tiny little near-border town on the edge of Panama, this place is surrounded by rainforests and beaches... really a hell hole...
yeah... right. Take the time to get out into the rainforest. If you've never seen a monkey in the wild, go to the rainforest.
If you want to see gorgeous botany and the like, go to the rainforest. If you want a nice hike through an unimaginably beautiful
setting, go to the rainforest.
If you don't want any of that, go to the market toward the end of town.
It's nothing special but if you've got money to spare, they'll take it off of your hands for you. On a similar note, the
bar in town would love to do the same. They do have Beam and Cola in a bottle, which was nice, and the atmosphere was decent,
but loud and a little obnoxious with the entire ship inside. Note: Don't buy your cigars here unless you want a little more
reassurance that they are actually Cubans. A Box of "Cubans" in the bar: $120. An identical box that was later authenticated
on the pier where we dock: $40 at most, and the vendor might throw in a t-shirt or something.
Decent prices. Imperial is king and justly so, but you can get almost anything at the bar, even a Beam and Cola.
Buy lots in bags to bring home. Best coffee tasted so far. 1829 is great, but you can't really find a loser in this country.
Libre: Rum and Coke
-Guaro: A generic name for the local rum, best served as follows:
-A shot or two of
-A bit of Fresca
If you can, be on the approach watch to Zihuat. Freddy was, and watching
the sun rise over this tropical rainforest-encrusted masterpiece of a town was something he'll never forget. A tiny little
town in the middle of a lush jungle, this town doesn't have a whole lot to do, but what it does have is friggin awesome. If
you get bored here, you're lazy... but you can take a cab to nearby Ixtapa, a big cruise ship terminal.
drinks, the Jungle Bar is the Bear's favorite, and they don't seem to mind us much either. Dollar beers and Hookah nights
make this the gathering place for cadets. Just up the street into town a bit, you'll see a bright orange and blue cafe style
taco joint. A must hit. Awesome tacos, cheap. If they offer you sauces, take them; you get a red and a green, and you love
them both. Three tacos, two sauces, and a cheap beer in a beautiful place... you can't get a whole lot better than that for
If you are looking for something more from your time in Zihuat, there's always the beach,
just watch for crocodiles. No worry though, the local federalis carry weapons big enough to scare off any croc. A little tip,
as you leave the pier, off to your right there is a little basketball/futbol court, which has an extraordinary mural about
children's rights which is cool in itself, but along the street is a liquor shop. Run in there and buy yourself a bit of rum.
Run back across the courts to the beach and find the man with the coconuts. Use a knife and cut, or a rock and smash, no kidding,
open a little hole in the coconut large enough to drink through. Pour in the rum and drink up the mix. It's lovely.
-Beer: Cheap Everywhere. Pacifico, Modelo, and Victoria are the staples. Victoria is a little harder to find
in the States, so I suggest you try it when you can.
-Pina Coladas and Margaritas: It's Mexico man, why not? Well, the
ice I guess.
-Coconut and Rum: A winner here man.
Courtesy of Max Paulus
In Tampa, FL at the end of he shipping channel is a district called Ybor (ee-bor) City, cross
under the freeway and take 17th until you get to 5th. Everything is within walking distance. Plenty of good bars and a good
nightlife but only on the weekends at night. Mediterranean, Hispanic, even a Game Works (think dave and busters). Plenty of
shops for random stuff, 3 different cigar shops, I think just as many places to get tattoos. Now for the bars, There is a
Coyote Ugly but they card all the time and weren’t that hoppin, There was a place with the bar situated directly in
the center of the room, tons of pirate stuff for sale (think those cheesy flags) but they will set up a cheep game of beer
pong at any time of the day, bring some quarters for the balls (in a gum ball dispenser). Then the lasts place that comes
to mind was a little dive bar, also on the main street in Ybor, this place was dark but had a decent selection. More of the
30 year old, still trying to be young through rock-a-billy type people but hey, they served me beer and it was the chillest
place out of all that I went to. On a real note, I was under 21 when I went to these places, I became very creative at getting
my beers and if you're young and in America you'll have to be creative too. Good luck!
of Sun Records, the Gibson guitar factory, and BB King's Blues Cafe, Memphis turned out to be a little disappointing, though
not overwhelmingly. I arrived late and left early, but the nightlife wasn't that bad for a Tuesday night. The bars mostly
had live bands, though none were spectacular. I was hoping that in Memphis, the self-proclaimed "home of the blues," I would
hear some real, good, blues. It didn't quite happen. What I heard was a lot of touristy, brassy, contemporary blues; the Blues
Brothers did it once, and did it well, and ever since that's all blues has become. Oh well.
downtown Memphis, check out the Blues City Cafe, good food cheap with a friendly atmosphere. BB King's Blues Cafe is right
in downtown, and had the best music around.
-You gotta go with good old
Jack Daniel's in his home state.
