Showing posts from January, 2015

Beach Boys Still California Dreamin’ Decades Later

My first career in journalism began as a teenage entertainment reporter. I probably appreciate more now the things I got to do and see than I did as a kid at the time.  Even though I was young, I was enthusiastic and not only worked as an editor of the Post Pioneer, but I managed to get myself a gig as an editor for the short-lived New York’s Nightlife Magazine. One of my assignments was to cover a Beach Boys concert at the Nassau Coliseum (for those not familiar with Long Island, you probably know it as where the Islanders play hockey). My photographer, Joe, and I had front row seats and press passes. While we were getting set up, a gentleman came over to me and said, “I’ve got a great story for you. Come with me backstage.” That man was Bruce Johnston. He had recently started playing with the Beach Boys and was interested in getting me to write about his joining the group. Along with Bruce, I met Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love, and Al Jardine. They were

Enjoying Big Cedar Lodge

It was the last day of the Missouri road trip for my friend Jaimee and me. We were determined to make the most of it and Big Cedar Lodge provided us with plenty of opportunities. I woke up to sunshine and started my day with a bit of yoga as I enjoyed the scenery. The first order of the day was breakfast at Truman Coffee and Café near the main lodge. The café was filled with people trying to decide what to get among the scrumptious offerings. I made the right choice in the Cinnamon Muffin with scrambled eggs on the side for some protein. Jaimee went for the breakfast bagel with egg, ham, and cheese, and we both got our caffeine jolts with lattes.We ate out on the deck while we admired the views.  After breakfast we headed up to the Top of the Rock Welcome Center. We were both excited to pick up our golf carts there to take the Lost Canyon Cave Nature Trail. I have to say, I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be an incredible journey that I’ll defi

Arriving at the Top of the Rock

My friend Jaimee and I were back in the car to continue our Missouri road trip. Our next stop was at Big Cedar Lodge , just past Branson in Ridgedale. The drive was just over two hours and quite scenic, but not quite as amazing as the property Big Cedar Lodge was on.  We were amazed by the scenes of hills and lakes, wildlife and forestry. Our cabin wasn’t ready yet so we first went to the Devil’s Pool Restaurant for lunch. It too had a view to remember. The meal was also memorable as I had soup and a pizza with Italian sausage and roasted grape tomatoes and Jamie head a turkey club sandwich. We had our leftovers with us as we crossed the covered bridge and headed to our cabin. We were put up in the Tony Stewart log cabin at Big Cedar Lodge . It was quite spacious, with two bedrooms, a large living room with a big stone fireplace, and a fully stocked kitchen. The lodge provided us with a nice basket of snacks and some wine. The only thing about the

Exploring Lake of the Ozarks

I started the day at Country Club Hotel and Spa in Lake of the Ozarks the best way possible, with a morning massage. My friend Jaimee and I had plenty of time to relax in our spacious junior suites before heading out for our first appointment. We had lunch and cocktails on the water at Dog Days (look for my story in the spring issue of Midwest Living ). We had a free afternoon for exploring the Lake of the Ozarks area and we took advantage of the time. We drove down to the Bagnell Dam Strip. Along with the typical souvenir shops and tourist restaurants, from here you can also take cruises out to view the dam and the Ozarks by water. We made a brief stop at the Osage beach Premium Outlets, the largest center of its kind in Missouri. We picked up a few bargains and then stopped at Randy’s Frozen Custard across the road. Frozen custard is one of my biggest weaknesses and this place did not disappoint. Their famous Turtle Concrete was amazing! We went