Birthday Party

This week had a little different twist to it. Our good friend Earl had his birthday on Tuesday. Earl is the co-owner of the Tropical Isle bars on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Pam was having a big party Tuesday night at the Original Tropical Isle for Earl. She had Jerry Diaz and Hanna’s Reef in town to play for the party. We decided to have Sunshine Cindy go for the party. Earl and Pam are big supporters of Crab Island Mambo and we wanted to be there to help Earl celebrate.

I had to work so I couldn’t go but Sunshine Cindy and her daughter Tiffany went to NOLA on Monday. They had a great time in the French Quarter. The party for Earl was a fun bash. I watched most of it from the web cam but it was just not the same as being there. They made it home safe and sound on Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday after work I stopped at Landshark Pizza. “B” was at the bar and I joined him. He had his birthday the day before. It must be something about this time of the year. Steve also stopped in and sat with us. We solved many of the world’s problems. I had wings to quench my “Landshark wing fix.” They have the best wings in town.

Lucy Buffett made it official this week that she is opening a LuLu’s in Destin. I have been reporting on this for many months and now it’s in the news. The place will be on the bay next to Legendary Marine at the base of the Mid-Bay bridge. It should open in the spring if all goes well.

We continue to get good response to our musical lineup for the “21st Annual Phlocking of the Phaithful – 21 and Legal…Let the Chaos Begin” Trop Rock party next year in Put in Bay. Registrations are coming in. We are having folks purchase the Phlocking raffle tickets we are selling (drawing will be October 29th in Key West) and the planning for some events within the event continue. Click on the link to get registered and to purchase your raffle tickets.

We have a holiday weekend coming up. Between pool parties and the start of football season, the weekend should be fun. A full report on Monday. See ya then!

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The heat continues in Destin

This past weekend continued the hot and humid weather trend. Heat indexes were topping 110 degrees. Yeah, it was warm! But that did not stop us from getting out and having a good time.

Friday night was a Parrot Head meeting at Helen Back in Niceville. This Helen Back has been open for about a year but this is the first time Sunshine Cindy and I have been there. The place is big. They have two big inside bars and another bar on a huge deck outside. When we walked in I saw a manager walking around. It turned out to be JP. We know him from his days as the GM at Anglers. We worked with JP to put on several big Crab Island Mambo parties there. He is now managing several of the Helen Back locations around town. It was good seeing him again.

Jan was playing music for us. Chick and Ann Marie were there. They moved from our area down to Tampa several years ago. It’s been a while since we saw them. They were looking good. We had a big crowd. It was hot on the deck but they had fans and misters going that helped. Many folks stayed inside in the air conditioning too. After the party was over Sunshine Cindy and I stopped at Friday’s on the way home. Harry was working the bar. He is a bubbly guy. We have seen him before but this was our first chance to talk to him. He is another of the hard working service industry people we have in town.

Saturday Sunshine Cindy and I went to the harbor for lunch. We stopped at Fisherman’s Wharf. We sat inside. The food was good as always. We then walked over to the Red Door Saloon. With the sun beating down and the humidity so thick you can cut it with a knife we wanted to get someplace with a breeze. The Red Door sits up on a bluff and gets a nice breeze coming in from the Gulf of Mexico. It was comfortable sitting there. From there we walked to AJ’s. Just walking worked up a good sweat. At AJ’s there was no breeze. We had one drink and decided to find someplace cooler.

We walked back to the car. By now we were good and sweaty. We went to Hogs Breath. Their air conditioning worked great! We were happy. We hung out there for a while watching some football. We left and made one more stop on the way home. We stopped in at Chip’s. We wanted to see what was going on. I am sorry to say not much. Other than a few folks around the outside bar the place was dead. They were supposed to have Karaoke but that never happened. The Saints football game was on and the folks there were into it but the excitement was missing. I hope they can turn it around.

Sunday was the Southern Drawl Band at Crab Island Cantina. They played from 5-9 pm. There was a short rain shower as I got there. That helped cool things off a little. The guys put on a great show. It was more of an acoustic show but they played a lot of their original songs which was cool. Mother Nature put on a big show too. Later we had a big storm blow through. The lightening show was intense. It just added to the experience.

