Delaware – Orange Crush

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Delaware became the first state in the union, ratifying the constitution in 1787. Also known as the Diamond State, as Thomas Jefferson allegedly called Delaware a jewel for its location, let’s see if that endorsement rings true:

Motto: “Liberty and independence” – Someone was using their thesaurus.

Food: Scrapple, described by some as similar to SPAM, is comprised of pork scraps mixed with breading and spices, turning it into a loaf. It is then sliced and fried, prior to being served. The dish is so popular in Delaware, that the Apple Scrapple Festival has been held annually, in Bridgeville, since 1992.

Drink: Dogfish Head Brewery, based in Milton, has been in operation since 1995. Known for their experimental brews, the company’s wares can be found across much of the U.S. They also have two restaurants located in Rehoboth Beach, as well as alehouses in Maryland and Virginia.

Scrapple

Site to See: Delaware is best known for its beaches, most notably Rehoboth Beach, which has been called “The Nation’s Summer Capital”, thanks to so many visitors travelling to the area each year. Events at Rehoboth include the Independent Film Festival, Sea Witch Festival and Autumn Jazz Festival.

Street: Packet Alley, in New Castle, has been called Delaware’s most historic alley. This is thanks to the famous folks, such as President Andrew Jackson and frontiersman Davy Crockett, who have travelled the path, which connected stagecoaches dropping passengers off at one end, to load riverboats on the other end.

TV Show: Delaware is known for two TV shows, the animated Steven Universe (2013-2019) and action drama The Pretender (1996-2001), both set in fictional locales. Although I haven’t seen either series, they sound watchable by my easygoing tastes.

Movie: Goosebumps, starring Jack Black as author R.L. Stine, gets the nod here for letting the Sip Advisor relive some of his favourite books from childhood on the big screen. Set in the fictional town of Madison, the real-life Madison, Georgia was used for filming.

Goosebumps

Book/Author: John Dickinson, a Founding Father of the country, has been dubbed the Penman of the Revolution, for his works on the independence movement. These included the 1774 Petition to the King, 1775 Olive Branch Petition and 1775 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms.

Fictional Character: Fight Club, at least the book by Chuck Palahniuk, is set in Delaware. That technically makes alter ego Tyler Durden a Delawarean. The leader behind Project Mayhem is a very memorable character… even if he is an imagined split personality.

Fictional City: Metropolis, where Clark Kent works as a reporter at the Daily Planet and saves the world as Superman, is located in, of all places, Delaware. This is based on a number of theories and Easter eggs, including license plates in the movie Superman Returns, being tagged with ‘The First State’ on them.

Actors/Actresses: Elisabeth Shue, born in Wilmington, has enjoyed a long and varied acting career. She starred in such 80’s classics as The Karate Kid, Adventures in Babysitting, Cocktail and Back to the Future II. Her most notable role was as a prostitute in Leaving Las Vegas, for which she was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category.

Metropolis

Song: Delaware Slide by George Thorogood and The Destroyers is a close to eight-minute long track that is mostly instrumental. It’s a pretty rocking tune, though, so the length flies by.

Band/Musician: Speaking of Thorogood, the rocker was born in Wilmington. Thorogood has gone on to record hits like Bad to the Bone; I Drink Alone and One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (otherwise known as a Sip Advisor Trifecta). In 1981, Thorogood and The Destroyers completed a 50 shows in 50 states in 50 nights tour.

People: Thomas Garrett was a leader in the Underground Railroad. He nearly lost his fortune in the battle for Civil Rights for African-Americans, after being sued and fined for helping slaves escape their masters. Despite the perils, Garrett continued to help, freeing thousands who later called him their Moses.

Animal: Another nickname for Delaware is Blue Hen State. This traces back to the American Revolutionary War, when the bravery of Delaware soldiers was compared to Blue Hens that were used in cockfighting. The Blue Hen was adopted as the State Bird of Delaware in 1939.

George Thorogood

Invention: Delaware native Henry Heimlich invented the Heimlich Maneuver, helping to save countless lives around the world. His lesser known inventions, include the Heimlich Chest Drain Valve and Micro Trach Portable Oxygen System.

Crime: Delaware only has only had one known serial killer in its history. Steven Brian Pennell, aka the Route 40 Killer, was convicted of two murders and thought to be responsible for three others in the late 1980’s. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection and actually argued to have this sentence upheld. The execution took place on March 14, 1992.

Law: It is illegal in Delaware to pawn your wheelchair or any fake limb. Is it okay if it’s not your own?

Sports Team: No professional sports teams hail from Delaware, but the Dover International Speedway can be found there. Nicknamed the Monster Mile, it opened in 1969 and has hosted at least two NASCAR races every year since. The track has a maximum capacity of 135,000 spectators.

Heimlich Maneuver

Athlete: Elena Delle Donne, of the WNBA, was born in Wilmington. After playing college basketball for the University of Delaware Blue Hens, she was drafted second overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft. Delle Donne’s pro career has seen her win the WNBA Rookie of the Year award, two WNBA MVP titles and one WNBA Championship. She’s also the only female to join the exclusive 50-40-90 Club for successful shot percentages in a season, among eight NBA stars.

Famous Home: Nemours Mansion and Gardens, in Wilmington, was built by Alfred I. du Pont in the early 1900’s as a gift for his second wife. The French-style chateau features 105 rooms, filled with valuable furniture, antiques, art and tapestries. The grounds are patterned after France’s Gardens of Versailles and include a hedge maze, reflecting pool and “Temple of Love”, which has my interest piqued.

Urban Legend: Fort Delaware was a prison camp during the Civil War, holding more than 30,000 soldiers during that time. Approximately 10 per cent of those incarcerated, died from diseases such as dysentery and malaria. The spirits of the dead are said to haunt the site, which today offers 90-minute tours for entertainment purposes.

Museum: The Museum of Business History and Technology, in Wilmington, is loaded with antique typewriters, cash registers, telephones, clocks, and other office devices. I imagine it would give you a real appreciation for how much the working world has evolved, for better or worse.

Typewriter

Firsts: Called the “first American flag”, upholsterer Betsy Ross’ design of 13 alternating red and white stripes and 13 white stars on a blue background (both signifying the original 13 colonies to join the union), was first flown at the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, in Delaware, on September 3, 1777.

