Happy 4th of July! Have a Celebration!

Happy 4th of July Friends!

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“America is great because she is good.
If America ceases to be good,
America will cease to be great.” – 
Alexis De Tocqueville

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Have a Celebration! Wave that Flag! Have a SAFE Holiday!

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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! CELEBRATE FREEDOM & LIBERTY!

Time to BBQ, Party, Celebrate, Watch Fireworks and Have a Real Good Time!

“So, then, to every man his chance – to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity – to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him – this, seeker, is the promise of America.” – Thomas Wolfe

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“America! What a country!” – Yakov Smirnoff in “Brewster’s Millions”

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LADY LIBERTY in NYC! Let Freedom Ring! Happy Birthday USA!

“Laughter is America’s most important export.” – Walt Disney

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USA! USA! USA!

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” – George Washington

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4th of July Fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl!

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Dallas, Texas! Red, White & Boom!

“In America, anyone can become President.
That’s the problem”
– George Carlin RIP

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Happy Independence Day!

“We should keep steadily before our minds the fact that Americanism is a question of principle, of purpose, of idealism, of character; that it is not a matter of birthplace, or creed, or line of descent.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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“Boop-Oop-A-Doop!”

“Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their f***ing skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!” – Bill Hicks RIP

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“Wave that flag, wave it wide and high!
Summertime done come and gone, my oh my!” – Grateful Dead “U.S. Blues”

 

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HAPPY MAY DAY 2017!

HAPPY MAY DAY 2017! 

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May 1st is May Day!
Laugh, Dance and Sing, it’s May Day!
Celebrate Springtime!

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May Day is a holiday of traditional festivities celebrating springtime fertility. May Day celebrations usually include crowning a May Queen and dancing around a Maypole.

May Day has been celebrated in Ireland since pagan times as the Feast of Beltane.

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Coo-Coo-Ca-Choo!

The Dude:
It’s all a goddamn fake, man!
It’s like Lenin said: You look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh, you know…

Donny:
“I am the walrus”?

The Dude:
You know what I’m trying to say?

Donny:
“I am the walrus”

Walter Sobchak:
That fucking bitch!

The Dude:
Oh yeah!

Donny:
“I am the walrus”

Walter Sobchak:
That’s ex– SHUT THE F*CK UP DONNY!
V.I. Lenin! Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!

Donny:
(to The Dude)
What the f*ck is he talking about?

May Day is an international public holiday celebrated specifically as “Labour Day” or “International Workers’ Day” around the world.

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In 1904 the International Socialist Conference in Amsterdam, the Sixth Conference of the Second International, called on “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.” The date was chosen for “International Workers’ Day” to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago on May 4, 1886. May Day has always been a day for demonstrations by various socialist, communist and anarchist groups since the Second International.

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May Day is one of the most important holidays in the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba and Russia. May Day celebrations usually include large parades with displays of military strength.

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Read the Previous Blog Post 
May Day! May Day! Hey Hey Hey Hey It’s The Month Of May>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/may-day-may-day-hey-hey-hey-its-the-month-of-may/

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“The Chinaman is not the issue here!”

 

From GoHawaii.com:
It’s also Lei Day in Hawaii today!
Hawaiian floral leis are made by braiding seasonal flowers and ferns together.

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Traditional Hawaiian Haku Floral Lei

 



 

April Fools! St. Stupid’s Day!

APRIL FOOLS!
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ALL FOOLS DAY!

“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” ~Japanese Proverb

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Playing the Lord Mayor’s Fool at the Renaissance Faire!

Well, once again Spring has come early, and so too the spaghetti harvest in southern Europe (Italy, Spain and Switzerland). Thankfully, there is no threat to the harvest from the ravenous spaghetti weevil this year and this season’s spaghetti plants will soon be available for purchase on Amazon. Be sure to try your hand at “Homegrown Pasta!”

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Why is there an April Fools Day? Why is it on April 1st?

No one knows for sure.
No, SERIOUSLY, No one knows for sure.
There are several theories:

On the Julian calendar, the one before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in the 1500s (it was not adopted by England until 1752!), the start of the NEW YEAR was celebrated on April 1st. Something about the French peasants trying to fool friends and family into thinking April 1st was still New Year’s….. and people who still celebrated the old Julian New Year were called April Fools.

Jokes, hoaxes, pranks, practical jokes, sending people on “Fool’s errands” and other light hearted jests are now the order of the day!

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Fool’s Guild King of the Fools Coronation Day Parade for Greg the Obscene Juggler in Agoura, California 1985

Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” (1392) contains the first recorded association between April 1st and acts of foolishness. In medieval times, most of Europe celebrated on March 25, the Feast of Annunciation,  but waited until April 1st to celebrate the beginning of the new year. April Fools Day might have something to do with the Vernal Equinox (March 20-21) and the coming of Spring, a time when nature fools man with changing weather…..

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April 1st – “RABBIT! RABBIT!”