This week is the “unofficial” end of summer. I can’t believe it’s almost over. Time moves too fast. I will have a full report on Thursday of the lead up to the holiday weekend. See ya then!

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Hot and Humid

This has probably been the hottest days of summer so far in Destin. The heat indexes for the next several days will  be in the 105 and up range. The humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife. But I actually like it like that. But I don’t have to work outside either.

Sunshine Cindy and I went to Landshark Pizza on Monday evening to watch the Browns and play some music bingo. Brian and Sue sat with us to have a beer. Sue ended up staying with us the entire night. She was enjoying not having to work for a change. The Browns game was ugly. The offense looked pathetic. Johnny Football has a long way to go and Brian Hoyer is not looking good either. At least the defense looks real solid.  Well, it is preseason.

I had my Browns hat on. A table that was next to us turned out to be tourist from Akron. They were surprised to see a Browns fan in Destin. There are a few of us here. The music bingo was fun. Jason was a cut up behind the bar dancing and singing to many of the songs. We didn’t win anything but we had a good time.

In town this week is the Southern Drawl Band and MelaGrass (Melanie Howe and Mike Snodgrass). Tuesday night Sunshine Cindy and I met up with some of them at KC’s Sandbar in Ft. Walton Beach. Melanie and Mike came out there as did Paul from SDB. Jan and Kenny were running the open mic night music. Brandy, Wayne, Terry, James and a cast of thousands were also there having fun. An old friend Matt was back behind the bar. I have known Matt for years. He is a good guy.

Paul and Melanie were late getting there. They were riding a scooter and took a wrong turn. They ended up in Destin. On the way back across the Destin bridge they were stopped by a cop for riding in the bike lane. As Paul told the cop the scooter has a top speed of about 8 mph and they didn’t want to get run over. Turns out the scooter also had an expired tag. The cop didn’t give them a ticket. I think he felt sorry for them. LOL

Sunshine Cindy and I had a chance to talk to Mike the owner of KC’s. He and his wife are great friends who we have known for years. We have booked our Crab Island Mambo Holiday Party at KC’s Tapworks Bar for Saturday November 29th from 3-7 pm. We will be supplying music and food as we “Embrace the Chaos!” during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Mark your calendar as everyone will be welcome to join us.

Now that the summer season is done we are starting to see places close down. The Destin Cinema which has been going strong for almost 25 years shut their doors. The cost of upgrading to the new digital projectors was more than they could afford.

Bud and Allies which has been in Seaside forever opened a new place in Panama City Beach three months ago. They are already shutting it down. It must have been doing terrible to close it down so soon. I keep saying there are too many places and there will be a weeding out process.

This weekend we will be seeing the Southern Drawl Band on Sunday at Crab Island Cantina on the harbor from 5-9 pm. There’s plenty of things going on besides this but we are not sure what we else we will be doing. Whatever it is we will have fun though! A full report will be posted Monday. See ya then!

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Dog Days of Summer in Destin

It was another fun weekend in Destin. Sunshine Cindy and I were busy with our Crab Island Mambo business. Friday I posted the August Crab Island Mambo Mullet Wrapper newsletter. It was another fine edition if I do say so myself. LOL You can read it here:

Then on Saturday we kicked off the registration for the 2015 “Phlocking of the Phaithful” Trop Rock party in Put in Bay, Ohio. In conjunction with the registration being open we are also having a special raffle with a prize package of over $500. You can get all the information on this party and raffle here:

But even with all this Mambo work going on we were still able to get out and about. Friday was our “Embrace the Chaos” Trop Rock Music Series at Crab Island Cantina with the Calypso Nuts. It was a beautiful evening with cool Gulf breezes and fun tropical music from Robbie and Lynley. This past weekend was the Emerald Coast boating Poker Run. Our area gets hundreds of high priced and powerful boats in town for this weekend. We got to see many of them from the Cantina. This is always a fun weekend with these boats roaring around our waterways.

