English Mike is the MAN

Last Vacation Post – Back to the Big Smoke for Dinner

So for our last installment of The Trumpets take on Europe we headed back to the Big Smoke for one last night and have dinner with my “other” little sister Bridget, her husband Patrick and their baby “Little Jimmy”. We secured a very nice hotel thanks to Mrs Katz and were walking distance to the Royal Hall where Bridget works. We had some great drinks overlooking the Thames and even though it was cold and rainy (Again where are you Mr Sun) we had a good visit. Later that evening we had pints in a couple of different pubs/bars and retired for the evening. Again, and I can’t say how impressed we were with the mass transit, we popped on the Tube and in 30 minutes were at Heathrow Terminal 4 to board our flight back to the Colonies. As luck would have it we were able to secure first class accommodations and after a 10 hour flight we landed in Minneapolis St Paul. Mrs Trumpet and I signed up for Global Entry and let me tell you, that is worth it’s weight in gold as it is a piece of cake when clearing customs.
All in all, we had a blast and were thankful that we had great traveling companions (The Lees, Smoothie, D3, Jess, Handsome Dan & AJ) as that can make or break a trip. On advice we downloaded Viber and were able to communicate with everyone depending if we were in the same hotel or in Ireland, or wherever. Now I guess we need someone else to get married so we can do it again!

 
The hotel we stayed at on the last night

Still around town

For our Friend Anne

Proud Papa and Baby Jimmy
 
I don’t know how many of these suckers I drank but it sure was good!
 
AJ enjoying the Dessert Cart

The only way to travel Trans-Atlantic – First Class Baby!
 
 My Luggage for 10 days – Yes we carried on the entire trip and it was a godsend when navigating trains, streets and tube trips
 
Taken out of order but this is the Paris Train Station – Very efficient

First Day back in the US and for some reason the Guinness doesn’t taste like it does in UK but at least there Max.
 
To the King!
CBT!
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A Rare Post by CBT – Pictures of food and drink from across the pond for you Foodies

Now before I start getting a bunch of “CBT you hypocrite!” posts allow me to ‘splain myself for this photo barrage of food pics. Some good friends of ours who live in Sacramento when they go out to dinner will take a picture of the bottle of wine so that they can pick up a bottle at their favorite liquor store later. I always thought this was a smashing idea as I have from time to time found a great wine and can never remember the winery who bottled it. I recall the many different food shows who would showcase a dish and on occasion thougth “That was a neat presentation” but never had the stones to take a picture before devouring the plate. You recall my friend Ashley who took a picture of her burger from SOB don’t you? I have later learned that this is called “Blessing the food” by food bloggers so I figured when in England/Brussels/Paris do as they do.
This mad picture taking was also proof as to why I gained a dozen stones and can’t fit into my pants now as even my cousin the doctor gave me a good chewing out on my last physical. Anyway the food and drink across the pond is phenomenal and if you have the means to travel over there, by all means eat out often! Next trip I am taking extra Lipitor tablets with me as I fear my blood has been replaced by cholesterol.
Now onto the pictures.
 
 Lamb, Leek and Sausage Pie from “Drawn and Quartered” in London
 
Somewhere in Paris, I could live off of this stuff
 
Killer Bottle of Table wine that we drank in Brussels

For those of you who are wondering, No we didn’t get a bucket but I was amused that the line out the door was mainly Americans
 
 Pate Terrine – I can hear my heart saying “Stop CBT”
 
All that time I spent working in French Restaurants paid off as we paired this bottle of Cotes de Nuits with a cheese plate in Paris
 
Say what you want to about the English but they do make a killer breakfast. Make sure you try the Black Pudding too

I think this was our Hotel Wine
 
 Harrods puts out a great wine (that isn’t an arm and a leg expensive either)
 

I am not saying the Sauce Bernaise was good but yes, I am eating the rest of it with a spoon
 
Stinky Cheese, Ham, Salami, French Bread and Wine – The French aren’t all bad after all
 
Dense Chocolate Cake and Red Wine – Why Not!
 
 Hey Look a Chicken!

Mussels in Brussels with Pom Frittes too!
 