It might commemorate the fruitless biblical mission of The Rook (a European crow) in the Old Testament, sent out on a failed search for land from Noah’s ark:
‘The mistake of Noah sending the dove out of the ark before the water had abated, on the first day of April, and to perpetuate the memory of this deliverance it was thought proper, whoever forgot so remarkable a circumstance, to punish them by sending them upon some sleeveless errand similar to that ineffectual message upon which the bird was sent by the patriarch’ – from the London Public Advertiser March 13, 1769

It might have something to do with Hilaria, the end-of-winter and the end of the Celtic New Year festival celebrated by the Romans. The Hilaria were ancient Roman religious festivals celebrated on the March equinox to honor Cybele, the mother of the G-ds, and to rejoice in the resurrection of Attis, the consort of Cybele. The Romans took this feast from the Greeks and public games, amusements and masquerades were allowed.

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The Attis of Ostia

A life size statue of Attis was discovered at the archeological site of ancient Ostia, the principle port and harbor city of Rome, Italy, between the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The statue is a reclining Attis, after the emasculation. In his left hand is a shepherd’s crook, in his right hand is a pomegranate. He wears a pine garland with fruits, bronze rays of the sun, and on his Phrygian cap is a crescent moon. It was discovered in 1867 at the Campus of the Magna Mater together with other statues.

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YES, YES IT IS STILL AVAILABLE! http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel

Another explanation of the origins of April Fools’ Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event. “In a way,” explained Prof. Boskin, “it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor.”

This explanation was brought to the public’s attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Prof. Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they’d been victims of an April Fools’ joke themselves.

 

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David and Bonnie at the Coronation of the King of Fools – Irwindale, CA

April 1st is SAINT STUPID’S DAY

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“ALL HAIL ST. STUPID!”

The First Church of the Last Laugh
“ALL HAIL ST. STUPID!”

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April 1, 2017 – The Parade of Stupid in San Francisco!

As always, since the year 1979AD, the FIRST CHVRCH ofthe LAST LAVGH assembles for its one whole-y day and the ST. STUPID’S DAY PARADE each year at (The POINTY BUILDING UP COLUMBUS this year near) the EMBARCADERO PLAZA at the Foot O’Market @ Steuart in the Financial District of Downtown San Francisco on APRIL 1st at NOON (rain and/or shine). Bring socks for the sock exchange, pennies for “Thank The Bank Penny Toss” at the banker’s heart, dead lottery tickets for the blessing at the Federal Reserve (Support your Federal Reserve! Buy a lottery ticket TODAY!) 2017 is the 39th annual Parade! Visit the TOMB O STUPID, join in on the TIGHTENING OF THE LUG NUTZ and take a LEAP OF FAITH at the statue of the Barebutt Mechanics! Bring noise and music makers (drums, horns, bells, slapsticks, etc.) for the exorcism and a well dressed sense of absurdity. Attendance will be taken.

The Pledge (raise your left hand and cross your fingers):
“i pledge allegiance, to the illusion,
and to the pyramid scheme, for which it stands.
One species, in denial, with error and excess, by all.”

St. Stupid Contact: BISHOP JOEY (aka Ed Holmes)
510-841-1898 bishopj@saintstupid.com www.saintstupid.com

“All we are saying is stupid!”

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Sign of Stupid! The Church in no way endorses, advocates or condones graffiti, or the making of your own St. Stupid stickers to place randomly all over the Earth, and in particular, inside the Gideon Bibles in motel rooms.

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The Bologna Brothers Onstage at the Renaissance Faire – Black Point Forest, Novato, CA

Found in Storage:

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Bombay Dry Gin, Stolichnaya Vodka and Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky

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A Bottle of Vintage Porto 1983 from Portugal

“I know, I know, but ya know, you never know”

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CHEERS! Johnnie Walker Black 12 year old Scotch Whisky

We found two boxes of old liquor from the old home bar in Storage. We dumped most of it but there were some nice unopened bottles of booze! We kept bottles of Bombay Dry Gin, Stolichnaya Vodka and Johnnie Walker Black Scotch Whisky. And we found a bottle of Porto from 1983 which we are looking forward to opening soon. We gifted the Johnnie Walker Black Scotch Whisky and then we opened the bottle and had a taste. Very smooth.

And just in case:
California Poison Control System (CPCS)

toll-free EMERGENCY hotline: 1-800-222-1222
http://www.calpoison.org

NOTE: Check out our FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES page links in the Sidebar>>>>>

“We have nothing to fear but fear ourselves”

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Superbowl Sunday Party in Sun Valley a few years ago. There was a big screen TV outside in the yard and a 3-D commercial was airing.

“That’s the way St. Stupid would’ve wanted it… had he thought of it.” (from Carrie)

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“We Are All Just Prisoners of Fun!”

Regardless of what you might have heard, the United States Treasury will continue to honor all two-dollar bills still in circulation! Today was not the last day to cash them in.

“So Far, So What?”

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“By Grabthor’s Hammer, what a savings.”

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Can You Read This? This Is Important!

NOTE: Support for this Blog post comes from the Soylent Corporation,
manufacturing protein-rich food products in a variety of colors.



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King of Fools Coronation – Santa Ynez County Park 2001

THE FOOLS GUILD!> http://www.foolsguild.org

The Fools Guild was born in the late 1970s at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, where the original culprits met while performing as jesters, jugglers, pass-the-hat-acts and mimes.

