Work and play

Yesterday Ty and I took off around 9:30 to head to Kahului for my meeting with my distributor and then to hook up with my buddy Jeff at Bounty Music. I’ve known Jeffrey for about 40 years and he’s one of the best guitar players anywhere. On the way we picked up an old Martin acoustic from Dr. Corenman that needs the neck reset. Jeff is also one of the best guitar techs around.

We made it to the distributor around 11 and my meeting lasted a bit over an hour. It was a really good meeting as I accomplished everything I wanted. Then we headed to the music store to see Jeff. We dropped Dr. C’s guitar and a box of wine for Mick Fleetwood. Then it was time to get serious for Mr. Ty. You see he’s been playing guitar in music class (and has an A) and wanted an electric guitar instead of continuing to play my acoustic. Jeff is about the only guy I know anywhere that I trust to pick out the right guitar. So Ty played around for a while with Jeff’s help and ended up getting a Fender Strat that Jeff said is a great one. We also snatched the coolest little amplifier that we can carry back on the plane. Jeff said Steven Tyler freaked over it and bought a couple and that he just used it recording an album the day before in the studio. It was also only $300 after a big discount. We left the guitar as Jeff was restringing it and setting it up for Ty. We’ll grab it this afternoon.

By the time we made it back to the villa it was about 2. We grabbed Lori and Jag and headed to the grocery store. Then we were back by 3 and the boys went swimming until 5 when we headed out to our favorite restaurant, Star Noodle. We were so hungry we ate in about 45 minutes.

Today we’ll try to catch some sun in between the clouds. Lori is a little (or a lot) burned though from sitting out yesterday. We might head down the island a bit too, we’ll see. That’s it for today, take care and GB.

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And traffic……

Yesterday afternoon we jumped in our car to head down to Dr. C’s house. About 5 minutes down the road, the traffic stopped. An hour and 15 minutes later we had traveled about 2 miles maximum. Finally we turned around and headed back into Lahaina. We called Dr. C and told him we just couldn’t get there. We think there must have been an accident or road closure as this was unusually bad, even for Lahaina. We know they were disappointed we couldn’t make it but we had to drop some wine at Frieda’s at 7:30 where we were having dinner. We’re not sure if we’ll be able to connect with them or not in the next 4 or 5 days.

It was cloudy but still 80 degrees which is a lot better than back home as Tom is keeping us updated on the weather. I guess it’s all cold and snow. Today I have a meeting with our distributor and then will stop by my to see my life long buddy Jeffrey to drop some wine that he’s giving to Mick Fleetwood for me. He plays with Mick and is going to get some of our wines in Fleetwoods, which is a popular restaurant.

Lori and I are sitting on our balcony right now having some coffee. It looks like the sun is trying to peek through the clouds over the mountains which is a good sign. Guess I’ll run and get another coffee. Hope everyone is well, take care and GB.

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Yesterday it was overcast but we still hit the beach for most of the day. You can, and I did, get sun though the clouds. The news today is saying winter weather watch which sounds strange for Hawaii as when we hear this, we think of snow! There’s also flash flooding warnings but not where we are.

After spending the day on the beach and in the ocean, Lori and I drove down island to meet one of our sales reps and pick up some wine samples. We then stopped at Francesca’s and dropped some Rose and picked up some key lime and  coconut creme pies at Leoda’s across the street from their house which arguably has he best pies on the island. They were virtually unknown until some show like Top Chef featured them on tv. We then headed back to grab the boys and head out for dinner.

We were all tired and home a bit after 8 and went to bed early. It’s 6 am now and the boys are still sleeping. Lori and I are headed to the gym and then for a walk. That’s it for the day, Aloha and God Bless.

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Fun, sun and a great dinner

Well, we were up and moving early with us packed and out of our room a bit before 10 am. Then it was off to Lahaina for haircuts for the boys. After a little shopping we headed back and were poolside by noon. The next 3 hours were spent in the sun and the ocean until our new room was finally ready. Then it was time to unpack, again, and get ready for dinner.

We left at 6 for our friends house which was about 20 minutes away. Upon arriving Marcella, who is in Jag’s class, had to drive a 4 wheeler to the gate to let us in. As I said yesterday, we knew the house would be over the top. It was contemporary with an island theme such as vintage surf boards hanging all over. The pool had a huge black rock with a waterfall dumping in to it that all the kids spent hours jumping off of. Our friends from Vail, the Franks, showed up about 15 minutes after us. James was cooking a ton of meat on this custom stone bbq like they have in Argentina. The next 4 hours were spent having lots of fun.

