Blogography Logo
spacer

   

Bullet Sunday 169

Posted on Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Dave!It' Bullet SUPER BOWL Sunday! Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints... the football team of one of my favorite cities on earth!

   
• Rock! While I was goofing around in Seattle with The Bombshell, The Ninja, and The Bombja, we wandered by The Hard Rock Cafe Seattle where the Rock Shop is now open (the cafe Grand Opening is on Wednesday). The property is expectedly, but disappointingly, decorated in the new "hipster lounge" style that all the new Hard Rocks get. From what I can see, the memorabilia is somewhat sparse and lacking focus... I didn't even see anything above the bar. So while everything is "official" it sure doesn't feel like a "real" Hard Rock Cafe. Though it does have a Guitar out front, so I guess that's something...

Hard Rock Cafe Seattle Guitar

I'm going to try and visit in a couple weeks. After waiting for decades, it's strange to finally have a "local" Hard Rock Cafe (if you can call a 2-1/2 hour drive "local"). This will be my 125th Hard Rock property visit. Every time I add a new one to my list, I can't help but wonder how many more I have in me.

   
• Gum! Seattle's Famous Gum Wall is a scary work of disease-ridden art that shouldn't be missed. My favorite part this time around was a cool Hawaiian flag...

Hawaiian Flag on Seattle's Gum Wall

If I could somehow convince myself that sticking my fingers into chewed gum is a good idea, I'd be tempted to add something of my own.

   
• Snicker! The Mars Company had a flash of sheer genius when they decided to use the amazing Betty White in their new Snickers commercial...

Betty White plays Football

Now I want a Snickers bar. I hope Betty doesn't start doing ads for National Cattlemen's Beef Association... I'm really happy being a vegetarian.

   
And now I suppose I should probably cut this short and try to get some sleep.

   

125

Posted on Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Dave!This afternoon I hit Hard Rock property number 125 when I visited the new cafe in Seattle.

The best Hard Rocks take a classic older building and transform it into something new. In this respect, Seattle's cafe is beautiful, with warm woods, original brick, and exposed pipes. Unfortunately, it followed in the footsteps of the new cafes in Yankee Stadium, Dallas, and the Las Vegas Strip, in that the memorabilia is pretty scarce. Unlike the older properties where the walls are packed with artifacts from all aspects of music history, the new-style restaurants have much fewer scattered pieces sprinkled amongst a bunch of photos and video screens. The good news is that they do relate to Seattle's unique music history pretty well, featuring items from Hendrix, Heart, Mother Love Bone, Nirvana, and more.

Hard Rock Cafe Seattle

Hard Rock Cafe Seattle

Something new that I haven't seen before at any Hard Rock is their "call-in" number, where you can dial a local phone number, punch in code that's been tagged on a piece of memorabilia, and get more information about it. It's pretty sweet, and something I hope gets rolled out to other properties in the chain.

Despite my misgivings about the new design direction for the Hard Rock chain, the Seattle cafe is actually pretty nice. The location is perfect (just a block from the Pike Place Market), the staff is fantastic (a lot of experienced transfers from other properties), and the building is spacious (two levels with a stage at the upper bar).

Overall I'd say it's worth the two-decade-wait to finally have a "local" cafe in the Emerald City.

Here's hoping it will stick around for a good long while.

   

Day Four: Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest

Posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Dave!This morning The DutchBitch dropped me off at Schiphol so I could continue onward with the my vacation. That I ended up flying off to Bucharest so I could work is honestly not her fault, but that's basically what I did. This being a Monday, it was pretty much unavoidable. But I made up for it by having an early dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest, so all was not lost.

The local Hard Rock is located north of downtown proper in Herastrau Park. As Spring has arrived, the park is just starting to green up, and a fair number of people were taking advantage of the sunshine to wander around the lakeside. After making my way past a small amusement park, I arrived in front of one of the most boring Hard Rock Cafes I've ever seen. I can't say for certain, but it looks as though it might have once been a US embassy. Strip away the wooden arches at the entrance, and it's pretty much just a giant cement brick. It really needs a giant guitar on top or something...

Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest Exterior
The car in the entryway is a nice touch.

The perimeter of the deck has a concrete wall around it like a penitentiary. All that's missing is electrified razor-wire at the top...

Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest Exterior
YOU CANNOT ESCAPE FROM HARD ROCK CAFE!

To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

Until I went inside...

Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest Interior
Those are clear drum kits with lights in them in the ceiling above the bar, and are really cool-looking in person.