“The Fools Guild is a disorganization of individuals who identify with the artistic, spiritual or philosophical nature of The Fool. We are an amorphous mass of lively, spontaneous souls who meet throughout the year for unadulterated silliness. We produce three major theme parties a year: Halloween, New Year’s Eve, and the High Feast of April Fools Day. We also get together a lot in between…..We draw inspiration from the archetype of “The Fool”, keeping alive the virtues of playfulness and festivity as a source of creativity and personal fulfillment.” (from the Fools Guild website)

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Fountain at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, CA

 

MORE JOKERS:

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GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

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NOTE: For ThrowbackThursday and FlashbackFriday we found this Blog draft. We laid out all the type and captions back in 2013 and never added the pics or details. So we went to the files for collateral from the convention, found old travel picture files on our other laptop for pictures that were never seen and also went hunting for the pics that we had already downloaded or posted, then we filled in all the details we could remember and constructed this Blog! And even though the event happened in 2013 we still hope you will enjoy this Blog for TravelTuesday in 2017!

We were invited to attend the GBTA 2013 Convention as a “Hosted Buyer”, but we had prior commitments and could only attend the first and second day of the event. So we made a one-night hotel reservation and arranged to attend the “preview day” on Sunday and the first day on Monday.

GBTA 2013 Convention Schedule for Sunday and Monday:
(Vendor Parties not shown) CLICK to SEE A LARGER PIC!

Road Trip to San Diego! – Ride along with me!

It was a foggy Sunday morning when we woke up very early and hit the road to San Diego. We left the San Fernando Valley at 7am to avoid traffic and drove south on the 405 and 5 freeways for about three hours. We were successful and drove fast (we also took pictures as we went) but other drivers were driving really fast! We were really amazed at the speed of some of the cars passing us at very high speeds like we were parked.

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GBTA 2013! – On The Road to San Diego (405 freeway south to 5 freeway south)

Ride along with me to San Diego, just click on the pics below:

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GBTA 2013! – Downtown San Diego

Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego (A Hilton Hotel)

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego Atrium & Skylight

We arrived in San Diego and found our hotel, the Embassy Suites Downtown, sometime after 9am. We found metered street parking two blocks away from the hotel which was FREE and available because it was Sunday. We walked over to the hotel, had breakfast at the complimentary buffet and got an early check in.

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GBTA 2013! – Breakfast Buffet at the Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

We went up to the room, checked it out and dropped our luggage. We set up the laptop, hooked into the hotel’s wi-fi and did our morning business via the internet and cell phone.

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After a short time in the room, we walked over to the Hyatt Regency and caught the Free Shuttle to the Convention Center.

Sunday was a “preview” day, so it was not very crowded, just busy. There were a lot of people checking in and the vendors and staff were making preparations for the week ahead. The Exhibition Hall didn’t open until Monday, but we were invited to the “First-Timers” lunch and the Welcome Party at the Hilton on Sunday evening.

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GBTA 2013! Global Business Travel Association Convention in San Diego

We rode the shuttle to the Convention Center, walked to Check-In, checked in and got our credentials, and then we walked to the “first timers” lunch in an adjacent meeting hall.

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center

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GBTA 2013! – “First Timers” Lunch, Orientation and Welcome

On The Menu: Turkey sandwich with mozzarella cheese balls, lettuce & tomato and a slice of apple pie with iced tea, water and coffee

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After lunch, we attended the “Going Global” session, walked around the Convention Center and then we walked to the shuttle pickup point, rode the shuttle back to the Hyatt and then walked back to our hotel. We cleaned up and enjoyed a free cocktail and complimentary appetizers at the Embassy Suites’ afternoon Happy Hour downstairs.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront

After the Happy Hour we drove over to the Hilton Bayfront Hotel and paid $15 to park for the Welcome Reception and Party on the Great Lawn which runs along the Marina.  An outdoor evening buffet for 7000 people or so, with beer/wine and magaritas at the bar.

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

NOTE: It was a huge convention! Every hotel in San Diego remotely close to the Convention Center was at capacity and filled with Travel Agents, Vendors, Travel Writers and other attendees from all over the United States and other parts of the world. We commented on the size of the crowd to a staff person at the Convention Center and they just laughed because Comic-Con had been in town the week before and the size of GBTA convention wasn’t even close to the overflow crowd for Comic-Con.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2103 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

On The Menu at the Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront:
Buffalo chicken meatballs, lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce, pasta in lobster sauce, pita chips and a bunch of types of hummus, prime rib sliders with cheese, chicken potstickers, veggie potstickers, pork potstickers, other stuff too, and then on to the dessert table! Nice truffle selection, chocolate covered strawberries, candy lollipops in a bunch of weird flavors and mini-pastries…

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GBTA 2013! – Sunset Over A Sea of Travel Industry at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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We walked to over to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant for the next party. It was a long “Las Vegas” walk just after dark along the Marina and Bayfront to get to Roy’s, but it was worth it! We immediately regretted eating at the Welcome Party Buffet, because there was an amazing assortment of incredible food at Roy’s!

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GBTA 2013! – The Kitchen at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant in San Diego

There were all kinds of sushi and cut rolls, egg rolls, chicken and beef satay skewers, Hawaiian style ribs, other tasty appetizers and finger foods, fresh fruit and a lot of fancy desserts. We ate and drank and networked until it got too crowded inside the large restaurant and we didn’t take any pictures (except the one of the kitchen above). We left the party early and took a little food “to go” for later at the hotel. We didn’t want to do anymore walking or make the long dark walk back to the Hilton parking structure, so we negotiated with a pedal cab guy and survived a really fast and wild nighttime ride back to the hotel along the Bayfront for $10+tip.