 If you look closely you will see what I call the Triple Crown of Shopping – Charcuterie (meats) Store, Formager (Cheese) Store, a Wine Store and a Grocery Store all in one block. I spent an hour here just looking
 

 When you do the math the produce here in Paris was much cheaper than at the Gangsta Kroger…..and way better too!
 

What is in there you ask? Why it is a cheese aging cooler
 
I had no idea what was the daily special but they have it everyday
 
Kind of a strange way to wash your pots and pans but hey if it works
 
Vegans – Translation for someone who can’t hunt of fish very well

Why the long face Mrs CBT?
 
Oh she didn’t have her Train Wine yet. Yep that was hard not to order a beer or glass of wine when we returned back to the states. “You mean I can only have Iced Tea? Bullshit!”
 
 
Ok so write it down, CBT took pictures of food which I normally never do.
 
TTQ!
CBT!
 

Off with her head! The Trumpet’s head to Tower of London

So after a nice evening of drinks, food and laughter we arise on Monday morning for a full day of Trumpet Touristing. On the list was a trip to the Tower of London as we are devoted “The Tudors” fans and I will be honest, a chance to see the crowned jewels is pretty effin cool.  We awoke and I noticed that the morning paper was still in front of AJ’s room and could hear him snoring through the door so I called Pepe and D3’s room to see if they wanted to go touring. Sadly Pepe was suffering from a case of “bottle flu” and said he would have to get back to us later. Two seconds later, D3 rings our room saying she was going to put on the big girl panties and was going to muster through the pain and wanted to see if she could tag along. We of course said yes so off the Tube to the Tower of London.
Now for those who are planning a trip to London or Europe for that matter, you need to understand that you will do a lot of walking. I guessed that we probably walked 10 miles that day but of course we did have to “reward” ourselves on occasion with a pint but seriously, get ready to do some walking. The Tower was really neat and sadly I couldn’t snap any pictures of the Crowned Jewels or the Mace but let me tell you, when Queen Elizabeth does decide to step down and give power to Chuck, the crown he will wear for the coronation is quite heavy. Ole Chuck better do some neck exercises or he may break his neck because the crowns that we saw were huge!
After the tour and some lunch Mrs Trumpet decided to do some retail therapy. If you know anything about me (devilishly good looking, fit as a fiddle, able to hammer a 10 inch spike into bedrock with my schmeckle) you would know that I do fancy a good cigar from time to time. Thanks to the 1962 Trade embargo with Cuba, the cigars that are made in Cuba are illegal in the US. From time to time I have found some in our travels to Belize, Mexico and Caribbean but I found that the cigars are overpriced, dry as hell, and a lot are counterfeit. Some of my Cigar buddies have told me about the Humidor at Harrods department store and that I have to see this place. Well since we were in the country I begged asked Mrs Trumpet if we could make a side trip to Knightsbridge and she obliged.
Anyway enough with my banter, on to the pictures.
 
 Here is D3 with Pepe (You do see him don’t you?)
 
D3 and Pepe in the Tube
 
Tower Bridge

Tower of London from the street
 
Oh yeah, we blend
 
I love this country, I am a giant!
 
King Edwards Oratory in St. Thomas Tower

 What the hell is going on down there? They filming a Mentos commercial?
 
Stained Glass in The Lanthorn Tower
 
You don’t want to piss this dude off (outside the Crown Jewels)
 
Changing of the Guard
 
 
Sadly the only pic I have since the aforementioned dude gave me the stink eye
 
That isn’t a Mentos Commercial its a Muppet Movie!
Sadly there was a little boy standing at the barricade begging for Mrs Piggy to turn around. He was crushed and also wondered why the man to her right had his hand up her skirt too. 

I bet moving couches in this joint was a bitch
 
Tower Bridge
 
See what happens when you make a comment about the Royal Family’s Jewels?

 

Outside the Tower of London

A Purchase from Harrods (and it was fantastic)
 
 Another Purchase from Harrods (Look forward to smoking this little number on the Sunday of BBQ Fest with Jimmy Lee and Pepe

Harrods staff wasn’t thrilled when I said that I knew the Canadian and I get the “family discount”
 
English Mike’s company store inside Harrods
 
Caviar Display inside the Food Court at Harrods

 

The English and their proper warnings
 
Onto Brussels and Paris next!
 