Turns out it's a beautiful property done up in classic "Hard Rock Style" with plenty of memorabilia plastered over every available surface... just as God intended a Hard Rock to be. The interior of the property is positively massive, and is able to hold 300 people (the deck outside can hold an additional 150)...

Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest Interior
The hidden lighting in the ceiling is just beautiful.

Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest Interior
Memorabilia everywhere... now THIS is a Hard Rock!

Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest Interior
Facing the deck-side of the building.

So while it may be boring on the outside, it's 100% Hard Rock on the inside... which is where it counts, I guess. They even have a stage for live music...

Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest Interior Stage
Disco ball included.

My dinner, as expected, was very good. Getting a waiter was a little slow, but I arrived before the actual dinner shift when they were getting everything set up, so that was perfectly understandable. Service was fine after that, and the staff was really nice and friendly, which made my visit all the better.

So... if you happen to be in Bucharest, it's worth taking a quick trip north to Herastrau and a very impressive Hard Rock Cafe.

   
And, in non-Hard Rock news, Betty White continues her domination of all media by making a brilliant appearance on Ellen today...

Just when I think it's impossible for me to love Betty White even more that I do, she goes and proves me wrong. I can't wait for SNL in May!

   
And now I suppose I should get some work done so I can see a bit of the city tomorrow.

   

Day Six: Bucharest to Prague

Posted on Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Dave!My flight out of Bucharest wasn't until 3:00, so I decided to hire a driver into town and visit the National Museum of Art of Romania. They are famous for their medieval art, which is great, but I've seen so much medieval art that it's all kind of blending together for me. What I was really interested in was their modern art wing, because I'm not very familiar with many Romanian painters in the genre. I wasn't expecting much, but it would give me something to do until my flight.

The traffic in central Bucharest was brutal, largely because of a teacher's strike going on. At first I was worried that I had made a mistake...

Teacher's Strike in Bucharest

Until I made it to the museum and was completely blown away by the amazing works housed within.

I have been to a lot of art museums all over the world, and I can honestly say that the National Museum of Art of Romania instantly became one of my favorites. Not just because it's a nice museum (which it is) but because I absolutely love the collection of artists they've assembled. It's just one breathtaking work of art after another...

National Museum of Art of Romania

I am not joking when I say that this museum is worth a trip to Bucharest all by itself. It's just that impressive. Highest possible recommendation...

National Museum of Art of Romania

My flight into Prague was delayed a bit, which meant I landed at the height of rush hour. The route my driver had to take into town to try and avoid the worst of the traffic was a mind-boggling array of twists and turns that looked like a pretzel on my iPhone GPS map. By the time I arrived and caught a tram into Old Town, the sun had just set.

Not that I'm complaining, because you get some great photos at that time of day...

Prague at Night

Prague at Night

Prague at Night

I have been trying to arrange a stop in Prague for the better part of two decades, because people are constantly telling me what an beautiful city it is. Having seen photos, I knew they weren't lying, but it's taken to an entirely new level when you're here in person. The city is simply beyond beautiful. It's so beautiful that if I were a local, I'd wear a T-shirt that said "YES, WE KNOW OUR CITY IS FUCKING BEAUTIFUL... WE LIVE HERE!" because I'm sure they get tourists telling them how beautiful the place is all day long.

I can't wait to go to sleep so I can wake up and explore Prague in the daylight.

But of course I had to visit the Hard Rock Cafe Prague first...

Hard Rock Cafe Prague at Night

Like just about everything else in this city, it was beautiful.

   

09/20: ROCK

Posted on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Dave!Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "rock."

And it's kind of strange exactly how many ways that this word can be interpreted for a photo meme like this. It's music. It's a stone. It's a motion. It's an assault of the senses. It's a lot of things.

But the first thing that came to mind was when @CopaseticBeth and @HoustonsProblem were nice enough to take me to Stone Mountain, which happens to be the biggest rock on earth. It's indescribably massively huge... and yet most of it is buried, so you're not even seeing all of it. As you look down from the cable car, people are like ants on the thing...

Stone Mountain View

Stone Mountain People Ants

   
What probably should be first in my mind is the Hard Rock Cafe, seeing as how I've been to 128 of them around the world...

Dave Hard Rock Cafe Visits

   
In other news... something which doesn't rock today would be Wonder Woman's new costume. Writer Michael J. Straczynski apparently desired a tougher more modern look, and wanted to address fan outrage over Princess Diana not having pockets. So what do we get? Wonder Woman as a biker chick, complete with retro 80's mini jacket, throat choker, and latex pants. It's apparently a more feminist approach to the character's look, but I'd argue that with her tits hanging out of that jacket and all those prominent ass shots, it's a giant step backwards for woman-super-hero-kind...