We walked to our car and drove back to the Embassy Suites. We valet parked our car at the hotel and retired to our hotel room. We did some work, ate the “to go” food (ribs, sushi and little chocolate balls) after midnight and went to bed.

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Monday morning, we were up early and we enjoyed the Embassy Suites’ breakfast buffet again. We took the food up to the room, ate and did some more work, and then packed up our stuff, went downstairs and had a second breakfast. After eating again we got our stuff and checked out of the hotel. We picked up the car from the valet, drove to over the Convention Center and paid to park there. Parking was $15 for all day until midnight.

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Breakfast Buffet (in the room)

We arrived in time and got a pretty good seat for the Keynote Address and Lunch for 6000 people with a presentation and performance by singer/songwriter Jewel. All of the front area tables were “Reserved” so we took a seat at a forward table in the first section behind the front area. The hall at the Convention Center was massive! Lunch for 6000 is not an easy task!

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GBTA 2013 Keynote Lunch with Jewel at the San Diego Convention Center

Monday’s GBTA 2013 Keynote Speaker Jewel performs
“Who Will Save Your Soul” live at the San Diego Convention Center

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW VIDEO>
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703198789706690&set=vb.337421319696080&type=2&theater (facebook video)

On The Menu: iceberg lettuce salad, bread & butter, stuffed chicken breast with pesto sauce, vegetables, a fruit tart dessert and iced tea.

After lunch they opened the massive Exposition Hall which ran the entire length of the Convention Center and was filled with Vendors and Suppliers. There were also Vendor meetings scheduled for the afternoon. We walked a portion of the Exhibition Hall, collected brochures/information/swag and received invitations to events later on that evening and later in the week. It would have been impossible to cover the whole Exhibition Hall in one day, so we didn’t try. Instead we did what we could between 3-6pm and dropped all the promotional material in our car before beginning the evening activities.

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GBTA 2013! – The Gaslamp District Sign in San Diego

The Gaslamp District!
The Historic Heart of San Diego is located across the street and train tracks from the Convention Center. Bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and plenty of gift shops are within easy walking distance (unless you’ve already walked all day).

Let’s get this party started!
We were invited to eight different parties happening at different locations around the Gaslamp District and the Bayfront near the Convention Center.

Monday Party # 1 – Sunset cocktails and dinner at the Altitude Lounge

Our first invitation was for a party at the Altitude Lounge on top of the Marriott Gaslamp Hotel. We walked over to the Marriott Hotel next door to the Convention Center, but it was the wrong Marriott. So then we walked over to the Gaslamp District and found the right hotel. We ate and drank and watched the sunset from the rooftop patio.

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!

Excellent view of San Diego and Mission Bay from the outdoor patio!

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GBTA 2013! View from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – View of Petco Park from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Sunset in San Diego from the Altitude Lounge

On The Menu: tray passed appetizers and a buffet with eggrolls, beef on toast, beef and chicken satay, tuna on wonton crisp, crab on cracker, pita bread and hummus and more… catered by Flemings Steakhouse!

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!

Monday Party #2 –
We crashed The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

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GBTA 2013! – The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

We left the party and walked across the street and crashed The Parking Spot’s party at Lou & Mickey’s restaurant. We ate and drank and met the nice folks from The Parking Spot and told them we crashed their party. They didn’t mind. Their party ended early, and the place emptied as the crowd left for other parties that were just getting started.

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!

Monday Party #3 – GBTA 2013 “AMPED” Party at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego!

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GBTA 2013! – Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Guitar at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

We walked over to our next event: the AMPED party at the Hard Rock Hotel! We ate and drank and met a bunch of really nice people. It started slow but soon the crowd at the main bar was five people deep, the music was rockin’ and it got pretty hopping.

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!

This party was on a very large rooftop patio, with several permanent bars, a couch area with fire pits and portable heaters, several floating bars and a bunch of buffet stations with a great selection of food. There was good music, of course, and a stage was set up for performance, but it didn’t get used until later. There was even a photo booth for taking pictures with silly wigs, hats and props.

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GBTA 2013! – Buffet Station at the AMPED Party at the Hard Rock Hotel

We asked permission before taking these pics of one of the Go-Go Dancers on a raised pedestal (there were several). She said “Go ahead, I don’t see why not” and posed for the first one. And she was a fantastic dancer too!

Monday Party #4 – Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego!

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GBTA 2013! – The Bar at Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego

We had one more party to check out or we would have just stayed at the Hard Rock, instead we left the hotel and walked over to Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel. We walked a lot and we were wearing our dress shoes, so by the end of the night our feet were really hurting. We were also tired from a long day at the convention and a long night of partying.
When we got to the club the upstairs was deceptively quiet because downstairs in the basement it was raging! The party at Level Skye was really “off-the-hook” with funky dance music and lots of light and a lot of drunk travel agents. Travel industry people love to party! Thanks American Express!

