Business Trip

Need More Fun: Blue Agave Bed and Breakfast

Blue Agave Bed and BreakfastDo you ever find yourself with too much going on in one day? It seems like some days people and problems sneak up on me and cause stress and anxiety. That’s why when I travel I like to seek out of the ordinary lodging like bed and breakfasts. This is great because I am able to ‘get away’ from the chaos of the work I am traveling for and have some ‘Ed time.’

On a recent business trip to Tucson, Arizona I had an excellent experience with Blue Agave Bed and Breakfast. My assistant Rachel found them online and booked my entire time in Tucson at their amazing facility. During the day I drove to the hotel and took care of business. At the end of the day I drove back to the peace and tranquility of http://blueagavebb.com/

It was great to meet Dana and Peter Smith. That was a pleasant surprise because I am not very social when I am on ‘Ed time’. At the end of the day when I drove home, it was great to chat with the Smiths and watch the sunset. It became a tradition in a short amount of time.

The rooms are larger than what I am used to at other bed and breakfasts. The furnishings were bright and beautiful. There was K cup coffee in the room! Every room has a porch which overlooks the mountains and a walk out door wall. There was a television and cable TV but I never turned it on. Wireless Internet worked perfectly.

Every morning before their ‘amazing healthy breakfasts’ (that were more than filling) I went for a walk on the mountain trails which had so many types of plant and wild life along the way.  Dana told me a story about a veterinarian who went for a walk and picked up a dead scorpion that was not dead; bummer for him! The moral of that story is don’t trust a dead scorpion, they pretend to be dead to fool humans.  I luckily saw no scorpions.

So when you find yourself traveling, consider getting away from the chaos and find a bed and breakfast to get away from it all. If you find yourself in Tucson, Arizona, book a room at the Blue Agave. Tell them Ed sent you!

photo credit: oatmeal pancakes via photopin (license)

GlobalEntry.com: A Process that Saves Time and Hassle

Airport Security I travel a lot for both work and pleasure. One of my least favorite things about traveling is security. The security of the United States has evolved into a necessary process when traveling. Take off your coat, belt, and shoes; remove laptop, cell phone and all objects from your pockets. Step in (hurry up!) and raise your hands above your head. Smile, you are being x-rayed again! On a trip back home to Michigan I noticed a TSA ‘Pre-Screen’ sign at security in the Nashville airport and asked an agent for the low down. I had seen the signs before but misunderstood the concept and value. She explained that any American citizen can apply online, pay a $100 non-refundable application fee, and if approved, schedule a face to face interview at border patrol. Then, if you are one of the chosen few selected to qualify as an outstanding citizen, you receive the ability to be a hassle free traveler. I have to admit the process was fairly easy until I went to the well hidden Border Patrol office in Downtown Detroit. Once I found the office I completed my interview. The officer then took the worst picture I have ever had taken in my entire life and informed me that I passed. I was to receive an identification card in the mail within 8-10 business days.  Sure enough, the card showed up and I felt a sense of accomplishment. The process left out one very important piece of information, though. No one had told me that in order to use the card I had to go into my profile on Delta (my carrier of choice) and enter the Global Entry ID information in order to be able to use the card. The card looks very official and includes my passport number. When I proudly handed the card and my boarding pass to the TSA at Detroit Metro Airport during its first use, the TSA officer told me I had to go through the ‘regular’ security lane because my boarding pass did not reflect my Global Entry status. I look forward to my prescreening future of travel and the number of hours I will save standing in lines and disrobing for TSA. I think I’ll add a few travel destinations to my bucket list now that I have Global Entry status.

What America Does Not Know About Tequila

tequilaI was just in Mexico video recording the 75th anniversary of EL Viejito, which is a very small tequila making company in Guadalajara, and I was amazed to see the work ethic, the quality, and the volume of product this company produced.

The interesting thing about tequila is that most Americans who have drunk tequila have drunk an impure variety that’s not one hundred percent blue Agave tequila. In other words, they have bought the brands popular in the US that are mixed with corn liquor—which is why a lot of people have experienced hangovers from drinking tequila. There’s a lot of corn in Mexico—it’s one of their number one crops and it is used for many different things including corn tortillas and corn chips—so it’s natural to make corn liquor through the same fermentation process that they use for just about any type of liquor. However, many of the tequila brands that Americans have drunk are made from tequila that is mixed with the corn distilled liquor, which is what makes you sick. So if anyone reading this has drunk tequila and has sworn it off and said they would never drink it again, consider the fact that true tequila consists of one hundred percent blue Agave and is made only in certain regions in Mexico.

The other interesting thing that I discovered about this 75 year-old business is that they supplied tequila to many major bottlers including Cabo Wabo; which is a tequila marketed by Sammy Hagar. EL Viejito also supplies Patrón; one of America’s most expensive and most pure blue Agave tequila with about fifty percent of what Patrón bottles and distributes sold in the United States. One of the reasons Patrón costs so much money is that it is made with one hundred percent blue Agave. Agave is an almost Aloe Vera type looking plant. It’s not a cactus, but the Agave do grow in the ground., It almost looks like a pineapple when it’s cleaned up. I actually had a chance to film EL Viejito’s entire process, from delivery of the Agave, to splitting the Agave, to putting it into a room filled with steam supplied from a boiler (which pressure cooks it). I even tasted some of it. It’s very sweet—there are a lot of bees in that area because of the sweetness. From there the Agave is loaded onto a conveyer belt and goes through four distinct presses that squeeze all of the syrup out of the it before it becomes compost. These four presses squeeze the juice out and the juice is what goes into the tequila making process. The remains are put back into the ground as fertilizer.

The fact that I would like to share in this blog post that is probably the most amazing is the work ethic and the family-like environment of EL Viejito. Some of the workers have been employed with this distillery for up to 30 years. People on an assembly line fill the bottles by hand. The tequila then goes to the next part of the assembly line where the labels and the caps are actually put on by hand. They are then put into the box which is sealed with tape. The box then goes onto a skid and it’s hand wrapped with saran wrap to keep it from falling off during shipment. Even more interesting, EL Viejito’s sales have increased by one hundred percent in the last year. Their great success could probably be attributed to their work ethic.

Working with EL Viejito was a wonderful experience. I hope that going away from reading this blog post, you give tequila another try. If you do, look for the one hundred percent blue Agave tequila.