New Wonder Woman Costume

New Wonder Woman Costume

New Wonder Woman Costume

New Wonder Woman Costume

Wonder Woman is one of the most powerful heroes in the DC Comics Universe. She's a frickin' AMAZON WARRIOR! She's the equivalent of Marvel Comics' Thor, for heaven sakes. She is not a biker chick! Want to make her tougher? Just add armor and big-ass weapons to the iconic costume she already wears, like George Pérez did...

Wonder Woman Armor

And then there's that giant battle-axe she carries. Would you fuck with somebody who was packing THIS...?

Wonder Woman Axe

It doesn't get much tougher than that!

I admit that I am interested in what Straczynski has planned for the character, but don't feel the costume is that great. It's neither memorable nor iconic... and is a complete disservice to Wonder Woman's roots as an American hero. George Pérez did a masterful job of reinventing Princess Diana of Themyscira back in the 80's, but this time it smells of desperation, looking kind of cheap and sad... like she's wearing Black Canary's 80's era hand-me-downs or something.

Oh well. Something tells me it will not last...

   

DAY TWO: Hollywood

Posted on Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Dave!I got to the airport two hours early this morning because I wanted to have breakfast. Thanks to two screw-ups at the check-in counter* and outrageous waits at airport security**, I made it to the gate just as they started boarding. I didn't get to even so much as sniff breakfast, and ended up raiding the snack basket on the plane. If you can call Sun-Chips, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and a Twix bar breakfast, then I guess I had breakfast after all.

The flight from Seattle to Salt Lake City was fine. Pleasant even. But the flight from SLC to San Diego had such a dense concentration of self-important assholes in First Class that it never seemed to end. I will never, ever, get over the self-entitlement so many First Class passengers have... especially since 90% of them are getting their First Class seat as a FREE UPGRADE. They are not the least bit grateful for the nicer food, personal service, and extra legroom they got AT NO EXTRA CHARGE, all they do is make demands, be rude to the flight attendants, and bitch about everything. It is horrible and embarrassing, and I don't know how people working the flight can stand it... except it's their job and they have to.

Anyway...

A couple days ago I heard that the new Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood*** had finally opened up. This was important news, because it meant a quick drive up from San Diego would allow me to check another property off my list, putting my Hard Rock Total at 129. Never mind that I only had two hours of sleep and was near exhaustion... nothing brightens up your day and fills you with energy more than battling L.A. traffic for hours on end!

Other than a truck accident that halted traffic entirely on I-5 near Norwalk, and the usual gridlock on the 101 into Hollywood, the drive up wasn't bad at all. 2-1/2 hours, as expected. The Hard Rock Hollywood is one of the "new-style" (i.e. "boring") cafes with entirely too little rock memorabilia and waaayyy too much blank wall space, which sucks. But the staff was great... AND I got to have dinner with Amanda, which was awesome!

Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood

The drive BACK, however, was horrendous. I waited to leave until 6:30, hoping most of the southbound traffic would be over by then. For reasons I can't fathom, it still took me 3-1/2 hours to get back to San Diego. That's better than the 3 hours 52 minutes Google Maps was predicting, but still. Argh. Driving in SoCal is an exercise in patience and futility. When I was working here over a decade ago, I adapted to the rhythm and flow of SoCal traffic fairly easily. Mostly because you have to. If you don't, you go insane. Today I just can't adapt anymore. Even when you see funny-crazy-cool stuff on the road that only seems to happen in L.A. — IT'S DOMO-KUN!!!

It's Domo!

One thing that never seems to change in SoCal driving is the speed. I love how I'll be cruising down the highway in a pack of cars, then run across some people driving too slow, forcing everybody to deaccellerate. That's when I start screaming "OH, COME ON!!!" and get all pissed off because traffic is slow, only to look down at the speedometer and see that the "slow" I'm now going is 80 miles per hour. It's bizarre how I seem to lose all sense of speed in SoCal... except when I'm forced to slow down.

Now I suppose I really should get some sleep. But first it's time to update my travel map (for people who asked, the greyed-out States are States I haven't been to yet)...

DaveTour USA 2010

Tomorrow... Comic Con...

   
   
* NOTE TO AIRLINES... The whole point of a digital boarding pass is that there's no paper involved. Making your customers print out a paper boarding pass defeats the entire purpose, and is beyond stupid. If you're not going to deal with digital boarding passes... STOP OFFERING THEM!! Especially if you are going to make your customers stand in line twice to get something they shouldn't need in the first place.

