Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Weather and the Music Roll On...

While some things change the more they stay the same here in KW - we have had lots of cold and windy weather like the rest of FL and the mid-Atlantic states (altho I'll still take our weather to theirs any day!!! Unless I'm skiing I see no need for snow and after 2 years in the sun, I'm not even sure I'm really stoked for that anymore altho the Winter Olympics have surely brought back some ski bunny desires! Doug and I used to ski almost every weekend back in Maine but somehow that seems like so long ago - part of a far distant past!) The other thing that never changes in KW is that the music continues to roll on although our friends Scott and Dave have had a hard time getting gigs in down on the Sunset Pier due to the cold - it's just not that much fun playing guitar in a parka to a small crowd of die hard fans tucked in beneath the plastic siding of the bar to hold in the warmth from the heat lamps!!! But hopefully the weather looks like it may just be starting to turn as we had a great portion of the day on Sunday and today is looking up too - sunny and in the 70s!!!

So what have we been doing besides hunkering down on the boat watching the Olympics?? Lots actually - we went out fishing the other day with Jesse who runs a fishing charter boat out of the marina here - he needed some hands to go test out the boat after a major repair and we were only too glad to fill in! It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day on the water with warm sun and really calm waters even out past the reef (way better than had been forecasted - now when does that ever happen???) We trolled a reef and I caught a big barracuda which we used for bait the rest of the day - first time I ever actually wanted to catch one of those things (when we were in the Bahamas we dreaded catching them because at some point you had to get that guy off your line and they have major teeth!!!) Of course our battery in the camera was dead so no pictures - sorry! We didn't have much luck fishing out on the wreck - seemed like whenever we'd get a fish on, some large jewfish, grouper or shark would come up and eat the whole thing - hook, line, sinker and fish included!!! So we trolled around for awhile and I actually caught a black fin tuna but that was about it - still a really awesome day on the water all in all!!! That night as if the day couldn't get any better, we had a fabulous dinner on Belissimo with Shawna, John and Jim!!! Shawna clearly outdid herself making shrimp and veggie tempura and platefuls of sushi and sashimi (although not with my tuna which we had left with Jesse) while the rest of us slugs just seemed to look on, drinks in hand of course, trying to occasionally help here and there (really she wouldn't let us do much!) What a feast - thanks so much Shawna!!!
Shawna the Chef
Dinner on Bellisimo

After a really late evening of sushi (we didn't even sit down to dinner until 10:30, had several courses and of course had to have key lime pie for desert!!), 7:00 AM the next morning came around pretty early but we had promised Terry and Loie of Coconuts that we would do breakfast crepes with them. Not surprisingly no one else at the dock joined us - 7:00 AM is a little early for most cruisers!!! As I struggled to get going that morning I was reminded of a great line by Charles Emerson Winchester on the iconic TV show MASH - "A Winchester only recognizes one 5:30 per day, and this (5:30 AM) is NOT it!" But we wound up having wonderful crepes and very large caffeine drinks at a cute place over by Blue Heaven - the company was great and by the time we got home we were raring to go while all the other slugs on the dock were just starting to wake up!! We snuck in the weekly Wednesday evening cocktail party on Coconuts despite the "iffy" weather - the sunset was great but once the sun was down, the temp plummeted cutting short our outdoor gathering!!
Cocktails on Coconuts
Sunset from the Boat Deck on Coconuts

After several days stuck inside the boat with the Bootser (days by the way the Bootser loves since she gets to sit in our laps and be fed treats or kitty bon-bons all day),
Bootser Enjoys an Afternoon in Doug's Lap
we finally got a warm morning (notice I didn't say day because it turned to crap in the afternoon but that morning we didn't know that!) So Doug and I forgot about boat chores and decided to make a day of it in town - we needed to be outside, soaking up the sun and actually doing something physical. What a great day we had - we started out riding our scooters over to Smathers Beach where we parked them and proceeded to walk for miles along the board walk (also known as the East Coast Greenway - a walking trail that connects every major city on the entire eastern seaboard - who knew???).
The Entrance to the East Coast Greenway
It felt glorious to feel the sun and salt spray on our faces as we walked along watching the kiteboarders who were out in force,
Kiteboarder off Smathers Beach
the gulls
Gulls Sitting on a Rock off Smathers Beach
and the ever present families of chickens (we are after all in KW where the chickens and roosters rule!)
A Chicken and Her Family...
and Daddy
After heading over to Higgs Beach we stopped at the African Cemetery where several hundred African men, women and children were buried back in the 1800's after a horrific slave trade voyage from Africa. See what you can learn when you get out and about!!!
The African Cemetery

We also stopped in at the West Martello Tower which has been turned into a flowering sculpture garden by the KW Garden Club - it is a hidden oasis right in the heart of the beach area and a must see treasure! We walked along the palm and tree lined paths (one of our favorites was the old man palm with the hairy trunk!!)
Old Man Palm Tree
enjoying the flowering beauty as well as the local artist sculptures - there are all kinds of palms, cacti, wild orchids, flowing streams, and banyan trees which blend in with and often grow out of the ruins of the old brick tower!!
Doug Under a Banyan Tree
One of the 21 Sculptures

By this time the sun had been chased from the sky by some ominous looking black clouds so we figured it was time to find shelter and of course a coldie or two which by this time we desperately needed so it was on to Guy Harvey's for their $1 drafts and some just great people watching (where else besides KW can you walk into a bar and see a pirate in full dress sitting at the bar talking to an angel in a wedding gown and wings and not have anyone give them a second glance???)

A burger and some popcorn at Johnny Rocco's and some more people watching were on the agenda for the afternoon as we watched the tourists try to dodge the raindrops (Conchs just don't seem to mind much - guess we don't melt!!) With a break in the rain we walked down by the KW bight to get our "water fix" and watched some seriously cool pelicans play amongst the fishing boats.

Finally it was time for happy hour at Kelly's - we've gotten quite addicted to their thai chili wings and at $4 for a pound, it's one of the best bargains on the island which is why at 4:01 every afternoon the place is jammed!!! We met up with some dock folks who seemed to be on our same schedule - Kelly's for happy hour followed by the Sound Check at the Green Parrot at 5:30!!! Bill Blue, an amazing blues musician who was one of the original musicians to play the Parrot when it opened, was going to rock the stage. And rock it he did!!! What an amazing show - we were joined by our entire dock gang
Some of the Gang at the Green Parrot
and even Scott and Michelle Kirby showed up (believe it or not, Bill actually played at Scott and Michelle's wedding many moons ago down here in KW!!) As the rain poured down outside, Bill and his band turned up the heat inside and had the whole bar rocking
Bill Blue and His Band
- it was wild to see Bill up on the stage next to the cardboard cut-out of a much younger version of him which always graces the Parrot stage - too cool!!
Bill in Front of His Cut-out
When it was time to leave, it was still pretty rainy and cold (so much for our one perfect day!!!) so Scott let Doug borrow his coat for the scooter ride back to the ghetto - it was only when we got back to Gypsies that Doug got the vmail that unfortunately Scott's keys were in his coat - OOPS!!! No good deed every goes unpunished I guess as Scott had to cab back to his house and then Scott and Michelle drove out to the ghetto to pick up his keys - sorry guys!!!!

Yesterday poured buckets with 30 knot wind gusts so Bootsie had another great day - today however has dawned sunny and warm so she knows what's coming - it's time for the grown-ups (and I use that term very loosely) to go play!!!

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