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GBTA 2013! – Big Party at Level Skye Club in the Andaz Hotel Basement in San Diego

We didn’t eat or drink anything alcoholic because we still had to walk back to the car and drive home to Los Angeles. So, Monday late night we walked back to the car on sore feet before they closed the Convention Center Garage for the night (at midnight).

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Parking ($15 all day – closes at midnight)

We drove back to Los Angeles on the 5 freeway north after midnight and hit a impossible “Stop-and-Go” traffic jam along the way because of construction at 2am in the morning.

When we finally made it home after 3am, we unloaded the car and crashed hard. We had a really good time, did a lot of business and networking, saw Jewel play live music, enjoyed our “budget” stay at the Embassy Suites, and ate and drank and danced and partied in San Diego for two days.

NOTE: We did a lot of walking, a whole lot of walking in our dress shoes, so next time we bring and wear more comfortable walking shoes.

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Stairs at Night

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GBTA 2013! – We did not attend GBTA 2014 in Los Angeles

FINAL NOTE: We finished this Blog and hit “PUBLISH” and it did not. WordPress lost the Blog and the draft(s) totally disappeared! We had to use Google Cache to rescue it and then we had to start over and rebuild the original Blog again. Total waste of time. There is a flaw (BUG) in the wordpress program, because when we went looking for help we found that this has happened to other people as well. So, please ENJOY THIS BLOG, a lot of time went into it.



 

UPDATED Wednesday March 29, 2017 – We posted this Blog yesterday!

We collected a bunch of FREE stuff in the short time we were there, two bags full of stuff actually! Most was promotional “paper”: sell sheets, pamphlets, maps and brochures. But there was some fun giveaway stuff and cool “incentives” for visiting certain booths.

We were given a “Swag” bag at check-in provided/sponsored by Delta and the padded bag was very nice. We recently found it in Storage (see our previous Blog about Storage) and we are now using it as a laptop bag.

UPDATED April 5, 2017 – TRAVEL TIP!
We found these “hospitality cards” (restaurant and bar coupons, freebies, come-ons, etc.) from the San Diego trip. We had so much FREE food and drink and were only in town for one night, so we didn’t use any of them. They can be found at the Concierge Desk at the San Diego Convention Center (and these are just a few of the ones available).

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Hospitality Cards (Restaurant and Bar Coupons, Freebies, Come-Ons, etc.)

Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas 2017

SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! 

The NFL FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP!
“football! football! football! football! football!”

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Super Bowl LI – Sunday, February 5th, 2017 in Houston, Texas

Atlanta Falcons atl vs nwe New England Patriots

It’s that time of year again:
“I didn’t come here lookin’ for trouble,
I’m just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle!”

“He became a man… the day of the greatest game ever played. Everything he knew about decency and morality, he learned that day in December from Alan “the horse” Ameche. Today in the Super Bowl he would earn his wings. A crowd had assembled, a crowd of America’s elite. Toyota salesmen from around the country, orientals and those suspected of being orientals, stacked on the 30 yard line watching him sweat and wipe caked blood from his face. The Gallo brothers, Ernest and Julio, party guys who’d skinned a few Mexicans and forced them to carry them on their shoulders to the pregame tailgate parties. The Pepsi and Coca-Cola bottlers of America. Coke adds life, it’s the real thing. Bombarded by missiles, flying, flaming matchbook covers. The waterheads from General Motors in the top seats, getting the worst pollution. All sorts of twisted motherfuckers were there.
…And who could this be?”

NFL Football Playoff Sunday! “football! football! football! football! football!”
The Atlanta Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC Championship game and are going to the Superbowl! The New England Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to determine which AFC team will play against the Falcons.
FINAL SCORE: New England 36-Pittsburgh 17

WATCH “WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM” starring Bill Murray!

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“Super Sunday, you gotta store up energy. Could go into sudden death…”

“Super Sunday. Dawn. My recollections of the last 12 hours are very dim. All that I know for certain is that, shortly after I checked in, two Third World drug abusers dressed as hotel employees forced their way into my room, ransacked it, drank all my liquor, did all my drugs, stole my dinner. If security isn’t beefed up at this hotel, I’m looking for safer accommodations. It’s a sad state of affairs when this reporter has to go heavily armed to breakfast. And what a breakfast it is. Still alive, still kicking. Could I have another round?” (“Of cocktails?”) “Everything. Cocktails, food. Super Sunday, you gotta store up energy. Could go into sudden death….”

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“The Dallas Cowboys will win the 2017 Super Bowl”

Super Bowl 51 Kickoff is at 3:30pm PST “football! football! football! football! football!”
with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the booth.

Country music singer/songwriter Luke Bryan will sing the National Anthem.

Lady Gaga will be “performing” at the Halftime Show. She performed the National Anthem at last year’s Super Bowl 50 (at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California) before
The “World Champion” Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10!

Let’s pause and take a moment to remember last year’s Super Bowl.

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GO BRONCOS! denGO BRONCOS!
Super Bowl 50 Champions: The Denver Broncos!
“football! football! football! football! football!”

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Super Bowl 50 – February 7, 2016 – Santa Clara, California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

READ THE BLOGS!>

“football! football! football! football! football!”

 

 

And at the Superbowl Party, Don’t Be This Guy:

Or This Guy:

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Cam Newton’s Superbowl 50 Fourth Quarter Dab!