** I am super serial here... any wait longer than 30 minutes to clear airport security is complete and total FAIL! Any wait over an hour is categorically absurd, and somebody needs to get fired.

*** The Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood is actually the new Hard Rock Cafe Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard... not to be confused with the long-since-closed Hard Rock Cafe Los Angeles in Beverly Hills or the still-open Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood in Universal City or the hotel and cafe in Hollywood, Florida. Yes. being a Hard Rock fan is not always easy.

   

DAY SEVEN: Tulsa

Posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Dave!Whee! I'm in Oklahoma!

In my effort to keep up with any new US & Canada Hard Rock properties as they open, I'm here to visit the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on my way back to Seattle. It's pretty much a raging disappointment, but that's probably my own fault for hanging on to Hard Rock memories of yesteryear instead of the reality of Hard Rock today.

All in all, a pretty crappy day to be me...

  • A direct flight to Tulsa from Atlanta was outrageously expensive. So I connected through Salt Lake City and ended up flying three times the distance in four times the duration at one-fifth the cost. I give up on the math that makes all that work.
  • Ended up sitting on the Atlanta tarmac for 40 minutes while they decided if our plane was safe to fly in the face of "mechanical difficulties." Apparently it was, so we did, and ended up landing only 10 minutes late. That would have been a good thing, except it caused a backlog with the luggage and it took forever to get my suitcase.
  • I was the first to leave the plane and arrive to a closed door. Nobody was outside, no sign on the door said not to open it, so I walked through... and had an alarm go off. The gate agent was infuriated and yelled "AAAAAAGGGGHHHH!" at me, then slammed the door while calling it in as a false alarm. Like it's my fault that he didn't do his job and open the door for an arriving flight. Well fuck you. Fuck you sideways. Helpful customer service tip... when you fuck up, APOLOGIZE to your customer and be mad at yourself, not them, for YOUR screw-up.
  • I went to pick up my rental car and was told that I had been "upgraded" to a full-size vehicle. Well, here's the scoop... if I had wanted a full-size vehicle, I would have reserved one. So when you give me anything other than what I requested, it IS NOT A FUCKING UPGRADE! Of course, they didn't "upgrade" me because they like me, they did it because they ran out of compact cars. Fortunately, begging at the returns counter got me the car size I had wanted all along.
  • Karma being what it is, the cigarette lighter doesn't work, so I can't charge my iPhone while I drive. Shit.
  • The highways here are being upgraded and/or repaired. I missed the exit I needed because the temporary sign naming it could be seen ONLY after you passed the exit. It's a flavor of stupid that I can't quite wrap my head around.
  • Now that I've finally made it to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, all I want to do is leave.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa

   
Time to update my travel map for this trip...

DaveTour USA 2010

Ooh! Look at that! I've filled in a State I've never been to before! Just four more to go!

For anybody interested in my thoughts on the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa and the state of the Hard Rock chain in general, I've put that in an extended entry. For everybody else, good night!

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Tags:
Categories: Hard Rock 2010, Travel 2010Click To It: Permalink  28 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 194

Posted on Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday from sunny Sacramento!

   
• Lake Tahoe. Since Sacramento doesn't have a Hard Rock Cafe anymore, Foodiddy and Phister were kind enough to take Hilly-Sue and I to Lake Tahoe for a quick lunch. And while it may seem insane to drive 1-1/2 hours for lunch (and a mind-numbing 3 hours back to Sac through traffic)... it was a great way to spend an afternoon. Especially since the Hard Rock is one of my favorites. A part of Harvey's Casino, it's designed to look like a mountain cabin (complete with outside "deck") and is really well-done with beautiful rustic wood interiors and plenty of rock memorabilia...

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Sadly, the companion "wood cabin" cafe at Whistler was closed, so I'm hoping that the Tahoe property stays open for a good long time.

On the way back, actual hail was falling, which was surprising to say the least (is this not summer?). But we survived and made it back for Pinkberry for dessert, so I guess it's all good.

   
• Summertime Treat. Speaking of Pinkberry, they have a special frozen yogurt flavor running for summer... watermelon! It's worth grabbing a taste, even if you can't be wooed away from your regular favorite (like me!)...