After the Calypso Nuts were done we went to the Boathouse. Kenny and Tommy were there. The place was packed with many tourist. We were outside on the deck. Folks were having a good time. Cajun Mike and Terry came in then Suzanne and a friend also joined us. A lady, Stephanie, was there with her parents. She is a boat captain. Her parents are from Ocean City, Mississippi. All three of them were a hoot. Her dad was also named Steve. We hit it right off because of that.

At one point Stephanie climbed up onto the small ledge that is the top of the railing system. She had a hula hoop that she was trying to spin. It scared us she would fall but her mom was just there taking pictures. Why does the statement, “hold my beer, watch this” come to mind. Meanwhile Steve was just shaking his head saying they did the best they could with her. LOL

Saturday had Sunshine Cindy and I going to Landshark Pizza in the afternoon. We watched some of the Packers football game while having some lunch. Brian was mixing up some mango habanera sauce. I had some. It was pretty hot but not over the top. They had a steady crowd of people coming in but as we were leaving the dinner rush was starting and the place was about full. We spent the rest of the evening home relaxing.

Sunday was a quiet day for us. I washed Badass but that was the extent of getting out. Sometimes it’s nice to just hang out and not do much. It threatened rain all day or we might have gone to the pool. Oh well, next time.

Most schools are back in session now. Our summer season is for the most part over. We will have a busy Labor Day Weekend but that will be it for a while. We are getting our town back!

Have a great week. See ya Thursday!

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Emerald Coast lost a Hero this week

Destin is a resort town but the entire Emerald Coast area is truly supported by the military. We have several bases and the largest military reservation in the country with Eglin reservation. We have our fair share of hero’s that call this area home. But this past weekend our community lost a gentleman who was probably our most famous citizen, retired Air Force Col. Robert “Bob” Gates. Col. Gates served in three wars, was the first commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing and he was even mayor of Fort Walton Beach for a while.

Col. Gates was best known as the pilot who flew Bob Hope around the world on his USO events. He first flew Bob Hope to a show in 1942 and they became lifelong friends. Col. Gates’ son works with me. I was lucky to have had a chance to visit with Col. Gates at his home several years ago. It was a modest home but the inside was like a step back in time with pictures from all over the world of Col. Gates with presidents, dignitaries and entertainers. It was an honor having a chance to meet him.

He passed away this weekend. He was 95 years old. RIP Colonel….

Sunshine Cindy and I got out on Wednesday evening to Chan’s Craft Bar. We enjoy the atmosphere and ambiance of the place. Paul waited on us. He is remembering us now. I once again had several different type of craft beers. We also ordered a burger to share. It was probably one of the best burgers I have had. They are doing this concept up right. Randy the GM stopped by and chatted with us too. We told him “don’t change anything.” LOL

One of the buildings in town that has been empty for several years now has a “under contract” sign in front of it. The old Destin Diner that sits in front of Club Destin looks like it might be finally coming back to life. I thought that about a year ago and that deal fell through so I will wait till I hear something more concrete this time.

The rest of the week we have been getting ready to publish the Crab Island Mambo Mullet Wrapper newsletter and preparing to announce the opening of registration for the 2015 Phlocking of the Phaithful Trop Rock party in Put in Bay, Ohio. This has been keeping us pretty busy. Check out our Crab Island Mambo web site:

This weekend looks like it’s going to be pretty good weather wise. We have our August “Embrace the Chaos! Trop Rock Music Series at the Cantina” show Friday from 5-9 pm. The Calypso Nuts will be playing on the Crab Island Cantina stage for us. See us there to get your Mambo Member card to get 15% off your entire bill the night of the show. We hope to see everyone at the Cantina for this fun night of music, friends, food and drinks.

Have a great weekend. A full report will be posted Monday. See ya then!

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Destin is hot…hot…hot!

I think we have hit the peak of the heat for this summer. Last week was the hottest of the summer. Temps all week were in the low 90’s with high humidity giving us heat indexes in the mid 100’s. It’s August. It’s Destin. It’s supposed to be hot so we don’t complain….at least I don’t cause I love the heat.