TTQ!
CBT!

Post Wedding & Day One in the Big Smoke

So when I last left you we were closing the bar at half past 3 when they ran out of Guinness, Ice, Stella and patience which was a good thing since we had a full day at Casa de Barns the next day. We awoke, well some of us awoke, some slept in till almost noon, and checked out of the Marwell and into the Solent. The Solent is rather close to Mike and Claire’s home and was easier to get to and from than at the Marwell. One thing that we did find out was that over in England they do not play with DUI and that is a good thing. They are very diligent over there and will even breathalyze people in the morning, my God if they did that tomorrow (today is the St Paddy’s Day Parade downtown) then 201 Poplar would be busting from the seams.
Mike and Claire have a wonderful house and is perfect for Mike to have that bar installed in the dining room just off the kitchen. Yeah Mrs B wasn’t too keen on AJ and my suggestion to install the bar with french doors off to the garden to give it an alfresco look. I think her comment was “Robo, you go out there and measure a shed at the back of the garden for you and your wonder twins bar.” Oh well we can’t help but try. Personally I think  that Bar 32 East sounds like a great pub’s name. 
After the Open house we went back to the Solent for some dinner and even Mr B joined us for some pints and laughs. We took off the next day to “The Big Smoke” as Mike calls it and had a good first day. I will divulge more in the pictures.

Mike’s Claire’s Garden – Notice the Football Net and the BBQ grill on the left, It makes me proud knowing that all of Benjie’s cooking techniques have rubbed off on Mike…sniff.
 
The Guinness are ice down for us to enjoy – What you don’t see the ice in the picture?  


Looks like the man with 3 first names, Handsome Dan had to take care of a different type of beverage. How was that Smirinoff Ice Dan?
 
I should have put this in the other Blog entry but here is Mike’s father Digger. No word if Mike’s sister is also bald.
 
Yep you can tell that this is the offspring of Jimmy Lee. Wee Fiona kicking it old school while having her evening bottle.  


Here is Jess enjoying her Scab (aka Black Pudding) with her dinner entree
 
And here is Handsome Dan digging out the 3 cubes of ice that was spilled on him by the previously mentioned Jess for making a comment about Polish heritage. Like we said Dan, if you mess this up we are keeping Jessica and you can stay at the flophouse on Madewood.
 
 Mike surprised us after the party by swinging by for a couple of pints. Here he is texting his lovely wife by saying “Honey I will be here for a couple more hours, I am helping Robo with his English to English Translator for their trip to London tomorrow.”
Kuddos to Claire for being a good sport while we were in his neck of the woods

We made it to London and Hey Look Kids, Big Ben, Parliament!
 
 The London Eye, with my fear of heights this was the closest I got to the damned thing.
 
Day One in the Big Smoke and we went to Camden Market for some Lunch and Beers. Little did we know but this is the Hippy/Midtown section of London so we felt right at home. More on that later.
 
 The Camden Locks, Seriously it was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the temps were in the mid 40s which ment it was perfect beer drinking weather.
 
Here we are in “The Largest Pub in England” this place was HUGE and no there wasn’t any bagpipe music or Adelle being played over the speakers system. It was Death Metal! Kinda brought be back to my Ozzy Osborne, AC/DC, Iron Maiden Days
 
 The Bieb was playing that night in town and it is good to know that the English think about him as much as we do. We went to the ATM twice to make sure the little Wanker died a couple times.
 

Here is Pepe and D3 having some lunch. And by lunch I mean BEER!
 
 Hey Look kids, Big Ben and Parliament! Taken from the Jubilee Bridge as we headed over to a pub to meet Jess and Handsome Dan
 
More shots of the buildings on the River Thames
 
 The Building to the right is the MI5 building or for those who watch Bond Movies – Universal Exports
 
 Playing around on my camera this is County Hall which was next to our hotel – The Motel 6
 
Yeah we know Carbunkle, Big Ben!
 
More pics and commentary tomorrow, I got to get ready for Sir Elton John.
 
TTQ!
CBT!