Pinkberry Watermelon FroYo

   
• No Parking. Yesterday as Hilly and I arrived at the mall so I could be terrorized by Sephora, we were cruising the parking lot looking for a spot when something so mind-bogglingly stupid happened that I still don't think it was real. Some stupid bitch had COMPLETELY PASSED a parking spot that was being vacated, and decided she wanted it... even though SHE HAD COMPLETELY PASSED IT! So she sits there. Blocking the person trying to leave, and us, and the person behind us. Then she inches backwards as if to tell us that she wants us to back up, except there's somebody behind us. We CAN'T back up, even if we wanted to. So she sits there. And sits there. And sits there. Eventually the person behind us backs up so we can move. I was fucking fuming. Hilly moved because she was running low on gas. And she's apparently a lot more diplomatic than I am. Because I would NOT have moved. I don't give a shit if I ran out of gas. I don't care if a meteor was going to strike. I don't care if I was having a heart attack and needed immediate medical attention. There is no fucking way... NO WAY AT ALL I would have moved out of the way for that rude dumbass piece of shit. If you PASS a parking spot, GAME OVER! Go find another on. Don't block people and force them to move for your stupid ass.

It's times like this that I remember why I used to have extreme anger management issues. People are stupid, rude, selfish, and wholly intolerable. And all I wanted to do was beat the ever-loving shit out of this moron with a crowbar for being such a huge asshole. She totally deserved it and, after having to deal with her bullshit, I deserved to give it to her.

   
• Wave Goodbye. This past week Google announced that they were shutting down Google Wave... assumably due to the huge level of non-interest by just about everybody. Google's concept of real-time communication was pretty nifty, but any SUCCESSFUL new technologies tend to be dead-simple to use (ala Twitter), and Wave was too far-reaching and complex to get there. So now we all sit and wait for the Next Big Thing... and hoping it won't be limited to 140 characters or less.

   
And now... I really should get some sleep. For once my flight isn't at 7:00am, so here's hoping...

   

Bullet Sunday 203

Posted on Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Dave!HOW YOU DOIN' ALBUQUERQUE?!

It's a special HARD ROCK Edition of Bullet Sunday, LIVE from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Albuquerque! For those of you who don't care about my Hard Rock obsession, you might want to skip this entry.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Albuquerque
About the only Hard Rock logo you'll see outside of their gift shop.

   
• HARD? Kinda. Like the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, the Albuquerque property wasn't built as a Hard Rock. It's a tribal casino which has been retrofitted with Hard Rock theming in the public areas. They sprinkled cabinets of rock memorabilia around the place, added a trademark Hard Rock center bar to the casino floor, painted some classic rock lyrics on the walls, hung up some guitars, and changed the door-handles. As with Tulsa, the result is kinda half-baked. It looks like a Hard Rock property in places, but doesn't give you that overall "feel" you get from an "authentic" Hard Rock.
HARD ROCK GRADE: C

Shitty Hard Rock Casino Sign
Apparently, this was the best they could do for a sign. How embarrassing.

Shitty Hard Rock Hotel Sign
You could slap this crap signage on a Motel 6, it doesn't make it a Hard Rock.

Sammy Hagar Suit Display
Sammy Hagar suit display case. THIS is Hard Rock.

Jonas Brothers Guitar Display
Jonas Brothers guitar display. I have no idea what the fuck this is.

Guitar Door Handles!
Nice. Guitar-shaped door handles. We need MORE of this kind of stuff here.

   
• ROCK? Not so much. The property is what it is, but... if you are a Hard Rock fanatic like me, that's not the problem. Once again, my Pin Collector's Card is worthless. No discount. No visitation credit. When I showed my card to the cashier, she literally said "We don't take that. We're not affiliated with the Hard Rock Cafe"... I shit you not. I responded "No... you just brand your hotel with their logo, sell tons of their logo merchandise, and create pins and shot glasses specifically for Hard Rock collectors. You're not affiliated at all!" Then I laughed it off as a joke, but I wasn't joking. Again, if you are licensing the Hard Rock brand and passing yourself off as a Hard Rock property, then BE A FUCKING HARD ROCK PROPERTY! When HRC Corporate licenses out their brand, one of the conditions should be that licensees are required to honor their club cards. Otherwise, you're just going to piss off your most diehard fans and customers. At least they had a good selection of merchandise and people who understood it (unlike the dismal merch shop in Tulsa).
HARD ROCK COLLECTOR GRADE: D+

Hard Rock Store
Never mind the tons of Hard Rock logo merch... they're not affiliated with the Hard Rock!

