Tuesday 2020 Thoughts..

Tuesday 2020 Thoughts.. JANUARY 2020.

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How was your day? How was your week? How’s your year been so far?
It’s already January 15th, so we are two weeks into the NEW YEAR right now!
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? How’s that going?

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No problemo.
We are banging out the Blog Posts, so check out the 2020 Blogs below!

We were very sick with a cold for the first week of the year, and we are still recovering as the second week ends tonight. We have been living in our pajamas, bringing in food and scrounging for what’s still in the fridge and pantry. So, we haven’t really been out of the house much to enjoy the lovely winter weather here in Los Angeles. We’ve been taking care of our dogs and watching the world go to Hell on television and the interweb. We’ll hold off on POLITICS in this Blog Post because Martin Luther King Jr Day is coming and we’ll put it all together next week. It’s actually all very upsetting and depressing.
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.” 

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“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over
again and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein

TravelTuesday! (remember JoshWillTravel is the name of this Blog)

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We went back to Las Vegas in December 2019, right after Thanksgiving and just before the holidays began. And we can say that we are very happy that the holidays are over! It’s snowing again in Ashland, Oregon today. We don’t like to travel during the holiday season for all the obvious reasons and the weather in Los Angeles in the winter is much more human friendly, so we usually stay local and celebrate with family and friends.

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We still haven’t posted the Oregon Eclipse and Burning Man 2017 Blog Post(s) yet.
And so we apologize for the long delay… the Blogs are laid out and constructed but still remain unfinished. They will see the light of your computer monitors soon, really.

“I have found out there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

TijuanaTuesday

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Viva Mexico!

Tijuana, “the Gateway to Mexico” is the westernmost city on the US-Mexico border south of California. Officially founded on July 11, 1889, Tijuana is the largest city in Baja California State and on the Gold Coast of the Baja Peninsula, and is the 6th largest city in Mexico. In 2015, Tijuana had a population of 1640000. More than fifty million people cross the border between Tijuana and San Diego every year (~300000 people per day).

“By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy;
if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
– Socrates

“Take my wife,……please.” – Henny Youngman

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“I’m gonna live till I die.”
Frank Sinatra

“Don’t hide your scars, they make you who you are.”
and “The best revenge is massive success.” – Frank Sinatra

My Way
by Paul Anka
So now the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more much more than this
I did it my way.
Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exception
I planned each chartered course
Each careful step alone the by way
And more much more than this
I did it my way.
Yes there were times I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I face it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill my share of loosing
And the now as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that and my I say
Not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no not me
I did it my way!

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“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” – Katherine Hepburn

My 10+ transformational teen LPs:
1 Pink Floyd – Dark Side of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Echoes, and The Wall
2 Grateful Dead – Skull&Roses, American Beauty, and Workingman’s Dead
3 The Doors – The Doors
4 Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick, Stormwatch & “A”
5 The Who – Who’s Next, Tommy and Quadrophenia
6 Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever
7 Led Zeppelin I, II, III and Houses of the Holy
8 Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street and Goat’s Head Soup
9 Tom Petty – Damn The Torpedoes
10 The Beastie Boys – License To Ill
(with a shout out to NWA “The Boys in the Hood”)
Honorable mentions to Iron Butterfly – Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida,
ELO – Face The Music, The Beatles White Album and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and The Blues Brothers – Briefcase Full of Blues,

TikiTuesday – “ALOHA!”

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“Aloha” A Hawaiian word used when saying Hello or Goodbye.

The real meaning of “Aloha” in Hawaiian is that of Love, Peace, and Compassion.
“Aloha” means living in harmony with other people and the land with mercy, sympathy, grace, kindness, and a mutual understanding of respect.

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The “Shaka” hand gesture is made by holding the hand in a loose fist and extending the thumb and pinky finger with the back of the hand facing the recipient. It is a sign of respect and mutual understanding, and symbolizes reverence, solidarity, compassion and friendship.

