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This Odds 'n' Sods page is accompanied by the O 'n' S Photos page that you will see in the page navigation links.
Some of the captions on those pictures relate to written material below.
FUN JAMMIN' WITH 'TROLLBAND' ON A BC FERRY UPPER DECK
On September 6th, 2008 my wife Janice and I embarked on a ferry trip to Vancouver Island. She said to me, "It's such a beautiful day, why not take your guitar to the upper deck." We no sooner had turned the bend out the door to the upper deck when we encountered Vancouver's Celic/metal group TrollBand on their way to a gig in Victoria. The members are a friendly and talented bunch of guys and we entertained ourselves (and others) for well over an hour with a very informal jam. Janice took a couple of photos, which you can see on the O 'n' S Photos page.
JANICE AND I HONEYMOON IN LOS CABOS, MEXICO
From November 24th to December 1st, 2007 Janice and I had an amazing honeymoon holiday in Mexico, staying at the all inclusive Presidente Los Cabos Resort on the Pacific Ocean about 20 minutes walk outside of the small quaint town of San Jose Del Cabo. Although this hotel is one of the oldest ones along this Pacific beach, it's maintained a steady popularity with people from all over North America. The staff were all so very friendly and wished to accommodate to make our stay memorable. A good looking, very bilingual young Mexican man named Cesar (who could often be found in the lobby) was very helpful in answering all our questions and providing us with useful info regarding activities, night-life and transportation arrangements. He was even good enough to do a personal "alcohol run" for us when we could not get Grande Marnie at the hotel. If you ever go there, ask for Cesar.
At times we were disappointed with the restaurant food and buffets at the hotel, and we discovered that the room service food was the way to go for freshness. Although the breakfast buffets weren't bad. Not everyone there shared our opinion on the food. Some thought it was all good.
One of our pet peeves was that we could not get hot water to shower,... until Janice discovered that the hot and cold were connected backwards in our room 4107. This was a beautiful main floor room with large screen TV and a terrace which included a hammock.
Although the ocean beach is beautiful here, it's not safe to swim because of the undertow, but with the nice selection of swimming pools on location, we didn't mind. For anyone who does want to swim in the ocean, a short taxi ride can get you to a calm safe beach.
We took a walk with our new found Vancouver friend Julie Nicholls to the close by town of San Jose Del Cabo to do some site seeing and shopping. Another Canadian along the way directed us to an open roof top venue called Shooters Sports Bar which is apparently owned by a Calgary couple. They employ all Mexican staff and the place is always packed with Canadians and Americans. The food was great and the beers were $1.00 each... it must have been "happy hour". Or maybe it was because the Grey Cup (Winnipeg and Saskatchewan in Toronto) was on TV and the place was full of Canadian clientele.
On 2 evenings Janice and I took a 40 minute shuttle trip to the city of Cabo San Lucas with another fun west coast couple staying at our hotel (Mark and Patty). We went to Sammy Haggar's famous bar Cabo Wabo. The tequila drinks were strong and and cover band was amazing. It was the first band I ever heard play Queen's masterpiece Bohemian Rhapsody. Holy crap,... they nailed it - vocals and all. Freddie Mercury would have been proud. One of the waiters told me they are called "The Wabos" although I noticed a poster said they were called "Cabo". I'm not sure which is correct.
Most everywhere exploring you go you will be approached by people wanting you to sit through time share presentations. Some of them, I'm sure are probably okay deals,.. and I can attest that some of the accommodations that are being offered are absolutely amazing. The free gifts aren't bad for sitting through one of these. The most profitable one we heard of was a $350 cash gift presented to you at the end of the hard sell, including a free round trip taxi ride.
A major highlight for Janice and I in Cobo San Lucas was swimming with the dolphins at Cabo Dolphins. What gentle and fun loving creatures. They kissed us, swam with us, pulled us by their fins and had fun splashing and showing off for us. We got to feed them, pet them and even touch their tongues and teeth. I was amazed to find out that a dolphin gradually sheds and replaces all of it's skin every 4 hours. To the touch, their bodies feel like wet very smooth rubber.