-1 shot Jack Daniel's
-Maybe a Jack and Coke
-Repeat until satisfied
New Orleans, LA
"Seman's Center," misspelled
and small, but deals mostly in phone cards, and is right on the way to Bourbon street, just one street north on Royal Ave,
Betsy's Diner, a little off the main strip, but worth a walk. You can ride the trolley from
downtown, it comes every so often, and as of early 2007, it cost $1.25 per trip, though I walked all the way just waiting
for a trolley to come. Great homestyle breakfasts and meals, cheap and good. If you stop in, check out the back wall, adorned
with plaques and pictures of President Bush's visit to Betsy's.
Mulettas, downtown cajun, don't remember
where, but just west of Emeril's if you can find that. Not bad food for what we got, but it wasn't much. We walked right in
and found a seat immediately, it was a Monday night, and then waited for about 20 minutes for anyone to even come around to
bring us water or menus. All we ordered were a few appetizers and drinks, we waited around for another half hour before the
rest of my party got their drinks, I never got mine. We eventually got our tiny cups of black beans and rice and gumbo, though
never got our other appetizers. We left after another half hour of waiting, but the manager was nice, he comped us for the
whole thing, drinks and all, so really I can't say it was all that bad. Definitely the best free meal I've ever had.
-On Bourbon Street, the Hurricane and the Hand Grenade seem to be popular, high proof items, and bars often
serve them To Go. Also, the Mint Julep is a local favorite.
Dutch Harbor, AK
by John Hsieh
Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is a port where you will probably never find yourself at unless you work for American
Seafoods Company, a container ship company (Horizon, APL, Maersk) or if you're in the Coast Guard (then you'll be in here
alot because it's the closest port to the Maritime Boundary Line). This place is, well, the armpit of Alaska, besides hiking
and drinking and gorging on seafood, there isn't much to do here. Some must see sights.
Mt. Valleyhoo - This is near
the UMC dock before Alaska Ship Supply, basically where the city dock is. There is a road that goes up the hill. It's a nice
tiring hike or a 5 minute drive if you're lucky enough to have a car. There are bunkers along the way but the true reward
is at the top where there seems to be an abandoned WWII settlement complete with remanents of a cannon or large caliber gun,
several bunkers. If you go up to where the road spilts off, make a right and head down to the end. You will find a bunker
where you can just sit on and enjoy the wonderful view. Shipmates have brought beers and just sat and hung out, but watch
out as the cliffs are really dangerous in this area.
Unisea Sports Bar - Though I never enjoyed this place because
I couldn't go in, I've heard good things about it. Really good sushi. If you're under 21 anywhere in Alaska, you will not
be admitted into a bar, they card and they are really strict about it.
Grand Aleutian Hotel - On Wednesdays, the hotel
offers a great seafood buffet for $38 (and that price is subject to change). It's all you can eat halibut, salmon, ahi tuna,
sushi, crab legs, shrimp, you name it, they will have it. The deserts were awesome. On Sundays, they have a limited version
of their buffet that runs around $20, still with unlimited crab legs and seafood, along with your usual breakfast fare.
- The former Elbow Room, this was voted the "toughest bar in America." It is located in Unalaska, a drive from Dutch Harbor.
Peking - This place has the greatest sushi here. Though expensive, it is worth it. This is located in Dutch Harbor next to
the Unisea Sports Bar.
Amelias - Though I never went here, our pilots said this was a great place for Mexican food.
[This is from Freddy, I went here and wouldn't give it such a high recommendation. As you could imagine, Mexican food isn't
quite the local specialty in Alaska. Very heavy, very fried, you may likely regret it later. But they have good milkshakes]
- I think this is what it's called, but I don't know. There is only ONE pizza joint in all of Unalaska, but it is worth it.
- It's called Eagle here and the groceries are expensive, but they sell everything.
TruValue - This is another supermarket
across the street from the Grand Aleutian, it's like a wal-mart with less stuff, along with a supermarket. You can buy clothes
and stuff here.
Banking - There are ATMs located at the Safeway and the Grand Aleutian, along with a KeyBank in Dutch
Post Office - There are two post offices located in Dutch Harbor, one right next to the Grand Aleutian. It's
a USPS and offers all the same services as a regular post office. Closed Sundays.
Hospitals - There is a small medical
clinic with emergency services located in Unalaska.
Airport - There are regular flights in and out of Dutch Harbor
operated by PenAir, but are under Alaska Airlines contract. My flight was delayed 2 hours and they never bothered to tell
me, resulting in me missing a flight from Anchorage to Los Angeles, resulting in a Alaskan vacation of sorts courtesy of Alaska
Airlines. There is a restaurant in the airport that I've heard was pretty decent. There is also no security checkpoint in
the airport, but once you get to your intended destination, they drop you off at the main terminal and you will go through
security in Anchorage, which is your regular TSA, take-off-your-shoes checkpoint. Flights in Alaska are always oversold. If
you volunteer to give up your seat if they ask, you can earn a free roundtrip airline ticket to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies.