I'm sitting topsides after a late Sunday morning brunch at the Pig...the sun is trying desperately to peak through all the clouds but isn't having much luck but at least its a little bit warmer than the prior couple days.
On Thursday the Gang of 12 (Vicki and Norm - Tide Hiker, Lynnie and Rick - Rickshaw, Robin and Jim - Adventures, Stephanie and Bob - September Song and the four Gypsies) piled into two rental cars for an excursion to the No Name Pub on Big Pine Key. The No Name is truly in the middle of nowhere and if you didn't know where it was, you wouldn't find it - it certainly seems as if a LOT of people know where it is though, as it was packed when we got there at 2:00 pm! Not to fear though since you can take pitchers of beer out to the parking lot where they have some picnic tables. It was kind of like tailgating before the big game in New England (although in the fall not the middle of winter) ...we were all bundled up in sweatshirts and coats (some even had gloves and hats!) The wait was worth it though. We sat at a big table beneath and surrounded by one dollar bills which were stapled to all the walls and ceilings - someone told us there was at least $100K in dollar bills there. Felt like Foxy's except Foxy's has underwear stapled to the ceiling and walls....it's a toss-up! The pizza, sandwiches and pitchers of cold beer kept us happy!!
From the No Name it was on to see Robin and Jim's new home that they are having built on Big Pine Key. Robin kept telling us the whole way to the pub about the key deer that live on the island...we've been coming down to the Keys for many years and have never seen a key deer, despite driving 40 mph through all the key deer sanctuaries. We always thought they were like the manatees, just an excuse to get people to drive their boat or car slower, but really just fairy tales. Leaving the No Name Pub we actually saw a couple key deer - like the manatees, they really do exist and they are adorable!!! Robin and Jim's house was great - it is built to withstand hurricanes but sits right on a canal and has great outside space to enjoy the Keys ambience.
Friday found Doug and I on a pilgrimage to West Marine - we are on the other end of Marathon so about 3 miles later, we made it to the promised land. As boaters, West Marine has replaced Home Depot as Doug's holy place. Walking aisle after aisle of boating supplies made the walk all worthwhile as I watched Doug's face light up with pure joy - OK maybe not quite, but close. For me, I needed a little more of a reward which we found having BBQ and beers at Porky's, a funky roadside open air eatery on Route 1 heading towards the 7 Mile Bridge. We broke up the walk home by stopping at the Marathon Library's book sale - 17 books later (what, they were only $1 per book!) our backpacks were full and we trudged on home.
Saturday was another overcast, cool and windy day....bummer. But no worries - lunch at Docksides and on to the Pigeon Island Art Festival that was held at the community park in Marathon. We walked up but ran into Lynnie, and the Adventures and September Song crews. Not that we need any more art (most of what we own is in storage and the boat is pretty full), but it was a lot of fun to walk around and see all the different artwork and jewelry. We found ourselves eating funnel cakes and drinking beer watching the bands for the afternoon - Rocketman, the Florida Straits and Danny Sullivan (all of our own Docksides Bar and Grill fame) played in the big amphitheater and provided a great afternoon of entertainment.
After a great dinner last night we devoured a carrot cake Colleen had made and broke out our last bottle of desert wine...WOW, after surviving on boxed bladders of wine most of the time, that was a nice treat! This morning the Gypsies hiked over to the Stuffed Pig - Colleen and John had yet to grace its doors which just wasn't right so off we went. I'm not sure I'll eat again until tomorrow!! Oh who am I kidding, we walked on to West Marine to exchange some things we had bought the day before so now I feel good as new and ready for our cruisers swap meet/cocktail party on the docks today at 4:00 pm, after which we plan on retiring to Docksides to hear the Florida Straits band perform all night. Life is good!!
Tomorrow may well be another waxing party on Gypsies before we set off on Tuesday to Key West for several days. We are taking the bus down and plan on seeing our musician friend Scott Kirby as well as the Thompson Brothers and Michael McCloud who are all playing down there. We're thinking a three day music and drinking binge is in order ....but who knows???
Happy Birthday, Dee Dee!!!
1 day ago