “stop and go” traffic at the 101 intersection, so we exited and took surface streets home, with a quick stop at our PO Box to pick up the mail.

Comfort Inn – Ashland, Oregon

Morning Glory Cafe – Ashland, Oregon

Beazy’s On The Creek – Ashland, Oregon

In-n-Out Burger – Medford, Oregon

Lark’s Country Kitchen (at the Ashland Springs Hotel) – Ashland, Oregon

Kerry House – Piedmont Av, Oakland, California

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Lebowskis Bar in Edinburgh, Scotland

Lebowskis Bar in Edinburgh, Scotland

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NOTE: This is not an advertisement or paid ad or sponsorship. We just think it’s cool that there’s a Lebowskis Bar in Edinburgh, Scotland. Our friend just visited and sent a pic. And we support small businesses that provide a useful and quality product or service!

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Somewhere in Scotland
They have a Lebowskis Bar
Go and have a drink!

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Lebowskis Bar in Edinburgh, Scotland

From their Facebook page:
“Lebowskis offers you the very best Scotland has to offer and not a white table cloth or intrusive waiter in sight. All our food is hand-prepared from scratch with only the very best of Scottish fresh produce and simply choose from our main menus and exceptional daily special boards. If you’d prefer you can stay true to ‘The Dudes’ relaxed attitude and enjoy an eclectic taste of Scotland with our Scottish Tapas whilst enjoying a drink with friends!”

Have a White Russian
Next time you’re in Scotland
At Lebowski’s Bar

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Have a drink at Lebowski’s Bar in Edinburgh, Scotland! (Sterling’s Pic)

Salted caramel
with butterscotch pieces
Hellacaucasian!

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Lebowskis Bar- 18 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom EH3 8BJ
+44 131 466 1779  www.lebowskis.co.uk  Open daily 11am – 1am
They have a cool Facebook page too> www.facebook.com/LebowskisBarEdinburgh

This weekends special is called Raspberry Richard the Third:
Edinburgh Raspberry Gin
(or substitute Stolichnaya Raspberry Vodka for a Raspberry Russian)
Mozart White Chocolate Liquor
Milk&Cream and Raspberry purée

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Raspberry Richard the Third (White Russian?)

“We’re big fans of Richard in here,
he was a good dude and his legacy lives on in this delicious White Russian”

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“Careful Man, there’s a beverage here!”

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And have a caucasian in the good old USA today!

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Las Vegas, Nevada! “Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

Las Vegas, Nevada!
“Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

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Back from Las Vegas.
A fun trip to “Sin City”
Happy to be Home!

JOSHWILLTRAVEL! And travel to Las Vegas last week is what we did.*

*well, it wasn’t last week…. more like last month. Tempus fugit!

We were invited (very last minute) to our friend Frank’s 65th Birthday Adventure:
(via a series of text messages)
– Come to Vegas if you want we have extra rooms
– We arrive Wed and lots of different rooms. Party on Saturday
– The party at Topgolf should be good even if you dont golf. Has a private pool for us
– Then we got a big cabana by our pool Friday Saturday and Sunday

So, let me think about it….. and Road Trip to Vegas!
Left the beautiful San Fernando Valley at 1:30am on Thursday morning.
Highways to Las Vegas: 101north-134west-210west-10west-15north
We drove a rental truck, a no-frills silver Nissan Frontier, with unlimited miles.
No traffic! Driving 285 miles at night with the truckers on I-15 north.

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“World’s Tallest Thermometer” in Baker, California

Stopped along the way in Baker, California, for gas and to see the “World’s Tallest Thermometer” once again lighting the side of the 15 freeway. It was “non-operational” for many years, but has been repaired and now it is again a beacon at night on the desert highway.
NOTE: Gas prices were “too f*ckin’ high” in Baker! 

Stateline! No stopping until we get to town.

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Stateline! Primm, Nevada

Arrived at South Point Hotel and Casino before 6am on Thursday.

We have always heard good things about the SouthPoint. People regularly recommend their buffet as being very good. They were also recently featured in the Showtime series “Action” about legal sports gambling, so as we rolled into town we decided to stop there.

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SouthPoint Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada

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Self Parking at SouthPoint is FREE. We parked outside, instead of in the structure, and it was only a short walk to the Casino entrance. We had to go to the High Limit Slots counter to get a Player’s Card because the Club Desk doesn’t open until 7am. We played some blackjack and a little video poker and won a little money.

We also earned 300 club points which entitled us to “spin the wheel” and we won 5000 points (so we cashed them out for $15.00), wandered around the casino, and then headed for their Breakfast Buffet.

NOTE: Get the SouthPoint Player’s Card and the Breakfast Buffet is only $9.95 + tax
(Really nice breakfast buffet for ~$11.00 + $5.00 tip for our server/waitperson)

Breakfast Buffet Time! The Las Vegas “Buffet Experience”! And we were hungry…..

On The Menu: Everything. It was a Good Buffet!

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After breakfast we headed out and drove to the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort near the MGM Grand and across the street from TopGolf at the south end of the strip.
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Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

Parked near Tower 3, walked to registration at Tower 2 and Checked In.
Our friends had the rooms reserved and a quick phone call was made, our ID was checked, and we were handed a keycard and welcome instructions. We walked back to Tower 3 and met one of our friends in the lobby. She gave us the “nickel tour” of the resort property and showed us the adult pool and the cabana they had reserved for our party weekend. We walked back to Tower 3 and grabbed our luggage and weekend supplies out of the truck and rode the elevator upstairs.

