Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stumped on what to get the person who has everything for Xmas?

How about a personalized bottle of a library wine? That is exactly what we did on Friday. We drove up to the Silver Oak Cellars in Geyserville and spent some time browsing around their library room hunting for just that one perfect bottle. The selection was immense - virtually every vintage was available (except 97 of course!) and with the variety of bottle sizes from which to choose, it was easy to find one within our price range.

Once we located it, we composed our personalized message and our tour guide who had beautiful hand writing, inscribes it for us. We then signed the bottle and voila! a one of kind gift for a person who is otherwise impossible to buy for.

As a side bonus, we enjoyed the gorgeous autumn colors of Napa and Sonoma Counties from the comfort and safety of one our limos.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Watching the sunset at Sbragia Family Vineyards

At the conclusion of every wine tour, I always ask the tour guide for a recommendation for our next winery. As I usually have a planned itinerary, I simply note the recommendation for the next time I go tasting. Yesterday however, we found ourselves with a little extra time at the conclusion of our tour, and our guide at Silver Oak was kind enough to recommend Sbragia Family Vineyards.

Honestly, neither of us had ever heard of this winery (and since my companion is half way through her Master Sommelers studies), we both took this as a bad sign. Boy we were ever wrong!

As you can see from the picture, the view from the balcony of the tasting room is breathtaking, and the wines are even better. After sampling Cab after Cab at Silver Oak, we choose a Sauvignon Blanc to finish the day. We pared it with an Irish Cheese and Italian Copa and spent the next hour enjoying the sunset. The winery owner and winemaker Ed Sbragia was also nice enough to come by and chat with us.

Located in the Dry Creek Valley Region of Sonoma, Sbragia is a bit of drive from Sacramento, but well worth it. Virtually all of their wines are single vineyard varietals, something you can rarely find anymore. And best of all,. they are reasonably priced.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our National Affliate now services American Express Customers

As I blogged about before, Luxx Limo is the exclusive Sacramento affiliate of Carmel USA, a nationwide network of select limousine companies. As such we provide limo service to Orbitz customers.

Carmel has now been selected to be the limousine provider for American Express Card holders. This is quite an honor, as American Express has one of the hardest approval processes of any travel related company.

To use this service, simply go and click on the "Travel Offers" icon on the left of the page, and continue on to car rental services.

Monday, November 24, 2008

See the Sharks courtesey of KHTK and Luxx Limo

As a reminder, the winner of our Sharks promotion with KHTK will be announced during Sportsline tomorrow afternoon. If you haven't already entered, I suggest you do so today. For more information about how you and three of your hockey buddies could be seeing the Sharks in luxury, check out more details here.

More on the "Obamobile"

As I blogged about in an earlier post, information is starting to come out regarding the new Presidential Limousine. The latest piece of news, is actually more in the form of an editorial from The Times Online.

In yesterday's Sunday Times, Sarah Baxter reported that the new vehicle is expected to get "less than 10 miles a gallon". The article goes on to point out that this is in stark contrast to President Elect Obama's campaign promise to have a million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015, and in fact suggests that the new limo could have been build on the chassis of a Hybrid Mercury Mariner rather than a GMC 2500 Truck. Folks, to paraphrase - I know the Hybrid Mariner, and it is no GMC 2500 Truck!

To read the full editorial (which is disguised as a news article) click here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It is not nice to stiff your limo driver

And it is also illegal - just ask Jonetta Patton (aka Usher's mom). Ms. Patton is being investigated by the Dekalb County Police after allegedly stiffing an Atlanta based limousine company for $1,668. The incident took place on October 18th, at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Better Business Bureau

A friendly competitor recently told me that there are over 300 limousine companies in the Sacramento Metro area. Of these, the majority are companies with only a single vehicle, and consequently a very narrow area of service.

However, I was really amazed today when I scanned the most recent Better Business Bureau Newsletter. Of these 300+ companies, only six are "Accredited Members", and of these, we are the only one that has received that participates in the BBB Online program.