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How about a nice strong cocktail? We have to admit that we are not a big drinker.
We have friends who are really big drinkers. Really big. Maybe too big.
(unfortunately we have too many friends of blessed memory who once drank a lot)
We have never been a big consumer of alcoholic beverages, unless you count those four years of college. We really only drink “socially” when we are with other people at a restaurant or bar, a party or an event where everyone is drinking.
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY!
KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!
“FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS DRIVE DRUNK!”

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Order us a STOLI ON THE ROCKS, with a twist or splash of juice.
Check out our collected FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES – see the links below

“For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“Enjoyin’ My Coffee”

TacoTuesday (actually it was ThaiFoodTuesday today)

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Steak Soft Tacos with fresh guacamole

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Thai Food! (Yellow) Curry Chicken and Steamed Rice

Check out our collected FUN COOKING RECIPES – see the links below

Two Questions for Tuesday:

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What’s Your Sign?

The order of the Zodiac (the 12 astrological signs):
Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra,
Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

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Is there a relationship between astronomical phenomena the human world? Can you assign aspects to a person’s personality and predict future events in their life based on the positions of the sun, moon, and other celestial objects at the time of their birth.?

“Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects”

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JoshWillTravel is viewed WORLDWIDE! Here’s who’s tuning in this week:
(additional viewers from Australia, Costa Rica and other places were listed as well)

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Seth Meyers at the 2020 Critic’s Choice Awards:
“Did we all enjoy our vegan meal?
It’s probably good the food critics weren’t here.”

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NOTE: Here is some free legal advice that is circulating around the interweb.
We are not an attorney, do not take this as legal advice from us. Your results may vary.

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Recent 2020 Blog Posts:
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Recent 2019 Blog Posts:
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Dead in the Dome 2.0!

Dead in the Dome 2.0!
One More Saturday Night!
(Saturday – night number one – November 9, 2019)

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Dead in the Dome 2.0 at the Wisdome L.A.

“Dead in the Dome 2.0”
a concert with Melvin Seals and the Jerry Garcia Band
with Steve Kimock and DJ Logic
and Samskara at the Wisdome in DTLA.

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NOTE: The concert was November 9th, 2019. We started this Blog Post and then it sat all through November-December, and now it’s January 2020. So we are finally posting it.

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Jerry Garcia

 

The Jerry Garcia Band (JGB) is a San Francisco Bay Area rock band. It was founded in 1975 by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. It and his collaboration with David Grisman (Grateful Dawg) were the most important of his many side projects before his death in 1995. The JGB continues to tour with Melvin Seals and Steve Kimock.

 

 

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Downtown Los Angeles! Somewhere near the Urth Cafe in a kinda sketchy part of the Arts District is WisDome.LA. It’s a collection of container buildings and geo-domes. Enter through a container Box Office and “Lobby”. The open air space and astroturf with psychedelic mood lighting puts you in the mood for “Dead In the Dome 2.0”!

The WisDome Facilities:

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The large Domes contain the exhibits and the performance venue. One had the Samskara visual art exhibit, one had mirrors, one just had psychedelic projections and music with cushions on the floor to sit and lie on, and one had the stage and projection setup for the band’s performance with dance space, chair seating and reclined VIP viewing sofa seats.

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 restrooms (Banos) are in a portable trailer with tall stairs to negotiate and a swinging door that might knock you out. The VIP Section was fenced off and adjacent to a two-story container building, with the bottom floor seating available as a VIP lounge space and the upstairs used as the Artist Dressing and Green Room area. There was a vegan food truck and a cocktail bar serving food and drink. And there was a small Merchandise Dome and a few Vendor Tents and Tables set up outside selling cool “Shakedown Street” stuff. There was a cold Mediterranean food buffet inside the VIP.

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Samskara Art Exhibition – the walkthrough experience:

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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!

And here is only a small sampling of the Visual Art:

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NOTE: Samskara = Very trippy psychedelic art that was also interactive. The art changed colors on it’s own, depending on lighting and “mood” settings. And there’s an APP for viewing the art that adds a whole other dimension of psychedelia! It has to be seen to be experienced. There was also video art with both small, medium and very large screens for art viewing. And more cushions on the floor for sitting and lying down on while viewing. We also shot some video of the experience, so check it out!

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!