The SMELL in the hall.
Okay, something died. rotting trash beyond rotting. it was terrible. really terrible.
FOR THE WHOLE TIME! It was disgusting. It reeked. It stank.
Yes, we complained. And they tried to mitigate the smell with deodorizers and sprays, but they should have called for sanitary cleanup immediately. They were really good about apologizing and they gave our hosts credit for the inconvenience.

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“It’s Kubrickian!”

The Sweet Suite!
Tower 3, Room 392 at the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort:

Happily, the smell was only in the hallway. Once inside the room, a “lock-out” connecting room, adjacent to the first room our hosts stayed in…. they moved to the Presidential Suite, and her brother moved into their room. More on that later.

Each room had a nice kitchen area, living room space and private bedroom and bath. Mine was a little smaller than the room next door which also had a bar and bar seating in the living room space. I was very happy with the accommodations and also the fact that it was FREE! My hosts were treated to drinks, gifts and other forms of thanks all week long in appreciation for the invitation.

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After the little tour of the resort the it was nappy time. Then once we were awake and active again, we joined our friends for a quick visit to the TopGolf mega-entertainment center across the street. We met our friends in the inside bar and had a cocktail while they finished their food (we were still full from the morning buffet).

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Our friend’s birthday party was scheduled for Saturday afternoon in the Chairman’s Suite, complete with private pool and lunch buffet, so they went to check it out.  More on that party later……
We wandered around and toured the massive four deck facility. There were lots of bar and seating areas, and a public pool area with lounges, private cabanas and a “swim-up” bar. There were televisions and monitors everywhere, and really big multi-screens by the pool and in the gathering and game areas. And there were a ton of people having fun at midday on Thursday! The Golf Area has private driving areas for rent, with computer monitoring, that tracks your ball and gives you distance, replay, and other fun golf info. And of course there is plenty of food and beverage service available everywhere.
Just mind the warning signs and watch for errant golf balls and clubs!
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And then back across the street to the resort.
Our friends moved their stuff to the Presidential Suite with a Private Veranda and we hung out there and waited for them to get settled in.
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We made a run to the local market and picked up provision for the week. And then later we went back across the street to TopGolf for a late dinner.

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TopGolf Photo Op!

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On The Menu: More cocktails
and Boneless BBQ Wings w/veggies & ranch dressing at one of the bars.
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FRIDAY at the Wyndham

Good morning! Cabana Time!
Our Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

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Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday began the same way each day: Tiki drinks for brunch! And some kind of food from the resort kitchen, along with snacks we brought from the room.

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The cabana was equipped with a nice television and a noisy ceiling fan, and the public smoking area was right next door and there was a public cabana in that area. Most of the pool cabanas were positioned in the sun, and must have been really hot inside, while our cabana was on the other side and in the shade set back but facing the adult pool area.

 

Dinner time on Friday, and we had a meeting in the Presidential Suite to decide where to go to eat. There are many choices, so the group reviewed them, and eventually decided to go to Burger Bar (inside the Luxor Hotel, which we didn’t know at the time).

NOTE: Everything we did took a long time to get it together and actually do it. It wasn’t a problem, and we resolved to just ride along and see what happens (most of the time).

And then it started raining. A real Desert Storm! And a wet Friday night.
One of our new friends was the non-drinking designated driver, and he was a cool dude. But his driving was not cool. And it was dark and wet and it took a long time to get there. And then we toured the parking lot, for a long time, before finally parking.

We made our way into the Luxor and found the Burger Bar. Basically a $20 hamburger without anything else, so we decided to go spend our money at The Peppermill instead.

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MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on a Rainy Night in Las Vegas, Nevada

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

And so, after another wild ride in the rain around Las Vegas, we arrived for Dinner and Drinks at The Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge!

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

We had dinner and tiki drinks in the restaurant and then went into the lounge and had more drinks. The rain was really coming down and we were in no hurry to leave, so we rode out the storm in the lounge and met some fun new people.
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On The Menu: Tiki Cocktails!
A Lava Flow and a nice Beef Dip Sandwich with fries and extra au jus

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
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A good time was had by all! We enjoyed our dinner and drinks at The Peppermill. Frank had a big Scorpion drink (in a glass, not a bowl) and the rest of us had a few different drinks from their cocktail menu too.

One more drive around Vegas in the rain and back to the resort. We survived! We returned to the Presidential Suite and then back to our suite in the other tower. We decided to take a hot bath and then sleep in the next day.

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“Wanna take a bath?”

SATURDAY at the Wyndham and TopGolf

Cabana Time! Basically the same routine as Friday: tiki drinks, food, people hanging out and new friends stopping by until it was time to get it together and head over to TopGolf for the big shindig!

Frank’s 65th Birthday Party in the Chairman’s Suite at TopGolf – Saturday 2-5pm
Golf, balls, a buffet, more drinks and a private swimming pool just for us.

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Party at TopGolf in Las Vegas, Nevada!

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

 

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The Guest of Honor in the Private Pool in the Chairman’s Suite

On The Menu: Tacos (chicken, steak and pork), Sliders (cheeseburgers, battered fish and pulled pork), chips with salsa and guacamole, salads, and of course more tiki cocktails!

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

The party was a lot of fun, we got out drink on, and there was too much food! We ended up taking a lot of it back to the resort afterwards. There was golfing (unlimited balls, or something like that) and swimming too. The pictures are just a sample before it got crazy wild.

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A beautiful day at TopGolf Las Vegas!

Saturday Night in Vegas!

And so we returned to the resort and hung out until it got dark. We decided our next destination would be (more) Tropical Cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Room! 