English Mike and Mrs B get married

Distance from Memphis TN to London Heathrow (LHR) – 4356 miles or 7011 km
Length of time to travel from London Heathrow (LHR) to Marwell Hotel in Hampshire UK – 1 hour 20 minutes
Amount of time one would stay up traveling 6 time zones to reach Marwell Hotel – roughly 36 hours
Attend the wedding of “English” Mike Barns and Claire Turner – Priceless
 
If you have followed this worthless dribble or a blog, you would have seen some past posts about English Mike, Bar 595’s Marketing Director, and some of our antics. 3 years back during MIM, Mike and I had a good heart to heart chat over a lot of some beers and he told me that this was the girl for him and he was going to one day marry her. I told Mike that when he sets the date, Carbunkle Trumpet would be in attendance front and center. Mike asked the question, Claire said yes, so off to London for the Trumpets and 8 others from the Americas! The wedding was to take place south of London near Claire and Mike’s home in Hampshire and let me tell you, Mike worked his arse off making arrangements for the 10 of us and we do appreciate his hard work.
Mike and Claire were to be married at half past 2 on Friday, March 1st but before that the boys had to have a traditional English Breakfast of Kegs and Eggs that Mike arranged. I mean seriously, he arranged van service to and from the breakfast, van service to another hotel, this man was a mad scientist with his planning. The wedding was a civil service and (if my memory serves me correctly) their wedding registrar went on file in the Town of Hampshire that has been going on since the 1800’s. Following the wedding we were treated to a sit down “Breakfast” with table settings, placards, a timetable that was followed to the T, and lots of wine and drink. After a brief room set we had the “evening” reception with again more food, photo booth and DJ. I like the way the English celebrate weddings, it went on till 3AM till the bar ran out of beer!
Now if you have ever seen the movie “Four Weddings and a Funeral” you have seen the part about the speeches and let me tell you, it was everything that you could imagine. Si and Mark (Mike’s Best Men) made sure that Mike “had the piss taken out of him” and even had a taped recording when Mike was on BBC1 radio for a contest. I won’t go into great detail but I can say that I have never laughed so hard in my life.
I will cut to the pictures now but I would like to thank Mike and Claire and their families and friends for making our visit so wonderful and we look forward to seeing you many more times in the future.
Departure Lounge in Detroit as we have some time to kill waiting for our flight across the pond
 
I have a feeling I won’t be seeing you for 10 days there Mr Vodka and Soda
 
Ever wondered what a 15 month old looks like after being up for 36 hours? Poor Fiona wasn’t feeling it on her first day in the UK

Mike is tickled to death that he didn’t have to fly 12 hours to come drink with the Americans
 
Pepe and AJ figuring out why they drive on the other side of the road

Notice on the Table the bottle of Bud heavy that someone bought, the born on date was over a year old. Also notice the 5 hour energy drink – That was a necessity after the first day of travel
 
The day of the wedding with a Proper English Breakfast and many pints of Guinness (aka Kegs and Eggs) I think we had a total of 30 at the table

Traditional English Morning Suit with Converse Chuck Taylor training shoes – Classic
Oh and the plaid you see to the left, that was a guy wearing his traditional Scottish dress for the wedding too!
 
Notice a bead of sweat running down the back of Mr Barns head right before the ceremony

The Americans in attendance, where are you Pepe? We notice D3 sitting by herself again
 
 You know it is a big deal when even AJ puts on a jacket and tie
 

I promise to love you and will forgive you for climbing to the second tier of the South Bluffs Fountain
 
When in the UK…

 

That bald head in the lower left is Mike’s father Digger, Thankfully his mum has a full head of hair
Mike’s comments to his best men Si and Mark before they Zung the heck out of him
 
 Si warming up the crowd before Mark goes in for the kill during the speeches

Baby Elvis makes an appearance with the Yanks
 
This is Alfie, Claire’s 10 year old son and he is a riot, we can’t wait to corrupt him in a couple years at MIMBBQ (yep Claire, we got the ok)
 
 Fiona running on fumes and playing peek a boo between daddy’s legs

And we are crashed out
 
On Mum’s legs in the middle of the Disco with the music blaring!
Bless Erin and Jimmy Lee they were busy with her
 
