Hearst_Castle_poolOn Saturday July 4th my wife and I flew into LAX and then drove onto Montrose, CA to stay with our friends the Fleischers.  That night we enjoyed hot dogs and a fireworks show.  Jeff Fleischer, aka Jeff Davis, was once one of the finest magicians in Dallas.  Jeff now travels the US teaching negotiation seminars.  I’ll never forget being 16 and Jeff sending work my way when I was just getting started professionally.  He’s been a solid friend.

The next day we drove onto San Simeon and toured the Hearst Castle.  William Randolph Hearst was the Ted Turner of his day and owned 25% of the newspapers in the US in the late 1890’s.  His 390 square mile stretch of property was impressive as was his castle.  I can highly recommend the tour to anyone out that way.  If you have seen the movie Citizen Kane, loosely based on Hearst’s life, then you have a glimmer into the man and his opulence.

GoldenGateBridgeFrom there we went onto San Jose, CA and stayed with our friends the Pantalis’.  The next day we went onto San Francisco and did all of the tourist things like seeing Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, visited the Muir Woods with 250 foot tall trees over 1000 years old, ate some clam chowder and purchased a beautiful Tiffany Lamp.  We skipped visiting Alcatraz since I saw it on my last visit and were afraid they might want to keep me.

The next day we drove back down to Monterey, CA and visited their famous aquarium on the bay.  This is probably the best aquarium in the US.  We’re like little kids when it comes to animals and had fun watching the penguins and otters eat which you can do too by clicking on the links I’ve made.  We did the beautiful 17-mile drive through Pacific Grove and were in awe with the scenery and the homes.  That night we drove into downtown Carmel and stayed in a nice hotel.  We enjoyed a great meal and had fun shopping in Carmel and in the shops along Cannery Row.  One of the highlights for us was the weather since it was 20 degrees cooler in CA compared to Dallas’ soaring 100+ heat.

aquariumThe best part about the trip was just being able to relax and hang out.  Normally when I travel I have to work and have some place I must be.  This time we took our time and enjoyed driving up and down Hwy 1 better known as the Pacific Coast Highway.  Next time we’d like to tour the wineries and spend more time in places like Napa Valley.

Back at home I’ve just finished writing Bamboozlers Volume Two.  But there is still a lot of work to be done like the illustrations, editing, historical fact finding, the graphic layout, and then the printing process which takes about two months.  My goal is to have it out just before Christmas of 2009.

My magic is being featured in this month’s issue of ARCANE (a French magic magazine) and in the ESCAMOTEUR (a Belgian magic magazine) plus a few other magic periodicals across Southern Europe.

CalifCentralCoastAnd finally I want to send out a big congratulations to my friend Shawn Farquhar.  Shawn is an excellent magician who does outstanding close-up and stage magic.  Every three years magicians hold FISM which is considered to be the Olympics of magic.  In 2006 Shawn received second-place in close-up magic.  In July of 2009 FISM was held in Beijing, China and Shawn won first place in card magic.  He was also awarded the Grand Prix for close-up which is rarely given away!  If you ever get the chance to see him work up close or on a cruise ship, then take advantage of it.