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
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
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!