Chicago Maritime Fest – 2007

I had a pretty good time at the Chicago Maritime fest yesterday.  I would have liked to have stayed for the concert but with the weather turning as it was I decided not to stay.  I think I made the right choice there.   I had a good time, I really enjoyed seeing bounding main again.  I also really enjoyed the rest of the performers.  I did find it to be a bittersweet time though.  I really missed Dave all day.  It just didn’t feel right. There were so many times that I almost instinctively turned to say something to him only to realize all over again that he’s gone…  It still hurts…


Golden Bee – Night 5: Encore

(Hey, where did night 4 go? huh.. I didn’t write it up… oh well…)

Tonight was pretty dead, but there were a few of the “regulars” of the library crowd that did eventually show up. Bud was thrilled. We all played around, laughed, joked, sang, and had a good time. Marv was off tonight so I ended up spending more on beer. As things were winding down, and I was getting ready to leave I mentioned to Bud that I would ship him a Seelie CD with Skye Boat song on it. He seemed shocked. “Really? Thanks! Hey you wanna do it again now? I love that song!” I reluctantly agreed. Thankfully by this time the bar was all but empty except for the staff, and one or to local regulars, and Karla from WI. As Bud and I started the song I heard a “pssssssst” from the back and glanced back and the waitress was in the back dragging the kitchen staff out to join her in the “audience”. Karla joined me on the last two choruses (I handed off my PDA with the lyrics, as they have finally stuck in my head) When we finished we got applause form the regulars, and the staff. Way to much fun! We stood and talked to Bud for a while discussing all sorts of things, and came up with a while list of songs he wants to hear and learn. He thanked us again for all the fun this week (He’s going to AZ tomorrow with his new wife of ten days to visit his mother) and said something like, “You guys really made this a great week for me, there were some pretty bad crowds this week, but I always had one or two of you to play around with and really can’t thank you enough.”

Bud and I

One thing is for certain, I will be saving up money and coming back up here as this place is just incredible.

Golden Bee – Night 3

Well, its a really good thing I sat down and copied the full lyrics to Skye boat song to my phone. It’s an even better thing that while out walking the grounds today I sang it to myself a couple dozen times… Tonight While at the pub, in walked a Scotsman in full dress kilt. A few moments later in walked his Mother, she was accompanied by another kilted man closer to her age. They were then followed by another group all with heavy Scottish accents. During his next break, Bud pulled out a paper with a list of songs on it, turned to the guy next to me and I and said, “Heres all the Scottish songs I know, do you guys know any of them?” I scanned the list, and the only one I really had any clue on was of course Skye Boat. “Ok, good!” He then started to hum a few notes and I sang him the chorus and the 1st verse. “GREAT! How do you know that melody, I’ve NEVER met anyone else who knew that melody?!?!?!” I responded “A band named Seelie Court, check them out at, their CD’s are on CD Baby as well.” He responded, “ok great, think you can do it?” I responded, “I’ll try but no guarantees that I’m not going to cause an international incident.”

He started his next set, and then after the 3 or 4th song he turned around and said to me “Ok, we have to do Skye Boat now! You want the mic?” “uhhhh…” At that the guy next to me, Steve, said “Definitely, he’s great, give him the mic!” So, Steve took the mic and acted as a mic stand, and before I knew it I was singing to a barroom full of people. I was quite nervous to say the least… I felt my voice crackle a few times on the 1st verse but managed to force myself to relax for the rest. When I finished I got a huge applause from the group of Scottsmen, and the rest of the bar. Bud thanked me, then introduced me to the whole place. Then Steve asked me, “So did you see them?” “No… I didn’t see ANYTHING” “They were singing along, and enjoying it at least the mother and the older guy.” Later the younger guy commented that he had no idea what the lyrics to it were but that his mom was really happy.

Good god, did I just actually sing in front of an audience?

Pardon me while I go pass out from terror now.


