But, before we get lost in the Bahamas, I wanted to give a shout out for the Oklahoma Tornado Victims – GOD Bless! One of my favorite country artists, Mr. Toby Keith was raised in Moore, Oklahoma where one of the worst and most deadly tornado struck this last May, 2013. Toby has once again risen to the challenge to help those less fortunate as he has in the past, putting on concerts and visiting with the good folk that serve in our military. Mr. Toby Keith has put together the “Oklahoma Twister Relief” concert with some of his great Amigos & Amiga in the Music World. This 100% donated concert proceeds will go the United Way Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund. It is affordable at $25 per reserved ticket which includes all taxes and fees and will be held at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – Home of the OK Sooners. Excited, I tried to call in to purchase 2 tickets to donate to a couple Tornado Victims; but, already sold out! I do hope some people that lost everything in that horrific storm are able to enjoy a few hours of music and fun to remove themselves from the pain for if just a little while; GOD BLess the State of OKLAHOMA & Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Sammy Hagar, John Anderson & Mel Tillis and all their Fans! What incredible and caring artists to make this affordable for Oklahomans! Toby Keith for Presidente!!!;-)
Http://www.sandals.com/main/bahamian/ba-island.cfm I love Sandals signature line: “LOVE Is All YOU Need.” “At Sandals, love is all you need, because everything else is included. Revel in some of the world's most breathtakingly romantic beachfront settings with Sandals Luxury All inclusive Caribbean vacations. Our Caribbean holidays allow you to choose from an unparalleled array of gourmet a la carte restaurants. Embrace unimaginable luxury in one of our incredibly lavish, innovative and exquisitely stylish suites. Experience for yourselves why, quite simply, Sandals' all-inclusive luxury vacations represent an unprecedented new level of supreme perfection.” There were exactly 21 (Black Jack Baby!) of us Amigas & Amigos from all over the US – Arizona, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Nevada, Tennessee, New York, Maine and including one, fun couple from Ontario, Canada. All I can say about this trip, is it was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. Unlike Jamaica, I would travel to the Bahamas again, again and again as the Bahamian locales were incredible hosts and some of the most friendly persons I’ve ever encountered while traveling. The Bahama flag is made up of three colors: Aquamarine, Gold and Black. The black equilateral triangle on the left represents the unity, strength and determination of the people of the Bahamas. The triangle is oriented toward three equal-width stripes symbolizing areas of natural resource; two aquamarine stripes at the top and bottom of the flag representing the sea and one gold stripe representing the sun. The flag was adopted on July 10, 1973 and is flown with great pride by its beautiful people. I want to thank the Bartendars at the Swim Up Bar for making every single drink for a Facebook Picture opportunity as Amigos Oklahoma Gibbo & Uncle Rico tried and finished all 18 alcohol fueled drinks on the board plus an additional three to give us the equivalent of a Libation Black Jack or the coveted 21 Drink Salute (one drink for each member of our party) of which less than 1% of all famed drinkers have ever accomplished such feat of incredible concentration and stoic destination. A word of magnificent gratitude to the bartenders at the Piano Bar for their help in making the “My Bad Tequila” & “In the Shadow of ELVIS, Perils of a Ghostwriter,” book signing at the Sandals Bahamian a fun and successful event enjoyed by visitors from many states and several different countries. Long live the Free Nation of the Bahamas.
Now we travel to the wild, wild West of Montana and Northern Idaho. First stop, Coeur d’alene, Idaho a paradise of paradises with the town built around the lake, (see past blog of June 26th, 2010 for more information on Coeur d’alene) and then onto Montana, a state with plenty of cowboy towns where cowgirls abound. Dillon, Montana has a population of about 4,300 residents with a one old rancher / retired rodeo bull rider who also lives in Cave Creek, Arizona named Brent of whom I know and by chance ran into him and two of his ol’ Amigos, Jerry and Kent of Dillon, Montana. We met at the old Hotel Metlen (in the bar), which is on the US National Register of Historic Places. It is a three story building that was one of Dillon's first hotels. Built in 1875 along the railroad tracks across from the old Dillon Depot (now home to the Beaverhead County Museum), the Hotel Metlen is still in operation today. The hotel also has the most historic bar in Montana, with the bar’s woodwork coming from the historic town of Bannack, Montana. We then wandered over to the Kupfer Club Bar which was closed; but, luck would have it that Amigo Jerry owned this museum in a bar and wanted to show me some Montana history in the way of rare saddles, photographs and a US Flag with only 48 stars that was made right after Arizona became the 48th state in 1912. There was even a photograph of my Amigo / Hero / All Around Cowboy / Saddle Bronco Champ – Mr. Larry Mahan of which both Brent and Jerry were close friends with when Larry and Brent were on the rodeo circuit together and Jerry was collecting rodeo artifacts which included rare saddles, bridles, spurs, chaps and photographs of the Wild West. The Kupfer Club Bar is for sale, is huge and has 3 studio apartments above it which are included in the sale. If you decide to buy, tell Ol’ Jerry that Rico of “My Bad Tequila” fame sent you and I’ll collect my drinks in the future.