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Saturday Night on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

After the wild road trip on Friday night, we decided we would drive to Frankie’s and meet the crew there. We cruised past The Strip and downtown to the bar.

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More cocktails! Famous tiki drinks! And it was really dark inside.
Here are some pics:

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We enjoyed a Mai Tai and then there was a lot of conversation and more drinks. We moved around from our table in the cabana to a seat at the bar. Lots of kitsch and weird decor to see, even in the dark. Eventually, they decided to return to the resort and we decided to go back to The Strip and have some Las Vegas fun.

We drove to The Wynn, Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – FREE SELF PARKING!
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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

The Wynn is a beautiful property! And it was crowded, which was nice. We played a little and wandered around taking in the different areas of the casino and environs. We had some luck and cashed out and drove back to the resort and went to bed.

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SUNDAY (Mother’s Day) morning after waking up and getting ready, we walked over to the Presidential Suite for Breakfast/Brunch and more Cabana Time! It was a leisurely day of drinking and hanging out. There may have been an afternoon nap involved.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

So we were volunteered to cook and we grilled some steaks for dinner at 9:30pm on Sunday at the community BBQ Grills. There’s a curfew for cooking at 10pm, so we had to be quick! We took them upstairs and enjoyed a great meal on the private veranda (and of course, there were more cocktails).

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

Then we went on a mission to The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” Sign!
It was designed by Nevada-born graphic designer Betty Willis (1923-2015) in 1959.
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“The rounded diamond shape of the sign was inspired by the Goodyear logo and the idea for the starburst came from the one in Disneyland’s emblem, which to her meant a happy destination. The seven silver dollars were a symbol of good luck for visitors entering the world’s gambling capital. (Betty) Willis’s design was never trademarked.”

The sign was built by a small local company Western Electric Displays Inc, aka Western Neon. Western Neon was bought by YESCO (Young Electric Sign Company) and they have maintained the sign ever since. The original sign has been rebuilt, restored, and recognized as a cultural and historic landmark for the City of Las Vegas over the years.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

Safe and legal public access to the sign was finally made possible in 2008, when parking spaces and a pedestrian walkway were finally constructed. Clark County and the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office had the sign listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

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NOTE: It was “Helldorado Days” a big holiday in the State of Nevada. There was a parade on Saturday and the Rodeo and other events were happening all weekend in downtown Las Vegas and on Fremont Street. So, we didn’t go there.

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Old Vegas! Glitter Gulch!

We returned to the resort and stayed up until MONDAY morning!
“It’s HOT in the Hot Tub!” 
And sometime before dawn we hit the Jacuzzi and Pool! (the pool and jacuzzi at Tower 3 are open 24 hours) It was very Early AM, at Tower 3, after it was cleaned, before the crowd and we were almost alone.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

We had stayed up all night and after our adventures we finally decided to try out the 24 hour pool and jacuzzi in our Tower. The pool area was empty except for one couple, so we waited until they were out of the water and then we moved in. We spent about a half hour enjoying the warm, bubbly spa, and swam in the cool pool until the calm was interrupted by two small children and their mother….. as we left the pool area at 6am the mother was screaming at the children in the shallow end of the pool, “Get over here dammit, you pulled this sh*t all yesterday, I’m not gonna have it today!” 

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

Went up to the room and took a hot shower, ate some leftover tacos, and went to bed.
Requested and was given a late checkout time of 12 noon via the telephone.

And then,
Housekeeping knocked on my door three different times between 9:30 and 11am!
AND THERE WAS A “DO NOT DISTURB” SIGN HANGING ON THE DOOR HANDLE!
They also started cleaning the other half of the “lockout suite” and made noise like they were doing construction next door, making it impossible to sleep.

NOTE: We complained and Dan, the resort manager, gave us a $50 credit to use at our choice of restaurants “off-property” at a Caesars Hotel (there was a list of restaurants to choose from at each hotel) for our inconvenience and also took care of our friends who invited us. That’s real good hospitality!

Checked out of the Wyndham and drove back over to the Wynn. FREE Self Parking again.

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We walked to the Palazzo and Venetian, then went outside, crossed Las Vegas Blvd and went over to the Mirage. It was a beautiful day, but it was too hot of course.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

We visited the MLife desk, and asked about a MyVegas room rate. They offered us a Monday night room for $63.00 + taxes and the ridiculous resort fee, so we passed.

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We walked through the Forum Shops to Caesars Palace and enjoyed the weirdness!

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino was once the best place to stay and play in Las Vegas. Then they turned it into “Disneyland”, and they threw away all the class and quality that made it great. And then they added RESORT FEES and PAID PARKING.

We went to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and got a seat a the bar, but when we looked at the menu there was nothing that we wanted to order…. so we thanked them and left. We wandered around Caesars enjoying the sights while trying to decide where to eat.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

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The Bar and Sportsbook at Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Then we decided on dinner at Rao’s Italian Kitchen, Las Vegas at Caesars Palace!
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On The Menu: Good bread, an excellent Caesar salad and their tasty meat lasagna.
We ate the salad and half of the lasagna and bread, and had the other half packed “to go”.
No drinks or wine because we were driving later, so only ice water with dinner.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

It was getting dark after dinner, so we started walking back, watched the sunset behind Caesars Palace across the street, and then stopped at Harrah’s and the old Casino Royale on The Strip.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

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Casino Royale!

 

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

 

And then we walked back to the Wynn. We enjoyed our after dinner walk at night and took in the sights along The Strip on our way back. We returned to our car and hit the road. Destination: Los Angeles.