Company: DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, is responsible for the creation of nylon, neoprene, Teflon, Mylar, Kevlar, Lycra, and other synthetic fibers. The company has been integral to Delaware’s existence in a symbiotic relationship, with the DuPont family being worth billions of dollars today.

Events: As the first colony to ratify the American constitution, independence – and the battle for it – played a great role in shaping Delaware. With the debate on separating from the British deadlocked, Delawarean Caesar Rodney rode 70 miles from Dover to Philadelphia to cast the deciding vote. The Declaration of Independence was signed soon after.

Miscellaneous: Delaware was the only state with no National Park System units (which includes national parks, historic sites, battlefields, memorials, monuments, etc.), until 2013, when President Barack Obama designated the First State National Monument (later the First State National Historical Park) as one.

Orange Crush

Orange Crush

  • 2 oz Orange Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with an Orange Slice

Although it was invented in Maryland, the Orange Crush is a popular cocktail on the beaches of Delaware. Recipes I saw insisted you use fresh-squeezed OJ, so who am I to challenge that kind of logic and reason? The drink was pretty good and I can understand its admiration.

Sip Trips #182: 20/20 Vision

Wow, I haven’t written a Sip Trips in almost two months. And it’s not like we haven’t been busy, I guess it’s just been in different ways. So, let’s get right to it with the first Sip Trips of 2020:

Lately, I’ve tried a couple neat new beers at ABC Brewing, including the Wool Socks Winter Dubbel and Strawberry Milkshake IPA. When we popped in for a drink on New Year’s Eve, it was my first opportunity to be served by the brewery’s beer cocktail mixologist, who whipped up a delicious Dunder Biest Mode Sour for me and a mocktail for Mrs. Sip. Both were delicious and wonderfully-crafted.

A couple weeks back, a friend and I had dinner at Browns Social House in Downtown Vancouver, prior to a whiskey tasting event. My meal of their Szechuan Beef Noodle Bowl, accompanied by a trio of their Social Beers was a perfect set up for our later event. As for the whiskey tasting, we were able to try some high-end bottles, including Glenmorangie Signet, Balvenie Week of Peat, Laphroaig Lore, Stronachie 18, and MacCallan Triple Cask 15. The night was filled with many more brews, in between the whiskeys. Gotta cleanse the palate, am I right!?

tasting-throwing

Last week, a friend and I attended WWE Smackdown Live in Vancouver. Upon arriving at the arena, we grabbed a few beers, with my selection being a pair of Stanley Park 1897 Amber Ales. The show itself was entertaining, but given their was a 45-minute stretch with no in-ring action, instead filled by commercials, backstage segments and interviews, it solidifies my feelings that I’d rather be at a house show (non-televised with mostly inconsequential matches) than a TV taping (storyline developments, but WAY too many periods of inaction).

Following the wrestling, we stopped into Devil’s Elbow Ale and Smoke House for an extended nightcap. My beverages of choice were the Howe Sound Sky Pilot Pale Ale and Moon Under Water Creepy Uncle Dunkel. It was nice to pay a fairer rate for the beers, compared to what we were shelling out inside Rogers Arena across the street.

The next day, Mrs. Sip and I celebrated a belated Valentine’s Day. We started with a late lunch/early dinner at Glowbal. Our table ended up filled with happy hour appetizers, the feast comprised of their Trio of Sliders (complete with Cotton Candy for dessert), Fish Fritters, Calamari, Avocado Toast, Cheese Croquettes, and Caesar Salad. It was a scrumptious meal, which I paired with a pint of Parallel 49 Pale Ale.

valentines-day

The celebration continued with a performance of The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The show was very good and you just can’t top a venue like The Orpheum for concerts.

To wrap the Family Day long weekend, we travelled across the border for an outing. While in Bellingham, we enjoyed a meal at Twin Sisters Brewing (brewery number 81 for Toddler Sip). Another buffet of many items consisted of their happy hour burger and tacos, along with Chili Cheese Fries and Beer Pretzel Bites, which may have been the best pretzel bites I’ve ever had. For drinks, I went with their award-winning Strawberry Zwickelbier, while Mrs. Sip added a taster of Cranberry Wheat Ale.

Hopefully it’s less than two months before my next Sip Trips. With baby number two set to arrive in under a month, we could be on lockdown for a little while, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops!

Connecticut – Yale Cocktail

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Connecticut is known by many nicknames – Constitution State, Nutmeg State, Arsenal of the Nation – so let’s dig deep and learn what these Nutmeggers are really all about:

Motto: “He who is transplanted still sustains” – Well, that’s a relief!

Food: Connecticut has laid claim to creating some of the Sip Advisor’s favourite all-time foods, including Lobster Rolls, Hamburgers and Hotdogs. For folks with a sweet tooth, the state is also the birthplace of lollipops and PEZ.

Drink: Foxon Park Beverage Company, based in East Haven, are famous for their White Birch Soda, among other flavours. They are the commonly paired with New Haven-Style Pizza, for a complete, balanced Connecticut meal.

Pez

Site to See: Yale University, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious schools, is home to museums and picturesque grounds. Visitors can also try to locate the hideaways of Yale’s infamous secret societies, such as Skull and Bones and Scroll and Key.

Street: Described as “the most beautiful street in America” by both Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven is lined with 19th century mansions, including Yale Univeristy’s president’s house.

TV Show: Who’s the Boss, starring Tony Danza, was set in Fairfield. Danza played a widowed former baseball player, who becomes the live-in housekeeper for a divorced ad exec. The series lasted eight seasons and 196 episodes and is best known for introducing the world to Alyssa Milano.

Movie: The Tim Burton classic Beetlejuice, is set in the fictional Connecticut town of Winter River. Here, young couple Adam and Barbara Maitland tragically die and experience life after death, including the zany Beetlejuice. Just don’t say his name three times.

Tony Danza

Book/Author: In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe (from Litchfield) published Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which highlighted the suffering of African-American slaves. Later, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln is said to have said to the author: “so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war”.

Fictional Character: Professional wrestler Hunter Hearst Helmsley (later shortened to Triple H), was originally billed from Greenwich, using a Connecticut Blueblood gimmick. After some ups and downs to start his WWE career, Helmsley has gone on to be one of the most successful wrestlers of all-time and the real-life Paul Levesque is now an executive with the company that made him famous.

