Ten days straight of traveling with three more to go, it reconfirms I am OK with being on the road – even in Indiana. Of course I had a wonderful time in Maui with my dear friends and father during the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival weekend. Now in Muncie, Indiana, it hasn’t been too bad. On recent business trips to the mid-west, there were very long hours. This time around, it has been a bit more entertaining.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to do write-ups on all the fun we’ve had and the delicious plates that were set before us but let me share a couple of highlights.
At the Pasta La Vista dinner at the Hyatt Maui during the HFWF19, Yountville Bottega’s Chef Michael Chiarello created the most unique dish of the evening. The pasta was mozzarella and Cavaero Farms zucchini spaghettini over tomato carpaccio, Rooftop tomato onserva, balsamic caviar, basil, and crispy calabrian chili flake gremolata. Delicious, yes. But what made this dish extra amazing was a special plate hand-delivered by the Chef to my roommate who has a tomato allergy! Cheek kisses were also given to us three ladies.
In Muncie where the palm trees were replaced by corn stalks, rum drinks were replaced with breweries. Close to the Convention Center and the Courtyard by Marriott is Twin Archer Brewpup. There’s a door for the 21 and up and a door for families looking to dine accompanied with arcade games. The Blackout Stout by Great Lakes Brewing Company at 9.9% ABV was delicious. Happy to have had a beer on Untappd’s nine-year anniversary. The salad Goat & Greens salad with quinoa, walnuts, fresh goat cheese, cranberries and a maple balsamic vinaigrette was unexpectedly devoured. I may have helped my coworker attack the Nock ‘N Loaded fries with bbq pork, cheddar and slaw.
Savage’s Ale House was also a decent option in Muncie. The Chuck Berry is the Woodchuck cider mixed with Lindemans Framboise. A side salad and a BLT on Texas Toast was also a good choice. Sit at the bar or at the many wooden tables. If you are a local brewery owner or employee, be sure to add your brewery’s sticker to the light pole outside.
Muncie is definitely not Maui but if you’re up for the experience, there are definitely good options if you’re open-minded.
Greetings from the lounge chair from the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott in Dayton, Ohio. This past week has taken being One Busy Bee to a whole other level. Long days on-site is exactly what my employer is trying to avoid and it is failing miserably. I have had a couple of nights of having eight hours of sleep or more but so far it’s been non-stop. I’m not even the one that has it the worst. But costs to travel and there are always benefits once you’re conscious long enough to appreciate them. Check out what you can expect in the triangle of Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.
AirBNB is definitely a good way to save money while traveling, especially for a group. Hotel costs can add up with taxes, resort fees, parking, etc. and are normally not equipped with microwaves should you dine out and cannot finish your meal. Our group got lucky with a great property on AirBNB in Petersburg, Kentucky. It was a block away from the river, had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, wifi and AC. It was needed because it was humid. What a great property. I wish I took more photos.
A Dayton, Ohio AirBNB was a big dud. Going thru a part of town with boarded up windows on retail space, we parked in the driveway and walked up the steps with a very unstable railing to the front door. Upon entering, it smelled a bit funny. The padlocked closet next to the front door was the first of at least five doors locked. The refrigerator door had mold on the side and inside was a pizza box from a month ago. The ceiling was boarded up and stained with water damage, the dishes in the sink weren’t clean, open boxes of cereal bars were offered to us on the counter. The rooms were not what was pictured in the listing and the bathroom should not be used. Upon entering, the first tile slipped under my feet and only one of seven of the bulbs surrounding the mirror worked. How to turn off this one bulb was unknown to me. The switch could not be found. Thankfully AirBNB was very helpful and we were refunded our money. Good luck on your search.
Before this post was written, I had written two posts about food consumed in first couple of days on this trip. My first full meal was from Valle Escondido in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. One of my first meals in Dayton, Ohio was at El Toro on Miller Lane just down the street from our hotel. I had the mixed fajitas again and they didn’t disappoint. The meat was incredibly flavorful and again, it was incredibly filling.
On the slightly lighter side, check out Hairless Hare Brewery in Vandalia, Ohio, about a 12-minute drive from the hotel. I recommend getting the Pineapple Tang, a wheat beer, and the pretzels with beer cheese. The beer has an 5.3% ABV and tasty. I typically don’t like wheat beer so this one was special. The pretzels were soft and were $4 for three pieces. The cheese sauce was $1.50. Worth it. Friendly service is also nice.
