I originally drove past the Caribbean-looking restaurant, Star Island, after seeing that the parking lot was empty at lunchtime. Yet the thought of conch fritters in my mouth beckoned me to turn around; and so I did. I reached for the doorknob, turning it to find a woman sitting on a stool by the register, counting money. “Are y’all open for lunch?,” I asked. To which she shook her head and responded, “Sure, have a seat and I’ll be right with you.”

As I sat down, a feeling of nostalgia swept over me. Artificial flowers and nice glassware with napkins delicately placed inside them donned each table covered with a kitschy table cloth. Paintings of Caribbean-style homes lined the walls and hanging down from one wall in the corner, a small flat-screen television connected to a laptop that was playing Harrison Ford’s 1986 movie, The Mosquito Coast. It would serve as a prelude to the day’s scenery on the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac (one of the smaller Cayman islands southwest of Cuba) that would feel all too Indiana Jones-esque. I reached for my phone, wondering if there was Wi-Fi, but instead nibbled on conch fritters, observed the paintings lining the interior, and studied the island’s map (to the sound of Harrison Ford and River Phoenix) as I tried to transition from a Los Angeles state of mind to a Cayman  Island state of mind.

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Here’s the thing. Everyone thinks their city is the best city for beer, wine and booze. I recently wrote a post on the best (and most underrated) beer cities in America and I got a lot of comments about cities I left off the list, including Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, the entire state of Michigan, Charlottesville, and a whole lot more. Evidently it should have been something like, “The 200 best beer cities in America.”

History repeats itself, so here I am again giving my take on America’s best boozy cities, except today I’m talking about what I think is one of the most overlooked regions of America, Montana’s Glacier Country, and more specifically, Missoula. If there was more in the way of wine, I might would say that it’s the most underrated booze city in America hands down, but alas, Montana’s climate isn’t so conducive for growing wine. But what Montana’s Glacier Country lacks in wine, it makes up for in craft beer and spirits.

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My first trip to Los Angles was when I was 11. It’s one of the most vivid trips from my childhood. Part of it I can remember as if it was yesterday, like breakfast (and the subsequent conversation with our waitress) one morning at the InterContinental Hotel Los Angeles, located just off Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City. “Oh, you are nearly a Southern Californian being so tall and with such curly hair, but not with that accent.” I blushed, as she continued on, telling me that maybe, just maybe I’d be playing for the Lakers being so tall. 20 years later and I’m back in Los Angeles, just off Santa Monica Boulevard still, but this time I call it home.

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