Here on our honeymoon we encountered a vast number of west coast Canadians, many of which we discovered live within an hour's drive from Janice and I. Many new friends were made,.. not just with Canadians. The Canadians included Julie, Danel, Mark and Patty, Jeff and Reena, Bill and Meemie, Greg and Denise Bullock, and a host of others whose names are scrambled in my head. There was also a very nice young couple from Monterey, Mexico, who I was pleased to make the acquaintance of. Our next door neighbors were 2 friendly guys from California; Markus and Ryan. Leaving their girlfriends behind this trip they came for a guy's-get-away. We had some brews and laughs and political discussions. They were on their terrace one night partying with Medicine Hat Albertans (and rock drummers), Jeff and Reena. They invited me over with my guitar and we howled at the moon.
Another night many of us sat around, I played guitar and we all yacked, sang and had a good time until the wee hours out behind the lobby bar as the rain came down. That was our last night,... and none of us were looking forward to going home to the snow that we'd been hearing about.
The O 'n' S Photos page shows some of our Mexican honeymoon holiday photos.
JANICE AND I GET MARRIED IN SHERIDAN LAKE, BC
Janice Streng and I legally got married on August 4th, 2007 at an awesome celebration at Sheridan Lake BC. The entire outdoor event was hosted by Janice's parents, Martin and Jean Streng, on their 45 acre property in the beautiful Caribou country and about 100 family and friends attended. The ceremony was officiated by BC marriage commissioner Kim Hunter, who is a good friend of the Streng family and has known Janice since she was a baby. Janice's maid of honor and bridesmaid were Rene Berard and Katie Streng, respectively. My best man was none other than my son Chris Sleightholm. With the musicians in attendance, we provided our own live music with a band of our own making called The Well Hung Jury, a tongue-in-cheek name authored by our MC and good friend Greg Dreysko. I still laugh when I think of that name. This one time band line-up included, Dez Carpenter (percussion), Stan Dorsett (bass and vocals), Chris Sleightholm (guitar, keys and vocals), Steve Kotyk (guitar and mandolin), Janice Wyatt (mandolin) and me (guitar, keys and vocals). We were proud to have special cameo appearances by Greg Dreysko (guitar and vocals) and Debbie Sleightholm (Tylenol bottle shaker). We were also pleased to have our pal Trevor Pugh running a pristine sound with his JBL and Yamaha sound system and adding tambourine and exceptional air guitar performances. The wedding party atmosphere lasted the entire August long weekend with tents and motor homes throughout the property. No one got much sleep. Photos of this wedding can also be found on this link.....
JANICE AND I GET MARRIED IN CAMBRIDGE,
Both my dear wife Janice and I have family in Ontario. So it was clear that when we decided to get married we would want to have a wedding ceremony there as well. This, however, wasn't the legal marriage because you can only get married in one Province. Janice's biological father, Ted Camilleri and his wife Monica generously offered to host the event at their beautiful rural acreage in Cambridge Ontario on July 7th, 2007. (Note: It was at Ted and Monica's home Christmas day of 2006 that I proposed to Janice in front of them and Janice's son Steve Kotyk). The ceremony was officiated by Janice's Uncle Dan Camilleri. Janice's cousin Karen Kennedy was her maid of honor and Janice's son Steve Kotyk was my best man. Following the brief formalities we had a warm and lovely garden party with live music. There were about 50 or more family and freinds in attendance. With large tents in place we were prepared for the rain that didn't happen. But never-the-less the tents took away the wide openess and brought us all together. Photos of this wedding can be found on this link.....
JAMMIN' WITH DAVE
You'll see some pictures of me jamming with my percussion friend Dave Fracchia. Janice and I met Dave and his wife Margie out here on the west coast in March 2007 through mutual friends Don and Kim Dewar. Like me, Dave and Margie also grew up in Regina, but it was a real coincidence when we discovered Dave and I went to the same high school - only in different years. A young and budding guitarist (Clay Dewar) was giving us a hand as well.
poem by Jeff Wyatt 1990
I’d love to be able to make my guitar talk
It pronounces a few words
a lot of noise
much of anything
I just don’t understand
© Jeff Wyatt 1990, 2008
- published by the Regina Guild of Folk Arts in the Sept-Oct 1990 edition of The Guild Gazette -
This Odds 'n' Sods page is accompanied by the O 'n' S Photos page that you will see in the page navigation links. Captions on those pictures relate to the written material above.