During the evening Francesca was telling us a story about the weather or something a few weeks ago that seemed like an earthquake or something. She said that she heard a big boom outside and thought it was a quake and that the windows were sort of waving in and out. They looked out at the pool though and all was calm. She couldn’t figure it out but had earlier said how their neighbor Chris had recently lost his wife. She then said this event happened right after the service for her. In a weird way she thought this might have something to do with her spirit and she opened the door and all of a sudden the whole thing stopped like her spirit was set free. We all thought this was strange but she couldn’t explain it. She went on saying how great Chris was as a neighbor and how he might come over. A few minutes later Chris walked through the trees to join us. As soon as I saw him, I instantly knew who he was and connected on the whole story as I remember reading about it last year. Chris is Chris Berman from ESPN! Most of you don’t know him, and nobody but me did at dinner meaning the Franks or Lori didn’t, but Chris is the Godfather of modern sports broadcasting. His most famous line was “he could go all the way”! Anyhow we hit it off and he hung out for a couple hours with us enjoying the evening. At one point Marty (Franks) asked Chris, “so what do you do”? and in his famous voice Chris said, “well they do have this thing called cable nowadays” to which James and I laughed but still, no one got it as they didn’t know who he was. Anyhow, super nice guy who worked hard, finally retired and then 2 weeks later, lost his wife, so sad.

Meanwhile, the girls (Lori, Francesca and Melanie Franks) who had been drinking macadamia nut liquor on top of their wine, took off in the 4 wheeler to go see the giant frogs. We could hear them giggling and laughing (the girls, not the frogs) finding giant frogs and chasing them and holding them up on the grass in front of the house by the beach. It was really funny. James and I, who don’t drink, were really getting a kick out of it as you do when you see someone a bit tipsy and you’re not. We have a video and if we can figure out how to post it tomorrow, we’ll put it up.

Anyhow, it’s 6 am and I just finished my 5 am conference call. Lori and the boys are still sleeping and today will be filled with sun and fun. Tommy texted a picture of snow and cold back home so we’re thankful to be here. Hope everyone is well, more later, GB.

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Finally around 4:40 in the afternoon, we touched down at Kahalui Airport on Maui. It was a direct flight and not too bad but still 7 hours plus. We grabbed our bags and headed straight to our rental car and then to Costco which is right near the airport. As soon as we walked in, we ran into our friend Francesca from Vail. They have a home here and Jag goes to school with her daughter and played basketball with her son. Their dad is a buddy of mine and the lead singer of Metallica and we’d been texting while he was in Europe about getting together this week so we knew they’d be here this week but had no idea we’d run into her at Costco! We’re going to a bbq at their house this afternoon. I’m sure their home is spectacular.

We arrived at our villa around 7. When we made it up to our room, it really wasn’t “ocean view” as we had booked, so Lori took matters into her own hands. Needless to say, they’re moving us today to a villa with a much better view. My how far she’s come, ha! We’re in a one bedroom as that’s all they had available but we might get upgraded to a two bedroom if one becomes available as I’m a Gold guy or something. They did give us all kind of perks when we arrived due to our status. The room is huge with the bathroom being almost as big as a bedroom itself. We bought an airbed at Costco for the boys so they didn’t have to use the sleeper sofa. We have a washer and dryer, and a large kitchen just like in any home.

It’s 5:30 in the morning now and the boys are sleeping so Lori and I will go to the gym and take a walk around the property. Jag did really well for flying so much in the last 3 days. I figured it out and he flew about 15,000 miles in 72 hours which is a little more than 60% of the way around the World. (24,000 divided by 15,000 for you math guys)

Today we’ll (at least Lori and I) run some errands and get packed to move rooms while the boys hit the pool or ocean. The boys do need haircuts today so we’ll see how the day goes. I’m sure we’ll get in some sun somewhere but we also have the bbq this evening. It’s like 80 degrees here which is a big change from snowy and cold Denver yesterday. I guess it’s even colder today. Time to get moving, have a great day, GB.

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Back in the U.S.