 Sorry ladies, we are both happily married to great taller women who put up with our silliness

The Yanks enjoying a few beverages
 
 Why yes that is the Invisible Double Dutch being performed during the reception
 
Pepe just found out that he has been footing our bar bill during our stay at the Marwell.
As you can see, Danielle is ignoring this information and is “buried” in her iFoam
 
Handsome Dan made a new friend and wants to bring him to NYC
Claire’s cousin was a hoot and we had fun hanging with him even though we had a hard time understanding his English Accent. Kind of like the same accent we hear from Mike when he calls us at midnight our time after a couple pints.
 
 
So, that is the first installment of Carbunkle takes on the UK. Again congrats to Mr and Mrs Barns, we are honoured (England spelling) to be there on your special day.
 
TTK!
CBT!

2012 in Review, The Mayans were Wrong Biotch!


So here we are, the last day of the year and I am sure there are a bunch of “The year in review” showcases playing on the TV today. Not to be outdone I figure I may as well throw my two cents in as well. For those of you who know me personally 2012 was to be the year of the Boobies, well thanks to a certain right boob that will have to wait till 2013 but that’s ok, we got time. In no particular order here are the highlights of 2012 for Carbunkle Trumpet;

  1. Completed my first 5K and lived to tell about it.
  2. Completed my first half marathon and bitched the entire 13.1 miles. By the way my left knee still isn’t right and I suspect a trip to the Orthopod will be in order.
  3. Made a trip down South to my second home in Belize and like always, had a blast visiting with friends and family.
  4. Attended the Royal Wedding of AJ in Mexico and really enjoyed the Mexican Riviera.
  5. Got to meet The King of Rock and Roll’s daughter thanks to Sara.
  6. Got to meet my man-crush Anthony “Big Balls” Bourdain.
  7. Oh yea, we have the pitter patter of little feet at the CBT household. Not a child mind you, another dog.
 
Silly Mayans, you may be helluva builders but you can’t make a decent Calender
 
Damn East German Judge only gave me a 9.0 and they even had to temporarily close the runway (behind the fence) due to the large amount of water splashed on it.
 
How many people do you know can call Elvis Daddy? Not like that you dirty minded people.
 
That Damned Alex’s Tavern shirt saw lots of sweat over the course of the year!
 
This Photo was taken right before Allison asked Tony “Does this napkin smell like Chloroform?”
 
They entered Tom Lee Park children and emerged Carnies!
 
Me and my favorite Illegal Alien (and Katz too)
 
That isn’t a medal, that is a badge of honor I tell you!
 
And to think that they also bought a time share too!
 
I do love her cancer free arse!
 
Laugh all you want to at my time, I finished that damn thing!
 
No that isn’t a rat, that is our new addition, Maya Trumpet
 
Merry New Year from the Trumpets!
 
So what is on the horizon for the Trumpets in 2013? Well we are heading to England for English Mike’s wedding, a trip to Chicago in a couple weeks to see Josh and Adri and as for the rest of 2013, we plan on winging it!
 
 
TTK!
CBT

English Mike is the ultimate Bar 595 promoter!

As we are about to embrace the 10th anniversary month for Bar 595 I have often laughed at some of the pics that have been sent to me of a 595 coozie in various places. Obviously my English brother from another mother has raised the bar with his worldly travels and also thanks to his mates but I have to admit, I fell off my bar stool tonight. Prior to my “Miley Cyrus Virus” I had a Facebook invite to a skydiving jump 3 months ago and I just put it into my calender and didn’t think much about it. Last weekend I get a text message from English Mike (thankfully at a normal waking time) that he had just jumped out of a perfectly serviceable airplane with a coozie and I am scratching my head on this one in disbelief as I am wondering if someone had too many pints in the afternoon.
Well I finally open my facebook, make my silly status update comment and then I see this and I am truly in awe! There it is friends and neighbors, a Bar 595 coozie up in the wild blue yonder!

Even as he is about to piss himself he is promoting the BAR!
Thanks Mike I love it and let me know what you want on the 10th anniversary coozie, because you defiantly earned it!
TTK!