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LEAVING LAS VEGAS around 9:30pm on Monday.
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Stopped at the new Mega-Gas Station Terrible’s Road House on the way back to California and filled up the gas tank and emptied mine. They have 100 pumps for “rush hour”, but the place was almost empty when we stopped in around 10pm on Monday night.

It was a quick stop, with lots of light and easy highway access. After getting gas, we took some pics and then got back in the rental truck and made a non-stop, no traffic, night drive back to Los Angeles. Home again before 2am. Had a really fun trip!

SouthPoint Hotel and Casino

Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

TopGolf

Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge

Frankie’s Tiki Room

The Wynn Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

 

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Have you seen my IMDB? http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0918756/

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The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” Sign Webcam>
www.earthcam.com/cams/nevada/lasvegas/index.php?cam=sign_hd



 

 

A Very Cool Thrift Store Find! San Francisco History!

Very Cool Thrift Store Find!

San Francisco History!
The Condor and Big Al’s on Broadway
Original photograph signed by Bob Kreisel and rescued for $2

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Original photograph signed by Bob Kreisel

The Condor   Where It All Began
The birthplace of the world’s first topless & bottomless entertainment
Topless – June 19, 1964   Bottomless – September 3, 1969
Starring Ms. Carol Doda   San Francisco, California

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The Condor Club and Big Al’s are located at the corner of Broadway and Columbus Avenue in the North Beach district of San Francisco. The Condor Club opened in 1964. The large marquee sign featured a cartoon image of Carol Doda with red flashing lights on her breasts. Carol Doda’s 44DD breasts were dubbed “the New Twin Peaks of San Francisco” and were insured for $1.5 million with Lloyd’s of London.

NOTE: The other famous clubs on the block are Roaring 20’s and the Hungry 1 Club.

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Carol Doda (August 29, 1937 – November 9, 2015) was the first known topless entertainer and a cultural icon of the 1960’s. She made history on June 19, 1964, when she bared her breasts and performed in a topless “monokini”. The club went “bottomless” on September 3, 1969, and remained full nude until 1972 when it became illegal to serve alcohol in full nude clubs.

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Carol Doda danced at the Condor Club until 1985 and died in 2015. Her only arrest happened in 1965, when police raided the club on April 22. She was arrested along with Pete Mattioli and Gino del Prete, the owners of the club on indecency charges. They were all found not guilty. She retired as a stripper in the 1980s but continued performing, and she also owned Carol Doda’s Champagne and Lace Lingerie Boutique in San Francisco until her death from kidney failure in 2015.

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Broadway and Columbus in North Beach, San Francisco (at night)

The original Condor Club closed in 2000. For a time it was a sports bar (and still is), and then a restaurant and a performance venue. The current Condor Club reopened in 2007 as “San Francisco’s Original Gentlemen’s Club” with a new neon sign.

“You know what’s funny about The Condor? 1) It’s not really a strip club until 6 pm, and 2) it has two entrances: one for the strip club, and one for a pretty unremarkable sports bar with big-picture windows facing Columbus St, a decent-enough draft beer selection, and live music. The two are separated by a small door frame with a velvet curtain drawn, so if you’re new and you make your way in through the Columbus entrance, you might not even put two and two together that you’re in a strip club. And, since we’re in the middle of North Beach, it’s exactly the kind of place a hapless tourist could wander into.” – Lauren Sloss in 2014

Big Al’s (the adult book store) closed in 2009. It is now a sandwich shop and cigar store. They kept the name and the neon sign.

Both clubs are San Francisco landmarks and an important part of the history of the city. The strip clubs of North Beach have been seen in many films and TV shows, featured on postcards and in travel and tourist brochures for over fifty years.

Bob Kreisel

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This bio was on the back of the photograph

The Condor Club560 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133 415-968-8678 http://www.condorsf.com

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This is not a paid promotion! Just here to show the Condor Club is still in business!

 

 



 

 

 

 

90000 Hits!

90001 Hits!
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Ninety Thousand and One Hits!
90001 Hits On This Blog!
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It’s RAINING! It’s really RAINING!
It does rain in Southern California!
(Please stay out of the Pacific Ocean for at least 72 hours!)

WINTER IS HERE!  HELLO DECEMBER 2018!
Water is falling from the sky. There is snow falling in the mountains!

Thanksgiving is over. (see our previous Blog Post)
It was a great feast and we are very thankful for everything we have!

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How ’bout a snort?

Now…. THE HOLIDAY SEASON. “Tis the Season!”
Already sick of Christmas music and it’s still only November.
NOTE: Someone posted Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” from “Holiday Inn” on the interweb and we couldn’t watch it. JUST TOO SOON! Not even close to December 24th!

DECEMBER 2nd is THE FIRST NIGHT OF HANNUKAH!

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HAPPY HANNUKAH 2018!

We ripped the Google Hannukah Doodle>
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And we made Latkes (potato pancakes) for Sunday breakfast!
(see our previous Blog Post for the recipe and instructions)

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Latkes (potato pancakes) for Breakfast!

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NOTE: There’s a pretty fun Blog Post about Hannukah from last year. And a good one about “Festivus for the Rest of Us!” And there are a few more about Holiday Stuff too, including our past HOLIDAY MUSIC PLAYLISTS.

Are you ready for Christmas the December Holiday celebrated by everyone?
Screw the Yule Log, I’ve been to Burning Man!

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BURN CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR!

This is already going around,
but we’ll post it here before it goes wild viral,
’cause it’s effin’ funny:

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Make your own “Die Hard” Christmas tree ornament for the tree!

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Copy, Print, Cut Out. Figure it out…. “Come out to the coast.”

Yes, “Die Hard” is a Christmas Film.