We made it to Denver around 6 pm last night and checked into our hotel. About 3 hours later we picked up Jagger as he and the group landed at 8:50. All of us and the other parents were excited to see their kids who have been gone for ten days arrive home safely from China. We headed back to our hotel by the airport and decompressed for a bit before hitting the hay. Jag was craving some American food so he had a big cheese pizza. He brought Ty a cool Adidas jacket which we think he slept in! I’m sure we’ll learn more about the trip today on our flight.

It snowed last night here and is still drizzling snow outside and looks cold. I have a call at 8 and then one at 9. I think we’ll head over to the airport in between calls and set up shop in the United Club. Our flight is at 11:30 to Hawaii so we’ll have to hang out for a bit.

It’s 7 now so time to go. Have a great week and we’ll talk to you tomorrow from sunny Hawaii, whoo hoo! God Bless.

Oh and by the way, the rescheduled wine dinner had to be cancelled again! Looks like the Chef and Lorenzo will fly out this summer and we’ll try it again!

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Mother Nature’s still in charge

Yesterday started out well. We dropped Ty at the mountain around 7:45 to meet his buddies and spend the day boarding on the hill. Lori and I then sprinted down to Denver where she had her hair colored and is now ready for Hawaii. Around 12:15, with the car gassed up and lunch to go in the car, we headed home to get ready for the big dinner. All day long we had heard about the wind and it was quite windy driving back up to Vail. About half way up I said to Lori that I hope they don’t cancel the dinner due to the wind. Once we hit the tunnel, I noticed the ski lifts at Loveland Pass were running fine and they were going to the top of the Continental Divide so we then relaxed.

We were really looking forward to the dinner all day as dishes from Chef Bocuse were going to be amazing. About 15 minutes from home though, my phone buzzed and there it was, a text from our friend who runs the restaurant saying the dinner had been cancelled due to extreme weather! I knew this was going to happen! The winds were too strong for the gondola’s to run, so the ski patrol and operations people shut them down. What a bummer.

For the next few hours I texted with Brooks (who runs the restaurants) trying to find out what they were going to do. Finally around 6 we decided to drive over to Keystone to drop some wines we had as they decided to reschedule the dinner for tonight. I don’t know how they’re going to do this as they had been cooking all day and who knows if people can make it a day later. Some people flew in for this dinner. Anyhow Lorenzo, Jen, Lori and I drove over and met him and one of his workers, and I dropped some wine. Unfortunately we (Lorenzo or I) cannot make it tonight, so we educated Brooks on what to say. He was so apologetic as Lorenzo flew out here for this. We told him don’t worry about us, and that we were sorry for him. In the end, it’s all good but we didn’t get to eat the great meal!

We drove back to Vail and the town was packed. We snuck in the backdoor to La Bottega and managed to get four seats at the bar. My long time friend Steve who owns the place was telling us about when he ate at Bocuse’s restaurant in France about 5 years ago. Steve and Liz (his wife) own the place and Steve’s the chef. All places were jam packed due to the holiday weekend but we had a great meal including beef carpaccio, orange glazed duck, linguine with clams and more. We finally finished a little after 9 and took Lorenzo and Jen back to their hotel. This morning they’re on the shuttle to Denver at 10.

Jag right now is somewhere over the Pacific Ocean and will land in Los Angeles around noon. They then have a 6 hour layover (ugh) before catching their flight to Denver where they’ll arrive around 9 pm. We’ll drive down late this afternoon and check into the Marriott by the airport and then go pick him up when he lands. He’s had a remarkable trip but is excited to get home. Here’s the latest post from him. He’s so grown up and this trip seems to have been life changing. Check this out,

Navigating Buddhist Temples, by Jagger Fugate

We started the day early as we rose at 5:30 am to find our Nai Nai (Grandmother) already making us breakfast. She was making us a delicious soup with egg and chopped up bits of sausage. After slamming down as much as humanly possible, we headed to the Retreat center to get a formal understanding of what we would be doing for the day. The plan was to walk to the Temple, and to have everyone walk two minutes apart, in order to have a walk in complete silence. One we arrived at the Temple, we started to do a reflection of our Spiritual and Religious Beliefs while we waited for the sun to rise and the Temple to open.

