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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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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?”

 

Happy Chinese New Year 2017!

恭喜發財! Happy Chinese New Year 2017! 新年好呀!新年好呀!

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“May all your wishes be fulfilled”

THE YEAR OF THE RED FIRE ROOSTER! 祝贺大家新年好!
(or Chicken, referring to barnyard fowl of either sex)

Roosters have these five virtues:
Literary skills, military prowess, courage, benevolence and trustworthiness

Roosters have these personality traits:
They are observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, talented and
trustworthy with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work

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Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year 2017!

The Spring Festival begins on Saturday, January 28 at midnight.
The first day is for welcoming the deities of the heavens and earth.
It is tradition to light fireworks and firecrackers, burn bamboo sticks
and make as much noise as possible to chase off evil spirits.

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FIREWORKS! GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!

NOTE: The lunar year of the Rooster starts on January 28th.
The “Start of Spring” is February 3rd according to the Chinese solar calendar.

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The first day is also a time to honor family elders and visit the oldest and most senior members of the extended families (parents, grandparents and great-grandparents).

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For Buddhists the first day is also the birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva, the Buddha-to-be. They also abstain from killing animals and meat consumption on the first day.

People walk under a Chinese Lantern display during a Chinese New Year eve celebration at Chinatown in Manila

People walk under a Chinese Lantern display during New Year’s Eve celebration in Chinatown Manila, Philippines  February 18, 2015 (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)

“May you realize all your ambitions”

According to ancient Chinese superstition, lighting fires and using knives is considered bad luck on New Year’s Day, so all food is usually cooked beforehand. It is also considered bad luck to use a broom during the New Year’s celebration.

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FIREWORKS! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

Usually the best way to avoid bad luck is to wear red, but because the fire element for 2017 is RED, do not use red in your clothes and accessories! Red colored stones like ruby, garnet and pink topaz should also be avoided. Instead, use colors that complement red and the fire element. Earth colored items (browns or yellows) are most suitable. Purple and lavender colors will also be lucky. Amethyst and topaz will bring luck and success.

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Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

NOTE: There are 13 lunar months instead of 12, and 384 days in 2017. To keep the Chinese lunar calendar within half a month of the traditional solar calendar, there’s a leap month (a second lunar month 6 starting July 23rd) in The Year of the Rooster.

The Chinese Zodiac:

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The Chinese zodiac is a recurring 12-year cycle. Each year is represented by one of 12 animals. Sorry Roosters, those in their birth-sign year will supposedly have bad luck.

NOTE: You will need to work hard and be patient to achieve your goals this year! Maintain a positive frame of mind. Meditation will help keep you calm and serene.

“May your happiness be without limit”

祝贺大家新年好! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL! 恭喜發財!

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The San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade is the oldest and largest celebration outside of Asia, and the largest Asian cultural event in North America. Over 100 groups participate in the annual Chinese New Year Parade held since 1958. It is attended by ~500,000 people and watched by another 3 million television viewers.

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fireworks

FIREWORKS! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!

fudao

The inverted character fu is a sign of coming blessings



PARTY AT GROUND ZERO!

PARTY AT GROUND ZERO!
written by Angelo Moore, Kendall Jones and John Norwood Fisher of Fishbone in 1985

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FISHBONE!

Fishbone! “Party At Ground Zero” music video directed by Henry Selick in 1985:

And Fishbone “Party At Ground Zero” LIVE at Fenders Ballroom, Long Beach, CA in 1987:

The song is about “Dancing around Armageddon” and having a good time without worry or concern….

Party at ground zero – A “B” movie starring you
And the world will turn to flowing – Pink vapor stew!
Johnny, go get your gun, for the commies are in our hemisphere today
Ivan, go fly your MIG, for the Yankee imperialists have come to play
Johnny goes to Sally’s house to kiss her goodbye
But Daddy says to spend the night
They make love ’till the early morning light
For tomorrow Johnny goes to fight
Johnny, Ivan, Ian, everybody come along for our nations need new heroes
Time to sing a new war song
[CHORUS]
Please do not fear ’cause Fishbone is here to say (say what?)
Just have a good time the stop sign is far away
The toilet has flushed and green lights are a ghost
And drop drills will be extinct
Speedracer cloud has come
They know not what they’ve done
Sin has just won
The planet is a crumb…
[CHORUS]

The term “Ground Zero” is generally used to mean the point directly above or below the earth’s surface closest to the detonation when a nuclear explosion takes place. The term is also used to mark the point of the most severe damage or destruction.