So far, the only site I have come across that would be great for a private event would be Orchids at The Palm Court at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The art deco design and Great Gatsby feel made it amazing. The lit bar, high ceilings, well-dressed service staff and elevated platform housing a piano was spectacular. Three spaces are available. Read more HERE. Don’t forget, I am an Event Planner & Coordinator. Willing to travel!
With the lack of time to work on my own business over the last week, when I had a moment to relax, what do you think I did? I sat there outside Hairless Hare Brewery, a Ciderboys Hard Cider in hand and thought about the goals I have. I haven’t made any progress besides get a few blog posts up and I need to make more progress. If I had my laptop with me, I would have gotten started on trying to get more clients. I thought about going to explore more of Dayton but there wasn’t much to do that I could do at that particular hour. I packed up, enjoyed the country music on the radio on my way back to the hotel, retrieved my laptop and set up shop in front of the TV on the comfy lounge chair in the lobby. I participated in the weekly #InspiretoWander Twitter chat and interacted more on other social media channels. In true One Busy Bee form, I worked as soon as I was done with work and couldn’t stop thinking about it. It must mean I want it to be successful and can’t stop thinking about it. Thank you to those for your support.
Bites, as in a good way, as in bites of food. As I scroll through my cell phone of 10,000+ photos on my phone, I am seeing majority of the photos are of food. I have enough to share some bites in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. I hope this post helps put the East Bay on the map, entices San Francisco residents to make the trip across the Bay Bridge worthwhile and maybe to California in general. Enjoy!
THE CUPCAKE SHOPPE Located in Downtown Hayward, my first experience with this shop located next to The Turf Club and Domino’s Pizza, was for mini cupcakes to be brought to a party. I was in awe by what they had and sadly I didn’t get to enjoy any of the mini cupcakes. Recently, my roommate has brought me cupcakes from there on two occasions. I tagged her in an Instagram post and she surprised me with limited edition Chicken and Waffles cupcakes. I have been craving fried chicken since my trip to the South in August 2018.
Another time, my roommate bought two cupcakes in addition to a set she was going to bring to her staff. One was made with champagne and the other one was a margarita cupcake. I preferred the pink champagne. What girl wouldn’t?
HAWAIIAN POKE This is the spot for my roommate and I when we want poke. I have also signed up for their rewards program so I get free drinks and discounts when I come in. Today, I got a lilikoi drink for free. I don’t mind the text message offerings as they’re not sent very often. Located in San Leandro next to a 24 Hour Fitness, you order at the counter, customize your bowl and be on your way. I have had their bowls several times but recently ordered their sushiritto and it was something you can customize in terms of their sauces, not its contents. It was also strange that they added avocado to the sushiritto but told Kim and other guests that they had no avocado for their bowls. That’s a strange. But, the bowl is still very good and is quite filling.
SONS OF LIBERTY ALEHOUSE SOLA has made an appearance on my blog quite a few times. It is one of my favorite places to go for a beer and to sit outside. My roommate and I have been several times, have brought Bevo, met other locals and enjoyed their beer. On our most recent trip, I enjoyed a flight of beer, we shared the pretzel balls, Kim had the fish tacos and I had the chicken fried sandwich. Keyword: fried chicken. Sadly, I didn’t keep the photo of the sandwich but the beer options are great and the pretzel balls and sauce were hard, but good. They are only available on the weekends so we were finally able to try them. Come to watch the Warriors game or visit for fundraising event, such as one they had for Nobody’s Perfekt Dogs.
TELEFERIC BARCELONA In Walnut Creek, this is a great spot to go on a nice day. Sit inside or on the deck and see all that happens downtown. Order delicious cocktails, Spanish wine or tapas. On our way back from Napa, we avoided the rush hour traffic and stopped here to take a break. Brussel sprouts, a kale salad and cocktails were a must. If you’re like my buddy, Stan, you can request your cocktail without all the fluff. Be sure to check out their happy hour menu as well.
SLOW HAND BBQ In Martinez and after a 10K run on Mare Island, beer and BBQ is needed. With my running buddy and BBQ caterer, Nelly, we were ready to eat. I had a platter of ribs and the many sides including pimento cheese and crostinis, cole slaw and mac n cheese of course! If you ran before lunch, you will definitely be replenishing all the calories you’ve burned and more. Sit inside, watch TV or dine out to their patio. Apparently there is another location you can get your hands sticky at in Pleasant Hill, the next city over.