“football! football! football! football! football,
football! football! football! football! football!”

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!
KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN!
HAVE A SAFE AND SANE SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!


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Super Bowl 50 Champions! The Denver Broncos!

 

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“Take this Haters!”

 



AND WHAT’S ON THE MENU?

Check out our Blog EVEN MORE FUN COOKING RECIPES
with SUPER BOWL DIPS AND OTHER FUN “GAMEDAY” RECIPES!
RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”> https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/even-more-fun-cooking-recipes/

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“Are you ready for some knockwursts?”

 

Hello 2017…. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hello 2017…. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” ~ Japanese Proverb

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 HOUSE PARTY!

December 31st, 2016 – 10pm PST – Burbank, California

The Annual HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE HOUSE PARTY at KJ and Steve’s!

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Not This Year’s Invitation, but You Never Know…

It’s 2017!

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Top Hat and Champagne Poppers for New Year’s Eve!

The last third of 2016 really kicked our ass. We really weren’t feeling up to a big party this year and were really prepared to stay home with the dogs and ring in 2017 quietly. We were invited to a couple of parties and a couple of big events, but at the invitation of an old friend, we decided to venture out into the night and attend the Annual Happy New Year’s Eve Party at KJ and Steve’s in Burbank once again. This party has been happening every year since the 1980’s…

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35 YEARS+ of Friendships! Old Friends who are now really old old friends! Marriages, relationships, divorces, births, deaths, illnesses, good times and bad.
There’s a lot of history, stories and good memories associated with the house and all the fun times we’ve had at the many birthday and holiday parties held there over the years.

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Happy New Year House Party Pic – Late 1990’s (with lots of children – not my pic)

The parties are not as rowdy as they used to be in the 80’s and 90’s, and all the children who used to run around the house are all grown up (some with children of their own), as are most of the adults now…

Tempus fugit! Time flies! In the old days this was a “destination” party and people would come from out-of-town and camp in the backyard! There were years when it was standing room only and other years when there wasn’t an invitation sent out and only a few people showed up. You never knew who might be in attendance from year to year, or who might stop by on their way to another party. And then some people stopped coming. A lot of the “regulars” from the past have moved away, found other parties, grown old or now only celebrate with us in spirit. And some of the younger party guests weren’t even born when the celebration first took place!

And so, with the coming of the New Year,
THE HAPPY NEW YEAR HOUSE PARTY CONTINUES!
Here are some Happy New Year 2017 House Party pics!

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Happy New Year Tradition! Old Friends by the Fire!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

In the old days the party would continue until dawn and guests would literally be passed out on the floor. We last attended this party at the end of 2013 when everyone went home just after midnight and a family card game broke out in the living room. We always bring a nice bottle of champagne or fine wine as a gift for our hosts whenever we visit for New Years. In the past we’ve also brought a bottle of Stolichnaya vodka (size might vary from year to year and decade to decade) for our own consumption and to share, along with mixers, snacks and other refreshments. This year we just brought a big bottle of nice wine (a Malbec from Argentina) for our hosts and a single can of coke that we plugged with a single shot of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum for old times sake.

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Have an Adult Beverage! Beer! Wine! Champagne! Cocktail! Choose Your Poison!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Gather Around the Fire and Catch Up With Old Friends!

The tradition of the circle of friends around the fire began when the firepit was just a hole with a gas pipe sticking out of it. In the old days when the gas was off we burnt wood in the red brick firepit (and often things that were not wood would be thrown in the fire). Now it’s a large cinderblock pit designed for a party with an adjustable gas flame, but the tradition continues. (Who threw the plastic champagne popper in there?)

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The Old Red Brick Fire Pit

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The house is designed for a party. There’s a large living room, the kitchen and the food table, the covered back patio and bar area, the firepit, the pool area and hot tub, the office and the bedrooms. In recent years, modular units (more rooms) have been added as additional party space. The house and backyard are always decorated with a lot of festive lighting and there’s always a real fire in the indoor fireplace.

Regardless of the weather conditions in December, it’s always been an indoor-outdoor event. Some years it’s been “California freezing” cold or there’s been rain, but the party goes on regardless and the celebration adjusts accordingly. And just like the Rose Parade, the weather has never prevented those in attendance from having a good time!

This year it was cold outside, but not freezing. And someone who won’t be named turned the gas for the firepit all the way up to “Viking Funeral” level so it was nice and warm around the outdoor fire. Everyone ate and drank and some of the boys smoked cigars.

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Single Malt Scotch and Fine Cigars with Old Friends

Tradition also has everyone gathering in the living room and on the patio for the Midnight Countdown and “Stroke of Midnight”. Helium balloons filled with glitter and confetti are popped, people are kissed and everyone toasts the New Year at twelve o’clock. There’s also a large artist pad and box of colored pens, and anyone can sign or draw on the page for the current year. And the old pads and pages going back to the 1980’s are available for viewing (and reminiscing about the past).

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Balloons Filled with Glitter and Confetti…

There’s always too much food! It’s sort of a potluck, and some people bring food, but our gracious hosts always provide Dinner and Snacks for everyone! It’s also BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer or Alcohol) but there’s always a full bar too. In the old days, there used to be a row of “personal coolers” filled with people’s own preferred drinks and snacks.