Inauguration Day has taken place on January 20 every year following a presidential election since 1937. Trump is scheduled to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017 around noon on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol. The president-elect and vice president-elect will both take the Oath of Office, followed by the inaugural address and the presidential procession and inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

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The United States Capitol in Washington D.C.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
– The Oath of Office of the President of the United States (as mandated by the United States Constitution in Article II, Section One, Clause 8)

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More than 50 House Democrats are planning to boycott the inauguration in Washington D.C. after Trump’s divisive campaign, and most recently his twitter attack this week on civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis (after he called Trump’s victory illegitimate due to Russian interference in the election). And 200,000+ people are also expected in the city the day after for the Women’s March on Washington to protest Trump’s election.

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Trump is scheduled to be sworn in on January 20, 2017

Our Thoughts on Trump’s Inauguration:

The President of the United States is the head of state and head of government elected by the citizens (well, actually the Electoral College) of the United States of America to a four year term of office. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces the most expensive military (with the second largest nuclear arsenal) in the world.

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TELL THE USA TO DUMP TRUMP!
RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”
http://www.facebook.com/usadumptrump

NOTE: During the Cold War, a snack bar that used to be located in the open space in the center of the Pentagon was nicknamed “Cafe Ground Zero, the deadliest hot dog stand in the world.” Soviet satellites saw groups of military officers entering and exiting the hot dog stand at about the same time every day. They concluded that the stand was the entrance to an underground bunker.

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The Pentagon – Arlington, Virginia

“Rumor has it that during the Cold War the Russians never had any less than two missiles aimed at this hot dog stand. They thought this was the Pentagon’s most top secret meeting room, and the entire Pentagon was a large fortress built around this hot dog stand. They thought the officers were going to get their top secret briefings in a protected area, but really they were just going to get lunch” – Brett Eaton, an information and communications officer for Washington Headquarters Services

Cafe Ground Zero was torn down in 2006 and a new building was built in its place. The Pentagon was declared a national historic landmark in 1992 and the courtyard is one of five historically protected features of the building. The hot dog stand was replaced by a modern building of roughly the same size and exactly the same shape.

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Cafe Ground Zero at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia (torn down in 2006)

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The New Building: The Center Courtyard Cafe at the Pentagon (opened in 2008)

Construction of the Pentagon was completed in approximately 16 months at a total cost of $83 million. Ground was broken September 11, 1941 and the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943. The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

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Designed by American architect George Bergstrom (1876–1955), the building is 77 ft tall, and each of the five sides of the building is 921 ft long  with a five-acre central plaza. It has five floors above ground and two basement levels. One of the world’s largest office buildings, the total square footage is about 6,500,000 square feet. More than half, 3,700,000 square feet is office space. The concentric rings are designated “A” through “E” from the center out with additional “F” and “G” rings in the basement. “E” Ring offices have the outside view and are generally occupied by senior officials. Supposedly, it’s possible for a person to walk between any two points in the Pentagon in less than seven minutes.

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The Pentagon After 9/11

On September 11, 2001, exactly 60 years after the building’s construction began, American Airlines Flight Flight 77 (from Washington Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport) was hijacked and deliberately flown into the west side of the Pentagon at 9:37am, killing 189 people according to the official report. 59 civilians and 5 terrorists on the airplane were killed, as were 70 civilians and 55 military personnel in the building. The damaged sections of the Pentagon were rebuilt in 2002 and the occupants moved back in August. The Americas Heroes Memorial and a chapel opened in 2002 and is located where Flight 77 crashed into the building. The Memorial is open seven days a week, year-round and is the only place at the Pentagon where photography is permitted.

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The American Flag on the Pentagon for the 6th Anniversary of 9/11

After the attack on 9-11, the destroyed World Trade Center’s 15 acre site in New York City became known as “Ground Zero” and is now the new The World Trade Center and the National September 11th Memorial and Museum.