It seems I am drinking quite a bit more beer lately. Is that your alcoholic beverage of choice? I am currently in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and my beer-loving lady-friend, Nikki, enjoys a good beer. After a challenging arrival, we definitely we needed a beer. We headed to Baja Brewing Company at the Puerto Paraiso Plaza.
We sat outside at a table for two as the band was setting up. I was given the menu en espanol, y mi maestra was given the menu en ingles. Like my broken espanol? Nikki had the IPA and I went with the stout and it was perfect. The brewery is in San Jose, not at this location.
In terms of food, we ordered the ceviche platter with three different kinds with plantain chips and tortilla chips. Their appetizer platter came with chicken wings, guacamole, cheese quesadillas and onion rings. I loved the ceviche in coconut milk. It was just like the kokoda dish I had in Fiji. It was delicious!
Nikki, Owner of ACT Language Schools, recorded her Spanish Saturday video right next to me. See her Facebook page and get some Spanish practice in. Our first day together in Cabo San Lucas improved due to this trip. The band warming up also started playing Heaven by Los Lonely Boys, mi favorito! I was officially happy.
This One Busy Bee is still working on cleaning up her phone of over 11,000 photos. That many photos have been collected in a year and a half. To do a photo dump on the blog real quick, I am taking photos I have saved as ‘Favorites’ on my phone for some particular reason and placing them here so I can delete them. Oh, it will be so freeing! Thanks for enduring this unstructured post but full of travel.
In September 2017, three girlfriends and I had September birthdays. We went to Paris together. And we brought some friends. I invited my friend that I call Papichulo and Lisa brought her boyfriend, Branden. I believe it was the day before, Branden proposed to Lisa at the Temple of Love at Versailles. We were lucky enough to witness it. This photo was taken on our last night in Paris together but in the region of Champagne. See the wineries in the background. There are also photos of us doing yoga in dresses. Good times.
This is aboard the Oosterdam by Holland America Cruise Line. It is a bar with great view. I have worked on blog posts in this area with a glass of La Marca prosecco. I have many other posts during that cruise to the Mexican Riviera. Please check them out if you’re curios about real experiences on an HAL cruise ship.
Red Donkey is my favorite beer when I was in Santorini. Papichulo and I tried all the different beers they had to offer and this was my favorite. I liked it so much I bought a large t-shirt that I ended up turning into a muscle tan for my gym sessions. I never buy t-shirts. It must mean I realllly liked that beer.
I used to work at a law firm down the street from Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café in Emeryville, California. This is their breakfast special. I don’t believe I have been there since as they raised the price of this special and the dressing for their Asian salad changed as well. There is also a location in downtown Oakland. It’s pretty convenient when you’re partying or just finished a concert at the Paramount Theater.
At the Press Club, go downstairs from Market Street in San Francisco across from the Marriott that they call “the jukebox” and find a wine bar with a lounge-y feel. It is used as common workspace during the day and serves up great wine and bites.
During a trip to Southern California for my first Travel Agent seminar, my then soon-to-be roommate and I went to Universal Studios. I have never been and am a California native. We did the typical ride thru movie and television sets and experienced their ‘earthquake’ simulation at an underground BART platform. I was really excited to go thru The Desperate Housewives set.
On this trip, I realized that I cannot do the simulated rides. I even felt a little sick on the Despicable Me ride! It was absolutely confirmed while on the Harry Potter ride. It was a coaster and simulations. I read one book in the series and I almost didn’t make it off the ride without getting sick. I actually had to close my eyes and tell myself it was almost over multiple times. HAD I liked them, I know this would have been an awesome ride. I can see why people like it. Unfortunately, it’s just not for me.
I’ll end this post with a picture of my Papa Bear and I at the 2018 Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival. I do have the most amazing father, and not just because he lives on Maui! There are so many reasons but mainly he just accepts who I am and is actually happy that I am living life to the fullest. I love my Papa Bear.
I need to do more than just these photos but at least I can now take them off my phone and have them live on the world wide web forever!
I am again drafting this blog post from the stationary bike at the gym. I am getting warmed up for chest day and ideally 45 minutes on another cardio machine. This One Busy Bee woke up this morning seeing some progress in the mirror. My blemishes on my face is another thing. I am clearly not perfect or claim to be, but it is ok to recognize when results appear due to your hard work.
