June 13 – PayDay

Extravagant Eccentricities

With great money comes great financial stupidity… or at least that’s how it seems for some celebrities and their spending habits. Here are some of the wildest purchases made by the stars, many of which later led to financial hardships:

#5: Kanye West – 10 Burger King Franchises ($7.5 million)

I think many people dream of owning their own fast food chain (unless they’re vegan or some other weird dietary thing), having the food at their disposal whenever they are in need of a quick snack. Hell, Richie Rich had a McDonald’s in his expansive mansion back in the 1994 feature film. Anyway, how have we not started calling Kanye ‘The Burger King’? Is it because he bought these joints for his wife, Kim Kardashian, as a wedding gift? At least, access to all those BK outlets, across Europe, will certainly help Kardashian keep up her ample assets.

Kanye Burger King

#4: Mike Tyson – Bathtub ($2 million)

That bathtub, given to now ex-wife Robin Givens as a Christmas present, would have to be jewel-encrusted and include technology only seen on The Jetson’s to justify the exorbitant cost. For the Sip Advisor, it would also have to be outfitted with laser beams that caused Mrs. Sip to immediately shed her clothing, whenever activated (by remote control, of course!). I mean, I guess that’s what people generally do before getting into the tub, but it would be a required feature for me. Tyson’s money troubles have been well-documented, with the former Heavyweight Champ racking up millions in debt.

#3: Celine Dion – Humidifier ($2 million)

We get it, you use your voice (unfortunately) to make your oodles of money, but $2 million seems incredibly excessive for a device you can usually find for a few hundred dollars… and that’s if you want to splurge. For the amount of money Dion was willing to shell out, there better be guarantees that you will never suffer from deadly diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and basically everything else that can be medically diagnosed. The air moisturizer was installed into her Las Vegas hotel room when she was performing nightly at the Caesar’s Palace Coliseum. Viva Las Vegas, I suppose.

Celine Dion Titanic

#2: Kim Basinger – City of Braselton, Georgia ($20 million)

Talk about getting bad advice from your entourage. In 1989, Basinger was encouraged by family members to buy the town of Braselton, Georgia, for $20 million. What association did Basinger and company have with the city of Braselton? Absolutely none. You’d think she was born there or at least had a wonderful family vacation there in her youth. Basinger tried to turn the town into a resort destination, which would host an annual film festival, along with other tourist attractions and movie studios. The whole ordeal caused Basinger to file for bankruptcy and have tension with her family.

#1: Nicholas Cage – Numerous (Millions and millions…)

No wonder the Oscar winner has had his fair share of financial difficulties, given the lavish spending habits he has exhibited, throughout his career. Cage can be credited with buying everything from a Bavarian castle, to a tropical island, to a dinosaur skull. He has also assembled one of the most impressive comic book collections, including Action Comics #1, featuring the debut of Superman. Thus, Cage has been forced to take a number of roles that he really should have avoided, simply to earn a paycheck. I gotta say, though, $3 million for an island in the Bahamas seems pretty reasonable!

Super Saturday Shot Day: PayDay

  • Rim the glass with Salt
  • 1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1 oz Frangelico
  • Garnish with a PayDay Ball

There are so many other bizarre, expensive purchases made by celebrities, it’s hard to cram them all into one article. Suffice to say, if you have the money, why not enjoy it. Too often, though, these stars’ lifestyles often lead to trouble, when the cash coming in and going out doesn’t even out.

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August 12 – Wildberry Daiquiri

Missing Meals

Over the span of my life, I’ve seen restaurants come and go. Some I couldn’t care less for and others left a little mark on this boozehound’s soul. I’m prone to the odd moment of nostalgia. While some of these chains still exist, their locations that were closest to me have ceased operations, leaving me le sad. Here are the restaurants I miss:

Godfather’s Pizza

The pizza you can’t refuse! The Godfather’s outlet that was near our house growing up was filled with video games and played host to a number of wind-ups for sports teams I belonged to. It was perfect for parents. Stuff your child full of pizza and pop and let them run around and blow a stack of quarters on games. Surely, they slept well that night!

Bonanza Steakhouse

This will start an interesting trifecta of restaurants that just couldn’t catch on in the same location. I don’t remember too much about this joint because I was quite young, but I believe Ma and Pa Sip were fans because I was cognizant of its existence. The chain went through bankruptcy in 2008 (a somewhat common theme in the industry), but emerged and still has locations in the U.S. When Bonanza left my area and went back to the Ponderosa, in its place came…

Sizzler

As a fussy eater when I was young, I used to love salad bars, where I could just grab a few items here and there and not be bugged to struggle with food I didn’t much care for. I guess it’s kind of ironic that I liked salad and veggies as a young’un, while most kids hate the healthy stuff. In the interest of full disclosure, I was in it for the croutons and bread sticks! Sizzler left the area when I was still quite young, to be replaced by…

Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon

As a little sipper, I attended a number of birthday parties at the one Lone Star location that came to my neck of the woods. It was a novelty to go to a country-western themed eatery, with cow-folk servers and permission to throw your complimentary peanut shells on the floor. The chain didn’t last long enough for me to attend as a Sip Advisor. Interestingly, the Lone Star chain has no restaurants in the Lone Star State of Texas. I guess it just wouldn’t be unique there.

Izzy’s Buffet

This was the meal stop for many shopping trips across the border with family. It provided a nice mix of culinary options that could suit all the tastes and cravings of a large group. I remember their dessert table being specifically fantastic, with a self-serve ice cream sundae bar and other confectionary delights. The Bellingham, Washington Izzy’s location closed many years ago, replaced by a sex shop of all things

Rainforest Café

When the local Metrotown Mall underwent abundant upgrades many moons ago, one of their newest additions was the Rainforest Café, complete with animatronic jungle animals and an expansive aquarium. It didn’t last long, though, eventually being replaced by an Old Navy store. The only Rainforest Café’s I’m able to visit anymore are in Downtown Disneyland in Anaheim, California and at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, if I can get Mrs. Sip to tag along.

T.G.I. Friday’s

Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed an early date at T.G.I. Friday’s, but it may have been the one and only time we ever ate there together. Sadly, it was also before we could legally drink, so we never got to enjoy that element of the chain. Perhaps we’ll have to track down a location in the U.S. and give it another shot now that our tastes have evolved beyond chicken strips and fries orders.

Bennigan’s

The only thing I really know about this chain is that Butters on South Park absolutely adored it. I would love to try it myself, but the company went into bankruptcy in 2008 and closed a number of locations, as a result. 31 Bennigan’s restaurants in the U.S. and 44 abroad still remain, so I may get to try the Irish pub-themed joint eventually. I’ll do it for Butters!

Drink #224: Wildberry Daiquiri (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Wildberry Daquiri Frozen Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz White Rum (I used Bacardi)
  • Top with Wildberry Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Blend with Ice
  • Garnish with Blueberries

Which restaurants do you wish still existed and why? I’m curious about this because nostalgia can often be a great thing, but sad in many ways, as well, as we think about all the things we once enjoyed that are no longer an option. Now I need to have a little cry!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
The berry taste comes through nicely at the end of each sip, but it’s a pretty tame cocktail overall. Perhaps the flavour can be jacked up a little more with alcohols and liqueurs that go with the mixer.