Villains & Voodoo James Bond Tour 2011
August 18-27th 2011.
Number One, this is Largo, reporting from the eye of Hurricane Irene, initiated from some unknown evil force, even to SPECTRE.
My report really begins on August 18th in New Orleans, at our safe house in the Sheraton New Orleans, where I assembled the world’s foremost SPECTRE agents, villains. temptresses and spies. As you had approved our “Villains and Voodoo” mission, I am sure you shared my enthusiasm at such a collection of spy heraldry gathered in our meeting room.
My admonition to my minions was quite simple, adopt the disguise of schoolteachers or tourists on sabbatical or vacation, wear flowery shirts, and drink silly drinks with umbrellas, any guise necessary to maintain SPECTRE’s deception. We were to cruise New Orleans, Key West and Nassau, visiting the sites and lairs of our most noted SPECTRE legends. They performed admirably and joined me for a walk through New Orleans Bourbon Street to meet with my colleague, Mr. Big. He did not disappoint, arriving in style with his customary marching band and coffin for potential snooping MI6 or CIA agents. After sincere greetings and photos, we visited other film sites, Mickey Rourkes Tattoo Parlor “Tools” from the"Expendables", sites from the "Interview of the Vampire", "Wolverine" and "Angel Heart". Domino and Fiona even took a "nasty turn" on the Carousel Bar at the Monteleone, where once Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner reveled.
We regrouped later in the evening in the Nottoway2Die suite for indoctrination of many new members to our fraternity, CLUB SPECTRE, it was quite a one eye tearful evening for me. Kananga was kind enough to send Baron Samedi and a San Monique dancer to entertain us during our festivities. We followed, Samedi’s procession for a tour of New Orleans at night, learning more about his arcane religion and visiting several voodoo temples. We gathered at the second oldest bar in the United States, Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop for some frivolity to maintain our tourist cover- from there, frankly, Number One, I did lose contact on the whereabouts of our operatives.
We arose to a wonderful breakfast at Café DuMonde, a sugar trafficking location where the white powder is smuggled into the USA on the back of tasty Beignets, a sort of doughnut too good for your average stupid policeman (with apologies to my friend No). As we arrived at the New Orleans pier, I was filled with pride and wonder to see the fruits of dear Vargas’s labors. My beloved Disco Volante now is clad in a fascia of a tacky cruise ship, complete with a red and blue Whale Tail smoke stack! Can you imagine? Our disguise and camouflage was now complete and our ship, now christened the Carnival Triumph, departed down the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Number One, with your forgiveness, I allowed the next day of our sea voyage to be one of an honor, if you will, to our nemesis, Mr. James Bond. Domino and I hosted a Casino Royale event, with 21 players competing for prizes in a Texas Hold Em Tournament; it was “great fun” as described by one of the players. Personally, a bit too pedestrian to my Baccharat, but i allow it. To my surprise, Domino ultimately won the grand pot over a very loud gentleman from a Philadelphia suburb and a devious Swede. I am proud of all three of them.
We departed the next day into the southernmost city, Key West, Florida and took a tour of the location that challenged Franz Sanchez during the “Licence to Kill” debacle. We took great joy at the Hemingway House tour and reminisced about the humorous firing of Bond by MI6, we gave many high fives and high hooks over this great moment in Bond humiliation. We saluted the Lighthouse which contained the sniper shooting at our hapless 007 and from there, reveled in our visit to Felix Leiter’s house, where we kidnapped the CIA agent and brought him to the “feast”. A stop at the Bimini Bar, now called the Thai Orchid, which no longer has the hole blasted by CIA’s Pam Bouvier to assist 007 in escaping Sanchez’s henchmen but was worth a look. A stop at St Mary’s Church for photos, where Leiter and Bond, in true chest pounding bravado of a public servant, parachuted in for the agent’s wedding. It would be short lived as you know.
Our tour welcomed Capt Bill Grosscup who provided the ships in Licence to Kill and served as Q’s double and he joined us for the tour of the marina area and the warehouse of one our larger disappointments, Milton Krest. Maggots are no longer served however; I found the conch chowder to be quite tasty. We then went to a restaurant called Sloppy Joes, however, there both our Joes from our group wore proper attire, I was quite confused.
From there Number One, I cannot explain the turn of events which threatened our Mission. We were informed that another evil agency had created the formation of a large hurricane, which was named Irene and was bearing down on to our next location, Nassau Bahamas. Panicking, Vargas took it upon himself to reposition the Volante away from my home, Palmyra and onto the Yucatan Peninsula, believing that Sanchez’s Mexican operations would shelter us from the pounding storm.
Dear Vargas may not smoke, drink or chase women but he does enjoy the Weather Channel, and his decision was correct. We learn quickly that the Hurricane is causing significant damage and concern throughout the eastern United States, and the Disco Volante sailed gracefully, unharmed, into the harbors of Cozumel. Our agents quickly went into a strict regimen of training and discipline, consisting of zip lining, wearing satellite blocking devices they called “Balloon Hats” to avoid detection in this area of decadence and they also informed me they spent the day practicing their "shots". Good marksmen all, I am sure, Number One.
From Cozumel, we journeyed through jungle and heat to the center of the Yucatan, and the mystery that is Chichen Itza. While not the Olympiatec Meditation Institute at the Otomi Ceremonial Center near Mexico City, where Sanchez installed his drug operations, nevertheless, a most interesting tour of ancient Mayan pyramids, altars and observatories. Dare I say, the magnitude of such a location even dwarfed the accomplishments of SPECTRE, Number One?
Our team continued its training with a Vesper reception, a trivia challenge on the dubious accomplishments of 007 along with casino, lounge and salsa dancing, all to maintain our tourist identities while traveling as loyal SPECTRE operatives.
Villains And Voodoo 2011, sir, was a great success of Bonding 007 Lifestyle, Style, Food, Drink and Class…I am sure, Number One, that without a doubt ….James Bond will return.
Yours in Evil, Number One......Largo