Australian Observations - Grand Lake Bum
Everybody who knows me well understands that, aside from the nice boating weather, I do not enjoy the fall season so much. It gives me no pleasure to sit around watching things die – and I also know that autumn means winter is coming. To cheer myself up, I decided to go where it’s springtime – so I’m writing to you this week from the coastal city of Brisbane in Australia. Springtime in Australia means the wintertime high temperatures of 70ish are replaced with springtime highs near 80. It was perfect for my two weeks of hugging koalas, feeding kangaroos, diving the Great Barrier Reef, and relaxing on the beach while watching pods of whales scoot by. What an incredible place!
Australians are very kind and considerate about everything. Even the bar signs that warn that drunks will not be served are gentle – “We must refuse service to unduly intoxicated persons” – as well as their refusal to serve shots to drunks after midnight – “No rapid intoxication drinks after 12:00 a.m.” They’re not kidding, though. In small print at the bottom of the sign is the reminder that violation will result in “a 12,190 penalty.” Even the bold-type signs on abundant water taxis gently remind passengers that “Jumping from the boat affects your safety and the safety of others” before adding the small type reminder below that such boat jumping will also result in “penalties, including a $2,040 fine.” They never tell you that you absolutely can’t do something – they just want you to know the dangers and the cost. If it’s worth it to you, go ahead. They’re sort of like the GRDA Police.
It was nice to get away from the heat of the American Presidential campaign for a few days. Aussies like America and think highly of President Obama. They also think we are actually joking about Donald Trump seriously running for President – so, in that regard, Australia is a little different than Oklahoma.
I got some great ideas from the Australians about fun and festivals while I was there. Every Friday night, they have an “Eat Street” market which is similar to the upcoming “Taste of Grand” except that they do it every Friday night in Brisbane – and they have restaurants from all over the world showing off their culinary skills! I was also fortunate to be on hand for the annual Brisbane River Fire Festival along the banks of the Brisbane River. With the huge crowds stuffing every conceivable waterfront spot, boat loads of people watching from the river to see fireworks and an air show including military jets literally flying between the high-rise buildings along the shoreline, it made the Duck Creek Fireworks Show look like a rehearsal! These kids know how to put on a party – and they certainly know how to have fun. It was a little like being on Monkey Island, but with 2.5 million people joining in the fun. It was quite an adventure, I must say! Size matters.
The time difference in Australia doesn’t impact too much (except communicating with people in the U.S. while they’re still awake – and while YOU are), but it’s tough on the fans of U.S. sports. It was a little weird getting up at 5:00 Sunday morning to watch the live coverage of Saturday’s Oklahoma State game! It was also a long trip to Australia – but it’s a short ride back, arriving in Los Angeles four hours before I leave Brisbane. Things that make you go, “hmmm.”
While I was away, the past weekend on Grand Lake could not have been bigger! It is apparent that the word got out that Island Joe’s at Shangri-La Marina was open for the final weekend. Everyone who is anyone showed up for the weekend-long “Cheers and Beers to Celebrate Nine Great Years” party at Island Joe’s to wish Tena and Kenny the very best. I’m sad to see the end of an era in that regard, but I’m equally excited about the spring opening of Shangri-La’s new accessible-by-water replacement for IJK, which will be open seven days a week year-round, and will also be easily accessible from Shangri-La Marina’s courtesy docks. We can certainly use more year-round water-accessible dining and drinking locations!
It’s obvious no one got the word to the pelicans that this year’s Pelican Festival has been moved back a week (to October 7-8). They’re arriving daily in droves – and they are gathered in easy-to-spot groups along the shorelines of most shallow mud-flat areas. I’m sure glad we have the pretty white pelicans here instead of the ugly brown ones! They’re easier to spot, too. If you’re not at Grand Lake to see this annual spectacle, you’re missing out on some great views around the lake.
GRAND LAKE BUM SHOUT-OUTS: Happy Birthday wishes go out this week to Jim Anderson, Russ Soderberg, Dan Sitterly, Mark Athey, Scott Sandifer, my dearest gal pal & life partner Cari Williams, my cohort Jared Jeffers, Bobby Combs, Tim McCrary, Danny Head, Carl Fiddner, Gary Nichols, Mary Bulten, Chris Merillat, Randy Wheeler, Katie Allen, Jerry Lee, Colleen Garrett, and one of my Grand Lake Australian traveling partners, Angela Estep.
UNANSWERED QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Why do we only rest in peace? Why don’t we live in peace, too?
BEST EVENTS OF THE WEEK: It’s a big weekend ahead on Grand Lake, starting with the big Alabama concert Friday night at Downstream Casino. Saturday night is the annual Taste of Grand festival at the Integris Grove campus in Grove, as well as the Pioneer Dinner & Dance at Har-Ber Village, followed by a really big weekend for golfers. Sunday is the Jim Beam Folds of Honor Classic at Shangri-La Golf Club – and Monday is the South Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Grand Lake Open, also at Shangri-La.