   
• CASINO? Nice. While not seeming very "Hard Rock" to me, I must admit that my friends and I had a blast at the casino. Biggest plus is the gorgeous lady dealers at the table games dressed in corsets and stockings! Brutally hot (if only they allowed photos in casinos). You could lose every penny you had and just not care! They also have lots of modern slots (including a small non-smoking area), free coffee & Coke refreshment centers, and a snack bar (with the worst $4.95 nachos I've ever eaten... the "cheese" tasted like motor oil). All in all, it's a classy casino with a great staff which has a nice layout and offers a "full" casino experience (including a Bingo room, table games, and poker parlor). There's a "Rockstar" rewards club for the frequent gambler.
HARD ROCK CASINO GRADE: CCASINO GRADE: A-

   
• HOTEL? Boring. The hotel rooms are pretty basic as there is no Hard Rock theming of any kind. With the exception of the hotel services book and the soaps which say "Hard Rock Hotel," you'd never know that this is a Hard Rock at all. The Native American prints on the walls are nice, but not Hard Rock. Even putting all that aside, there are still problems. The clock was not set to the correct time. The room smells funky (like burnt hair?). The wall television didn't work and had a giant annoying glowing light on the bottom that I had to cover so I could sleep. And I had to keep the bathroom door closed because the toilet would start running at random. Ultimately, my $170 "DELUXE" room doesn't seem very "deluxe" and my promised "view" isn't that great. About the only positive I can offer is that it was clean.
HARD ROCK HOTEL GRADE: FHOTEL GRADE: C

Hard Rock Hotel Beds
Not bad... but not very Hard Rock either.

Hard Rock Hotel Room Desk
See that tiny leather binder and notepad on the desk? The only thing Hard Rock in this entire photo.

   
• NOISE? FAIL! This hotel is noisy as hell. Rude people are screaming down the hallways at all hours of the day and night. Doors are slamming constantly. Hotel staff are walking around 24-7 screaming into their radios which are blaring at full volume. And you hear everything. Absolutely no effort was made to soundproof anything. Thus I can sum up the relaxation level of my room as "miserable." If you have any aspirations of getting even a little sleep... best bring earplugs. You'll need them.
ROOM NOISE GRADE: D

   
• FOOD? Okay to Great. In addition to the truly awful "food" being sold at the casino snack bar, there's other dining options available... EAGLE'S NEST BUFFET: While modest by Vegas standards, the buffet still looked decent. I took a pass, because vegetarians will never get their $13.95 worth. LUCHA: A nice Mexican restaurant by day which transforms into a Tequila bar at night. I had dinner here and really enjoyed it. Everything was fresh and flavorful, and the guacamole was fantastic. 505 FUSION: A very nice, upscale nightclub, we had drinks here last night. Pizza and appetizers were okay, but nothing special. The menu looked decent, but none of us were hungry enough to order late supper. CHILL: Great-tasting quality ice cream parlor. TIWA: An upscale cafe, but the menu was definitely meat-oriented, so I took a pass. THE DELI: I had a cheap, bland grilled-cheese sandwich with undercooked, waggy fries that had me chained to the toilet an hour after eating here (thank heavens for Imodium!).
DINING GRADE: C- (LUCHA DINING GRADE: B+) (505 FUSION DINING GRADE: B-)

Delicious Meal at Lucha

   
• SERVICES & SHOPS? Good! Much to my total shock and surprise, there's a free round-the-clock shuttle to the airport for registered hotel guests! They will also take you to the Isleta Pueblo station so you can catch the $2 RailRunner train into town (which is nice, because a taxi would be $35+).

There's a nice pool and an interesting spa...

Indoor-Outdoor Pool Photo
The pool continues under the glass to the inside, which is cool.

The Spa's Hot Tub Pavilion at Night
Inside the spa's hot tub pavilion at night. Nifty.

As I mentioned above, there's a Hard Rock Shop filled to the rafters with Hard Rock merchandise (though your Hard Rock All-Access Pass and Pin Club Card are useless here). There's also a very cool tattoo and body modification shop called "The Vault"...

The Vault Tattoo and Body Modification Shop
Green tattooed woman mannequin sold separately.

There's also golfing nearby at the Isleta Eagle Golf Club, and camping nearby at the Isleta Lakes Recreation Area. Lastly, there's the "Fun Connection" spot with bowling, laser tag, and an arcade (or so I'm told... I never saw it).
SERVICES GRADE: B

   
• PROBLEMS? Yes. In order to use the hotel elevator, you have to swipe your room key before the buttons will work. Unfortunately, the card reader in the elevator is shitty. More than once I was riding the damn thing up and down while trying to get my card to work so it would stop on my floor. Several times I'd enter the elevator only to find somebody else has been riding up and down trying to get their card to work as well. This is an obvious and highly frustrating problem, and it's just plain stupid that the hotel doesn't do something about it.