Once we passed through the Temple we had made the group decision to hike up to the Giant Alter surrounded by Prayer Flags. As we had begun to hike, I had decided to make myself the leader. We continued to walk with no issue until people had begun to get weary and uneasy of the path that I had led them on. Garrett had suggested that we should go straight down, and some people wanted something new, so they waited for him to try it. As he began to descend, he almost immediately slipped, and at that point, people were again following me. During our hike, I used the time to think about why exactly I was in China on this trip, including some of the bigger questions, such as what is ultimate purpose of me existing and living. I kept this in my mind as I hiked for the rest of the day. Once we finally arrived at the Alter, everyone was very relived and began to take in the scenery. After, we began to descend back down. We found a road that led to a path that we continued to take, and while on it we found flags with some characters that we recognized. After some guessing the LaoShi’s, (Teachers) told us that we had actually found apart of what used to be the Silk Road, yet another happy surprise of our trip.

After returning we began to talk about what exactly it was that Buddhist Monks believed in. We talked about the cycle of reincarnation and how to escape it, and what keeps you in it; which seemed very relevant to what I was thinking about earlier. They told us how it was Ignorance, Desire, and Hatred; all three linked; and that all three would prevent you from escaping. I applied this to my thoughts about my purpose as I thought about how I could avoid these things and find what I so desired. Ultimately I had reached my own conclusion and realized that listening to others, focusing on experiences, and letting things go would help me find what I want, happiness. To do this I would need to take an uncomfortable step forward in order to help expand my knowledge and understanding, and know that it is MY choice to be happy, and realize that I can and want to make this choice.

Pretty profound for a 16 year old kid. Lori and I wish we would have discovered some of the things Jagger has at such a young age. Jennifer said he’s like a Renaissance Man as he’s so wise for his years. Anyhow, we ‘re just thrilled he’s coming home today as Lori, Ty and I all miss him and he really misses us. It’ll be great to have us all together again.

By the way, have you noticed in all pictures, all the kids have their coats and hats on? There’s little to no heat anywhere in these towns and villages and hot water is also hard to come by unless you boil it! A different way of living for sure. Funny some of the things we take for granted like heat, grocery stores, hot water, electricity, and more. The majority of the World does not have the luxuries we do! Have a great day and God Bless.

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No time to waste

5:15 am, coffee, check, blog, check, laundry, check. This morning we need to leave by 7:30 to drop Ty at the mountain and then head to Denver for Lori’s appointment to get her hair colored. Can’t have her going to the islands as a brunette!

We should be done sometime around noon and then will rush up the hill to get ready for our wine dinner at 7 pm. We need to leave around 4:15 to get Lorenzo and Jen and then drive to Keystone before taking not one, but two gondolas up to the restaurant which is perched at 11,000 feet. The dinner is a tribute to the famous French Chef Paul Bocuse. He died January 20th at the age of 91 and was the most important chef in the World in the post war era. Based in Lyon France, he had a 3 Michelin Star restaurant for decades and was awarded the top medal in France as a cultural ambassador to the Country. The chef tonight, from the famed French Laundry in California, is recreating his famous dishes which we are pairing the wines with. For example, the soup was one he made for the French President and is made up of truffles, mushrooms and foie gras and sold for 106 Euros a bowl. There’s more but it’s an extensive menu that I’m sure will be great. Lori and I will eat selectively and skip the wine but the dinner is all sold out at $200 a person. Should be fun.

If I have it figured right, Jag should be on a plane sometime this afternoon starting to make his way home. He has 3 planes to take before he’ll land in Denver tomorrow evening. We were driving down early tomorrow to take Lorenzo and Jen to the airport for their 4 pm flight but now they’ll take a shuttle so we don’t have to leave so early. This really helps as we haven’t even thought about packing!

Time to get moving. Have a great day and a month from today is St. Patrick’s Day! God Bless. Here’s some more on Chef.

Paul Bocuse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paul Bocuse
Paul Bocuse2.jpg

Bocuse in Stavanger 2008
Born 11 February 1926
Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, France
Died 20 January 2018 (aged 91)
Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, France
Culinary career
Cooking style Nouvelle cuisine

Paul Bocuse (pronounced [pɔl bokyz]; 11 February 1926 – 20 January 2018)[1] was a French chef based in Lyon who was known for the high quality of his restaurants and his innovative approaches to cuisine.