Fictional City: Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls is a small town home to many unique characters. As a teenage mother, Lorelei Gilmore escapes here, leaving behind her parents and the privileged life she’s known in Hartford.

Actors/Actresses: Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show, was born in Kent. Aside from providing his voice talents to many projects, McFarlane has also appeared in live action fare, including The Orville and A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Triple H

Song: For whatever reason, Yankee Doodle is the State Song of Connecticut, but Connecticut by Judy Garland and Bing Crosby really should be. The tune is extremely complimentary song about the state, with lines like “No matter where I’d chance to be, Connecticut is the place for me.”

Band/Musician: I have to go with crooner Michael Bolton here, best known for the hits “When A Man Loves a Woman” and “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”, both of which he won a Grammys for. It’s hard to believe Bolton got his start in hard rock and heavy metal bands in the 70’s and 80’s.

People: P.T. Barnum, a founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, was born in Bethel. He would later become the Mayor of Bridgeport and a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, serving Fairfield. Barnum has been featured in a number of film and TV projects, most notably portrayed by Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman.

Animal: Sergeant Stubby became the mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, serving with the unit in World War I. The mixed-breed mutt saved troops from mustard gas attacks and helped medics locate wounded soldiers. His story was documented in the 2018 animated movie, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero.

Michael Bolton

Invention: Of the many products created in Connecticut, I have to choose the vacuum cleaner, invented by Ira Hobart Spencer, of Hartford. However, if you want to avoid doing chores, you could get caught up playing outside with another invention from the state, the Frisbee.

Crime: The murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley, in Greenwich, may not have garnered as much attention as it did, if it hadn’t been for one of the potential suspects being Michael Skakel, a relation of the famous Kennedy clan. Skakel was convicted in 2002 of the 1975 murder, although the conviction was vacated in 2018.

Law: It is illegal to keep town records where alcohol is sold. There goes my dream of a city hall/liquor store combo!

Sports Team: The only professional team to exist in Connecticut was the now defunct Hartford Whalers of the NHL. The team relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina following the 1996-97 season, renamed the Carolina Hurricanes. The Whalers may be best remembered for their official theme song, Brass Bonanza.

Athlete: Chris Drury (born in Trumbull) and Brian Leetch (raised in Cheshire) have a lot in common. Both were multi-sport athletes growing up – with Drury being the winning pitcher at the 1989 Little League World Series – choosing careers in hockey. Each would win the NHL’s rookie of the year award, as well as a Stanley Cup championship for Leetch in 1994 (also named MVP of the playoffs) and for Drury in 2001.

Famous Home: Legendary author Mark Twain moved his family to Hartford in 1873. There, he wrote his most popular works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The home has been restored, with National Geographic calling it one of the ten best historic homes in the world.

Urban Legends: Lake Compounce, the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the U.S., is said to be haunted and cursed. The land where the park now sits was sold by Chief John Compound to white settlers. Legend has it, Chief Compound died soon after and other deaths have occurred on the grounds since, including drownings and construction accidents. Lake Compounce was also where the band Milli Vanilli were first exposed as lip-synchers.

Museum: Connecticut’s Trash Museum has been permanently closed, so I’ll have to settle on the Lock Museum of America, in Terryville. Here, you can check out a massive collection of locks and keys, as well as try on hand cuffs and leg irons, for kinkier visitors.

Mark Twain

Firsts: Some important American versions of books were first published in Connecticut, including the telephone book (containing only 50 names and numbers) and dictionary. Noah Webster, you know, of Webster’s Dictionary fame, published A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language in 1806. His next edition, An American Dictionary of the English Language, took two decades to complete, containing 70,000 words.

Company: TV production is a big industry in Connecticut, with companies such as ESPN (in Bristol) and WWE (in Stamford) setting up their headquarters in the state. It should also be noted, Subway is based in Milford, with the first restaurant, dubbed Pete’s Super Submarines, opened in 1965, in Bridgeport.

Events: With slavery outlawed in 1848 and the Underground Railroad travelling through the state, Connecticut participated on the Union side of the Civil War. Although no fighting took place in the state, what would become the Yale-New Haven Hospital treated thousands of injured soldiers, while the New Haven Arms Company and Colt’s Manufacturing Company provided fighters with weaponry.

Miscellaneous: Connecticut is unique in having a State Hero (Nathan Hale) and State Heroine (Prudence Crandall). Hale was a soldier and spy during the American Revolutionary War, hanged by the English for treason, at the age of 21. Crandall was a teacher and activist, who taught the first racially integrated class in the U.S.

Yale Cocktail

Yale Cocktail

  • 2 oz of Gin
  • 0.75 oz Crème de Violette
  • 0.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

This cocktail is named after Yale University, thanks to the drink’s bluish hue, which matches the school’s colour. There are many variations to this drink recipe, including using Blue Curacao instead of Crème de Violette. I used the recipe straight from Yale’s Alumni Magazine… go straight to the source, is what I always say!

Colorado – Colorado Bulldog

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Nicknamed the Centennial State, after joining the union in 1876, Colorado is our mile high destination today. Let’s see what trouble we can get up to:

Motto: “Nothing without providence” – Well, it’s nice to be protected!

Food: Jolly Ranchers were created in Golden, by company founder Bill Harmsen. The brand is now owned by the Hershey Company. I’m not a big candy guy, but a flavourful Jolly Rancher can sometimes hit the spot.

Drink: Colorado is a beer-lovers heaven. For those who prefer mass-produced products, you have Coors Brewing, while the craft beer connoisseur has multiple options, with companies like New Belgium Brewing tops among them.

Jolly Ranchers

Site to See: The state’s national parks are must-see attractions, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park and Great Sand Dunes National Park. Mesa Verde features the carved-in-cliff homes of the Pueblo people, including the impressive Cliff Palace.

Street: Running east-west through Denver, Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous street in the U.S. The route has been nicknamed the “longest, wickedest street in America” and stretches for 42 miles. Along the road, highlights include the State Capitol and a Voodoo Doughnut location.

TV Show: South Park is one of the longest running shows of all-time, currently at 23 seasons and 307 episodes aired. South Park is probably a place you wouldn’t want to live if it existed, but it’s fun to watch the mayhem from afar. The citizens of the “quiet, little mountain town” really make the show, with each viewer having their own favourites.