   
• CONCLUSION: Ultimately, I'd have to give the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Albuquerque a pass. The hotel doesn't impress me much, and there's nothing "Hard Rock" enough about the resort to make it destination-worthy for fans. If you're in the area, it might be fun to gamble in their nice casino, but I wouldn't stay or eat here again (except perhaps dinner at Lucha).

   
Anyway... it was nice to meet up with my friends, I had a lot of fun, and I can't complain about the cheap-ass ticket price I paid to get here ($168 round-trip!), so overall this weekender goes in the WIN column. I just wish that these new additions to the Hard Rock family would be worth the effort on their own. They have to be, because otherwise they're just diluting the Hard Rock brand and giving people a mediocre impression of what a Hard Rock property can be when some effort goes into creating them.

   

Nightfall

Posted on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Dave!Work was supposed to end at 10:30 last night. I finally finished at 4:40am this morning. It's not a big deal... just the way the job goes sometimes... but it left me in a seriously debilitated state when my alarm went off at 7:00am. That's two nights in a row with no sleep.

This did not bode well for my drive back to work to turn in my badge and car. Especially since a nasty fog had descended on the Georgia countryside...

Foggy Georgia Morning

But I survived the trip so no harm, no foul.

When I arrived back at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, I checked into my hotel, did not pass GO, did not collect $200, and collapsed onto the bed. Nothing would have made me happier than to sleep the next ten hours, but the last thing I wanted was for my sleep schedule to get screwed up, so I forced myself to stop at just two.

Then it was time to head downtown and see what kind of trouble I could get into.

And eat dinner.

And get really, really wet.

When I exited the MARTA train stop at Peachtree Center, I was immediately assaulted by pouring rain. This caught me by surprise, because there was no hint of it when I left my hotel. After just five minutes I was soaked to the bone. This made for a miserable dinner, but I didn't want to waste the 35-minute trip so I wandered through Centennial Olympic Park. World of Coke Without Lime looked kind of cool in the dreary Atlanta rain...

World of Coke Without Lime

John Pemberton, Inventor of Coca-Cola!
It's John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola!

Since I was already wet, I walked around town for a while and ended up back at The Westin. With nothing better to do I decided to take another trip to the top and see the city at night, which I had never done before. Unfortunately, the windows were covered in rain, but the photos I took looked kind of cool anyway...

Atlanta at Night

Atlanta at Night

Atlanta at Night from the Westin Hotel's Sun Dial revolving restaurant.

Then across the street to see if the Hard Rock Cafe had any cool pins I couldn't live without...

Hard Rock Atlanta at Night

Atlanta Rainy Streets Reflections

And that was all I could manage. Mostly because my feet were getting all wrinkly.

Back to the MARTA train...

MARTA train stop escalator

...and my warm, dry, comfy hotel bed.

   
Tomorrow I'll be flying on the busiest travel day of the year. I wonder if I'll end up with anything to blog about?

   

Dave10

Posted on Friday, December 31st, 2010

Dave!2010 -> AUDIO -> VIDEO -> DAVE

And now, at long last, comes that one entry for people who are curious as to what I've been up to, but only like to read one blog post a year. All-in-all, it was not a terrible end to the decade. Picking and choosing all the good stuff that happened in 2010 (out of a blog that is already picking and choosing all the good stuff) kind of makes me think it was a great year. Alas, I know better, as there were boatloads of crap I had to deal with that never end up at Blogography. Oh well. It's okay to pretend, isn't it?


JANUARY

• Realized the right tool for the job won't actually get me a free date with Elizabeth Hurley.

• Opened my big mouth and got the entire wine-connoisseur world pissed at me.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey drink entirely too much wine.

• AND NOW, FROM THE BLOGGER WHO BROUGHT YOU PENIS SALAD...

• Found out that somebody stole my monkey.

Copycat Monkey!

Found a vagina on the sidewalk.


FEBRUARY

• Discovered that Canadians are responsible for the pussification of America, and showed them how REAL AMERICANS GET SHIT DONE!!

• Seattle FINALLY got a Hard Rock Cafe, and I got my 125th visit.

• Released my medical findings on a cure for the common cold to Twitter (and so much more).

Tweet01.gif


MARCH

• That Crasher Squirrel has been showing up everywhere...

Crasher Squirrel in Inglourious Basterds

• Just like Lindsay Lohan's cootchie...

Lohan Coochie

• Took my annual Birthday Vacation and ended up in Dutchyland, and Brussels, and Bucharest, and Transylvania, and Prague.

Prague at Night


APRIL

• Explained why Roger Ebert is WRONG about video games not being art.

