Sunday, May 22, 2022

Trip Report: Klaipėda, Lithuania

Arrived in Klaipėda, Lithuania yesterday; a first-time visit to this country. It was sadly grey and drizzly but the rain held-off enough to wander around looking for a place to eat dinner.

A port city on the western coast on the Baltic Sea, the city is the third largest in Lithuania and is home to an active beach resort culture in summer.

The east-west flowing Danė River bisects the city.

And although it was rainy on this Saturday evening, the south bank is home to numerous restaurants and bars, some with a club aspect later in the evening.

And it can get crowded here after 11PM.

The restaurant Katpedele is home to many traditional Lithuanian dishes.

The heavily-timbered interior was a good setting for the hearty food served here.

Many venues have music and it was here we met DJ Twin (LT) playing mostly American pop hits.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

SMF Set Times Announced

Sunset Music Festival is happening next weekend in Tampa and they have now posted set times. The festival runs 3 days on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, beginning nightly at 4PM and running until midnight on the first two days and until 10PM on the final night. Advance tickets here. Meanwhile, Skyline Music Festival is taking place on Friday and Saturday in Orlando and we should be able to post their set times momentarily.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Trip Report: Cruise Ferries Of Europe

When you think of a riding a ferry, you might think of passenger-only ferries such as the Staten Island Ferry or even the ferries that run between the Transportation & Ticketing Center and the Magic Kingdom. Or you might think of car-carrying ferries that cross rivers and bays. But in Europe, many of the ferries not only carry cars and trucks but are also very much akin to cruise ships! Such is the case such as Color Lines cruise ferry ships that operate between Oslo, Norway and Kiel, Germany. This evening we are sailing on their cruise ferry ship Color Magic.

Yes, it actually has car decks but it also has restaurants, bars and clubs and this promenade full of shops, quick-serve restaurants and even an English pub!

The route connects mainland Europe via Germany to Scandinavia via Oslo, Norway. It save a lot of driving while one relaxes in a private cabin very similar to what you might have used on a regular cruise ship! There are dozens of ferry routes in Scandinavia as well is in the Med.

And here in the ship's Observation Lounge, a live band made sure a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

This Weekend In Techno Town

More big names coming to Orlando!

FRI    20MAY   NEON BEACH     DJ Duke (USA)

SAT   21MAY   GILT CONCERT VENUE     DJ duo Camelphat (GB)

SAT   21MAY   VANGUARD     DJ ATB (D)

SAT   21MAY   ROSEN CENTRE HOTEL     Megacon Afterparty

SAT   21MAY   BIKKURI LOUNGE     DJ Victor Dinaire (AL/USA)

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Trip Warning

KingBob is off again on one of his trips, this time to Europe. Because of the time differences, Blog articles may appear at odd times compared to normal. Just keep checking back for our next posting. If we get to any clubs, we may have a Club Report or two plus some destination Trip Reports we think you'll find interesting. For those that know your IATA airport codes, the following 8 flight segments are currently scheduled:

MCO - EWR

EWR - VIE

VIE - ARN

ARN - OSL

PLQ - RIX

RIX - TLL

ARN - FRA

FRA - MCO

Monday, May 16, 2022

Rockin' At 30,000

 It's interesting to see the evolution of Inflight Entertainment Systems on aircraft. Many airlines offer WiFi and expect you to supply your own entertainment via your phone or laptop. To do this, there should be an electrical outlet at your seat although many airlines, especially the cheap ones, don't have any such thing. My favorite airline is Delta which offers an IFE unit on nearly every mainline aircraft except the soon to be jettisoned Boeing 717. Otherwise, be sure to bring some earplugs or headphones because there's going to be a video unit in front of you. United has ordered many new planes and they will all come with IFE units. Some current planes have them, many do not. American is sadly going in the opposite direction, pulling them out of planes that have existing systems and not ordering them for new aircraft. They expect you to supply your own entertainment. (This does not apply to planes flying to Europe or Asia which pretty much all have entertainment systems regardless of the airline.) The days of music only on airplanes and perhaps a movie on an overhead screen are long gone. When you encounter a modern IFE system, you'll find hundreds of films and television shows along with dozens of music channels.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Club Reports: Orlando Brewing, Gilt Concert Venue

DJ Nic Fanciulli (GB) headlined last night's show at Gilt Concert Venue and he delivered a hard driving House set that had everyone bouncing. The pictures are on sister blog Orlando Entertainment News here.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Club Reports: Bellhop, Wicked Whiskeys, Iron Cow

There's a new downtown venue called Bellhop and walking-in puts you in the lobby of a mid-20th century hotel. It opened last night and our sister website Orlando Entertainment News was there to check it out. Also visited were two other new venues so click here to see it!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

DS Update: Is Exxon Returning?

When Walt Disney World first opened, Exxon had the contract for the Car Care Center outside the Magic Kingdom parking lot and eventually with the creation of Walt Disney World Village in 1977, for the Exxon station along Buena Vista Drive.

At some point the contract with Exxon ended and Hess took over all three stations in Disney World. (The third station is also along Buena Vista Drive near Disney's Boardwalk Resort.)

