Sonora Bay, 1995

My first (and only, thus far) time at Club Med. I needed a vacation bad and asked a travel agent where I could go for some fun relaxation, and the best financial alternative turned out to be Club Med in Sonora Bay. I had a great time.

At first I didn't know anybody, so I hooked up with this guy playing the guitar by the pool. I had brought my guitar so we jammed a little bit. He had some song books and I found out his name was Mark. He was there with a beautiful woman named Toni, and as it turned out, these two folks were the dance instructors for the week - you know, line dancing, stuff like that. It turns out that getting to know Mark was a godsend; he was organizing the talent show, and knew practically everything that was going on.

Wasn't too long before I made friends with the Band that was playing at Club Med that week. Rio Grande is a kick-ass Country Western band consisting of Arny on Guitar, Tony singing, Randy on Bass, the inimitable Cactus on Drums, and Brantley with his 100 year old fiddle (and no mention of the band would be complete without Ritchie GoLo). They only had to play two 45 minute sets that week and they got their whole vacation free. I think Mark, Toni, and I jammed that very night in various guest rooms with most of the members of the band. By the end of my first day there everyone was partying pretty hard. I didn't get to bed till the sun came up. I remember so clearly Jamming with Brantly and Mark when Toni reached out the window, grabbed some sand from the beach right outside, threw it on the hard red tiled floors, and started tap dancing for rythmn. You can't imagine how cool it was. Like a shuffling hi-hat snare drum with long pretty legs.

The food at Sonora Bay was excellent. One night I had two Beef Wellingtons! But the real action there was in the partying. We were stealing bottles of wine from dinner (like 6 or so), going into town and buying 10 cases of beer and 1/2 gallons of tequilla, and still spending $50-100 a night on beads to get drinks from the Club Fed bar. I only went to bed before sun-up twice that week.

Thanks to Mark for getting me into the talent show. I opened it up with a solo rendition of 'Good Lovin', and the talent came out of the woodwork. Lots of people who could sing and dance - entertainers. Steve and Elle did a very beautiful duet. Then there was that girl with the Broadway Show songs. Mark did the song he was working on (Little Cowgirl?) and everybody loved everything.

The other high points that I remember now, a year and a half later, are the dance that Mark and Toni performed for everyone at the disco (lights down and they blew our socks off), the great Swamp Stomp Boogie Tape Argument, and Golo in the drinking contest. I sure had fun and it was really good to make the new friends that I did.

PostScript: about a year after Sonora Bay, Rio Grande played in San Diego at the Lakeside Rodeo. I went and saw them, we partied, they gave me a CD. We still stay in touch. Congrats Steve and Elle!