Friday was spent on the harbor. Sunshine Cindy and I got parked and walked over to Harry T’s for our Parrot Head meeting. We hung around there for a while. Tiffany was off and she joined us as did Wayne. After a while we all walked down to The Boathouse. Jenny was working the outside bar. Gigi was there and greeted us. Kelly Byrd was finishing up his show and Jason was setting up inside. Jack was sitting at the bar when we walked in. It was good seeing Jack as it’s been a while. He was looking good. I feel bad as I forgot to ask him how his wife Lynn is doing. Next time I won’t forget.

We found a spot along the outside rail where we had a nice breeze. James and Jonele were there and came out and hanged with us. As we were talking to James a guy came up giving away Bud Light koozies. His name was Matt and he is a Bud account executive. We got to talking to him as he might be a good contact for us and our Mambo parties. He bought us a bucket of beer too. We liked this guy! LOL 

More friends kept showing up. Mermaid Mary and Robin joined us. Then Kenny and Becky showed up. It was a party by this time. Tourist were having fun as Jason kept the crowd going. It’s always a good time at The Boathouse.

Saturday was our Mambo and parrot head beach cleanup. I got to the beach about 9 am to get set up. It was already in the upper 80’s with no breeze at all. Sweat was dripping off me. The Gulf was refreshing this day. We had about 20 people show up. We did our duty cleaning the beach and then we had our usual Mambo party. Big thunderstorms were just inland. We saw lightning and heard thunder but the sun never went away. We got missed by only a few miles but it might as well as been in the next state.

We were in and out of the water and had a great time in the sun. At one point a female life guard rode by on an ATV. Loujean, Kenny and Wayne recognized her from KC’s where she and her girlfriend sang during open mic night. She was really nice and she let Kenny, Wayne and Ray get a picture with her on her ATV. The guys loved it.

About 3 pm I headed home to get cleaned up. Sunshine Cindy and I was going to Landshark Pizza to have some dinner and watch the Browns preseason football game. I put on my new Browns hat and we got there about 5:00. The place was busy. Brian was getting off but Sue was working. They are great folks that work their butts off to make the business a success. Julie, Jan and Loujean all came out and joined us. We watched the game. It was the debut of Johnny Manziel for the Browns. He did okay for a rookie playing his first game in the pros.

The Browns lost but it was a fun game. We had pizza and beer. The place was packed all night with a big crowd sitting outside too. It turns out they made and sold more pizza’s Saturday than any other day. A new record was set. Good for them. We did our part!

Sunday was a laid back kind of day. Sunshine Cindy and I went to her parents house in the morning to pick up a chair. While we were there her dad and I managed to cut off a ring that Sunshine Cindy had got stuck on her finger. She was glad to get it off. The rest of day was spent working on Crab Island Mambo stuff. This coming Saturday will be the big announcement of the 2015 Put in Bay Phlocking musical lineup and the opening of registration. This is going to be the party of the year! I can’t wait to tell everyone about it!

Have a great week. See ya Thursday!!!

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The season is winding down in Destin

It has become quite obvious this week the tourist season on the Emerald Coast is winding down. I have not had a problem getting home from work. That is my official measurement of how busy the town is! LOL All in all this season was not much different from the last few years. Now we can get back to a more laid back way of life.

This past week several announcements were made about places on the Island. A long time Island tradition, Pranzio’s Italian Restaurant closed their doors. They were located on the bay side of the Island. Other than Pandora’s and the strip clubs, nothing else seems to survive on that side of the Island. Sunshine Cindy and I had been there several times and the food was always good but the place was never too busy.

The other announcement was the proposed development of a big putt-putt golf complex. They want to develop a large empty lot that sits between Amberjack and Bream drives. That would be a good use of the land as several large condo complexes that fill up with tourist sit right across the street.

Sunshine Cindy and I did get out on Wednesday. We went to Chan’s new Craft Bar. They are now fully opened. Adrian took care of us. Randy the GM stopped by a couple of times to say hello. Randy is one busy guy as he runs both the Wine World and Craft Bar. The place filled up inside and out. It appeared to be mostly locals there too. This is a more upscale kind of place. Many of the ladies were dressed up in fancy sun dresses and it was a relaxed atmosphere.