A student of Eugénie Brazier, he was one of the most prominent chefs associated with the nouvelle cuisine, which is less opulent and calorific than the traditional cuisine classique, and stresses the importance of fresh ingredients of the highest quality. Paul Bocuse claimed that Henri Gault first used the term, nouvelle cuisine, to describe food prepared by Bocuse and other top chefs for the maiden flight of the Concorde airliner in 1969.[2]

Contributions to French gastronomy[edit]

Bocuse made many contributions to French gastronomy both directly and indirectly,[3] because he had numerous students, many of whom have become notable chefs themselves. One of his students was Austrian Eckart Witzigmann, one of four Chefs of the Century and chef at the first German restaurant to receive three Michelin stars.[4]Since 1987, the Bocuse d’Or has been regarded as the most prestigious award for chefs in the world (at least when French food is considered), and is sometimes seen as the unofficial world championship for chefs. Bocuse received numerous awards throughout his career, including the medal of Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur.[3]

The Culinary Institute of America honoured Bocuse in their Leadership Awards Gala on 30 March 2011. He received the “Chef of the Century” award.[5] In July 2012 the Culinary Institute of America announced in the New York Times that they would change the name of their Escoffier Restaurant to the Bocuse Restaurant, after a year-long renovation.[6]

In 1975, he created soupe aux truffes (truffle soup) for a presidential dinner at the Élysée Palace. Since then, the soup has been served in Bocuse’s restaurant near Lyon as Soupe V.G.E., VGE being the initials of former president of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.[7]


Le Nord, one of Bocuse’s chain of brasseries in central Lyon

L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, Bocuse’s main restaurant in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, the place of both his birth and death

Bocuse’s main restaurant, l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, is a luxury establishment near Lyon, which has been serving a traditional menu for decades.[3] It is one of only 27 restaurants in France to receive a three-star rating in 2017 by the Michelin Guide.[8] He also operated a chain of brasseries in Lyon, named Le Nordl’EstLe Sud and l’Ouest, each of which specialize in a different aspect of French cuisine.[9]

Paul Bocuse’s son, Jérôme, manages the “Les Chefs de France” restaurant which the elder Bocuse co-founded with Roger Verge and Gaston Lenôtre and is located inside the French pavilion at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT.[10][11]

Bocuse was considered an ambassador of modern French cuisine.[12] He was honoured in 1961 with the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France.[13] He had been apprenticed to Fernand Point, a master of classic French cuisine. Bocuse dedicated his first book to him.[9]

Institute Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance[edit]

In 2004 the Institut Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance was created.[14] In 2014 the Alliance brought together students of 14 nationalities for a course in Lyon school and university.[14]


Bocuse died of Parkinson’s disease on 20 January 2018 in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or; in the same room above his restaurant, L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, in which he was born in 1926.[15][16] He was 91.


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Yesterday in the morning, it started to snow. At first we had only an inch or so, but then it kicked in. Once it started, (mid morning), it pretty much snowed all day and night. It’s a nice light powder perfect for skiing. While I’m in Denver today, Lorenzo will be skiing with my close friend Rik.

We all met up for lunch yesterday and Lorenzo was thinking about going so Rik said he’d pick him up this morning. We’re glad he gets to go. For dinner we went to La Tour and had a great meal. It’s one of our favorite French restaurants that has been around forever.

Jag is probably making his way back to Kunming as tomorrow (it’s 9:15 pm there now), he’ll be getting on a flight to make his way home. I think they’ll leave about noon on Saturday to get here by Sunday night.

I’m off to Denver this morning to get our defective windshield replaced. I then have a 10 am and a noon meeting. I hope to be back up by 3. That’s it, have a great day and GB.

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All good

Lorenzo and Jen landed on time and after stopping by Tom and Ali’s, we headed up the hill. I dropped them at their hotel and they rested for a few hours before we all headed out to sushi for dinner. We were done early, around 8, and dropped them back at their hotel as they needed a good nights sleep.

Jag is doing well, we miss him and he misses us! Here’s some more from his trip.

A few images of our group, riding the sleeper train overnight from Kunming to Lijiang. Exploring the Chinese New Year Markets in Lijiang. Taking time to reflect on the Yak board and sipping tea in Lijiang. Hiking out to Jixiang, and arriving at South Cloud retreat center.

Here are some more pictures of Jag, playing basketball with monks at the monastery, doing yoga and Olivia meditating, WOW! Have a great day and God Bless and prayers out to the family’s in the Florida school shooting.

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