GRAND LAKE WEEKEND LIVE ENTERTAINMENT: On Monkey Island, Randy Lunsford entertains at The Shebang, along with great karaoke fun Friday, & Saturday nights upstairs at The Shebang Balcony Bar. Across the street, Big Shots Rhythm & Booze features popular dance music Saturday night. Just down Highway 125, Friday night is Karaoke Night at Monkey Island Pub. There’s great live music all weekend at the road at the Road Hog Saloon.
In Grove, there’s always great music at J.R. Spanky’s on Highway 10 north of Grove – and there is great musical entertainment every year at the annual Taste of Grand event which is Saturday night at the Integris Hospital campus. Saturday night, Borderlinewill perform in the tent at Har-Ber Village as part of the Pioneer Days celebration.
Area casinos add great musical options this weekend including the big Friday night concert by Alabama at Downstream Casino.The Mark Chapman Band takes over Downstream’s Legends Sports Bar stage Friday night, followed by the Shari Bales BandSaturday night. Howard Gayles will perform in Lover’s Leap Lounge both nights. Buffalo Run Casino’s Trailer Park Bar & Grill features live music both Friday & Saturday nights provided by The Sex. At Bordertown Casino’s Lost Creek Saloon, Runnin’ on Empty will provide the Friday night musical entertainment, followed by Thomas Martinez Saturday night. At Indigo Sky Casino,there is live entertainment in the Echo Bar, The weekend starts Thursday night with music by The Allen Biffle Band. Big Smittyentertains Friday night followed by The Rumor Saturday. The Hi-Fidelics entertain Friday night at Wyandotte Casino’s Club 60 West. If you’re looking for comedy, it’s at The Stables Casino in Miami. LaVantor will entertain in the Loony Saloon both Friday& Saturday nights along with special guest Mark Evans.
The best spots to catch all your favorite sports action, are the Buffalo Bar at Shangri-La, Monkey Island Pub, the Standing Room Only Bar at The Shebang, Road Hog Saloon, Pickles at the Lake in Langley, Ugly’s Grill & Bar at Thunder Bay Marina, Hookers at Cherokee Yacht Club and J.R. Spanky’s northeast of Grove.
BUM MUST-SEE TV: The season premiere of Criminal Minds is Thursday night at 8:00 and the premier of Code Black is at9:00, both on CBS. The season premiere of Madam Secretary is Sunday night at 8:00 on CBS. Major League Baseball Playoffs begin Tuesday night, and the only Vice-Presidential Debate is also Tuesday night at 8:00.
BUM MUST-SEE MOVIES: Deepwater Horizon, Masterminds and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Relationships are just two people constantly asking each other what they want to eat, until one of them dies.” – (Thanks to my pal WileyWidner for sharing this)
SAVE THE DATE: Friday & Saturday, October 7-8 – Pelican Festival at Wolf Creek in Grove. Saturday, October 8 – Har-Ber Village Chuckwagon Dinner & Dance Under the Stars featuring music by Stone Country and Bekah. Saturday, October 15 – Annual Punkin Chunkin’ in Vinita. Saturday, October 15 – Shangri-La Member & Slip Renter Appreciation party on the south patio at Shangri-La Club House (5-9). Friday-Sunday, October 21-23 – Rocktoberfest rock climbing event at Disney. Friday, October 30 – Wayne Newton in concert at Buffalo Run Casino.
There’s great sports action on the tube this weekend, dominated by college football. OU is at TCU Saturday (4:00 on Fox), OSU hosts Texas (11:00 on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2) and Arkansas hosts Alcorn State (11:00on SEC). Tulsa does not play this weekend.
Other top games on TV include Thursday night battles between Connecticut and Houston (7:00 on ESPN) as well as Kansas at Texas Tech (7:30 on FS1). Friday night, Stanford is at Washington (8:00 on ESPN). Saturday games include Rutgers at Ohio State (11:00), Baylor at Iowa State (11:00 on FS1), Tennessee at Georgia (2:30), Kansas State at West Virginia (2:30 on ESPNU, Texas A&M at South Carolina (3:00 on SEC), Kentucky at Alabama (6:00 on ESPN), Missouri at LSU (6:30 on SEC) and Louisville at Clemson (7:00 on ABC).
NFL action kicks off Thursday night with Cleveland at Detroit (7:30 on NFL). Sunday games start early with Indianapolis and Jacksonville facing off at Wimbley Stadium at 8:30 Oklahoma time (CBS). Tennessee is at Houston (CBS) and Detroit is at Chicago (Fox) at noon, with Denver at Tampa Bay (3:00 on CBS) and Dallas at San Francisco (3:30 on Fox) in the late games. Kansas City is at Pittsburgh Sunday night (7:30 on NBC). This week’s Monday Night Football action sends the New York Giants to Minnesota to take on Sam Bradford & the Vikings (7:30 on ESPN).