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HoHoHo! Modern Christmas!

We’ll do our cool Holiday Music Playlist Blog Post later…. maybe.

NOTE: We did not make a Christmas/Holiday music playlist last year,
so if you need to hear some more seasonal tunes (and these are very cool tunes),
click and open the links to our 2015 and 2016 Holiday Music Blog Posts:
2015 Holiday Music Playlist>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/12/24/christmas-countdown-playlist-2015/
2016 Holiday Music Playlist>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/holiday-music-playlist-2016/

‘Tis the season Dude,
Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Watch
“The Big Lebowski”

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Dead & Company just announced the 2019 Summer Tour!
We still haven’t seen them LIVE in concert (other than on the interweb) and “this might be the last time”….. but they usually play better together as the tour progresses.

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And speaking of LIVE MUSIC>

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Tuesday Night Traffic on the 101 Freeway to Burbank

Doña Oxford perform at the Fire Victims Retro Relief benefit (see out previous Blog Post) and she was fantastic! So, we went back on Tuesday night and saw her again at Joe’s Great American Bar in Burbank>
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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

The crowd was fun and friendly. Doña played 3 sets (we stayed for the first two) and she was awesome! Tuesday night is “swing dance” night and there are great dancers in the house and out on the floor. Really fun to watch as they Shag and Jitterbug! Joe’s has very reasonably priced strong drinks and their bar food looks pretty good (we still haven’t eaten there) also for a good price. If you’re okay with “fast food”, there’s a Taco Bell next door that’s open until midnight. We haven’t eaten any fast food (except for Habit Burger) in a very long time…. but it was there, and it was Tuesday.

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Taco Bell! 3 Regular Crunchy Tacos with Hot Sauce

So we ate, drank and listened to some great music, but we didn’t stay for the third set because we were tired, starting to get a headache, hungry again and our back was hurting something awful. Too much sitting and too much standing., so we headed home for bed before midnight.

NOTE: The price of going to a concert is out of control! $100+fees+parking+concessions to see a show is a luxury for most people, and most people can’t afford it these days. Please support Venues and Bands that don’t charge a COVER! 

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“Beats the hell out of a Yule log.”

HAD OUR YEARLY PHYSICAL! Mind your health, it’s the most important thing!

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Eat, Drink and Be Happy. We’re all gonna die.

AND NOW SOME POLITICAL STUFF>
Mueller’s questioning might take a strange turn (he should get Liam Neeson!)

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LYIN’ CHEATIN’ CROOKED EVIL DONNY!

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The Walls Are Closing In on Lyin’ Crooked Evil Donny!

Key Mueller witness and Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi admits to MSNBC’s Ari Melber that he lied to Congress, that he tried to get stolen Clinton emails back to the Trump campaign in 2016, that he “absolutely” intended to help the Trump campaign by doing so, that he told Roger Stone about John Podesta’s emails and that his lawyers are still communicating with Trump’s legal team “as if” there is a joint legal defense.

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CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY! VIOLATIONS OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT!

Whatever your political posture is, this is WRONG.
Every citizen of the United States must protect our Democratic Government!

Warmonger! Assassin! Mass Murderer! Celebrate him!
He was a murderer and a war criminal.
Oh boy, let’s play “follow the casket” as they honor this POS.
LYIN’ CHEATIN’ CROOKED EVIL GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH!

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The Danger of Comedy! He was a Murderer and a War Criminal!

That’s all for now. And now back to our HAPPY BLOG POST!

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What Do You See?

We collect JOKERS!
Proud to be a “Card Carrying Fool” and follower of St. Stupid!
(see our previous Blog Posts)

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“Chestnuts roasting on an open pyre.”

The LA AUTO SHOW is back in town! (read our previous Blog Post)

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From the LA AUTO SHOW in 2016

PEACE ON EARTH. GOODWILL TO ALL. STOP THE VIOLENCE. NO HATE.
“DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.”

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“Can We All Just Get Along?” – Rodney King

Monday, December 3rd, 2018 just after Noon: OK, going to publish this Blog Post!

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The War on Christmas is Coming!

Yes, there will be a DECEMBER HOLIDAY BLOG POST in the very near future.
No, we are not taking a Christmas Vacation this year (again).

FIESTAWARE FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER! Good Shabbos Everyone!
ON THE MENU: Cousins visiting from out of town. Cornish game hens with stuffing, asparagus, challah bread, cran-raspberry-orange juice and then a $5 cake for dessert.

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Banana Split & Espresso in Red Fiestaware at 3am on Monday Morning

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THANK YOU! 90000 HITS!

From Wikipedia:
90000 (ninety thousand) is the natural number following 89999 and preceding 90001.
It is the sum of the cubes of the first 24 positive integers, and is the square of 300.
90000Subs

READ OUR PREVIOUS HOLIDAY BLOG POSTS!
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/happy-christmas-2017/

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I took the “Yiddish Lingo” quiz and scored 100%. Oy vey!

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“Teacher says, Every time a bell rings an angel get his wings”

RECENT BLOG POSTS FROM NOVEMBER:

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“Rock Bottom will teach you lessons that mountaintops never will”

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The Wisdom of Milt & Edie’s in Burbank, California

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Happy Hannukah!



 

 

 

 

Rockabilly Retro Relief for Fire Victims!

FRIDAY NIGHT WAS ROCKIN’ FOR A GREAT CAUSE!

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Rockabilly Retro Relief for Fire Victims LIVE at Joe’s in Burbank on 11-16-18!
Maureen & the Mercury 5, Doña Oxford, the Brian Hogan Band, the Crown City Bombers, James Intveld, and Lil Mo and the Dynaflos!