One other fun thing,  The manager, Dave, recognized me tonight.  “Welcome back!” He then took me right in ahead of the 10 or so other people waiting in the lobby.  🙂 ]

Golden Bee – Night 2

Ahh, well another good night at the Golden Bee.   I walked in sat down and Marv immediately smiled and and asked “How are ya John? Glad to see ya back!”.  For dinner, I had a couple pints of Guinness, a shepherds pie and a salad.   After that I had a water, and another Guinness, and then Marv started in on the sampling again.  Guinness and Cider isn’t to bad.  They call it a Black Velvet.   After dinner I sat and nursed my beer in an attempt to slow down the samplings. 🙂   Soon it approached 8:30, and Bud arrived.  He prepped his piano area then went behind the bar to get some water, and a handfull of the little bee stickers they throw at people.  While getting the stickers he noticed me at the other end of the bar and yelled out “JOHN!!!”   I sorta felt like norm from Cheers for a second or two.     As he started the sing-a-long one of the other library people from my class, Micheal, made his way over next to me.   For the next 3 hours he and I sang along to just about everything Bud threw out.  We definitely had a good time.  At one point a little older lady requested “Sky Boat Song” which Bud knew, but wasn’t in the books.  He started it, and yelled out over the mic, “Come on John! Lets Hear ya!”  I did my best, but I’m a touch rusty on the lyrics.  No one else there seemed to know it at all though.   Halfway though the little lady turned to me and smiled a big bright smile though, so I guess I did ok.   I’m going to make it a point to fully memorize the lyrics tomorrow though just in case shes back tomorrow night.    On that note though, I think I’m going to go to bed.

Day 2 – A touch of snow

Today I awoke to find we had received a touch of snow overnight. There was only about 1.5 inches of accumulation. Come to think of it, it had actually started a little last night by the time I left the pub. The grounds crew for the resort quickly plowed and salted any icy areas. By noon the temperature had risen enough that it was no longer even noticeable that it had snowed. Training went well, and Tomorow is pretty much a free day for me. I’m debating what to do, but I’m sure I’ll have a good time whatever I end up doing. I leave you with this view this morning. Click the picture to check out the other shots I’ve taken this trip.

Mountain View

Son can you play me a melody…

So I just got back from the Golden Bee pub. I’ve not enjoyed myself in a pub that much in a long time. It’s smoke free, so no sinus problems tomorrow. Marv the bartender took a liking to the guy from Chicago-land, and decided that he had to taste everything on tap. I had ordered a couple of octoberfest beers and the next thing I knew, I had samples of all the local beers plus a black and tan, all on the house. Sheesh… So after finishing all that beer, Bud, the piano man showed up and started trying to lead everyone in any song he could. He had a small following at first (yes I was one of said following), but by the time I left he had a decent crowd that was partly interested. As I was putting my coat on and about to walk out, he started Wild Rover, so I came back in to sing along on that one. Scary thing when he stopped singing and just let me go… Yikes… Oh and just to go on record, people in Colorado don’t have the clap… I’ll fix that, especially if my co-hort librarians from the Irish pub last year show up… MUAHAHHHAHAH I had, way, way, way to much fun tonight. This could be a real problem if I end up in there every night. (and I probably will… It almost felt like hanging around with folks at faire)

I of course managed to scare Bud a few times by knowing words to obscure songs he was using for filler. A couple of times he turned around to me and said “No, seriously how the heck do you know that song???” I had to tell him I just picked it up somewhere… The one that really threw him was, “Yes, we have no bananas.” It turns out he is originally from Milwaukee. He also just got married last Saturday.

Pardon the disorganized ramblings but I blame part of it on Marv and his way to attentive bartending abilities… I’m not really drunk, but I can certainly tell that I’ve been drinking.
Well, that sums up the nights festivities. I’m going to bed, and hope to get more sleep than last night.

Mountains Am Be Big

I walk out of my room, make two quick turns, walk out a door and this is what I’m Greeted by.


Oh, and have I mentioned that the weather was in the 40’s today, a nice change from chicagoland’s 0 – 8 degrees.

I could get used to this treatment… I just had a knock on my door, and it was housekeeping asking if I would like turn down service. (I’ve never had turn down service, well except that last time I asked someone on a date) So she came in changed around the bedding and left me with some gourmet chocolates on my bed. I’m loving this trip. I’m now heading over to the Golden Bee pub. It’s an authentic English pub, supposedly they have nightly sing-a-longs. Sounds like fun to me.