Post-workout photos I share with my fellow gym-goer to show we put the work in. They should too.
Approaching 40 and Mexico, Las Vegas and Hawaii in the near future, I felt there was a need to step it up. Things don’t tighten as quickly as they used to. Let’s see, what have I been doing differently? Well, maybe not differently. More like reminding myself and sometimes we need that.
Oh man, yes, I did enjoy those delicious fries at Quattro at the Four Season Palo Alto this week but I also had their roasted chicken, have had salads and green tea. A Vitality Bowl is also delicious and customizable. I usually have my Shredz supplements but I haven’t been taking them. I also bought a set of Elemis supplements while on the Golden Princess cruise ship but I haven’t even begun. I need to continue to eat better and make healthy choices. Buying a new car will also help you from going out and spending money on drinks with friends and coworkers, so I guess that helps too.
Yes, I have signed up for another half marathon. So much for saying, “Nope, never doing that again. That hurt.” This time will be at Disneyland Paris on my 39th birthday in September. I am doing more cardio to keep control of those heart problems and attempt to burn more calories than I take in. I still love to hit those weights and you burn more calories at a resting heart rate when your body fat is low and are muscular.
I am also starting to pick up more Wag walks (Use code Bernadette9307 for a free walk) that the weather is better. I get paid to walk people’s dogs, get some steps in and there are studies that a dog in your life has health benefits. I sure to do miss my Bevo.
I am trying to keep my usual schedule of going to the gym or for a run in the morning before work. It helps me get the day started. However, those days I have to be at work early, I have made it to the gym after work. It’s funny to check into the gym via Yelp and Foursquare in less than 12 hours. But it had to get done.
Fitness is better with friends. Though my running friends know that I don’t really talk when I have a running goal in mind, it is fun to train together some way. Whether it’s a hike, yoga or walking the streets of new cities.
Trail waking in Santa Cruz, California – March 2019
Hiking in New Zealand – March 2019
Wandering around Hobbiton, New Zealand – March 2019
Thanks for reading! I hope this post encourages you to keep going with whatever fitness goals you may have. Fitness is a lifestyle and it will have its ups and downs. Just roll with it…on a foam roller. Kill two birds with one stone.
Summer is basically here. Kids will be out of school. They will be wanting to hang out at the pool all day long. That means bikini season. Who else doesn’t feel like their body is ready? How’s your fitness game? What are you doing about it? Before you know it, you will do some sort of traveling to a warm destination, attending an event outdoors and eating the likes of funnel cakes at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or enjoying a glass of champagne in hand watching the sunset. What is your motivation?
I have just returned from the warmest days I have ever spent in Seattle, Washington. The sun was shining and tank tops bared brown shoulders. Up ahead will be Memorial Day weekend in Santa Cruz cat and house sitting, ‘research’ in Truckee and Lake Tahoe and again in Cabo San Lucas. Then Las Vegas. Short sleeves, short shorts and bikinis are required.
Where are you headed this summer? And what are you packing?
Summer weddings are very popular. Last year, Susie and Frankie, tied the knot at the Stable Cafe with an outdoor ceremony and reception in San Francisco. It turned out to be a gorgeous day. Should you wish to have your destination wedding in the city by the bay, consider September or even October when we have our Indian summer. It’s wonderful. That way, if you’re a bit behind in getting fit for the big day, you can add some time to go hard and diet. Napa is always a good idea. Or, consider Lodi for warmer temps.
What are your thoughts on a destination wedding? Are they an inconvenience or an adventure?
Summer brings so many food festivals and fairs. The San Francisco Bay Area county fairs will provide full turkey leg and deep fried just about everything. Breweries and wineries will be incredibly inviting to sit outside on their patio or beer garden in the warm, long offering of daylight. Clif Family Winery‘s Bruschetteria food truck offers amazing brussels sprouts if you can get them. Get their roasted chicken if you need your protein. Cleophus Quealy will have tator tots and participate in supporting a local nonprofit every Saturday. Drink for a good cause.
Which foodie events are you most looking forward to? Is there a summer salad that’s your favorite?