Next major stop, Glacier National Park of which I drove from Billings, MT to Great Falls to visit some customers and then onto Glacier where I arrived at 11:20 pm on June 14th, 2013 to check in. There to greet me where half a dozen staff members as they were awaiting to see who the last guest would be to check in. Prior to my check-in, the last guest had entered the historic lodge at about 8:00 pm. I had not made reservations, just hoping for availability and not having to pay a sky rocket price. Luck would have it, I was the last guest to check in for the first hundred year anniversary. To my great surprise the East Lodge at Glacier Park was about to turn 100 years old at midnight on June 15th, 1913 in the year of our Lord, This is the day the Lodge opened to its first visitors. I didn’t know why I had the urge to keep driving at night so very late as I absolutely hate being on the highway after dark; but, there was a unseen force (traveling Vortex?) pushing me onward. As quoted by one of the Park’s manager Michelle, “How appropriate for an Author to be our esteemed last visitor of the centennial of Glacier National Park. I was upgraded to one of the suites with my own veranda overlooking the sensational mountains. I am now forever tied to the history of Glacier National Park.
After a lovely stay at the park, I make my way to see an ol’ cousin that is nine months older than I and who came from Payette, Idaho to live in the mountains of Mountain years later – Robert Shippy and his wife Dee (they are both inventors, I call Rob, my inventing cousin) spend the summers in Hungry Horse / Columbia Falls, MT about 30 miles from the West entrance of Glacier National Park where Rob works as a Guide at the House of Mystery / Vortez and Dee works in the gift shop. http://www.montanavortex.com/
A night in Kalispell and back to Spokane, Washington to catch a flight back to sunny, hot Scottsdale in time to say goodbye to Spring on June, 20th & hello to SUMMER on June 21st which is also my Jefe Grande / Oklahoma Amigo’s Dia de Cumpleanos – Gibbo, Happy Birthday with a double shot of Tres Generaciones Tequila!
James Gandolfini, who personified the New Jersey mobster in HBO's acclaimed series “The Sopranos” died today, while on vacation in Rome, most likely of a heart attack. He was scheduled to appear this week at the Taormina Film Festival. The Emmy winning actor was 51 years young and to me was similar to the Archie Bunker character on “All in the Family,” with a gun to match his bad attitude and as a modern day mobster that had been made. Carroll O’Connor and James Gandolfini were both extremely talented actors that played in long running series; “The Sopranos” ran 6 seasons – 86 episodes; “All in the Family” ran 9 seasons – 209 episodes. Both shows were iconic as were the lead actors and their characters’ wives. Archie Bunker – a lovable bigot and Tony Soprano – a lovable mobster. James Gandolfini, September 18th, 1961 – June 19th, 2013 RIP. “Those were the days.”
Now for one parting bitch about yet another protruding and intruding arm of our United States Government. No, not the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), no, not the NSA (National Security Agency) – even though they should both get dishonorable mentions; The (USPS) United States Postal Service has now turned on its citizens and a few bad apples are stealing gift cards, cash in birthday cards, anniversary cards, graduation cards and others. The reason I know is because I did not receive 2 of my birthday cards and my mother never received 10 Children’s books, “Arizona Is Where I Live” to give to tykes at her church as gifts. When I talked to a postal worker at the General Store postal location in Scottsdale, he did tell me that there have been some theft that has led to U.S. postal employees being fired. Only fired for stealing gift cards and opening mail not addressed to he or she: I thought this was a Federal Offense which was punishable by a prison term and a huge fine; but, apparently our U.S. Government does not want to bring more shame to its name and dismisses the thieving employees with a pink slip and a good luck slap on the back. Shameful that some of the government employees are picking up the bad habits of Congress and the House of Representatives. Go Figure!!!! For another good feel story to leave on a positive feeling and note, please see 2nd paragraph about Amigo Toby Keith and his musician friends giving a concert with all proceeds donated to the Oklahoma Tornado Victims. Gotta Love a real American and a World Class Citizen, Mr. TOBY KEITH!
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Saludos y Vayan con Dios,
Author, Blogger, Tequila Connoisseur, Co-Songwriter, Part-time Movie Star, CEO, Amigo & One Righteous Dude - MY BAD TEQUILA
"Have a Double Shot of Reality" TM
First Book Signing ever held at Sandals Nassau Bahamas
Maybe showing off his new Belly Button Ring - Lol; Just kidding Amigo!
Rico & Gibbo wearing Gilligan's Hat discussing Obamacare!
the bar's woodwork came from Bannock, Montana
The mannequin is holding a "Double Shot of Reality" from best seller My Bad Tequila!
First guest checked in June 15th, 1913 & Rico checked in at 11:20 pm June 14th, 2013