Movie: The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson, is set in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The Stanley Hotel, which was the inspiration for Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel in the novel, can be visited in Estes Park. With this, I can segue to the second half of Dumb and Dumber (perhaps the Sip Advisor’s favourite all-time film, much to Mrs. Sip’s chagrin) taking place in Aspen, with the Stanley Hotel used for the Hotel Danbury in that film.

The Shining

Book/Author: Speaking of book-to-movie adaptations starring Jack Nicholson, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was written by Ken Kesey, who was born in La Junta. The controversial book has been banned in some places, despite its commercial and critical success.

Fictional Character: One of the greatest characters ever created is Eric Cartman from South Park. Sure, the little bastard is as evil as they come, but he’s also endearing in his own way. At the same time, you can both rout for and revile the foul-mouthed youngster.

Fictional City: With South Park already getting some ink above, here I’ll highlight Greendale from Community. Greendale Community College may be one of the wildest schools in existence, highlighted by annual paintball battles that engulf the entire student body. If given the opportunity, I would certainly enroll.

Actor/Actress: Tim Allen, the star of TV shows such as Home Improvement and Last Man Standing (set in Denver), as well as films including The Santa Clause trilogy, Galaxy Quest, Christmas with the Kranks, and the Toy Story franchise, was born in Denver.

Eric Cartman

Song: Rocky Mountain High by John Denver became Colorado’s second State Song in 2007. Denver’s ode to the state came a few years after moving to Aspen, where he would live for much of his life. Born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., when a name change was suggested, he chose Denver for a surname, the capital of his favourite state. After tragically dying in a 1997 plane crash, his ashes were scattered in the Rocky Mountains.

Band/Musician: Pop rock band OneRepublic was formed in Colorado Springs. The group is best known for their hit Counting Stars, which topped music charts in six different countries, including Canada and the U.K., but peaked at number two in the U.S.

People: Former senator and presidential candidate John Kerry was born in Aurora. Kerry served as U.S. Secretary of State during Barack Obama’s second term as president, retiring with the end of that administration.

Animal: Colorado’s official State Pets are the dogs and cats adopted from Colorado animal shelters and rescues. Aside from that, Duane ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ Chapman hails from Denver, but I don’t think he counts as a famous animal.

Rocky Mountain High

Invention: The first Teddy Bear was said to have been constructed by maids at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. They put scraps of material together and presented the bear to President Teddy Roosevelt, while he stayed there on a hunting trip. The Teddy Bear became a worldwide sensation and its popularity has never waned.

Crime: There are some doozy crimes in the history of Colorado. The Columbine High mass shooting, murder of JonBenét Ramsey, and Aurora Theater mass shooting all took place within the state. Other notable crimes have been featured on the TV show Homicide Hunter, which looks at the cases of Lt. Joe Kenda, a former detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Law: It is illegal to mutilate a rock in a Colorado state park. I’ve always had it out for those geological formations, but I guess I’ll have to bottle up my hatred when travelling through the state.

Sports Team: Another state that has one team in each of the Big 4 sports leagues: Denver Broncos (NFL), Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Colorado Rockies (MLB), Denver Nuggets (NBA). Colorado is also known for its many world-class ski resorts, bringing many travellers to locations such as Aspen and Vail for some fresh powder.

Joe Kenda

Athlete: An inaugural inductee into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1965, boxer Jack Dempsey was born in Manassa. Nicknamed the ‘Manassa Mauler’, Dempsey was World Heavyweight Champion from 1919-1926, becoming a cultural icon of the time. He passed away in 1983, aged 87.

Famous Home: Sculptured House is an elliptical-curved home, located in Golden. The place was designed by architect Charles Deaton and built on Genesee Mountain. Sculptured House was featured in Woody Allen’s 1973 film Sleeper, giving it the nickname, Sleeper House. It has also appeared on MTV’s Extreme Cribs.

Urban Legend: Famous outlaw Butch Cassidy is believed to have buried treasures at some locations around Colorado, with thousands of dollars up for grabs for those willing to search the hordes out. The Wild Bunch gang leader was killed in Bolivia, on the run from the law, before he could retrieve these deposits.

Museum: If you can’t get to the fields of MLB’s 30 teams, perhaps you’ll want to visit the National Ballpark Museum, in Denver. The gallery’s collection includes seats from some of the most storied stadiums in the sport’s history, as well as other memorabilia and exhibits.

Jack Dempsey

Firsts: Colorado was among the first states (along with Washington) to legalize marijuana in 2012. Cannabis sales in the state passed $1 billion in 2016 and the industry continues to grow (literally!).

Company: What would become the Coors Brewing Company was first established in Golden in 1873. The brewery was run by a Coors family member from then until 2002. Sadly, the Coors legacy is mixed with some tragedy, including the suicide of Adolph Coors I and the murder of Adolph Coors III, during a botched kidnapping for ransom plot.

Events: In 1858, gold was discovered in Colorado, leading to an influx of people to the region and popularizing the phrase “Pikes Peak or Bust”. Central City, founded in 1859, is known as “The Richest Square Mile on Earth”, with a total gold output between 1859-1918 of over $83 million.

Miscellaneous: You always have to be careful when mentioning “highest” in reference to Colorado, but the state contains the highest paved road, bridge, railway and sand dune in the U.S. It was on one of those high points (Pikes Peak), where America the Beautiful was written by Katherine Lee Bates, becoming a national anthem alternative to some.

Colorado Bulldog

Colorado Bulldog

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • Top with Cola
  • Splash of Light Cream/Milk
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

The Colorado Bulldog is basically a White Russian, enhanced (or not, depending on your view) with some cola. I turned my serving into more of a dessert cocktail, using Smores Vodka and Chili Chocolate Kahlua in the beverage. It turned out fairly well, but I don’t think this drink will feature regularly in my libation rotation.

California – Cable Car

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. The Golden State is going to be a tough stop, as there’s so much to choose from for each category. California is home to film, TV and music production, as well as a hub for technological developments. Its population rivals the entire country of Canada, so suffice to say, there’s a lot going on:

Motto: “Eureka” (“I have found it”) – Are you sure you don’t want to hide it again!?

