A few years ago now, Jake & I attended the ASCAP I Create Music Expo in Los Angeles. It’s a convention for songwriters and musicians that helps you get exposure for your songs, network and learn from other successful ASCAP members. It’s one of our favorite events of the entire year. Songwriters from all over the world attend the event and it’s always a great time.
That particular year, I happened to make friends with a young songwriter, Luke MacDonald. We were sitting at the bar chatting over a drink about our various early experiences at the convention. After we finished our beverages, we went our separate ways to some other sessions. The next few days passed without much event. We were on the very last day of the convention which happened to be Jake’s birthday. We were riding the elevator up to our room to drop off some pamphlets and ran into Luke in the elevator. He had a very long sad look on his face. We asked how he was enjoying the convention… He said, it was great, but I’ve had a sh!t day. After talking a bit longer, we found out that his passport, credit cards, cash and all identification had been stolen the night before. So he missed the whole day’s sessions at the convention and was pretty bummed out. We like him and felt really sorry for him, so we invited him along to Jake’s birthday party. First thing we did was stop by the closest dive bar and buy him a Crown & Coke. We figured he probably needed a little liquid refreshment. Next we did a little research to help him find the Western Union by using Google maps on my iPhone. He had already discussed his situation with his Dad back home and asked him to wire him some money. Then we went off to wander around and find a nice place to have some dinner.
When we all split up for the evening, we traded emails and facebook information. We never really expected to see Luke again since he was from New Zealand and we live in Michigan. We’ve talked many times over the internet, exchanging songs, gig tips and such.
Once I discovered we were going to join the Dawn Princess and our itinerary included several jaunts around New Zealand, I quickly messaged Luke and let him know.
I know that those folks from home reading this blog think that all we do is run around and eat… and well, it’s sorta true. Some of the best parts of traveling are exploring other peoples cultures, tasting their cuisine and of course seeing the “famous sights”. Well, if you ever find yourself “Down Under”, and you enjoy a coffee with milk, cream or even a cappuccino or latte… I recommend skipping all of the above and instead ordering a Flat White. I’m sure that my description isn’t quite accurate and I apologize to the barista’s reading this, but here’s how my taste buds experienced that fine hot caffeinated beverage. It has a fluffy, creamy, frothed top, more dense than either a latte or a cappuccino that is only about 1/2 and inch deep; then below that top layer is a mixture of steamed hot milk and espresso that is thick; it also has a nice pressing of crema around the outside edges of the cup and the result tastes of rich and dark beans with the mildness that adding milk to your coffee creates.