We had several craft beers. I had the Victory Brewing Company Wild Devil IPA. It was very good. Adrian wanted me to try a different beer. I don’t remember what it was but it didn’t even taste like a beer. Oh yeah, it was also 10 percent alcohol. You have to be careful with beers like that. We also had several appetizers. They were also good. Next time we will try their burgers. We saw them and they are huge and supposed to be all grain fed beef. This is a cool place that already has a big following.

Sunshine Cindy and I have been busy with the planning for the 2015 Phlocking of the Phaithful Trop Rock party in Put in Bay, Ohio next June. We will be announcing the musical lineup on Saturday August 16th. The lineup of musical acts is off the charts! Registration will open that day too with an updated web site. We will also kickoff a special Phlocking raffle with a fantastic prize package. Be sure to watch the Crab Island Mambo web site for all the details. We can’t wait to “Embrace the Chaos!” with all our friends.

This weekend we will be on the harbor on Friday night at Harry T’s with the Parrot Heads and then we are sponsoring a beach cleanup on Saturday morning on the Island at Beachwalk #2. We hope to see you out and about. A full report will be posted on Monday! See ya then!!!

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Cooler temps in Destin

After some rain on Monday we have had several days of perfect weather here in Destin. The humidity is way down, temps are a little lower and the sky is a perfect blue. The morning lows have been in the low 70’s with the upper 60’s a little inland. We are still hitting almost 90 during the days but with the lower humidity it feels great.

It is obvious this week the tourist season is starting to wind down. Most families are now back home starting to get geared up for the back to school time. I have been able to get home pretty easily this week which is nice. The parade and fireworks still draw big crowds but it’s getting better. This is getting to be the best time of the year in Destin where the locals can have our town back! LOL

This week Sunshine Cindy and I only got out one night as she has been helping Tiffany get ready to move. We went to Hooters on Wednesday. It’s close to the house and they have a big open air deck that is nice. We had a nice relaxing time as they were not too crowded. We had wings, beer and sliders…a good way to enjoy the night.

This seems to be the summer of sharks around the Emerald Coast. I saw a cell phone video that was shot at Crab Island earlier this week showing a Hammerhead Shark swimming around in the shallow water. It’s not the first time we have had sharks swimming around Crab Island but it always gets a lot of attention when they do show up. The same day that video was shot another Hammerhead Shark was spotted in the gulf in Navarre. This shark was in the shallows next to shore. The lifeguards were able to get everyone out of the water. Most of the time the Hammerheads will not bother people as long as they don’t have something on that flashes in the sun. Of course I would rather just watch them from shore!

We don’t have a lot of plans for the weekend. Could it be we relax this weekend? I doubt it but then when we get out and about that is relaxing! You can find all the weekend activities going on here: 

Get out and enjoy all the Emerald Coast has to offer. See ya Monday!

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Living and Playing in Destin

Sunshine Cindy and I had another fun weekend in Destin. It started out Friday night with a Parrot Head party at KC’s Sandbar and Grill in Fort Walton Beach. We love KC’s. It is as close to a “Key West” open air feel that you will find around here. I got off work a little early so I could get home and then get back to Ft. Walton. Good thing I did that as a wreak on the Brooks Bridge left traffic backed up all the way to Destin after we got there.

Mike and Bev are the owners of KC’s and good friends of ours. They went all out for the Parrot Heads doing a pig roast, drink specials and music by Jan and Kenny. Even with the traffic a good crowd of almost 100 people showed up. The weather even held up. It looked like we were going to get hit with a thunderstorm but it somehow just missed us. Mother Nature was on our side! We left and headed back to Destin. We made a stop at The Legion for Karoke. Judie, Kelly, Steve, Dottie and Capt. John all showed up too. It was a small crowd but we had fun. Finally, when we got home we sat on the back porch having some Rum Jumbie and enjoying the night.

Saturday was very laid back for us. Most of the day was spent doing Mambo work or just relaxing. Finally about 3:30 I headed to Landshark Pizza for a while. Sunshine Cindy didn’t want to get out so I went by myself. The place was packed. I got the last seat at the bar. A couple of guys were sitting next to me watching a baseball game. One guy was a Baltimore Orioles fan. I have never seen someone get so worked up over a mid season baseball game as this guy did watching his Orioles. It was pretty funny actually.