Food: You could have an entire buffet – or at least a multi-course meal – stocked only with food items invented in California. For an appetizer, there’s the California Roll or a Cobb Salad, followed by a main course of either a Cheeseburger, French Dip Sandwich, or California-Style Pizza. For dessert, you could enjoy a Popsicle, Hot Fudge Sundae or Rocky Road Ice Cream. And why not finish the meal with a Fortune Cookie.

Drink: California is known for inventing its fair share of popular cocktails, including the Martini. Both San Francisco and nearby Martinez claim to be the birthplace of the drink, which has been called “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet” and “the elixir of quietude”.

Martini

Site to See: As someone who has spent quite a bit of time and money travelling to California for the sole purpose of going to Disneyland, I have to pick the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ as my choice here. Of course, the state seems to have something to offer for everyone, ranging from wine regions and beaches to tourist landmarks and other theme parks.

Street: San Francisco hasn’t seen much love in this piece yet, so I will choose Lombard Street for this category. The infamous winding route, featuring eight hairpin turns, has been used for car chases in the movies What’s Up, Doc?, Magnum Force and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Apparently, during peak times, driving the road can be preceded by a 20-minute wait and a reservation system may be used in the future.

TV Show: So many TV shows are set in California, with every genre getting some coverage: family sitcoms The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saved by the Bell and Full House; teen dramas Beverly Hills, 90210 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as well as spinoff Angel); mysteries Perry Mason and Columbo; adult sitcoms Arrested Development, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and Two and a Half Men; adult dramas Sons of Anarchy, Entourage and Weeds; and even horror shows Fear the Walking Dead and a couple seasons of American Horror Story.

Movie: Same goes for movies, with some of my all-time favourites being California-based. This includes Die Hard, Anchorman and Reservoir Dogs, among too many to name and many more I still need to watch.

Disneyland

Book/Author: John Steinbeck, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath, was born in Salinas. Much of the writer’s work was set in California, including popular titles East of Eden and Of Mice and Men.

Fictional Character: I have to go with the eccentric Bluth family from Arrested Development. Teenagers Zack Morris (Saved by the Bell) and Marty McFly (Back to the Future) almost land in the top spot. Mass murderers Chucky (Child’s Play) and Ghostface (Scream) also call California home, so be careful.

Fictional City: Parts of real-life California seem fictional, but if I don’t pick Sunnydale from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe, Mrs. Sip may never forgive me. The show’s entire seven season run takes place largely within the community, where Sunnydale High School is located directly above the ‘Hellmouth’. Spoiler alert: to close that dimensional portal, the city of Sunnydale is destroyed and the Sip Advisor doesn’t have to watch the show anymore!

Actor/Actress: Most folks who want to become actors end up in California. Those born in the state comprise a who’s who list of Hollywood royalty. This includes: Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Ben Affleck, Dwayne Johnson, Will Ferrell, Nicholas Cage, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Jodie Foster, and Marilyn Monroe, among many others.

Sunnydale

Song: With apologies to runners up Hotel California (The Eagles) and California Dreamin’ (The Mamas and the Papas), every time I’m about to land at LAX, I have to play California Love by 2Pac and Dr. Dre. It just gets me in the right spirit and ready for all the fun at my fingertips.

Band/Musician: Another tough choice, but given this band’s history – and playlist – I have to go with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The group was formed in Los Angeles and so many of their songs are California-based or inspired. Honourable mentions go to NWA, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, The Beach Boys, and The Doors.

People: Between Apple and Pixar, Steve Jobs brought a lot to the world around him. From personal computers to the iPod, iPad and iPhone, many people use the devices Jobs helped to create on a daily basis. Sadly, Jobs died in October 2011, aged 56. What he would have developed in the later years of his life, we’ll never know, but most wish he had the chance.

Animal: California is an animal actor’s haven. Many furry stars were trained in the state, including Mr. Ed, Lassie, Old Yeller, Buck from Married with Children and even the Taco Bell Chihuahua. SeaWorld San Diego was also home to infamous orca Shamu.

Chilli Peppers

Invention: Barbie dolls were invented by Ruth Handler in Los Angeles, and named after her daughter, Barbara. Ken dolls came later, named after her son. Debuting at the American International Toy Fair in 1959 (used as Barbie’s birthday), the dolls have been a hit since, launching the Mattel toy company, and becoming a global phenomenon and feminist icon.

Crime: While there are many crimes California is known for, I have to go with one that captured the attention of the entire nation and much of the world. In 1994, former NFL star O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. O.J.’s surrender to police turned into a two-hour low-speed chase across Southern California, with 95 million people watching on TV. The trial that followed was a media sensation, dubbed the Trial of the Century, resulting in O.J.’s acquittal.

Law: In California, “sunshine is guaranteed to the masses”. So, when that rare day of inclement weather comes, who pays the price for such a disturbance!?

Sports Team: California has five baseball teams, three football teams (with the Raiders leaving to play in Las Vegas for 2020), four basketball teams, and three hockey teams. Most popular among those squads is likely the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the NBA’s most important franchises. The Lakers have won 16 NBA championships in 31 finals appearances.

Barbie Real

Athlete: Amongst some all-time greats, I have to go with athletes who changed their sports. There, you have Billie Jean King, who brought women’s tennis to the forefront with her Battle of the Sexes matches. There’s also skateboarder Tony Hawk and snowboarder Shaun White, who made their extreme sports mainstream viewing. Finally, we have Tiger Woods, who despite his personal problems, made golf more popular than it’s even been.

Famous Home: There are so many notable abodes in California, there’s even tours of these manors and other dwellings. The Playboy Mansion, though, may take the cake for world recognition, as a place of lavish parties and debauchery. Hugh Hefner’s pad is located in Los Angeles, where the 29-room estate has been “permanently protected” by the city, basically deeming it a historical landmark.

Urban Legend: Used as inspiration for American Horror Story: Hotel, the Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles has had a long history of violent incidents and guest suicides. Rumoured guests have included Elizabeth Short (aka the Black Dahlia), shortly before her murder; serial killer Richard Ramirez (aka the Night Stalker), perhaps during his spree of terror; and fellow serial killer Jack Unterweger, said to possibly be copying Ramirez while visiting L.A. from Australia.