It’s Ryder Cup Weekend on the PGA Tour. Coverage begins at 7:30 Friday morning on the Golf Channel. NBC has day-long coverage Saturday beginning at 8:00 a.m. coverage of the last day of action beginning at 11:00 Sunday morning.
In the NASCAR world, it’s Sunday afternoon racing from New Hampshire. Coverage of the Bad Boy Off Road 300 begins at 1:00Sunday afternoon on NBCSN.
The weekend weather ahead looks perfect as we make the switch from September to October. It’s going to be a sunny weekend, with high temperatures in the low to mid 80s and nighttime lows around 60 – perfect for outdoor activities. No indoor venue needed this year for the Taste of Grand! Be safe, be kind, and have a great weekend – and be sure to buy a drink for the guy next to you. It could be me.
GRAND LAKE BUM
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Looking for places to go, things to do, services to use or property to buy in the Grand Lake area? Here’s a starter kit listing of “open to the public” fun places to spend time at Grand Lake.
American Grill in Grove
Aquabar & Grill at The Landings Marina on Monkey Island (smoking on the deck)
Artichoke Restaurant & Bar in Langley
Balcony Bar at The Shebang (Smoking – open Friday & Saturday nights)
Big Shots on Monkey Island (smoking upstairs—open Friday & Saturday nights)
Bobbers Café in Langley
Book ‘ems at South Wind Marina in Bernice
Buffalo Bar at Shangri-La on Monkey Island (smoking on the patios)
Buffalo Run Casino in Miami (smoking)
Café Italia on Monkey Island
Carlos Montez in Langley (smoking in bar)
Ceasar’s Place in Vinita and on Monkey Island
Chickanella’s in Grove
Chicken Coop West of Langley
Clanton’s Café in Vinita
Cosby’s Catfish on Highway 28 in Eucha (East of Disney)
Docks Bar at Harbors View Marina
Downstream Casino in Quapaw (smoking)
Drake’s Restaurant in Grove
Frosty & Edna’s (west of the dam in Langley)
Gabby’s Place in downtown Grove
Goodfella’s Pizza (Cleora and Grove)
Grand Lake Casino, north of Grove on Highway 10 (smoking)
Grand Lodge in Ketchum (smoking)
Hatfield’s Saloon in Grove
High Winds Casino east of Miami (smoking)
Indigo Sky Casino west of Seneca, Mo. (smoking)
Island Joe's Kentena at Shangri-La Marina (smoking)
J.R. Spanky's on Highway 10 north of Grove (smoking)
Juan Montez Restaurant & Cantina at Red Arrow Marina
Karrie's Kaboose in Vinita (smoking)
La Casita de Martin in downtown Grove
Lakeside Bar & Grill in Grove at Sail Boat Bridge
Lighthouse Supper Club in Ketchum
Los Garcias in Langley
Lupe's Mexican Restaurant in Grove
Monkey Island Pub (Smoking)
Mooney’s Sunset Bar & Grill in Disney (smoking, etc.)
Morrows Bar & Grill in Raper Hollow
Nu Taste Restaurant in Grove
Okie Smokies Barbecue in Grove on Hwy 59 South
Book ‘ems Restaurant & Pub at South Wind Marina in Bernice
Pickles at the Lake in Langley
Pit Stop Café in Grove
Quarterdeck Cafe at Tera Miranda Harbor (smoking on the deck)
Raggedy’s in Grove
Rancho Viejo in Grove
Riggs & Company in Langley
Road Hog Saloon at the entrance to Monkey Island (smoking...but not at lunch)
Rusty Anchor (next to the cliffs at Dripping Springs)
Scooters in Langley (smoking)
Sharky’s at Hammerhead Marina (smoking)
Smokin’ Spur BBQ & Trading Post at Old Towne Plaza, Cleora
Sticky Fingers Barbecue in Ketchum
Stuffn’s Restaurant in Ketchum (Smoking on patio)
Summit Restaurant at Shangri-La on Monkey Island (smoking on the patio)
The Grill at Indian Hills Resort & Marina in Bernice
The Landings Marina (smoking on the deck)
The Landings Market and Grill on Monkey Island (smoking on the patio)
The Parrot at Honey Creek Landing in Grove (Smoking on the patio)
The Office on Monkey Island (smoking)
The Stables Casino in Miami (smoking)
The Shebang on Monkey Island (smoking on patio and Balcony Bar)
Ugly’s Grill & Bar, Thunder Bay Marina (smoking)
VIP Pizza at Hammerhead Marina (smoking on deck)
Water Side Bar & Grill in Grove
Waterway Café, Harbors View Marina (smoking on breakwater dining deck)
Wolf Creek Diner in Grove
Wyandotte Nation Casino at Twin Bridges (smoking)