For more information on what this means, we have added a link to our BBB page under our Luxx Limo Links which is located to the right of this post.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SF Article Rails Against Limos

Saturday’s San Francisco Chronicle contained an article railing about how limousines were stealing customers from cab companies. Unfortunately, the article’s author apparently didn't take the time to check out some of his facts – especially his comment about how limousine companies have “very little oversight”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My little limousine company is regulated by the California PUC, DMV, CHP as well as the Federal DOT. In addition, we are also licensed by each airport that we do business with (and trust me on this), SFO is the absolute worst. Not only do we have to pay a fee each time we enter the airport, but we also have to pay an annual license fee AND have our cars inspected at SFO. Never mind that the CHP also annually inspects our vehicles. That is not good enough for SFO – we have to pay them to re-inspect – Annually!

The author does make a good point about the lack of cabs in SF – it is entirely due to the cab drivers fighting city hall tooth and nail over issuing more “medallions” which is the term for a cab license. Seems as if they don’t want any more cabs on the streets and now that I think about it, maybe this article is the start of their PR campaign against limos!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Testing out a new blogging application

Since I am now writing for two blogs (and I am bored after watching the Chiefs loose again) I spent my late Sunday afternoon poking around the Internet trying to find ways to make my blogging either easier on myself or far more interesting for my readers.

Up to now, I have just been using the standard “Blogger” application that is free with a Google account. It has been working out pretty well, but every now and again I have encountered a few spacing issues that I can’t figure out. Hopefully, this new application (BlogJet) will fix this issue.

So far, the results are mixed. For some reason, the spell check didn't recognize “Google” and wanted to replace it with “Goggle” Maybe the software’s developer doesn't like Google. However, unlike Blogger. I was able to add the correct spelling, which is a nice feature.

I also haven't been able to find a way to add my “labels” at the bottom of each post, and as you can see from the large amount of empty space after the end of the post and before the time stamp, I have encountered another spacing issue! I fixed both of these issues through Blogger, so now I had a reason to try Blog Jet's “Strike-through” feature.

If any of you have any thoughts on other applications i could possibly use, please let me know.

Morton's reopens on Tuesday!

Morton's of Chicago reopens to the public on Tuesday night. The completely new restaurant is located at 725 Capital Mall and features a bar that opens for outside dining (and cigar smoking!) an expanded menu, and best of all, expanded hours - they will now be open for lunch and late night dinning in the bar.

Speaking of the new bar, here we are last night at a pre-opening event. Of course the to go bags in front of us demonstrate that the two things that haven't changed are Morton's great steaks and their proportions.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Want to see the Sharks on us?

Well, all you have to do to see the red hot San Jose Sharks is send an email to Mike Lamb at and tell him why you deserve to go. If Mike chooses your entry, then you and three of your friends will be headed to San Jose on Tuesday, December 2nd in one of our limousines.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Know who you do business with!

Not all limo news is good news, and so it is my sad duty to report that a Southern California limo operator was arrested yesterday on charges that he illegally charged over a Million Dollars against his customers credit cards.

As originally reported by the Orange County Register, Hamid Reza Derakhshi was the owner of A Classy Ride Limousine Service based in Newport Beach. The illegal charges started in July of this year, and continued until he was arrested.

As the title to this post indicates, it is important to know who you are doing business with. That is why to the right of this post are links to our website, our testimonials, and our PUC Licensing Information. I have also included a profile of myself as well as my contact information.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sonoma Holiday Celebration

If you haven't been over to the Sonoma Wine Country lately, the 25th Annual Holiday Open House is your chance to try the wines of 19 different vintners for only $30 per person. The event takes place November 29th and 30th - and the $30 admission covers both days.

This would be a great way to spend the holiday weekend - not only can you enjoy the fine wines of this region, but you can also shop for the perfect gift for virtually everyone on your list.

When you go, we recommend that you definitely include Kaz, Mayo and Chateau St. Jean on your itinerary. Call soon, as this event is sure to sell out.

Premier Wedding Show

We are pleased to announce that Luxury Limousines has once again been chosen to be the Official Limousine Provider for the Premier Wedding Show.

The Premier Wedding Show is the big one for brides getting married in 2009. Held at the fabulous Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa on January 4th, this event will feature only the finest wedding professionals in the Sacramento Area. This may be your one and only chance to meet all of these vendors under one roof in a relaxed setting that will allow you to make a informed decision for one of the most important days in your life.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Congratulations to Make a Wish on the Groundbreaking for the New Wishing Place

At Luxury Limousines, we are proud to be the preferred Limousine provider for the Make a Wish Foundation of Sacramento and Northern California.