On The Dinner Menu: Cheese Lasagna, “Navy Boy’s macaroni & cheese”, ham, green bean casserole, chips, more chips, nuts, cookies, carrot cake and more. An assortment of non-alcoholic beverages: coffee, tea, sodas, juices and bottle water are provided too.

Food, Drink and Other Pics from the House Party:

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

We ate some lasagna, reheated in the microwave, then enjoyed an adult beverage: a Coke&Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, and then a wee bit of McCallan Gold blended scotch, and then a really wee bit of Glenfidditch single malt scotch, and then later we ate some good munchies: Doritos nacho cheese chips & honey roasted cashews.

NOTE: We tried it and it was not the “Best Damn Root Beer”… sorry. It was “hard” root beer (with alcohol) and tasted like diet soda, so we only had a sip and then gave it away. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! We stopped drinking before midnight (and we really didn’t drink very much at all) and then waited until after 2am when the party was done before driving home (and there’s always room to crash at the house if you’ve had too much!).

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The Road Home – Don’t Drink and Drive!

It was great to see our old friends and celebrate together again! It was a warm and fuzzy place to ring in 2017 and a good time was had by all. Thanks to everyone for the fun party!

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel (unless otherwise noted)

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Post-Party Breakfast at 3am

January 1, 2017 – 3am PST – Breakfast at Home
On The Menu: 3 eggs over medium, crispy bacon, pink grapefruit, a leftover donut with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, and an espresso with whipped cream


A New Year’s Message for all My Friends!
READ THE BLOG “HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!”> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6eN

This Blog first posted on Monday, January 2, 2017 at 4:20pm PST
HAPPY NEW YEAR! KEEP ON TRUCKIN’!

 


 

 

 

#WineWednesday Again!

It’s #WineWednesday Again!
Celebrate the end of November!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Make it “A December You Won’t Need to Remember!”

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Wine Tasting at the Belle Fiore Winery in Ashland, Oregon

READ the “Wine Tasting at the Belle Fiore Winery in Ashland, Oregon” BLOG!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1QU
(RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE LINK)

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Dinner in the Backroom at Mozza Osteria in Hollywood!

READ the “Dinner at Mozza Osteria” BLOG!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-4fe
(RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE LINK)

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Wines, Single Malt Scotch and Tequila from Thanksgiving 2016

READ the “Happy Thanksgiving” BLOGS!>
Happy Thanksgiving 2016!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-5xQ
Happy Thanksgiving 2015!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-21e
Happy Thanksgiving 2014!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1mW
(RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE LINKS)

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Fine Wines and Finnish Chocolate from Thanksgiving 2015

 

All photos copyright 2014-2015-2016 JoshWillTravel

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Party on the Patio at the LUXE Hotel on Sunset!

READ the “LUXE Hotel on Sunset” BLOGS!> 
Sunday Brunch at the LUXE Hotel On Sunset> 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-Ui
LWH Hotels presents “The Art of Hospitality” at the LUXE Hotel on Sunset> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-JI
Friday at the LUXE Hotel Sunset Boulevard>
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ThrowbackThursday! Joey Villa at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas!

ThrowbackThursday! Joey Villa at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas!

Here’s the story about Joey Villa and the time we met Perry Como and Jilly Rizzo at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 – Today they imploded the Monaco Tower at the Riviera.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Today they imploded the last towers of the Riviera

Thanks to the Las Vegas Review-Journal for the live video!
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Riviera Hotel & Casino

We worked on a film (you’ve probably never heard of or seen it) called “Eternity” in 1990.

We met many famous people: Jon Voight, Armand Assante, Wilford Brimley, Lainie Kazan, Kaye Ballard, Steven Keats, Eileen Davidson, John P. Ryan, Charles Knapp, Eugene Roche, Robert Carricart, Frankie Valli and Joey Villa.

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“Eternity” aka “Evil Brother” feature film 1989 Pictured: Jon Voight, Armand Assante, Perri Lister, Kaye Ballard, Eileen Davidson, Charles Knapp RIP and Joey Villa RIP as the Jester

We became good friends with Joey Villa and he invited us to visit him, first at his home in Beverly Hills which doubled as his booking office, and then at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on The Strip in Fabulous Las Vegas where he was performing. He was friends with Meshulim Riklis and Pia Zadora, who owned the resort at the time, and was a headliner in “Splash!” in the big showroom at the Riviera for nine years. Joey also booked acts, hosted and headlined in the comedy room at the hotel.

Joey Villa (Joseph Charles Villani) was born on March 19, 1937. He was an actor and comedian, known for “Heat” (1986 with Burt Reynolds), “Eternity” (1990) and “They Call Me Bruce?” (1982). He died at the age of 68 on December 16, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada from complication from a stroke.

Villa, a native of New York, appeared in just a handful of movies, but he made his mark as a stand-up comedian, performing in Las Vegas as well as clubs around the country. He also spent many years performing on cruise ships, and eventually booked acts for the ocean liners. Villa opened for many famous entertainers, including Nat King Cole, Paul Anka, the Pointer Sisters and Diana Ross and the Supremes. He was a frequent guest on talk shows, including “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Mike Douglas Show.” Villa was a close friend of both Frank Sinatra and of Sinatra’s “right-hand man” Jilly Rizzo. He gave one of the eulogies at Rizzo’s funeral when the celebrity restaurateur was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver in 1992 in Palm Springs, California.