Museum: Winchester Mystery House, in San Jose, was the former home of Sarah Winchester, widow of gun maker William Winchester. Following the death of her young daughter and William’s passing, Sarah was advised by a psychic to move west and never stop building her home there, or she would be haunted by the spirits of those who died at the hands of the guns her husband had made his wealth from. Until Sarah’s death in 1922, construction continued, resulting in staircases that lead to dead ends, as well as trap doors and secret passages.

Mansion

Firsts: Given my affinity for McDonald’s, I have to salute the fact the first ever restaurant for what would become the chain, was opened in San Bernardino, in 1940. Decades later, McDonald’s became the world’s largest restaurant chain and today serves millions of customer each day, across the globe.

Company: I think here, you have to go with film and broadcasting companies, which provide us all with so much entertainment. The Walt Disney Company, Universal Pictures, MGM, Netflix and Warner Bros., among them. There are also tech companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Google, who do the same.

Events: California has endured gold rushes, earthquakes and much more. What truly gave the state its identity, though, was the film industry coming to settle in Hollywood. With Thomas Edison owning a number of patents regarding movie development, many filmmakers came to California to dodge the fees that came with that. Studios sprouted up soon after and the rest is movie history.

Miscellaneous: Video games haven’t received much coverage in these posts yet, but it should be noted, California has one of the largest industries for gaming. Activision Blizzard, Atari and Electronic Arts have all set up shop in the state where arcade games were invented. Heck, one of my favourite childhood cartridges, California Games for the NES, was basically an electronic ad for west coast life.

Cable Car

Cable Car

  • Rim glass with Cinnamon and Sugar
  • 1.5 oz Spiced Rum
  • 0.75 oz Triple Sec
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Garnish with an Orange Twist

This drink was created in 1996 by Tony Abou-Ganim to celebrate the Starlight Room in San Francisco’s Drake Hotel. The Sidecar variation intrigued me because of the use of Spiced Rum. My cocktail was a little too heavy on the lemon juice, but I enjoyed the Cinnamon/Sugar rim and would try the concoction again.

Arkansas – Arkansas Razorback

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Calling yourself the Natural State gives you a lot to live up to… at least they’re not known as the Au Naturel State. Let’s find out exactly what Arkansas has to offer:

Motto: “The people rule” – Who are these people?

Food: The concept of melted cheese has been around forever, but Cheese Dip was invented in 1935 in North Little Rock by Blackie Donnely, owner of the Mexico Chiquito restaurant. Arkansas is so proud of the creation, they host the annual World Cheese Dip Championship and there’s also a Cheese Dip Trail folks can travel to try the best available in the state.

Drink: Grapette is a grape-flavoured (shocking!) soda, which was developed in Camden, by Benjamin Fooks, in 1939. Today, the product can be found in Walmart stores. Walmart founder Sam Walton (also from Arkansas) reportedly said, upon meeting the drink’s owner in 1986: “I want Grapette in my stores.” This was said during a time where the drink was “retired” in the U.S. Clearly, Walton had fond memories of the beverage.

Cheese Dip

Site to See: Hot Springs National Park has been called “The American Spa”. It is the oldest park managed by the U.S. National Park System and features 43 thermal springs flowing throughout the grounds. There are also two bathhouses, where visitors can enjoy a soak in the waters said to have healing powers.

Street: Dickson Street in Fayetteville, is located near the University of Arkansas campus. The entertainment district hosts the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ festival annually, one of the biggest motorcycle rallies – celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year – across the United States.

TV Show: Evening Shade, starred Burt Reynolds as a former NFL player, who returns home to the city of Evening Shade to coach the high school football team. It ran for four season and 98 episodes, with before-they-were-famous roles for actresses Hilary Swank, Leah Remini and Lisa Kudrow. If low-brow entertainment (aka reality TV) is more your thing, 19 Kids and Counting was set in Tontitown, lasting 10 seasons and 229 episodes, plus specials.

Movie: True Grit, originally released in 1969 and remade in 2010, tells the story of a young girl who hires an aged, alcoholic marshal to help track down her father’s killer. A Texas Ranger is also in pursuit of the wanted man, with each character being tested along the way and having to prove their mettle. The tale begins in Fort Smith, before moving to what is now Oklahoma.

TLC

Book/Author: John Grisham, author of such legal thrillers as A Time to Kill, The Firm and The Runaway Jury, was born in Jonesboro. 10 of Grisham’s novels have been turned into feature films, with the former lawyer releasing his 40th book in October 2019.

Fictional Character: Unlikely outlaws Thelma and Louise are women from Arkansas, who were looking to have a weekend getaway from their monotonous lives, only to end up fugitives. The pair have become feminist figures, while Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon were each nominated for Oscars, for their portrayal of the characters.

Fictional City: Millsburg, the setting for the movie Sling Blade, is thought to be based on Benton, or at least that’s where the flick was filmed. It’s here that the character of Karl Childers (played by Billy Bob Thornton) must deal with his past and try to redeem himself.

Actor/Actress: Speaking of Billy Bob Thornton, the former Mr. Angelina Jolie was born in Hot Springs. It should be noted, not only did Thornton star in Sling Blade, he also wrote the film, which earned him an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Thelma and Louise

Song: Arkansas Lovin’ Man by Johnny Cash (more on him below), is a great little tune that’s all about home state pride. Viewer comments on the YouTube video for this track all express similar sentiments.

Band/Musician: The Man in Black, Johnny Cash, was born in Kingsland before growing up in Dyess. Cash reinvented country music and through live performances at prisons, became a man of the people with unmeasurable popularity. Cash also crossed over into other forms of entertainment, hosting his own variety show, along with roles in films and TV series. The 2005 biographical movie Walk the Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix, covers Cash’s life and long career.

People: Former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, was born in Hope, returning to the state after his schooling to become a law professor at the University of Arkansas. Clinton would become Attorney General and later Governor of the state. Of course, Clinton is infamously known for his affair with Monica Lewinsky, which nearly resulted in his impeachment from office.

Animal: Tusk, the University of Arkansas mascot for all Razorbacks teams, is not just one famous animal, but five famous wild boars, creating a monarchy of sorts. Tusk I fathered Tusk II and Tusk III, while Tusk II fathered Tusk IV, who in turn, fathered Tusk V. Each pig weighs approximately 475-500 pounds and has been trained to give spectators kisses.