That lasted until around 2015 when Hess ended retail sales in the United States and sold their stations to Marathon Petroleum whose company-owned stations operate under the Speedway brand name. But the corporation that owns 7-Eleven purchased Speedway last year from Marathon and as part of the deal, numerous locations had to be spun-off including many in Florida. Many in the area of Orlando where we live have been rebranded as Exxon or Mobil stations with Rebel convenience stores, presumably because they were spin-off stations and the new owners use those brands. We don't know the status of the Disney area Speedway stations. If they were not part of the spin-off, they could remain Speedway but with 7-Eleven stores. We'll keep you updated. Would be cool to see Exxon back on-property though!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

This Weekend In Techno Town

Things slow down a bit this weekend:

FRI   13MAY     GRUMPYS UNDERGOUND     DJ Slay (USA)

SAT  14MAY     GILT CONCERT VENUE     DJ Nic Fanciulli (GB)

SAT  14MAY     ELIXIR BAR     DJ Nala (USA)

SAT  14MAY     ORLANDO BREWING     DJ Circle K & MC Collaborator (USA)

SUN 15MAY    SUNDOWN SUNDAYS @ THE PATIO  DJ duo Volkmann & Engels (D)

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Trip Report: Gas Stations Of The Caribbean

Continuing with our series of gas station articles from around the world, today we discuss Gas Stations of the Caribbean. We've learned from recent travels that there are only 3 main companies operating in the Caribbean basin so there isn't a lot of competition. One of those major companies is French energy giant TOTAL. They have stations in the French territories of Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana plus Jamaica (pictured above), Dominican Republic, Haiti, Colombia, Puerto Rico and USVI.

RUBiS is another French company with a lot of stations around the Caribbean. You can find their stations in the Bahamas, Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada (pictured above), Guyana, Bermuda, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Suriname. They've been growing a lot over the past decade, having purchased assets from the Texaco stations that used to operate in the Caribbean.

Sol Petroleum is a relatively new brand but rapidly growing through acquisitions. This station in St. Vincent is one of their original markets, having purchased assets from Shell there and in Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Haiti, Anguilla, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and BWI. While they operate under their own Sol name in these countries.....

They continue to use the ESSO name in the French islands plus Barbados, Bahamas, Bermuda, Dominican Republic and Cayman Islands.

In the meanwhile, Sol continues to use the Shell name in Guyana, Suriname, Belize, Dominican Republic, French Guina, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Not sure if the Shell stations in the Bahamas are prt of Sol. There are other small brands on various Caribbean islands but by-in-large, these three companies dominate the market.

We'll go ahead and add PEMEX to our article because Mexico does face the Caribbean too. While in recent years the Mexican government has allowed outside companies to begin to operate in the country, 98% of the gas stations in Mexico are owned by the government and operate as PEMEX as shown in the Cozumel station above. Because of the inefficiencies and poor service inherent in monopolies, the government realizes they need some completion in the business. Also check out: Gas Stations of Iceland; Gas Stations of the Emirates & Greece; Gas Stations of the West.

Monday, May 9, 2022

PI Update: The Andre Caram Band ft. Drey-C

After the Pleasure Island clubs closed and the Island became a dark, scary ghost town after dark, management knew they needed to do something to liven things up and that begat the nightly "Celebrate Tonight" performances on West End Plaza (which became Celebration Plaza). That was a fiasco so the next attempt began in 2012 under the "Ultra Lounge" concept and involved musical performances. One of the originals was the Andre Caram Band ft. Drey-C.

I don't think we ever found out who Andre Caram was but we learned quickly the real star was Drey-C, singing popular and EDM songs to the gathered crowd.

Band members would come and go over time but Drey-C was always there.

And what is fascinating is that Drey-C continues to perform at Disney Springs ten years later! This Thursday, you can find him on the Waterview Stage on the Island from 6:15PM to 10:00PM and then on Friday night at the Waterside Stage in Disney Springs Marketplace from 7:00PM to 10:45PM.

It's no longer advertised as the Andre Caram Band, just as Drey-C. Come check him out. You'll be assured that a good time is had by all.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Club Reports: Elixir Bar, Barbarella 2.0, Grumpys Underground

DJ trio Mason Collective (GB) headlined last night's show at Elixir Bar and it was just one stop of three. Check out all the pics on our sister website Orlando Entertainment News here.

 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Club Reports: Simons & Signal (Gainesville)

Was in downtown Gainesville last night for a few minutes and swung by the venerable Simons nightclub. Downtown was not particularly crowded but Simons was surprisingly closed on a Friday night. Back in the 90's this place was at the front-end of a growing House & Techno scene when world-class DJ's such as Sasha & Digweed (GB), Paul van Dyk (D), Icey (USA), Carl Cox (GB), & Felix da Housecat (USA) all played here.

The dark, barely-lit back room of Simons was where the strung-out used to lay around and it later became known as Plasma. It's now called Signal and is advertised as a separate club. It too was closed. Not sure what is going on with downtown Gainesville. Perhaps school is already out so we're into the slow season. There were numerous bars open, some with live music, but none particularly crowded. I did not hear the sound of electronic dance music anywhere. Will need to check it out again during the school year!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

DS Update: Happy Cinco De Mayo. Now Where Can I Find Tacos?

DISNEY SPRINGS WEST SIDE: Spring's Street Tacos food truck

DISNEY SPRINGS WEST SIDE: City Works

DISNEY SPRINGS WEST SIDE: Planet Hollywood Observatory

PLEASURE ISLAND: Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar

PLEASURE ISLAND: Paradiso 37

PLEASURE ISLAND: The Boathouse

PLEASURE ISLAND: Paddlefish

DISNEY SPRINGS MARKETPLACE: Rain Forest Cafe

DISNEY SPRINGS TOWN CENTER: Frontera Cocina

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

This Weekend In Techno Town

Last weekend was a House weekend, this weekend seems to be dominated by Dubstep!

THU 05MAY  VANGUARD    DJ SULLIVAN KING (USA)

THU 05MAY  CELINE     DJ SNAILS (CDN)

FRI  06MAY    VANGUARD     DJ KAYZO (USA)

FRI  06MAY    CELINE     DJ VIRTUAL RIOT (D)

FRI  06MAY    LIL INDIE'S     DJ BMF (USA)

SAT  07MAY   VANGUARD     DJ SVDDEN DEATH (USA)