BIG THANKS TO MAUREEN & LIL MO!
BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PLAYED, PARTICIPATED IN PUTTIN’ ON THE SHOW OR WHO ATTENDED AND GAVE MONEY TO AID THE FIRE VICTIMS!
BIG THANKS TO JOE’S GREAT AMERICAN BAR & GRILL FOR THE VENUE!

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The 101 Ventura Freeway East – Going to Burbank!

LIVE at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill in Burbank!  

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Joe’s American Bar & Grill in Burbank

 

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Joe’s American Bar & Grill in Burbank

 

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Stiff Drinks at Joe’s American Bar & Grill in Burbank

Raffle, Silent Auction (with very cool stuff)
and Merchandise Sales to benefit the victims!

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Great Music All Night Long!

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Maureen making announcement! Let the show begin!

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Maureen & the Mercury 5, Doña Oxford (on the electric piano), the Brian Hogan Band with Spanish Mike, a Guy from Hungary, the Crown City Bombers, James Intveld, and then Lil Mo and the Dynaflos! Great music all evening until after 1am.

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Brian Hogan and Spanish Mike Rockin’ The House!

All Night Long!

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Special Guest Swingin’ James Intveld!

All the bands donated their performances and a portion of the proceeds from their “merch” sales to Fire Victims Relief! Rockin’ music all night long! Joe’s donated the venue! There was a raffle and silent auction too, and a lot of money (over $7000) was raised from a Great Party for a great cause!

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The Dance Floor was Crowded All Night Long!

 

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Takin’ a Break Out Back at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill

Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill – 4311 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

All photos copyright 2018 JoshWillTravel

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The 101 Ventura Freeway West = Going Home!

Sharing this vid from the Retro Relief for Fire Victims. If you need someone to get the party started here’s Doña Oxford doing the Boogie Woogie on electric piano! I’d definitely invite her to play my next party! www.youtube.com/watch?v=E21XFEiB99A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks!

Sunday BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks!

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The Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, California

We heard good things about this place via friends on the interweb.
We were originally going to have an Italian dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletano (read our previous Blog Post), but when we got there, they were varnishing the tables and chairs and so were closed for the night. A quick decision was made and we headed over to the Boneyard Bistro on Ventura Boulevard near Woodman in Sherman Oaks for some BBQ.

NOTE: There have always been great BBQ places in San Fernando Valley. Growing up there were places like Monty’s Steak House, The Oak Room, Houlihan’s, Charley Brown’s, Victoria Station, and Love’s BBQ. Recently, a lot of old time BBQ joints have closed down: the El Paso BBQ in Tarzana, and My Brother’s BBQ in Woodland Hills are now gone, the SmokeHouse BBQ in Van Nuys didn’t last long, there was once a Mr. Cecil’s Barbecue in almost the same location as the Boneyard, but it closed well over a year ago. And just recently the Tony Roma’s chain BBQ restaurant in Encino closed after many years and the location will soon be a crappy Norm’s Restaurant.

The Boneyard Bistro has Valet Parking in front for $6.00 + tip, but we were able to find street parking at a meter and it was Sunday night so you don’t have to pay. Parking is a major problem on Ventura, and there is Starbuck’s on the corner to compound the problem. Just sayin’.

The place was busy, as shown in the photos, the bar was crowded and the dining room was already more than half full. It was a chilly evening so the patio was almost empty.

Choose your seating: The Bar (high-top table), the Dining Room or the Patio.

We chose the Dining Room and were seated immediately at a table for two. The Sunday night football game was on the television (Dallas Cowboys v. Philadelphia Eagles). The service was good. We ordered our drinks and food. They brought us the drinks and in very short order, they brought us the food. We waited a little bit for the bread and fried corn muffins, and then before we could butter our bread, they brought out the entrees.

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Not sure how to describe the utilitarian design of the place, other than functional. From the street is has a “Chicago Diner” type facade with a glass enclosed patio and big block letters. High ceilings and hard surfaces with wood accents amplify the sound. There is a weird painting in the dining room that is the length of the full wall and it’s a skeleton in red heels holding a platter of fire. The skull and cleaver is their logo and brand.

We were seated by the kitchen doors and prep station, so there was a lot of activity passing us and all around the table, and the dining room is a little “close-quarters” even for the size, because of the number of tables and space between them. The noise level in the bar area was very loud and happily the dining room was not as noisy. Service throughout the meal was good, and all of our requests were handled quickly.

Go ahead and have a beer (or a cocktail from the bar):

We ordered the $9 flight of beers, served in four small glasses. It was a very good deal.

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The Special Stout Festival Beer Menu

ON THE MENU: BBQ baby back ribs, fries, baked beans, bread & fried corn muffins, a flight of beer, and a coke. Tiramisu Creampuff for dessert.

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It’s a good menu. There are a lot of things to try that look really good. They also have salads, but who has a salad at a BBQ place? We always judge a BBQ restaurant on their ribs, and we weren’t disappointed by theirs.

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It was an excellent BBQ dinner! We ordered off the Ala Carte Barbecue list. The dry rub on the baby back ribs was subtle, spicy and not too peppery. The pork was smoked for a long time, it was juicy and came right off the bone. The beef ribs were big and beautiful. They give you the option of “wet” or “dry” ribs, and their BBQ sauce is very tasty, both on the meat and “on the side”. Their homestyle baked beans have nice chunks of meat in the recipe and was an excellent side selection. They have shoestring fries, and the first order was not hot, so our waiter brought us another order just out of the fryer.