Johnny Cash

Invention: As much as I want to put delicious Fried Pickles here, the nod has to go to inventor Freeman Owens, who greatly enhanced the filming of movies, with sound-to-film, slow motion and other camera advancements. From Pine Bluff, Owens also created plastics lenses that are still used for cameras and glasses (both eye and sun), as well as developed the Nielsen Rating System, which is used to calculate how many people are watching a TV show.

Crime: In 1998, the Westside Middle School Massacre shocked the world. The perpetrators, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, were two of the youngest murderers in U.S. history, being ages 13 and 11, respectively. Four students and a teacher were killed, while 10 others were injured. Johnson and Golden were released on their respective 21st birthdays, with Johnson having further trouble with the law since and Golden being killed in a car accident in July 2019.

Law: It is illegal to mispronounce “Arkansas” while in Arkansas. I assume the punishment would involve some sort of pronunciation training, but that seems a little harsh.

Sports Team: With no professional sports teams in the state, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks of the NCAA is the only game in town. With the nickname covering a number of programs at the school, though, there’s plenty of action to choose from, notably football and basketball.

Razorbacks

Athlete: Scottie Pippen, member of all the great Chicago Bulls teams of the 1990’s, was born in Hamburg. The NBA Hall of Fame member is considered one of the greatest small forwards (ironic, given the man is 6-feet, 8-inches tall) to ever play the game, winning six NBA championships and two Olympic gold medals, as a member of the 1992 and 1996 Dream Team squads.

Famous Home: King Mansion, in Fort Smith, is the most expensive home in Arkansas. It also provides quite the sight during the Christmas holidays, as owner Kenny King puts up between 100,000 to 150,000 lights. The Mediterranean-style estate boasts the world’s greatest indoor treehouse, using an imported California redwood, which King had installed for his grandchildren’s enjoyment.

Urban Legend: The Fouke Monster (aka Boggy Creek Monster/Beast of the Boggy Creek/Southern Sasquatch), is a big foot/sasquatch-type creature, which is said to have attacked homes and livestock, smelling like a combo of skunk spray and wet dog. While some believe the monster to be a hoax, that hasn’t stopped five low-budget horror films being made on the subject.

Museum: I am quite fond of Walmart, doing much of my shopping at the chain, so I’m actually intrigued by the idea of a Walmart Museum. Dedicated to the history of Walmart, as well as its founder, the museum in Bentonville is located on the site of Sam Walton’s first ever store. Best of all, the place is free to visitors.

walmart

Firsts: In 1932, Hattie Caraway became first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. She had taken over her husband’s seat the previous year, following his death. While many expected her to vacate the position, she surprised everyone by choosing to run for re-election, saying: “The time has passed when a woman should be placed in a position and kept there only while someone else is being groomed for the job.”

Company: Walmart was founded in 1962 in Rogers, and remains headquartered in the state to this day. That first Walmart store grew to 24 across Arkansas within five years and the business continued to expand, now being the largest retail giant (based on annual revenue) in the world. Today, there are more than 11,000 Walmart stores, across 27 countries.

Events: On September 23, 1957, the Little Rock Nine (a group of nine black students) attempted to attend Little Rock Central High School, years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education legal decision moved to desegregate schools. On presidential order, the Arkansas National Guard was tasked with protecting the students, as they entered the school. Sadly, the abuse continued inside, but it was the start of a long battle for educational equality.

Miscellaneous: Arkansas is home to America’s only diamond mine, located in the aptly named Crater of Diamonds State Park. Here, the country’s only perfect diamond (colourless, internally flawless) was found here in 1990. Also found at the state park was the largest ever U.S. diamond, named the Uncle Sam.

Arkansas Razorback

Arkansas Razorback

  • 0.5 oz Rum
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Kahlua

Given this beverage includes Amaretto and Kahlua, I went full dessert with it, using Salted Caramel Kahlua, Spiced Rum and Marshmallow Vodka to complete the recipe. The result was a very tasty nightcap beverage. The drink is named for the wild hog that has become the University of Arkansas nickname and mascot.

Arizona – Original Tequila Sunrise

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Arizona is called the ‘Nation’s Valentine’ after joining the union on February 14, 1912. So, let’s give the Grand Canyon State (bet they had to think long and hard before picking that nickname) a little love:

Motto: “God enriches” – I’ll take me some of those enriches over here!

Food: The Chimichanga is an enhanced Burrito, taking an already great food item and deep frying it. As with most invented dishes, there is a dispute over which restaurant served a Chimichanga first, but regardless, it happened in Arizona.

Drink: AriZona Beverages is not from Arizona and is actually based in New York. That said, Eegee’s Frozen Fruit Drinks can actually call Arizona home, growing from a two-man vending truck operation in 1971 to having 24 locations serving up their Slurpee-like concoctions in a variety of different flavours.

Chimichangas

Site to See: Arizona has more national monuments (18) than any other state, so there are plenty of places to visit. Of course, the top attraction of the state is the Grand Canyon National Park, with over six million people making the trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site each year, in recent times.

Street: Had the Sip Advisor existed during Arizona’s pre-statehood days, I would have certainly ended up in Bisbee, where the street known as Brewery Gulch once hosted close to 50 saloons. Today, a half-dozen breweries now reside on Brewery Avenue, which Brewery Gulch turns into.

TV Show: Medium, starring Patricia Arquette, ran for seven seasons and 130 episodes. The series was about a medium (imagine that) who works with the Phoenix district attorney’s office, assisting them with solving crimes. The series is based on real-life medium, Allison DuBois (also the name of the show’s main character), earning Arquette an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Movie: While providing the backdrop for many western movies, my favourite Arizona-set film has to be Bad Santa, starring Billy Bob Thornton. Sure, the sequel didn’t hold up at all, but the original is a holiday classic. Also, it was John Ritter’s last live-action movie, prior to his premature death, so there’s that.

Grand Canyon

Book/Author: Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series of books, was raised in Phoenix/Scottsdale. Meyer even gave her main heroine, Bella Swan, the hometown of Phoenix, so you’d have to imagine the entire plot of Twilight, involving vampires and werewolves and the like, is completely autobiographical.

