Katie’s Birthday Party

This was pretty early still in my time on the island, and it turned out to be a great time to get to know everyone better. At this party, it was potluck Mexican – and since I don’t know how to cook but DO know how to drink, I decided I’d bring the margaritas, because what is a Mexican feast without Margaritas? It’s Del Taco, that’s what it is! I even went and bought the right salt, a shaker, lots of ice and tequila, and ended up making MUY BUENO margaritas. So good we were trashed before going on our pub crawl. Something funny that did occur was that this was when a new Lt and his wife had just arrived on the island, and Byron was their sponsor. He brought them to this party and Dani gave them one helluva show, including saran wrap. Don’t ask. Just know that it was a blast for us and a wide awakening for them!

May 2020 Update:

I honestly have just some slight memories of this particular event, although when I look at the pictures I can remember Jason & Kasey making that rice, I can kind of remember being the margarita guy that night (although when I think about the degree to which Larry & I perfected our margaritas, I’m pretty sure I didn’t make my own lime juice then?), and I like a lot of the pictures that came out of it.   I’m sure my family were hoping me and Amy were a thing as we did hang out and take great pictures together.   Not to be, everyone!  I loved that crew of people during the first year I was in Lajes.   We all just got along so much, even if at times we didn’t.   Pub crawls up and down the stretch of bars in Praia was always a blast, and man, we could just put food and drink away like champs.   What’s sad, but I guess not surprising, is I really don’t interact with most of the folks I met there.   Jason for sure, and Byron only on rare occasions, and Amy is a FB friend too, but almost everyone else in this group?  No real clue where they are.  It’s alright, and they all still hold a place in my heart and memories for making my Azores experience a truly thrilling thing.   If we hadn’t had been able to bond and click, it would have made that 15 months reeeaaalllly long.

October 14, 2001 – Dani’s House in Lajes, Terceira

An Initiation to Tropical Point

Tropical Point is the restaurant that is pretty much at the end of the pub crawl of Praia. It is the last restaurant you encounter and is directly across the street from the ‘beach’ of Praia. What is cool about Tropical Point is that you can get a lot of different stuff to eat, and it’s relatively cheap. They’re always open, just like Vegas, and you can be assured of good food and friendly service. I sound like the freakin’ Michelin guide or something. Anyways, these pictures were taken on one of my first visits to Tropical Point, and definitely the first time with Amy, who was there to meet Boris. So Melrose Place…. Also, I got one of my first tastes of moonshine, uh, I mean Aguardente. Aguardente is this really strong alcohol (I don’t even know if it falls in a certain category, like brandy, vodka, etc.) that clears your sinuses by the smell alone. Oy vay. What’s funny is when you’re drunk, you can drink that stuff real easy. But sober, uh uh. Also, I think I was introduced to Alcatra that night, which is the best beef or chicken stew that you’ve ever tasted. It does depend on where you go – Tropical Point’s was alright, Quinta da Martelo’s was OUTRAGEOUSLY good, and A Ilha’s was very good most days (other days, not so good).

May 2020 Update:

It’s funny how I can remember that the CGOC crew thought Amy and Boris could be a good match, mostly because they were both young and Jewish.   It didn’t end up happening, and probably for the best as they are definitely different.   I remember that it was almost inevitable that you’d get something to eat at Tropical Point any time you’d be in Praia for a pub crawl.   I mean, it was just inevitable.   The friendliest staff too, and it was just such a pleasure to go there.  I really was lucky to have met those folks, and the reason I did know them all so quickly was due to me knowing Jason Rubi, who had started his tour just a few months earlier than me.  We were friends from UCLA AFROTC and it was an awesome, fortunate coincidence that we got to be stationed together at Lajes AB, of all fucking places, at the same time.  He was loved by everyone already, so it made it very easy to join that crew.

I know from many times and situations before and after, if I don’t have someone who will vouch for me and get me through the door of certain groupings, I tend to have a much harder time of it to make inroads.   Especially military stuff – honestly, a lot of times I just didn’t fit in with the typical male military officer mindset.   Unsaid there is typical straight male military officer mindset – the early phase is boozing and babes, while looking for someone who might be wife material.   It’s reductionist, I know, but believe me, it’s the fucking truth.  And yeah, clearly, I was not on the lookout for babes or a wife.  I did like drinking, so yay!  I was keenly aware of how attractive so many of my peers were, which probably is one of the roadblocks to me being relaxed around them.  The later phase is of course married life and children, again, something I was not exactly going to have while in the military under DADT.  Just a very hard existence, and I did it for 8 years.   I’ve commented on it before in this blog, but yeah, I loved the experiences I did have, but what a fucking waste of my youth to have to live in the closet.  Fuck.

September 2001 – Tropical Point @ Praia da Vittoria, Terceira

Since 2001 or so, sharing stuff