 

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Inside one of the Domes there was a giant kaleidoscope type projection set to music being projected, and unfortunately our pictures just don’t do the effects justice. They were very beautiful 3-D CGI graphics that moved and morphed. There was another Dome that had mirrors reflection different graphic patterns.

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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 VIP Experience”
included a COLD vegan Middle Eastern vegan buffet and one drink ticket.

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We sampled most of the items and the food kinda totally sucked.
(Seriously, how do you screw up hummus?)
So, vodka and sprite for a liquid dinner!

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NOTE: There was a guy doing promotions for a Cannabis Ginger Lemonade in the VIP Section, so we sampled one, and then added vodka/sprite to make a “Mary Jane Mule”.

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Bob Minkin, the photographer, was at the show vending his “Just Jerry” book. He also shared a live presentation before the concert with projections and commentary on some of his fantastic photos from the book in the Main Dome.

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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!

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and Other Vendors:

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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!

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Embroidered GD Patches on a Leather Vest

THE SHOW!
Melvin Seals and The Jerry Garcia Band with Steve Kimock and DJ Logic!
(with cool projections of Jerry Garcia’s art on the Dome tuned to the music)

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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 JGB Band ROCKED! It was a great show musically! Melvin Seals and Steve Kimock played great and brought back sweet memories of Jerry as the band performed some JGB setlist staples:

Steve played so well, the band made him a permanent member a couple weeks later! Well deserved and a great addition to The JGB! There were a couple moments during the show that took me right back to seeing Jerry in the 80s at The Stone in San Francisco.

The projections were cool, and added to the experience, but the focus was on the band. the music, and the lightshow, and since we didn’t add any psychedelic enhancement to our experience, the visual effects were secondary to the concert experience.

NOTE: The concert was billed as a “2 Night Event”, but we only went on Saturday.

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NOW HERE IS THE THING! VERY IMPORTANT! AND ALSO A RANT!

We paid a lot more for the VIP experience and recliner sofa seats upfront near the stage. And when the concert started our viewing experience was ruined by the standing crowd that was allowed in front of the stage and in the aisle next to our low lounge seat.
And there were NO USHERS, STAFF OR SECURITY PEOPLE ANYWHERE! Seriously, we went looking and had to go to the Tech Staff at the sound/light/projection board and ask if there was anyone! We went outside to find someone and encountered a private security guard who told us that he wasn’t security for the concert, but he would try to find someone. So we went back and tried to enjoy the first set with the rude millennial jerkoffs who never saw Jerry standing in the aisle blocking the audience’s view of the stage and completely inconsiderate of anyone else. So, at the Intermission we went and found the PERSON IN CHARGE and told him what’s up. He was apologetic and responded to the problems and for the Second Set there were Ushers placed to keep the dance floor crowd on the dance floor at the back of the house. Of course, it was too little too late, and there still a crowd in front of the stage (and it’s always the tall people who do the one step right, one step left dance of course). The PERSON IN CHARGE told me they would refund my ticket, and they did!

Thank you WisDome.LA for the Tremendous Customer Service and satisfaction!

That being said, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SECURITY AT THE VENUE!
The Deadhead crowd was older and very well behaved, with the exception of the Millennials who never saw Jerry, and the lack of Security and easily identifiable Staff, was still a problem! We would not recommend anyone we know attend an event until they fix this problem! If there had been an Emergency or a Situation, it would have not gone well. Additionally the Door Security at the Box Office was almost non-existent: there was no search or surveillance security that we could detect. It’s a really nice facility and the concept is great, but we didn’t feel safe. And all it takes is one unfortunate incident that gets some press and no one will ever go there again…remember Westwood?

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Urth Caffe in DTLA

After the show, we walked the two blocks back to our car. There is lots of street parking, but it fills up if there’s an event, and the neighborhood remains sketchy…. so we found a parking space across from the Urth Caffe (got lucky) because it’s well lit and there’s a lot of foot traffic. Also, they have a clean restroom without a line for use before and after the event, which is a definite benefit. And we drove home without incident.

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Update 01-09-19: Found this. Thank you Trixie!