The portions are huge, so each entree is actually two meals, and good for sharing. We ended up taking a big bag of leftovers home, like most of their customers, for later.

They also have fabulous creative desserts (like banana puddin’ brûlée made with Nilla Wafers and chocolate chip cookie dough egg rolls with vanilla ice cream and chocolate ganache) but they were all a little too fancy (and too expensive = $11 per dessert), so we decided to pass.

We enjoyed the food, and will probably return soon when we have our next BBQ craving.

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The Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, California

NOTE: And so DESSERT? After a brief conversation in the car, we decided to stop and get something sweet on the way home at the Paris Baguette. My dinner companion had a craving for chocolate cake. I wanted tiramisu when we were originally going for Italian food, so of course, a Tiramisu Creampuff for dessert:

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Tiramisu Creampuff from the Paris Baguette bakery in Encino!

Boneyard Bistro13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (east of Woodman)
818-906-7427 http://www.boneyardbistro.com Open 4:30pm-2am daily

All photos copyright JoshWillTravel 2018

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11:11 on 11-11-11

Firestorm & Murder in Southern California!

Firestorm and Murder in Southern California!

The morning after the election…. are we any closer to saving our democracy? It wasn’t a “Blue Wave” but the gains were significant in the face of REPUBLICAN GERRYMANDERING. Now I’m waiting for Mueller and the indictments and someone to call for impeachment. Let the public see Trump’s tax returns. Investigate the many ethical violations of his cabinet members and staff. Have a real Congressional investigation into his campaign’s collusion with PUTIN and RUSSIA.

And the Twitter Troll is GUILTY of another crime today (Obstruction):
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And so the Midterm Elections are (almost) over. The Democrats gained many seats and reclaimed the House of Representatives! No more political ads! And a few of the scumbags who have been there too long are finally out of office! Wednesday’s TV news was a day of post-election coverage and political speculation as Donny couldn’t wait to fire Attorney General (and angry elf) Jeff Sessions, and now what will it mean for the FBI’s “Mueller Investigation”?

Wednesday ~11:30pm: News of another MASS SHOOTING in Thousand Oaks!

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A guy walks into a bar….. and kills 12 people. NO JOKE.
No one is safe. No place is safe. Live your life accordingly.

The Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks College Night is attacked by a lone gunman armed with a legally purchased semi-automatic handgun. Shooter kills 11 people at the nightclub and 1 first responder before killing himself (according to the news). 13 Dead, more injured.

12 HOURS LATER: The shooter was white. The shooter was an ex-Marine who served in Afghanistan as a machine gunner and lived with his mother in Newbury Park. The shooter was cleared after a mental health evaluation as NOT BEING A DANGER TO HIMSELF OR OTHERS….. He was a “quiet guy who kept to himself” and he killed 12 people without warning. Someone screwed up BIGTIME! Oh, and the media is having a non-stop coverage orgy of this tragedy in Los Angeles.

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13 HOURS LATER: Tribute to fallen hero, tribute to first responders, tribute to victims, father crying over news of dead son, eyewitness accounts and survivor stories, TV experts and grief counselors, and what you can do (give blood, vigil tonight, etc). Thoughts and Prayers again.

I never hung out at the Borderline during my time in Thousand Oaks. I was an El Torito guy. I know many people with ties to T.O. and today they are dealing with a mass murder in their town. Every local channel has had non-stop news coverage since midnight. Time for more “thoughts and prayers”.

Thursday Afternoon: And now there’s a fire in Newbury Park, and the 101 freeway is closed in both directions in Agoura, and the wind is really blowing……..

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“And we do want to warn you this video is graphic” = we are going to show it as many times as we can and you’re going to watch it. The ghouls at KTLA News have now gone 24 hours on “the Massacre” with a short break for Fire coverage and sports.

And the fire’s growing fast. Camarillo Springs is on fire too now. The embers are blowing and hitting homes and burning RVs now.

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And Oak Park is ON FIRE, homes are burning north of Kanan Rd and it could jump Kanan and burn many more. Winds blowing 40-50 mph in places and It could jump the 101 and burn all the way to the Pacific! The 101 is closed. They are now ordering everyone out South of the 101 all the way to Mulholland! The Paramount Ranch is in danger!

Friday 2:30am: They are now ordering everyone out South of the 101 all the way to Mulholland! The Paramount Ranch is in danger! Ventura County Fire Station 37 is ON FIRE at Kanan and Upper Ranch Rd north of Thousand Oaks. The fire is threatening homes in Agoura Hills.

Evacuations from Sunset Hills to Mulholland, Lindero Cyn to the 23 fwy north of the 101! Westlake blvd to Las Virgenes south of the 101! Homes are burning on E. Hillcrest Dr in Thousand Oaks. Power outages in Malibu. Morning winds coming too. It’s really really bad.

Friday 8am: And the fire jumped the 101 this morning and is burning through the canyons. Malibu now is under a mandatory evacuation order! *URGENT SAFETY MESSAGE* Fire has jumped the 101 fwy near Chesebro and is headed to Ocean Mandatory Evacuations, 101 Fwy to the coast between Las Virgenes Cyn /Malibu Cyn Rd. to the LA County line. Imminent threat! Malibu lakes residents must leave area immediately.

It’s a MAJOR DISASTER! The fires are out of control and still growing! Many homes and fantastic places have already been destroyed.

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NOTE: TIME FOR A RANT ABOUT LA COUNTY DISASTER PREPAREDNESS!
Good thing it wasn’t “The Big One”. The initial response was slow allowing it to spread quickly. Once it spread there weren’t enough resources to fight it. Homes were left to burn because they were protecting other structures. PCH and the 101 were jammed, showing there is no master plan for an emergency of this scale.