As a small part of this organization we were invited today to participate in the ground breaking for their new Wishing Place in Natomas. As the picture shows, the actual ground was broken by some of their Wish Children. This new facility will house not only the Organizations Offices, but will also serve as the focal point for the wish granting process.

Both Ozzie, who is our General Manager and yours truly are Wish Volunteers. If you would like more information about this wonderful organization simply inquire you are making your reservation.

Sake in Sac?

Well, actually it is Sake in Folsom,Check Spellingbut Sake in Sac seemed like a better title.

Anyway, one of my friends just ask me if it was true that there was a Sake brewing facility in Folsom. I had not heard about it, but I was quickly able to find out that it was true - Gekkeikan Sake is now brewing sake from local water and rice right in neighboring Folsom.
So why not make Sake tasting your first stop on your next wine tour? Or better yet, consider combining the Sake tasting with one of their Sushi making classes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our Party Bus does it again!

Here is the latest testimonial from a Party Bus Client -

Hi Pa,

Our guests thoroughly enjoyed the "Party Bus". They were expecting a typical van or bus and were totally surprised. It worked out very well and we look forward to utilizing it again in the not to distant future. Also, thank Rick Vaughn for delivering them safe and sound.

Al Franzoia
Business Development Representative
Teichert Construction

Check it out for yourself by viewing the pictures to the right of this post or call our office to arrange for a tour of the vehicle.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama will get a new limo!

The New York Times is reporting that General Motors is about to deliver a brand new Cadillac to serve as President Elect Obama's new limousine.

Shown here in disguise, and although it is not readily apparent, the limo is believed to be the first Presidential Limo built on a truck chassis. For a quick tour of past presidential vehicles (starting with the 1908 steam powered car ordered by President Taft, click on this link.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The final picture...

You will have to pardon this post as it is really for me - this picture, taken about 2AM this morning is the final photograph taken at the old Morton's Steakhouse.

The picture features Neil (Morton's General Manager), Tom (Morton's Regional Manger), yours truly, and my friends Jean, Treven and Alyse. The wine glasses are empty and the plastic container in the foreground represents the remnants of the last steak ever cooked at the restaurant.

While we will be sad until the new Morton's opens to the public on the 18th, we will always remember the many good times at the old location, especially the Sopranos party and the Make a Wish Poker Tournament. Thanks Neil and Tom and congratulations on the new restaurant!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Had dinner at Tre last night, and once again it was fantastic. As we watched the election results pour in we enjoyed appetizers of Kobe Corn Dogs and Empanadas (which Chief Charley made sans the Chorizo for the vegetarian in our group). Our main courses included Chicken Pallard which was served with simply the best Risotto I have ever had as well as veal prepared in two different ways - Cannelloni and Schnitzel.

Tre opens to the general public on Friday and considering the number of speciality bars that will tempt you (wine, tequila and Scotch) going in one of our limos certainly seems appropriate.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wow - wished I would have thought of that!

Sometimes, you just got to hand it to your competition, and today my hat goes off to "Big Things" (a company I have never actually heard of), for giving free rides to the polls in their stretch Excursion.

Hopefully, most of the riders who take them up on this will wind up voting for the Company's Mayoral Candidate, Kevin Johnson (I would love to have been able to vote for him, just to spite his opponent Heather Fargo. You see, Mayor Fargo somehow never got around to thanking us for the free rides we gave her to and from SFO for her China trip. To bad I live in the county, not the city).

Monday, November 3, 2008

From the movie "Wanted" - if only the limo passenger wasn't smoking!

Some fun facts as you view the video:

1. The Opera is from Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman - "Time to Say Goodbye". If you are interested, Ms. Brightman will be appearing (sans Andrea) at Arco on December 16th.

2. Mr. "I'm Sorry" (aka James McAvoy) was actually in the Mustang when he flips the somersault.

3. We don't allow smoking in our cars - so our VIPs don't get shot!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thank you Sacramento (Again!)

October, 2008 was our second best month ever here at Luxury Limousines. Considering this is not prom season, and the talk of a recession, this is an amazing accomplishment. I guess it shows that excellent service is still appreciated.

Thank you again to our customers and to my employees, especially my General Manager, Ozzie and my Operations Manager, Shad.