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August, 2012:

On the Road: Partying with Parrotheads in Utah

I spent last weekend hanging out with the Wasatch Mountain Parrothead Club in the Salt Lake City area. And I had an incredibly good time.

I’d been hired to play for their summer party, along with a local duo called Marmalade Chill. They played a lot of cover songs exceedingly well, with two-part harmony and good guitar work.

My outbound flight ran about an hour late. This was a good thing, as I was somewhat less than fully-organized and needed the extra hour at home (thank you, Southwest, for the phone notification before I left for the airport!) to get everything done, including a couple of press kits into the mail and my Day Job stuff to a good finishing point.

I always arrive early at the airport, because one never knows how long the security lines will take. As my gate was right across from the Gordon Biersch micropub, I stopped in there for a Marzen and some garlic fries. Tasty!

Picture of The view from Gordon Biersch, at Oakland Airport

The view from Gordon Biersch, at Oakland Airport

Well, they finally let me on the plane, we left the gate, and off we flew! I was looking out the left side hoping to see the America’s Cup races going on, but apparently they were done for the day by the time we took off.

Upon arrival, I was whisked away by Kathleen to the home of my friends Mike and Rene, who were also going to be hosting the party. Several other WMPHC folks were there, having helped set up the stage and various other stuff. We then hung out until it was time to get a token amount of sleep so that we would be ready to party the next day.

Morning dawned with a few unexpected sprinkles. This worried us a bit, as a downpour would make it a bit harder to have a big outdoor party. But the storms went around us all day, so we were good. I even made myself useful, hanging lights and such:

Picture of me hanging lights

“Just a little to the left…”

The place looked wonderful, as we awaited the arrival of a bunch of fun people:

Picture of the party yard

Popcorn beneath the willows 


picture of the stage
My “office.”

We had a good bunch of people there, as the day wore on into night. I played about three hours’ worth of music, with Marmalade Chill taking a few hours in the middle. After the raffle prizes were given out, some folks wandered off, but we ended up with a hard core of partiers who stayed right to the very end, and even demanded a couple of encores! 🙂

Here’s a shot of me from the middle of the day, taken by my friend Sharron Lukens:

Picture of me performing

“Good afternoon everybody!”

Alas, all good things do come to an end, and eventually we all crashed. The following morning dawned bright and sunny, and I got a couple of good pictures of the Wasatch Mountains on my way back to the airport. Here’s one of them:

Picture of the Wasatch Mountains from SLC

A beautiful morning in Utah

My flight home was reasonably uneventful. I had the pleasant surprise of running into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in about six or seven years, and we spent the flight home getting caught up. That was enjoyable. And I got home early enough to get a few things done around the house!

Thanks again to the fine folks of the WMPHC for inviting me out to their party, and to Mike & Rene for their incredible and comfortable hospitality! Thanks also to everyone who bought raffle tickets, bought jewelry, or just made donations to Buffalo Blessings, our charity. We raised quite a bit of money for them!

Partying with a purpose. That’s how we roll.






Booze Reviews: Parrot Bay Frozen Strawberry Daquiri

I’m starting to see more of these pre-mixed, freeze-your-own, single-serving drink concoctions in the marketplace. I may previously have mentioned the Shark Attack frozen margarita pops – I know I did on Facebook. I can’t say I much cared for that one; they apparently used a fairly cheap tequila and the flavor was a bit on the nasty side. It *did* work well as “ice” for a properly-made margarita, when I squeezed it out into a glass and added my own ingredients.

(While you’re reading this, to get you in the mood, try my song “Margarita Monday.” If you like it, consider buying the album. End of commercial plug. 🙂 )

On a recent trip to BevMo, I noticed some packages by a company called Parrot Bay. They had several options – pina colada, mango daquiri, strawberry daquiri. I decided to sample the strawberry daquiri, as it’s the flavor I was most likely to enjoy from that list.

It comes at room temperature as liquid in a sealed pouch:

picture of Parrot Bay strawberry daquiri package.

It says to freeze for six hours and then consume. Well, I left it in the freezer for a couple of days before I got around to trying it.  Even after squishing it up in the package, it still came out with the consistency of semi-solid sherbet rather than a frozen drink:

Picture of the Parrot Bay daquiri in a glass

As you can see, it was pretty chunky. Not one to be daunted by this, I got a spoon and figured I’d eat it like sherbet, at least until it melted partway. Which it did, over the course of consuming it. In small bites, to avoid the dreaded Brain Freeze.

My opinion: It was flavorful, but not excitingly so. It definitely had a strawberry flavor, but not a fresh strawberry flavor. You would never mistake it for the type where you blended your own frozen strawberries with rum.

The package said it was 5% alcohol – about the same as beer – and a “malt beverage.” Which kind of makes it like the frozen version of something like Bacardi Silver. If it had been a bit less frozen, I might have tried adding a bit of real rum to it, just to see what the result was.

On a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 7. Sort of like kissing your sister, if your sister was okay-looking, treated you well, and didn’t have bad breath. You’re still better off making your own if you can, but if you’re going out on a picnic and don’t have room for the gas-powered blender, this isn’t a horrible option.