Emergency info was uncoordinated. Evacuation centers filled up quickly and Pepperdine University had students shelter in place (requiring resources to protect them and the campus). Large animal owners were unprepared to evacuate their animals! If you own a horse, you should be required to have a trailer for it and have an emergency plan! There should have been a real firebreak on both sides of the freeway to prevent the fire crossing into the canyons. Its not like this hasn’t happened before.

There are currently 5600 US troops sitting at the border waiting for the “Caravan Invasion” months away. The CA National Guard should be trained for fire fighting and available immediately for firestorm emergencies like this. The amount of dead and dry brush is also a problem since they don’t have an adequate budget or regular schedule for controlled burns, deforestation, or building proper firebreaks year-round.

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Paramount Ranch burned again today. Obviously, the Fire Management and Loss Prevention Programs (Federal, State, County and City) are a TOTAL FAIL. There are not enough resources and there wasn’t any planning for fighting this type of firestorm event.

Western Town at The Paramount Ranch in Agoura was destroyed around noon:

Fire is now south of Mulholland and heading for Malibu.

Mandatory Evacuations were ordered! “Get out of Malibu!”

And Pacific Coast Highway was jammed, all lanes going to Santa Monica, then closed.

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Evacuation Traffic on PCH between Malibu and Santa Monica (photo by KTLA) this morning.

Friday 5:45pm: Fire is moving into West Hills and towards Woodland Hills and the San Fernando Valley!

Saturday 1:20am There is an ominous quiet in the SFV tonight…. and there is no news after two days of non-stop murder and fire.

Saturday morning 8:30am: It’s cold and clear outside in the SFV. Here’s a pic from Zen Gesner in Malibu. He stayed with his father who refused the mandatory evacuation and fought the fire. Zen and a few friends stayed all night instead of evacuating, and they saved the house and a few of the neighbor’s houses from the flames!
Visit Malibu, where the fire meets the sea:

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Malibu Beach On Fire! (photo by Zen Gesner)

Saturday 5pm: The fire burned through the canyons yesterday afternoon and last night. the flames reached the Pacific Ocean after jumping Pacific Coast Highway fueled by high coastal winds and wind generated by the heat. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Agoura, Malibu, Topanga Cyn, and West Hills.

THE FIRES ARE STILL BURNING! It has grown to 70000 acres. The 101 Ventura Fwy remains closed between Calabasas Rd and Lindero Canyon. Kanan Rd and other canyon passes remain closed between the freeway and Pacific Coast Highway, which is also closed from Sunset Blvd to Las Posas Rd. as Malibu remains on fire.

The winds died down and then shifted, and now the air quality is UNHEALTHFUL TO DEADLY today. The Santa Susana radioactive storage site burned early on Thursday, so the air may actually be dangerous and toxic! Particle masks are recommended if you have to go outdoors. Everything smells like smoke and burned houses.

HIGH WIND RED FLAG WARNING! Strong wind is expected tomorrow through Tuesday when “the Santa Anas” return.

Originally Posted Saturday, November 10th, 2018 at 5:45pm
And now back to your regularly scheduled program……

AND THEN THIS TODAY FROM THE TWITTER TROLL OF THE UNITED STATES:
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Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 23.44.15

California Professional Firefighters President Brian K. Rice issued the following statement following the President’s tweet.:
“The president’s message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines.
“At a time when our every effort should be focused on vanquishing the destructive fires and helping the victims, the president has chosen instead to issue an uninformed political threat aimed squarely at the innocent victims of these cataclysmic fires.
“At this moment, thousands of our brother and sister firefighters are putting their lives on the line to protect the lives and property of thousands. Some of them are doing so even as their own homes lay in ruins. In my view, this shameful attack on California is an attack on all our courageous men and women on the front lines.
“The president’s assertion that California’s forest management policies are to blame for catastrophic wildfire is dangerously wrong. Wildfires are sparked and spread not only in forested areas but in populated areas and open fields fueled by parched vegetation, high winds, low humidity and geography. Moreover, nearly 60 percent of California forests are under federal management, and another two-thirds under private control. It is the federal government that has chosen to divert resources away from forest management, not California.
“Natural disasters are not “red” or “blue” – they destroy regardless of party. Right now, families are in mourning, thousands have lost homes, and a quarter-million Americans have been forced to flee. At this desperate time, we would encourage the president to offer support in word and deed, instead of recrimination and blame.”
California Professional Firefighters represents more than 30000 front line firefighters and paramedics in California.

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Dinner at Davenport’s in Encino

Dinner at Davenport’s in Encino

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Wednesday night we went for dinner at Davenport’s in Encino. We wanted to try a neighborhood restaurant we had never been to before. They opened last year in the space formerly occupied by Dupar’s and John L. Groats on Ventura Boulevard west of Woodley Avenue. And so, on a cold winter weekday evening we made a reservation for 7:15pm.

Parking is in the rear and the lot was full. There was a line at the host station, located just inside the front door and the restaurant was packed at the sushi bar, long bar, bar dining  area and dining room. The outdoor patio was empty because it was “effing” cold and there was a nice wind blowing through the courtyard that even the outdoor heaters couldn’t warm. We know this because the reservation was made for “Outside”, even though we didn’t ask for the patio. When we asked to sit inside, the hostess seating us said there was an hour wait for a table and we almost left and went somewhere else…

Instead we went inside and found the manager and explained the situation. He was very understanding and they found a nice table in the corner of the dining room for us in a very short time. BRAVO! 

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