Do you have a pair of jeans deep in your closet for when you do get back down to that size? I do. My motivation to keep at trying to be fit is that jiggle I feel when I run. That was never there before and now it won’t go away! Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, as I said, summer is here and I better face the music: I can’t eat like I used to and not gain a pound. Some people are blessed with that metabolism forever. So here I am, writing this weekly post while on the stationary bike. I have managed to not gain any weight on my last two cruises but I am still at a body fat percentage not to my liking. Thank goodness for great friends. My dear friend and I are back to exchanging post work out photos no matter how ugly. And it’s nice to have someone to work out with in our travels. Get yourself a Nikki B.! Motivation won’t be lacking.
Working out at the Hotel Max in Seattle, Washington – Cinco De Mayo Weekend 2019
Stretching during April’s trail walk (not really a hike) in Santa Cruz, CA with my roommate
With Nelly before my first half marathon ever at Walt Disney World in Florida – January 2019
What are your summer body goals? What friends help you out on this endeavor? How?
Oh, Man, what a year. From our first trial trip to Los Angeles County with Bevo, my late Boston Terrier to down under in Melbourne, Australia and 15-days straight of each other on the Golden Princess, my roommate and I remain among the living. We haven’t killed each other yet. We actually have had a lot of laughs and she’s made many appearances on this blog, in case you haven’t noticed. On her first official day home, I walked into the house and Snap’d as I entered the door. “This is Kim! Everyone’s going to know Kim.” She waves to the camera. I’m glad she’s not camera shy. We celebrated many laughs by having more laughs in wine country that is the Napa Valley.
As a Blogger and in the food and wine, media and travel industry, I typically get the industry discount of complimentary tastings. Kim has grown accustomed to that. I have spoiled her and now she could never go wine tasting with anyone else. As I have goal of hitting as many California wineries as possible, I warned her that I was going to plan our Roommate Anniversary with visiting wineries where appointments are necessary and we may not get a discount. She OK’d the itinerary. On the schedule was Hyde, Saintsbury and Etude. All are wineries located in the Carneros region and was mentioned in my Napa Valley Wine Expert Certification course. All were wineries I have never been to.
It was a long weekend in terms of activity. A sexy male friend came over and made me dinner Friday night and we stayed up until 4 AM. Don’t you love it when a man feeds you? This foodie does! A slight hangover remained throughout Kim’s Susan G. Koman Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser in Fremont and a bit thru a Nobody’s Perfekt fundraiser at Cleophus Quealy Brewery in San Leandro. A nap afterwards turned out to be bed time to get ready for more drinking the next day.
We hit the road at 9 AM because it gets busy heading up to Napa thru American Canyon. Our first appointment was at 11 AM at Hyde. We arrived, drove thru the open gates to the property and the doors were locked. We waited in the car until it was closer to 11 AM. Maybe they don’t open the doors unless they have appointments. We tried the doors again when it was time. Still locked. We went back to the car to stay warm. I checked my email and realized I never send in my credit card to create the reservation. Doh! I can plan the heck out of a wedding or launch products anywhere in the country or plan a detailed travel itinerary, but when it comes to my personal life, I don’t put in the same effort. Are you the same? Oh well. Hyde will not be added to my winery log this time.
Back in the car, I thought I would wing it and run into a winery we can visit. Most we came across needed reservations. We passed Saintsbury and kept going. That was going to be stop number two. I have been to Bouchaine and ended back up at what was Liana Estates, then L.E. and now Calmere Estate Winery. I love this place. I have been there twice before. Once on a rainy birthday visit with my good friend, Nikki, and the other time via a tour I sold with my #Instafriend. Both, good times.
We walked up the barrel with a host and they asked if we had reservations. Again, reminded that I failed in making reservations! They squeezed us in with an appointment in two minutes. Technically, the space requires them and apparently it depends on the region. Oh, Carneros, why do you make it so difficult? We were given freedom to sit where we wished. I picked the love seat on the patio closest to the view and in the sun a bit. It was a bit breezy and the sun kissed our skin.
We enjoyed our time, chatted, talked things out that were on my mind, etc. Our host and I geeked over wine, beer, whisky, food and the whole industry. He ran restaurants and was burnt out. Pouring wine at a winery was a nice change of pace but like me, he also missed the rush. He asked if I would ever want to open a restaurant again. My answer remains the same, “Only if it was in Hawaii.” Of course, travel talk came about and I gave him my card.
We were having such a good time that I had to call our next winery to let them know we were going to be on our way shortly. Thankfully, they understoood. We said our goodbyes but not before we took three bottles with us. We went over to Saintsbury.