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“Ground Zero” after 9-11 at the World Trade Center in New York City

 

Views from the WTC in 1994:

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Manhattan from the World Trade Center – New York City 1994

New York City - View from the top of the World Trade Center (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

New York City – View from the top of the World Trade Center 

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - New York, New York (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – New York and New Jersey

 

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September 11, 2001 – NEVER FORGET!

 

ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER

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One World Trade Center (aka “Freedom Tower”) – New York City

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National September 11th Memorial – New York City

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September 11, 2001

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Armageddon as it is written in the Book of Revelation (the last book of the Bible’s New Testament) is the prophesied location of the gathering of armies for a final battle during the end times. According to the Book of Revelation, the purpose of this gathering of kings in the “place called Armageddon” is “for the war of the great day of G-d, the Almighty.” Also called the “Revelation to John” or the “Apocalypse” it is interpreted as either a literal or a symbolic location. The term is also used to refer to any “end of the world” scenario and the climax of the ongoing struggle between good and evil.

NOTE: In religion and theology, a revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity.

Tell me who’s that writin’? John the Revelator
Tell me who’s that writin’? John the Revelator
Who’s that writin’? John the Revelator…wrote the book of the seven seals!
– ” John The Revelator” by Son House

Sam Moore as Reverend Morris at the Revival Meeting in the film “Blues Brothers 2000”:

 

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USA! The United States of America!

 

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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’!

 


 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 from JoshWillTravel!

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Goodbye 2016! Hello 2017!

We wish you the Best of Everything in the coming New Year!
Good Health, Happiness, Good Fortune and Prosperity for You in 2017!

SATURDAY NIGHT! DECEMBER 31st, 2016 – NEW YEAR’S EVE!

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ARE YOU READY FREDDY?

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LET’S CELEBRATE! LET’S PARTY!
GET DOWN, GET FUNKY! ROCK AND ROLL!

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Happy New Year!

Some Past Memories (and pics) of New Year’s Eve:

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

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

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Champagne: a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France following rules that demand secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation, specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from Champagne and specific pressing regimes unique to the region. The term Champagne is used as a generic term for sparkling wine, but in many countries it’s illegal to label any wine Champagne unless it comes from the Champagne region and is produced under the special rules of the Champagne winemaking community (under the auspices of the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne – CIVC).

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!

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Sunday, January 1st, 2017 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Monday, January 2nd, 2017 – New Year’s Day (Observed) Federal Holiday

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses! – Beautiful Pasadena, California

“In New York, people are buried in the snow.
Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear.
Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.”
~Professor Charles F. Holder, 1890

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The 128th Annual Tournament of Roses Rose Parade 2017

The parade has never been held on Sunday. Local tradition has it that “the Tournament has a deal with G-d; we’ll never hold the parade on a Sunday, and He’ll never let it rain on the Rose Parade.” According to the Tournament of Roses Association this “Never on Sunday” policy was instituted in 1893 in order “to avoid frightening horses tethered outside local churches and thus interfering with worship services.”  The Rose Bowl Game and other bowl games usually held on January 1st are also never held on Sunday to avoid competing with the NFL.

The 128th Tournament of Roses Rose Parade “Echoes of Success”

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A US Air Force B-2 “Spirit Flyover” from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri!

44 floats, 19 equestrian units with ~400 horses, and 22 marching bands!

And these beautiful restored cars will be used in the 2017 Rose Parade to drive the Grand Marshals, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Inductees and special guests down Colorado Blvd:

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

A BLAST FROM THE PAST!

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Valley Hunt Club – Tournament of Roses – January 2nd, 1893.

Members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club first staged the Rose Parade on January 1, 1890. Watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators on the parade route down Colorado Blvd, it is broadcast on multiple television networks in the United States and seen by millions more on television worldwide in more than 100 international territories and countries! It is produced by the nonprofit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association established in 1895. The Valley Hunt Club still enters a flower-decorated carriage in the parade.

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Colorado Street (now Boulevard) near Fair Oaks Ave 1890. Carlton Hotel is center-right

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1890 Colorado Street (later Boulevard) looking east from Fair Oaks. San Gabriel Valley Bank on right (S/E corner). A streetlight hangs over the middle of the intersection.

NOTE: Colorado Street was renamed Boulevard through Old Town Pasadena from Arroyo Parkway to Orange Grove Boulevard in 1958.