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Update 1-16-2020: Pictures of Jerry Garcia from our Blog Archives:

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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!

 

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Supper at Hash House A Go Go at The LINQ in Las Vegas

Suppertime at Hash House A Go Go at The LINQ in Las Vegas

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Hash House A Go Go at The LINQ in Las Vegas, Nevada

Just up the escalator from the casino at The LINQ hotel is a “trending” restaurant, the Hash House A Go Go, that we have heard talked about and wanted to check out. Monday afternoon we were hungry and cruising the fabulous Las Vegas Strip and decided to have an early dinner.

Hash House A Go Go has four locations in Las Vegas. They are originally from San Diego and they have single locations in Reno and a couple other states.

Celebrity autographed menus are framed and posted in the landing area/lobby/overflow waiting room at the top of the elevator, with a merchandise display and menu board. There is also a Selfie Machine that will take your pic and post it to social media for free.

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!

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Hash House A Go Go Merch Display!

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Hash House A Go Go Lobby Menu Board

Sign at the Host Desk:

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“Twisted Farm Food”
They have a very large menu. Most everything is served 24/7.
And they charge La$ Vega$ $trip Ca$ino prices.
Definitely a “tourist trap”, but the food was good.

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THE SPECIAL LAMINATED MENU: (with cocktails and souvenirs for sale)

On the Menu: Burger with 2 patties stuffed with cheese, bacon, avocado, side of crispy fries and coffee to drink. We asked for BBQ sauce (and they charged us an additional $1 – TOTAL BULLSHIT charging for condiments!).

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Our friends shared the French Toast and a fruit plate, and we took the leftovers back to the resort after dinner and some more fun. And the service was not great.

The food was good and the portions are huge! The coffee was advertised as “bottomless” but the waitress didn’t come back to refill it, so we asked for a cup of coffee “to go” before leaving.

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Apple Mimosa served in a souvenir Leg!

and then later we had Monday Night Cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Room!

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Monday Night Cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas, Nevada!

Hash House A Go Go at The LINQ – Las Vegas

Frankie’s Tiki Room – Las Vegas

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NOTE: Souvenir Hash House A Go Go mug from the LINQ in Las Vegas.
It was only an extra $3 with a cup of coffee (cheap), and it came in a box that didn’t quite fit the mug because of the way it’s slanted. The coffee was served in a regular cup along with the food. But the mug doesn’t say “Las Vegas” on it, so what’s the point?

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Bought the mug “sight unseen” from the menu. Was bummed it didn’t say Las Vegas when we unboxed it the next morning. But then what’s $3 dollars more when you’re throwing your money around in Las Vegas? BIG THANKS TO FRANK!

 



 

 

 

Dinner at Big Wong & Dessert at Milkywave in Las Vegas!

Dinner at Big Wong in Las Vegas!

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Big Wong Restaurant in Las Vegas

WHAT’S FOR DINNER?  So, it’s Wednesday night in Las Vegas and what should we eat?

Food and Wine magazine recommended Big Wong asian restaurant, also in the “Chinatown Strip” and they said you get a lot of really good food for a really good price.
Well, okay then……

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Located in the Seoul Plaza, it’s almost a “hole-in-the-wall”, with no-frills, a very spartan dining room, and pictures of the food on the walls. Low overhead means lower prices, and we did dinner for less than half the amount we spent on dinner at Lotus of Siam.

Yes, the atmosphere was rather cafeteria like, but the food was AWESOME!

On The Menu: Salt & pepper fried chicken wings with jalapeños, thin sliced rib-eye steak with potatoes and steamed rice, wor wonton soup with noodles, fried chicken over steamed rice, mango pudding, and a Dr Pepper.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
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We would definitely return to this restaurant next time.
The salt & pepper friend chicken wings were A-number one!

And then we wandered across the parking lot back to the car and decided to check out the MilkyWave shaved ice cream place (also in the Seoul Plaza).

Dessert at MilkyWave! SHAVED ICE CREAM! (not shaved ice)

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We enjoyed the “small” Choco Loco!
Chocolate ice cream, brownie bites, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce & whipped cream!
Our friends shared a vanilla-caramel-banana one too.