It was another outdoor tasting area under large trees and near low fences protecting gardens surrounding the circular tables equipped with menus and bread sticks. If you have the group size to sit at the 6-top closest to the vines under an orange umbrella, you’d be in luck. Friendly service, beautiful grounds and of course, non-stop conversation. We left without bottles and headed off to the next stop, Etude.
Etude was very close by and the wind started to pick up. There is plenty of parking and you get to the main entrance of the tasting room walking along the lawn and thru the outdoor patio. Inside, the counter is to your left and many high top tables for three or four are scattered around under high ceilings. The brightness of the room is not as nice as the natural light that we were enjoying but it was clean and modern. A private tasting room is also available in the back. By this time, we were feeling pretty good and getting silly. Michael, our pourer, was handling it all very well.
Getting hungry, we decided to make reservations at Charlie Palmer’s Steak downtown Napa. Parking was easy to find and the restaurant was pretty quiet for a Sunday night. Was it because everyone is having Game of Thrones viewing parties for the premiere? Warriors playoffs? I had a salad, an 8-ounce filet mignon and the potato gratin. My appetite has not recovered from the liquor-filled weekend. I didn’t put my steak away like I know I could. Kim even at more than I did!
Then we headed home. I relaxed to the premiere of the last season of Game of Thrones and called it a night. Kim and I are next headed off to Seattle and Las Vegas. Stay tuned for that.
Let me help you plan your wine country itinerary, along with hotels, possibly the Wine Train experience and more.
It happens every year. Just like I participated and recruited folks for National Walking Day and National Burrito Day, I recruited my roommate for her first National Beer Day. We had one definite brewery in mind, Fieldwork Brewing Company, in Berkeley, California and we were thinking of visiting a friend at Ghost Town Brewing Company in Oakland and then I really like Faction Brewing in Alameda. Do you think we made it to those?
We made it to three but as tentatively scheduled. We made the drive out to Berkeley on a really nice day in the East Bay. It’s been some time since I have been to Fieldwork. I do remember that they had a Coconut IPA that was very popular among customers and staff at the restaurant I once owned in San Francisco. As usual, it was a popular spot with a line to order. Many beers were available and so were snacks. If you know what you want for your flight, fill out a form before getting to the counter. Their pickled veggies aren’t crazy spicy either so consider ordering a small ramekin of that for $5. Better yet, order two. Some places get it to the point where it’s inedible.
My favorite of my flight was the 11.5% barrel aged sour ale called Mannequins with Kill Appeal. Then I liked the Blueberry Parfait sour. I was feeling a little Asian in the cheeks after that 11.5%.
Kim’s aunt, her grandson and friends joined us. We were now a party of 6 and headed off to another brewery. I requested that the next spot had food. Off to Elevation 66 we went! Hello, El Cerrito!
I got us a table, ordered their flight five of their own beers plus one called Two Beagle Brown. I normally like Kolsch beers. Fort Point has a nice one. This time, my favorite of the flight was the Esther’s Stout. While there, we had their brussel sprouts and mac and cheese with the buffalo chicken on the side because Kim, my roommate, doesn’t like anything spicy.
We weren’t ready to go home and apparently the group of new friends always head to Alameda Island Brewing Company as their last spot. We had a fun drive there with Kim’s 12-year-old cousin in tow and strapped in. My stomach was getting a little upset by then and I barely touched my Island Haze IPA. We had fun playing board and card games.
I think we did a good job in getting some beer in on National Beer Day. Probably so well that I forgot to check in my beers at Elevation 66 via Untappd!
Cheers, Beer Lovers! And to the East Bay breweries.
This One Busy Bee has only seen her favorite band, Los Lonely Boys, once this year. That is absurd as back in 2008, I saw them 14 times! But life as an entrepreneur requires some sacrifices. Perhaps the next time they’re in Hawaii, I’ll go.
I took the day off from work to go up to Petaluma, California on a rainy day. Unfortunately, I was the only one to represent the SF Bay Area group of La Onda Street Steam but was happy to have my dear friend, recent Bride and fellow entrepreneur, Nikki, join me. She is bilingual and has started a school teaching Spanish. This concert was perfect for her as LLB and the opening act from Oakland, Bang Data, sing in both English and Spanish. It’s always a good time with her.
