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Published: July 24th 2015
Schmoozing, bluesing & cruising with those Darn Dangerous Binkleys Part 1: Dave was not "Dangerous" then.
It started about three years ago...getting emails we've got to meet...suggesting we meet at a music festival...somewhere...as long as it's sometime.
Was from those darn Binkleys...an American couple that like to travel to Morocco for breakfast...Iceland for brunch...Vienna for lunch...and Napa Valley for wines with salads for crunch.
Yet we live in the land of Oz which is NOT another state of USA.
There was M.J. a.k.a. Merry Jo...definitely one of the friendliest folk on TB.
She contacted me in my first year on TB encouraging me to write stories to go with my photos.
And so I checked her out.
Yeh...heaps of blogs...heaps of Followers
And in all the pics of her...she was hanging off this guy called Dave.
A guy who always had the same enigmatic expression...often wearing a hat.
I got the World's best gig...Ali, TBs No. 1 Blogger invited me to moderate the World Music Forum on Travelblog.
So this dancer became the music guy...sharing music with bloggers around the World.
Boasting the best rock & blues...the best African blues on the planet...all genres in fact...amazing music to enhance the travel experience.
And that's how I learnt those darn Binkleys were music fans...and Dave was a guitarist of note.
When I formed the Travelblog Big Big Band, Dave (he wasn't "Dangerous" then) put his hand up as Lead Guitar...and MJ "Big Hair, Big Voice" Binkley as Lead Vocals.
So the idea of "getting the band back together" made our meeting in the flesh imperative.
We suggested we meet at the Festival on the River in Senegal and MJ suggested we cruise the Caribbean...bluesin' & cruisin' with the top blues band on the planet...and those darn Binkleys.
It's 3 a.m. and we are at our computer in Sydney...Dave & MJ in Ireland...synchronizing to hit the button to book our cabins at 11 a.m. Kansas time.
Tick tick tick...bang...book the cabin on Level 11 next to the Crows Nest where the bands jam...every second counts...Dave & MJ Level 10 just below us...emailing our excitement to each other.
In about 12 months we meet those darn Binkleys.
Can't meet TB royalty cold.
No sirree. Warm up required.
So we did a drive through the snow in the deserts of SW USA during a polar vortex...stayed in further snow with Home & Away in Colorado...flew to Memphis on Elvis's birthday...kicking & dancing in BB King's Blues Club for a few days...cruising down the Blues Highway...Clarksdale, Natchez, New Orleans...messages on Den's phone from Dave & MJ that they'd meet us by the pool...in Fort Lauderdale!
You can feel the vibe down the phone.
We are all very excited.
But did I mention Dave was not "Dangerous" then?
Not the first time we'd arranged to meet TBers we'd never met for the purpose of travel together.
We had some Mischief on the Mekong with Cockle and the Travel Camel...our only reason we went to Vietnam was to meet them and do that.
We found out about Travelblog from Ros & Mike (rma) who we met in China and traveled with in Mali & Ethiopia.
We've met heaps of other TBers so far: Ali, Auspicious, Jo Trouble, MichaelnFaye, Maisondubonheur & Affandy in Malaysia...RJT, Jo Trouble
again, littlewing, JetSet, John & Sylvia, Shelley & Scott, Tom Rooney, RENanDREW, Kangaroo Jack, dribbleman & Home & Away in Oz...Aspiring Nomad in China...Rat on the Road in Vietnam...Home & Away again in Colorado...each fabulous meet ups.
We've added four weeks to the end of this trip for Peru, Bolivia & Chile...just 'cause I want to meet Tara Cloud.
But now we're on a plane to Florida...to meet and travel with those darn Binkleys.
Pretty sure we'll dance to the same tune?
Haven't met any TBers yet that we haven't.
But what do we know about them really?
All we know about them really is...is...they're darn Binkleys!!!
Shuttle to the Hilton Marina Fort Lauderdale, Florida...check in...bags in our room...Aussie Blues Festival T-shirt on...hat at just the right angle...we're lookin' good Den...let's go.
Not sure who saw who first but that's them...bounding up...hugging like long lost friends...talking fervently like heaps to catch up...you wouldn't know we'd never met before.
Pretty soon we were all expressing there were no others we would rather be on the Blues Cruise with...than each other.
Talk about serendipity.
But there was
something troubling me...MJ noticed it...then Dave.
So I spat it out.
"I'm sorry but...I don't know how to say this...but this is a Blues Cruise. I don't think they'll let you on board Dave...wearing that straw hat."
Dave just looked at me.
Waft like dead fish...sea breeze gulp.
MJ looked at me...those that know her will know that look.
"You are so right David", she says.
"He's got five really cool hats at home...I told him to bring them. He's right Dave. We are going to have to get you another one first thing."
And they did.
Darkness descended with incredible blues...music that is...the sun rose.
A really tall dude entered the hotel with MJ...had an air about him...looked up from under his funky hat...had Dave's eyes...and the cheeky smile.
In a laconic drawl "We're gettin' the band back together".
And at that moment I saw a new Dave.
A hip Dave...a cool Dave...a rock chick called MJ on his arm.
But he was not "Dangerous" then.
Relax & Enjoy,
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