Fictional Character: After finally watching the first two movies from the franchise a couple years back, my vote goes to Bowie’s own John Rambo. Rambo is a former Army Special Forces fighter, who has shot-up his fair share of baddies, over five films. The iconic character has since also appeared in comic books, video games and an animated TV series.

Fictional City: While Radiator Springs, from the movie Cars, is an amalgamation of places and attractions from America’s famous Route 66, a map seen in a flashback in the film pinpoints the town in Arizona. Radiator Springs has even been recreated within Disneyland’s California Adventure park, allowing visitors to experience the place first hand, from Flo’s V8 Café (home to the Sip Advisor’s favourite beer in the park) to Mater’s Junkyard.

Actor/Actress: Oscar-winner Emma Stone was born in Scottsdale. Stone’s film debut came in the 2007 hit Superbad, leading eventually to starring roles in Easy A, The Help and La La Land. I also have to give a shout out to Danielle Fishel, from Mesa, who was a teenage crush of the Sip Advisor, for her role of Topanga on Boy Meets World.

Rambo

Song: Arizona by Rex Allen Jr. was adopted as the Alternate State Anthem of the Grand Canyon State in 1981. More interestingly, Allen narrated the movie Me, Myself, and Irene, starring Jim Carrey, Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger.

Band/Musician: Alice Cooper moved to Phoenix in his younger years and lives there to this day. The ‘Godfather of Shock Rock’ owned a popular restaurant in Phoenix called Alice Cooper’stown, which closed after 18 years in operation. Cooper even ran for Governor of Arizona in 1988, using the tagline: “Alice Cooper: A Troubled Man for Troubled Times”.

People: Joan Ganz Cooney, one of the founders of Sesame Workshop and co-creator of Sesame Street, was born in Phoenix and educated at the University of Arizona. Without her efforts, my brother from another mother, Cookie Monster, may have never existed.

Animal: From Morristown, Grumpy Cat – real name Tardar Sauce – became a viral sensation after a picture of the kitty was posted to Reddit. Always appearing cranky, due to a form of dwarfism, Grumpy Cat’s likeness was plastered on everything from toys to calendars. The popularity of the feline even allowed her owner to quit her job. Sadly, Tardar Sauce died in May 2019, due to complications from a urinary tract infection.

grumpy-cat

Invention: Given Arizona’s hot temperatures, being able to cool off by having fun in the water is a big priority or Arizonans. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Jet Skis and Keystone Kool Deck (for swimming pools) were invented in the state. Tasers were also invented there, but that gets folks a different kind of hot and bothered.

Crime: On January 8, 2011, U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was the victim of an attempted assassination, as Jared Lee Loughner shot her in the head outside a Safeway grocery store, as she hosted a “Congress on Your Corner” public meeting. Giffords survived the attack, but six others were not so lucky. Loughner pled guilty to 19 charges, avoiding the death penalty with his plea bargain.

Law: As a man who loves his water, the Sip Advisor is happy to learn that in Arizona, it is illegal to refuse to give a person a glass of the good stuff. I wonder if an argument could be made that beer and other alcoholic beverages should also fall under this umbrella, given they are all water-based!?

Sports Team: Arizona has one team in each of the Big 4 sports leagues, with the Diamondbacks (MLB), Cardinals (NFL), Coyotes (NHL), and Phoenix Suns (NBA). The state is also host to MLB’s annual Cactus League Spring Training, with games occurring at multiple locations. Lastly, golf course are in abundance in Arizona and PGA events, such as the Waste Management Phoenix Open, is played there yearly.

jet-skis

Athlete: Gymnast Kerri Strug, from Tucson, helped her American team win gold at the 1996 Olympics, memorably landing a vault attempt, despite a severely injured ankle. Becoming a hero for her bravery, Strug appeared on boxes of Wheaties cereal and even in a segment of Saturday Night Live.

Famous Home: Boyce Luther Gully designed Mystery Castle in Phoenix, with his daughter in mind. As an adult, she inherited the property, constructed from all available materials, including rail tracks, automobile parts and telephone poles. The 18-room dwelling has a chapel, dungeon and cantina and can be toured by the public.

Urban Legend: The Superstition Mountains, near Phoenix, are said to be the location of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, one of the most infamous lost treasures in the world. Immigrant Jacob Waltz “discovered” the mine in the 1800’s and went to his grave revealing the site to only one person, while on his deathbed. While a number of mines have been claimed to be the Lost Dutchman’s, we’ll likely never know the real story.

Museum: Located in Phoenix, the Musical Instrument Museum features a collection of over 15,000 music makers from close to 200 countries around the world. The MIM, as the cool kids call it, also contains a concert hall for live performances.

saxophone

Firsts: On January 1, 1960, the first retirement community in the world opened, known as Sun City. The destination proved to be so popular that 100,000 visitors came to the development on its opening weekend. Today, the municipality has eight golf courses, seven rec centers and four lawn bowling courts, among other facilities. There’s also a museum on the site, containing artifacts from the project.

Company: Best Western International is headquartered in Phoenix. The corporation oversees the licensing of its brand to 4,500 hotels worldwide, 2,000 of them within North America. Best Western was founded in 1946, gaining its name from the fact most of the business’s locations existed west of the Mississippi River.

Events: Three decades before Arizona was even an American state, its most infamous happening occurred. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place in Tombstone, between the law and outlaws, making legends out of people like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. The shootout lasted only 30 seconds, but resulted in the death of three outlaws. Today, Tombstone is known as “the town too tough to die”, presenting a recreation of the gunfight three times daily for tourists.

Miscellaneous: Flagstaff could have been movie central, as director Cecil B. DeMille wanted to shoot his movie The Squaw Man there, before settling on Hollywood, California for filming. At least Flagstaff can claim a role in the discovery of the planet (I still think it’s one) Pluto, which was first detected by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory.

Original Tequila Sunrise

Original Tequila Sunrise

  • 1.25 oz Tequila
  • 0.75 oz Crème de Cassis
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

This cocktail was invented at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, by bartender Gene Sulit, when challenged to construct a refreshing beverage that could be enjoyed poolside. While the drink is better known for its Californian variation of tequila, orange juice and grenadine, I much prefer the Arizona original. I did sub in Pomegranate Liqueur, in place of the Crème de Cassis, however.