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Rose Parade – Colorado Street (later Boulevard) – Pasadena, California 1925

The Italian Renaissance-style mansion of William Wrigley Jr. (of Wrigley’s chewing gum) was offered to the city of Pasadena after Mrs. Wrigley’s death in 1958, under the condition that the home would be the Rose Parade’s permanent headquarters. Tournament House is now the name of the home office where the organization is headquartered.

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Tournament House – Pasadena, California

The 2017 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshals
Greg Louganis, Allyson Felix and Janet Evans
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The 99th Rose Queen and the 2017 Royal Court
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Miracle-Gro will have 4 former Rose Queens on their float in the 2017 Rose Parade!
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The 103rd Rose Bowl! (2pm on ESPN)

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The Rose Bowl football game was added in 1902 to help fund the cost of staging the parade. Originally titled the “Tournament East-West football game,” it is considered the first Rose Bowl. The next game wasn’t played until 1916 and they have been played every year since then. The Rose Bowl Stadium was built for the 1923 game.

University of Southern California Trojans

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Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California

UPDATED JANUARY 6, 2017: USC won the game 52-49, in a see-saw battle, with the winning field goal coming at the very end of the fourth quarter!

NOTE (if you’re going to the game):
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NOTE: NEW LAWS IN CALIFORNIA!

Even though it’s already illegal to hold a phone and talk or text while driving, Starting January 1, 2017 motorists cannot hold their phone for any reason! Phones must be mounted on the windshield or dashboard and “hands-free” functions (one-touch) will still be allowed as long as conditions are safe for use.

Senate Bill No. 880 & Proposition 63 = Stricter Gun Control Laws in California!
The new laws include expansion of the assault weapons ban, background checks for bullet buyers at the point of sale, adds new felony charges for stealing firearms, broadens a ban on large capacity magazines (over ten rounds) and requires all felons to surrender their guns effective January 1, 2017.

California approved Proposition 64 to legalize “recreational” adult use of marijuana!
Even though there is still Federal Prohibition and marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 Drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency, as of November 9, 2016, the State of California made it legal for any adult 21 years or older to:

    •  Possess, transport, obtain or give away to other adults 21 or older no more than one ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.

•  Cultivate up to six plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by these plants.  All plants and harvest in excess of one ounce must be kept in a locked space not in public view at one’s residence.  Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but must allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is “fully enclosed and secure.”

• Medical marijuana patients keep their existing rights under Prop 215 to possess and cultivate as much as they need for personal medical use so long as they have a doctor’s recommendation, regardless of the Prop 64 limits for adult users. Beware though that local governments may still restrict cultivation via nuisance ordinances (except for the six indoor plant minimum allowed for personal use).

•  Retail sales for adult use will not begin until licensed stores are in operation after Jan 1, 2018.  In the meantime, Prop 215 patients with a doctor’s recommendation can continue to purchase at medical collectives and dispensaries.

•  Tax Tip for 215 Patients:  Patients who have a state medical marijuana ID card will be exempt from the state sales tax immediately, according to the State Board of Equalization.  If you spend more than $100 per month on medicine, it should pay you to get a state ID card.  State ID cards are available from county health departments;  under Prop 64 the card fees are capped  at $100 ($50 for Medi-Cal patients).

Prior offenders:  If you have been convicted for a marijuana felony or other offense that has been downgraded by Prop 64, you may petition the court to have your record changed to what it would be if Prop 64 had been in effect!

NOTE: Visit the California NORML website for all the details > http://www.canorml.org/news/what_will_be_legal_and_what_wont_after_Prop_64

And in 2017, salons and barber shops will legally be allowed to serve complimentary alcohol! The measure legalizes a practice already commonplace at many salons.

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Baby New Year 2017

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CHEERS! Here’s to a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR in 2017!

http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

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Historical Photos and Early Views of Pasadena > http://waterandpower.org/museum/Early_Views_of_Pasadena_(Page_1).html

NOTE: 2017 has been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 from JoshWillTravel! (MMXVII A.D.)


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HAPPY NEW YEAR BABY 2017!

 


#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
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Dinner in the Backroom at Mozza Osteria in Hollywood!

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Wines, Single Malt Scotch and Tequila from Thanksgiving 2016

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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!

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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