Talked shit... LITERALLY.

• Attended THE blogging event of the year... TEQUILACON 2010 VANCOUVER!

Planning Posse


MAY

• Went to New York for a-ha's farewell tour and to hang out with awesome people while Betty White made her Emmy-winning SNL appearance.

Remembered a friend.

Got the tackiest phone call ever.

Took a dump on Lost and then went out for pizza with RW, which ended up having far-reaching consequences you'll find out about later this year.

• Summed up my position on the BP oil spill.

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey covers Lil' Dave in Oil


JUNE

• Saw the Worst. Movie. Ever.

• WAY TO GO BLACKHAWKS!!

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave in a Blackhawks Jersey

• Had more fun than should legally be allowed at Bitchsterdam 2!

Bitchsterdam Euro Celebration

Rush Limbaugh is a vile piece of shit.


JULY

Saw one of the best episodes of television ever (thank you Steven Moffat, The BBC, and Dr. Who!). I can honestly say that I think this is the only time I cried in all of 2010.

Van Gogh Meets Dr. Who!

Sarah Palin is a fucking idiot.

• Went on a tour of the USA with stops in Hollywood, San Diego for Comic Con, and Atlanta for Watermelon Beer, and Tulsa, and Kansas, and Chicago.


AUGUST

• Explained to haters who don't like being referred to as a hater that they kind are.

Paid a visit to mah Hilly-Sue and FooDiddy in Sacramento.

Got a visit from Muskrat and Whit in Seattle.

• Was inspired beyond my ability to express by the final words of a legend.

Satoshi Kon


SEPTEMBER

• Took a Mediterranean vacation and saw such remarkable places as Barcelona, and Malta, and Tunisia, and The Amalfi Coast, and Rome, and Portofino, and Corsica, and Monaco. As if all that wasn't enough, I got to have breakfast with Mickey Mouse!

Dave2 and Mickey!

• Remembered The Golden Rule and became the biggest evil dumbass inhuman monster of them all.


OCTOBER

Nearly crapped myself watching a television show.

DAVETOON: Oh Shit! Oh Shit! Oh Shit!

Partied down in rural Wisconsin... a good place to be!

Put Your Hands Up!

Got all poitical for a minute.

Wore purple for a very important cause...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in Purple

• Went to Albuquerque to gamble away my money at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino there.

• Found out my iPhone can take some pretty decent photos if I bother to stop and look around because there's an app for that...

Wenatchee River Fall Colors


NOVEMBER

• Went back to Atlanta, this time for Pumpkin Beer and good friends... then a tour of THE WALKING DEAD!

• Took a look at porn and handjobs in the interest of airport security.

DAVETOON: TSA says okay! You're good to go!


DECEMBER

Got into the CALM Act...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave getting blasted with a hemorrhoid commercial

• Want to know where to go on vacation? Here are some of my suggestions!.

"Take your stupid war and go fuck yourself with it."

Took some pictures in the snow.

Snowy Cemetery at Night

• Took on stupid bitches and the law, and went ape-shit over net-neutrality, and was shocked as hell by a moment of lucidity from Pat Robertson.


   
And that was pretty much what happened with me in 2010. How about you?

Hope your 2011 is a good one, and thanks for reading!

   

  Home  

spacer
Welcome:
Blogography is a place to learn and grow by exposing yourself to the mind of David Simmer II, a brilliant commentator on world events and popular culture (or so he claims).
Dave FAQ:
Frequently Asked Questions
Dave Flickr Gallery:
Dave Contact:
dave@blogography.com
Blogography Webfeeds:
Entries Feed
Comments Feed
Dave Social:
Blogography Tumblr
Blogography Instagram
Blogography on Pinterest
translate me
lost & found
Search Blogography:
thrice fiction
Thrice Fiction Magazine - March, 2011 - THE END
I'm co-founder of Thrice Fiction magazine. Come check us out!
free iphone app
Ask Dave iPhone App
Put Dave in your pocket with this FREE app for iPhone and iPod Touch. All life's answers await you with the Ask Dave app!
dave tweets
hard rock moment
Visit DaveCafe for my Hard Rock Cafe travel journal!
travel picto-gram
Visit my travel map to see where I have been in this world!
mobile photos
Visit my Flickr Page
Subscribe to my Mobile Feed
badgemania
Blogography Badge
Atom Syndicate Badge
Comments Syndicate Badge
Apple Safari Badge
Pirate's Booty Badge
Macintosh Badge
license
All content copyright ©2003-2017
by David Simmer II
   
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.