The crew for the evening started coming in including JD. JD plays music on the side around town. Friday night he was at Funky Blues Shack. We are going to start promoting JD on our Crab Island Mambo web site. He is a hard working guy just trying to make a living. We hope we can help him take off.

I got home early and Sunshine Cindy and I spent the rest of the evening watching TV. I guess sometimes we have to be an old married couple!

Sunday was a full day out. It started with breakfast at a new place in town, The Breakfast Table. It’s located on Hwy 98 across from the Inn on the Harbor. The place is decorated nice but the food was nothing special. From there we went to the Red Door Saloon on the harbor. They do beer specials on Sunday that are so good you could not drink that cheaply at home. Jan and Loujean joined us for a while. Sunshine Cindy ran into her old hair dresser. A bunch of bikers were there as it was a nice day for a ride.

When we left there we walked down to the Shark Shack. We talked to Tom at Harbor Gifts for a while. Becca was working the bar and a decent crowd was there. We then went back down the harbor to the Boathouse. We got a table up front by Kelly Byrd to listen to him. Paige took care of us. I had oysters and gumbo. It was great! Sunshine Cindy had a hot dog. Gigi came by to say hello. Maynard stopped in and saw us and said hello too. It was a nice relaxing end to the day and weekend.

It looks like a nice week is in store for us here on the Emerald Coast. The weather is supposed to be good. Sunshine Cindy and I are getting close to announcing our musical lineup for next year’s 21st Annual Phlocking of the Phaithful Trop Rock event in Put in Bay, Ohio. It’s going to be awesome!!! You will want to be there. Details soon!!!!

Have a great week. See ya Thursday!

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And the beat goes on…

Its summer in Destin. That means we will get thunderstorms. Nothing new about that. But this year the rain totals are getting close to record totals. We are only a little past the half way point of the year and we have had almost 60 inches of rain in Destin so far. In an average year we get 61 inches so we are ready to bust past that soon….maybe today! The most rain Destin has received in one year is 104 inches back in 1975. We are on track to get almost 106 inches if we keep the current pace. That’s a lot of water!

The building boom continues too. Just this week the vacate land on Airport Road across from the city owned 2 million dollar pottery barn…don’t get me started on what the city could have done with that money…a new townhome development is starting. They have leveled all the trees and site work is beginning. Another spot in town where site work has started is adjacent to the Eglin Federal Credit Union branch behind Target. I don’t know what is going to be built there but all the trees are gone there too.

Sunshine Cindy and I love playing tourist in our town. This week has been a perfect example. Tuesday Sunshine Cindy stopped in at Destin Ice Seafood House. She picked up some fresh shrimp, garlic bread and salad. The shrimp was so fresh it was probably swimming in the gulf the previous night. While there she saw our friend John who is now working there. She then stopped at the grocery store and ran into Marsha. It’s a small town for sure. It was a great dinner that night.

Then on Wednesday Sunshine Cindy went down to the docks to see Sandy at Harbor Gifts. They are doing well selling our Crab Island Mambo merchandize. While there she ran into Charlie from The Crust Pizzeria. It just so happened we were planning to go to Crust for dinner so she told Charlie she would see him later. We did get to Crust about 6 pm. We sat outside as it was a beautiful evening. Charlie joined us for a while as I had not seen him in a several weeks. In the summer they are only doing pizza’s and sandwiches due to the crowds but they did have lasagna that was made earlier in the day. They know Sunshine Cindy loves their lasagna so she was able to get some. It’s nice being special! LOL

We had a good time at The Crust. The food was excellent and the weather was perfect. The town continues to be super busy. Folks were coming and going the entire time we were there. Tourist were everywhere spending money and keeping folks employed. Summer in Destin has a special buzz to it. I love it.

This weekend is a Parrot Head meeting at our favorite place in Fort Walton Beach, KC’s Sand Bar Grill. We will be there Friday night for a luau and great Trop Rock music. Don’t forget you can get all the weekend happenings on our Crab Island Mambo Weekend Update page:

Whatever you do this weekend have fun. I will see ya Monday with a full recap!

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