I started my day with dropping off a trunk full of donations to Goodwill. The gents that helped lighten my load behind the building were super friendly. Just a couple miles down, I was downtown Petaluma and was looking to explore and work using a local restaurant’s wi-fi.
I got prime parking right outside the Mystic Theatre. It’s not uncommon to have my license plate ‘LNLYBYS’ in plain view of the marquee on the venue that says ‘Los Lonely Boys.’ I searched Yelp for a local spot with free wi-fi and decided to go to Red Brick (now closed as of a Yelp review I found on 6/6/19). They also had happy hour, live music at night and right on the river. I had a margarita for $5 (normally $10), a scotch egg and their chicken wings while I drafted blog posts. I was there for a couple of hours and the staff didn’t mind me occupying a couple of bar seats and using their power outlet.
Nikki said she was on her way so I met her at McNear’s Saloon which was right next to the venue. Again, grabbed a seat at the bar and waited for mi amiga bonita to arrive. With a shorter do’ since the wedding just over a month ago, we both ordered a beer and went with their pizza cookie dessert with ice cream. Friendly service, a good selection of beer, they have a big menu, it seems like a great spot for locals to go as many people seemed to have known each other but the cookie was a little disappointing.
What wasn’t disappointing was the awesome sound and music coming from next door by the opening act, Bang Data. I made my way to the front of the venue as there’s no place like front row. This band had so much energy and had a great sound. The lead singer, Deuce Eclipse, was awesome. He sang covers, performed “Amor Califas” taking in rap legends sound with some latin and island grooves that I thought was really cool and unique. Rapping in Spanish was also great. If only my Spanish was better! Nonetheless, I was glad I didn’t miss this act entirely. Nikki liked it so much she went live on Facebook and posted a video as well where the band re-shared it. Very cool! After the concert, we took a photo with Deuce Eclipse. He was very appreciative of our kind words. Funny, he was also at the wedding I worked the following weekend. What a cool guy.
Then it was time for the Boys to come out. I was excited. It’s been so long! For as long as I’ve known Nikki, she is finally going to see what I love about this band so much. Besides the lady next to us rockin’ out and wildly shaking her poofy hair that made you keep your distance or the weird guy behind me just being awkward, it was an amazing night. A perfect reason to stay indoors.
The Boys played the following song and opened a song by Credence. Don’t hate me. I didn’t know what it was. Another song was sung that I didn’t know. At first, I excitedly thought, “OOOOHHH, a new song!” No, just a cover I didn’t know.
Cover Staying With me Cisco Kid Don’t Walk Away Blame it on Love Give a Little More So Sensual Never Met a Woman Nobody Else Crazy Dream Cover Oye Mamacita Heaven
It’s been a tough week for me so I really needed this. I have such a good time when I’m seeing my Boys play live. Jojo saw me and smiled, Ringo from afar on the drums also spotted me and Henry handed me a pic as soon he saw the kangaroo-like jumping fan and recognized it was me. Henry is usually in the zone when he plays and has his eyes closed.
After performing Heaven, their Grammy-winning and concert-closing tune, the Boys took their bows. I met Jojo’s eyes again and reached up my arms requesting a hug with some puppy dog eyes. He smiled and made his way to the front around some speakers to give me a hug. Love these guys so much! After 12 or so years following them, they know their loyal fans. I’m honored to be loved as I love them. It made my day, week even!
Another hug I received was from one of “The Joeys.” It was actually my friend, Johnny, who I met while waiting in line at the Fillmore in San Francisco for another Los Lonely Boys show. He and his buddy travel all over for concerts and they call themselves The Joeys. I’ve seen them a few times at shows and they nickname me Josephine, as a fellow concert-goer.
Heaven and Nikki & I
I Never Met a Woman
Wait, there were more hugs! At the merch table, Shawn was working! Shawn is the Boys’ nephew and he is a daddy now with two adorable boys. It’s crazy how time flies. I remember watching the Boys play with him as a kid and watching him grow up over the years – wandering the streets of Hollywood Boulevard together, talking about him playing sports in high school while in San Diego and seeing him play the bongos on stage with his uncles at multiple concerts. He also has or works as a Barber. Forgive me, I forget if he’s an Owner. But good for him!
It was a great night, even despite being at a standstill on 580 in Oakland after a downpour of heavy rain. I was able to spend time with people I love and not really work. I look forward to their next concert at Cache Creek Casino on Friday, February 15, 2019. Join us! You won’t regret it! They’re amazing.