Yeah it was good. Would return here as well.

And then after dinner and dessert we went back to Frankie’s Tiki Room for cocktails!

Big Wong – Las Vegas, Nevada

Milkywave – Las Vegas Nevada

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Big Wong Restaurant – “The Aftermath”

 



 

Dinner at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas!

Thai Food Dinner at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas!

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And we went back to Las Vegas last week! SUPRISE!
A fast drive on Sunday night, a free room, and good friends waiting to have fun!
How could we refuse the invitation?
We stayed until Thursday, so on Tuesday night we went out for delicious Thai food at the famous Lotus of Siam restaurant.  Word has been out on this restaurant for years and we’ve always wanted to try it. The original location is being renovated, but they recently opened a second location in the “Chinatown Strip”, and we drove over for an early meal.

On The Menu: Chicken satay, mee grob noodles, shrimp pad Thai, beef panang, steamed rice, and a few tiki cocktails!

Everything was great! We were seated without having to wait. The service was good. The food was delicious and well timed. We ordered just enough and there were no leftovers. We left full and happy. Always a good way to start the night in Vegas.

NOTE: When we left every table was seated and there was a line out the door waiting to get in. So, HOT TIP Go Early if you don’t want to wait!

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The Bar at the Lotus of Siam Restaurant in Las Vegas

And then after dinner went over to The Golden Tiki for more cocktails and fun.

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“Trader Vic’s” Mai Tai at The Golden Tiki in Las Vegas

Lotus of Siam – Las Vegas, Nevada

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2019!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2019!

We are extremely grateful! Thank You!
Thank You Loyal Readers! Thank You Friends! Thank You to Our Family!
We wish you HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Turkey Day!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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“And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast”
– The Eagles’ Hotel California

We are hosting The Thanksgiving Feast again this year, as we do every year. There will soon be 15-20 people in our kitchen, living room, dining room and big den enjoying fabulous food and wonderful desserts. The last couple days have been prep for the party and early this morning we baked our (make it every year or get ready for guilt) Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake. The recipe is available in a previous Blog Post if you are interested, link below or use the Search Box at the top of the page.^^^^^scroll up^^^^^

NOTE: Our “Guest coming from the furthest place” was my sister’s good friend, who came from Stratford-upon-Avon, England this year to party with us!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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A woman was looking over the turkeys at the grocery store,
but she couldnt find one that was big enough for her family.
She asked the stockboy…”do these get any bigger?
The stockboy said “no ma’am, they’re dead.

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

 

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“EAT ME!”

 

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NFL FOOTBALL! Tradition!
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

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Last Minute Interception! Game Over! Da Bears Win 24-20!

 

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Buffalo beat Dallas 26-15

 

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New Orleans beat Atlanta 26-18

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2019!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

 

This is from last year, but it happened again!
Our food supply is not safe. (sorry to bum you out)

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And then there’s the food for Thanksgiving ….

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A Big Bird! Turkey Time 2019!

On The Menu: Turkey with gravy and 2 kinds of stuffing/dressing, garlic mashed potatoes, candied yams, corn pudding, cranberry sauce, creamed spinach, green bean casserole, roasted veggies & yams, deviled eggs, fresh baked challah bread, fruit plate,
Grandma’s cherry cheesecake, chocolate cake, apple pie & pumpkin pie with whipped cream, homemade cookies & fudge, wine, vodka, tequila, coke, egg nog, and coffee/espresso

 

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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Just Desserts!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake 2019:

 

Enjoy it.

A Quick Warning for Our Friends:
USE CAUTION! Your mental health may be severely impacted by the holidays!

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If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away!
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)
to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

We post a new Thanksgiving Blog, fun Holiday Music Playlists and Holiday Blogs every year. Use the Search Box, Side Bar or View the Archives to see our previous Blog Posts!

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TIME TO MAKE THE CHEESECAKE! GRANDMA’S CHERRY CHEESECAKE!

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

UPDATED Saturday, November 30, 2019: Leftovers Day 1

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Leftovers Day 1: Hot Turkey sandwich (open face) with stuffing and gravy on challah bread, creamed spinach, cranberry sauce, and a dill pickle

NOVEMBER 2019

NOVEMBER 2019

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“Bladerunner” The Future is NOW!