Joey’s famous opening line from his stand-up comedy act for over 40 years was, “I’m going to live until I die” ……and then he would drop to the stage floor. Every audience roared with laughter as Joey stood up after falling down and began his show. He kept the audience laughing throughout his entire performance. “At the end they always applauded and cheered and left smiling, feeling they were parting as friends.”

“Joey was loved by everyone, from Sinatra on down,” Larry Manetti said.

Villa had no children and died at a local hospice. Survivors include three sisters. Joey and his former wife divorced in 1982 and remained close friends. “He was a gentle man, a much kinder man than most people knew,” she said. “He was born to make people laugh — and he made thousands laugh and applaud, and for a very short time they would forget their problems.”

Nelson Sardelli, a close friend of Villa, said the comedian will be cremated and his ashes cast into the sea. “He requested that there not be any services…He was a gentle person…Sometimes he looked like he was looking for approval…A little accolade, that’s want he wanted.” One friend described him as “happy on the outside, but sad on the inside. He was sort of a lonely person, but at the same time loved to be around people and make them laugh. But I think that is the way most comedians are.”

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

Vegas in the 1980’s before the Mirage opened in 1989 was a wild place! The last Casino holdouts of “Old Vegas” (before they tried to turn it into a “family friendly” destination and eventually turned it into Disneyland for Adults when the big corporations took over) were the main attractions. It was all about GAMBLING (not gaming) in the 80’s and they “comped” players to rooms, meals, shows and more without a plastic card. It really was “Sin City”! You could drive The Strip from Tropicana to Sahara without traffic and there were still undeveloped empty lots on The Strip!

There wasn’t a Fremont Street Experience, there was Fremont Street and Downtown Vegas, uncovered and dirty. Strip Clubs, showgirls, 99 cent buffets, free drinks, cigarette girls, $2 Blackjack…. even then we preferred The Strip.

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

Back in the day, we stayed and played at many of the classic hotels and casinos.

We saw “Seigfried and Roy” at the Mirage when it was the new joint on the strip.

Circus Circus, Thunderbird Hotel, El Rancho, The Landmark, Dunes, Desert Inn, Stardust, Barbary Coast, Wild Bill’s, Sahara, Aladdin, El Morocco, La Concha, Imperial Palace, Riviera, Las Vegas Hilton, Monte Carlo

Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Bally’s, Tropicana, Bellagio, Palms, Hard Rock Hotel, The Rio, Treasure Island, Mirage, MGM Grand, Venetian, Palazzo, The Cromwell

Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como (May 18, 1912-May 12, 2001) was an Italian American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century, he recorded exclusively for RCA Victor for 44 years after signing with the label in 1943.

Ermenigildo “Jilly” Rizzo  (May 6, 1917-May 6, 1992) – On his 75th birthday, Rizzo was killed when his car was hit by a drunk driver in Rancho Mirage, California

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Farewell to the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas!
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“Crazy Girls” at the Riviera Hotel

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30000 Hits! THANK YOU! Another Benchmark!

Many thanks to our loyal readers and all the “drop-in” visitors since February 2013!

There are almost 600 Previous Blog Posts (BLOGS) archived for your enjoyment!
Use the Search Box at the top of the page or just read though (there’s an “Older Posts” link at the bottom of the page) to find fun and interesting stuff.

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Happy Birthday Sushi Time!

Happy Birthday Sushi Time! Great Dinner at Sushi Ichiban Kan!

Saturday night! Time to celebrate! Happy Birthday to me! It’s Sushi time!

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We love Sushi Ichiban Kan!
Our friend Hiro-san runs the best Japanese restaurant in the valley!

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Sushi Ichiban Kan in Tarzana/Woodland Hills, California

A FANTASTIC FISH!
ANOTHER WONDERFUL DISH!
SUSHI TIME YOU WISH!

We’ve written a few Blogs about Sushi Ichiban Kan (use the search box ^^^^^^) and read our previous Blogs (links below too).

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ON THE MENU: Tekka don dinner (tuna bowl with miso soup and small salad), stuffed squid, volcano, albacore sashimi, baked scallop california roll, yellowtail/salmon/bluefin tuna sushi, sunomono, blue crab cut roll, spicy tuna hand roll, spicy yellowtail cut roll, green tea ice cream, iced green tea and a large hot sake!

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Happy Birthday! Green Tea Ice Cream

NOTE: It was great dinner and I am truly thankful. However, the circumstances of the weekend made it impossible to actually enjoy the party in my honor. In case you missed the previous blogs, two of our dogs were killed Thursday night by coyotes in our fenced backyard. Pretty much everything related to dogs is a “trigger” for a wave of hard emotion (sadness, guilt, grief & anger) and my dinner companions kept talking about dogs, the tragedy, coyotes and wolf urine…. it was extremely uncomfortable from start to finish and not a happy distraction.

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So full of sushi. No Dessert! So birthday cake for dessert the next night!
One of my favorites: Boston Cream Pie from Bea’s Bakery!

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Boston Cream Pie from Bea’s Bakery