Silence is the sound
Cold night, First of November
Waiting for the Sun

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Feliz Dia de Los Muertos!

November the third,
Did you fall backwards last night?
Daylight Savings time!

FALL BACKWARD! Get an extra hour…. daylight savings sucks.

BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, California

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BBQ Dinner at the Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA

On The Menu: BBQ baby back ribs, beer battered onion rings, fried mac’n’cheese, baked beans, pickled onion, bread (& mini cornbread muffins) and butter and a coke to drink.

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Bread, mini cornbread muffins and butter

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BBQ baby back ribs, beer battered onion rings, fried mac’n’cheese, baked beans, pickled onion, bread (& mini cornbread muffins) and butter and a coke

MONDAY! Read our previous Blog Post “Someone’s Got a Case of the Mondays”

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The Boys say “Good Morning!”

They erected a new statue on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills and Ringo Starr was there for the dedication! “PEACE AND LOVE!”

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“PEACE AND LOVE!” Statue in Beverly Hills, California

And here in Los Angeles we remember the Borderline Saloon mass shooting and the Woolsey Fire that burned everything all the way to Malibu last year in November 2018.

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One Year Later – Remember The Things We Lost In The Woolsey Fire!

NOTE: Please read our previous Blog Posts about the Paramount Ranch and the fire.

We are WORLDWIDE! Here are all the places we’ve been Nov 3-7, 2019:

November 9, 2019 – (One More Saturday Night) Went to the WisDome in downtown Los Angeles for a VIP Experience “Dead in the Dome 2.0” with Melvin Seals, the Jerry Garcia Band, Steve Kimock and DJ Logic with art projections by Jerry Garcia.
Coming Soon to a Blog Post near you!

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“Dead in the Dome” 11-9-19

Veteran’s Day 2019 – We thank all those who have served their country.

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Veteran’s Day 2019! Wave That Flag!

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And it’s only the 12th…. TUESDAY! TUESDAY MORNING! TUESDAY AFTERNOON!

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“When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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“Enjoyin’ My Coffee”

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BBRRRRRRR! Arctic Blast!

“I Am The Pumpkin King!”

PUMPKIN TIME! 

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Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds

Q: Is Pumpkin a vegetable or fruit?

A pumpkin is a winter squash plant. Cucurbita pepo is the most common pumpkin.
They are round with a smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and most often they are orange.

A: Pumpkin is a FRUIT because it’s an edible seed-bearing structure of a flowering plant. Many fruits that are not sweet, like tomatoes, beans, green peppers, avocados, etc. are mistakenly called vegetables.

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Hollowed Out Pumpkin (with seeds and pulp removed)

Pumpkin, when sliced and cut, can be roasted, puréed into soup or baked into pies.
The pumpkin seeds are also edible and highly nutritious.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds!
Separate seeds from pulp using a colander and a bowl. The seeds float. Clear the pulp. Rinse seeds and pat dry (as dry as possible). Combine in a bowl with olive oil and salt.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place seeds on foil or on a sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Spice as desired. (We used curry-ginger-cayenne-salt-brown sugar on these)

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Pumpkin is high in vitamins and minerals and low in calories. It’s a great source of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that is converted into vitamin A. Pumpkin also contains the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and many others, which may protect cells against damage by free radicals. These compounds are linked to lower risks of stomach, throat, pancreas and breast cancers. Pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C, which can help boost the immune system. It is also a good source for of vitamin E, iron and folate which strengthen immunity as well. Pumpkin also has potassium, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, which have been linked to heart and other health benefits.

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“I Am The Pumpkin King!”

More Pumpkin Stuff in our Previous Blog Post> HALLOWEEN 2019
And MORE COOL STUFF from our past Halloween Blog Posts,
use the SEARCH BOX on top of page^^^^^ or check the OCTOBER ARCHIVES>>>>

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2109

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ScaryWednesday!



 

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

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

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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.

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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

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!

 

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.

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 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).

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!

 

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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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