Thursday, March 11, 2010

AA and WW Here We Come......Tomorrow

Yesterday was a day of recovery - after eating, drinking and laughing our way through Key West for the past four days we really needed a semi-down day (OK we still managed to hit HogFish for happy hour and the weekly sunset party on Coconuts but we couldn't go cold turkey now could we???) Our friends Bob and Stephanie on September Song who most of you will remember we cruised with for about 7 months and Joe on Sea Pearl rolled into KW on Friday afternoon - we were there to greet them on the dock of course shortly after they got in to start the festivities!!! They were docked right in front of the Half Shell Raw Bar so that seemed as good a place as any to kick off our whirlwind KW tour!!
The Raw Bar with Joe, Bob and Stephanie
From there we did the usual Duval Crawl in search of good music and merrymaking and wound up for a late night dinner at Salsa Loca for Mexican food and margaritas!!!
Dinner and Margaritas at Salsa Loca
Music at Salsa Loca

The next morning we had made plans to meet at a really cool locals place Pepe's for breakfast - don't ask me why but I woke up in the middle of the night thinking that Saturday morning at 10 is not the best time for Pepe's since it draws such a crowd. Have no fear Doug and I devised a plan - we'd head downtown early, put our name on the list and then go across the street to Schooner Wharf's happy hour (from 7am to noon - no kidding and the bar is always packed - how do we know you ask?? well we might have joined in several times before!!) for bloodies and screwdrivers!!! We tried to call the September Song crew but to no avail - alas Doug and I had to keep Wendi company at the Wharf all by ourselves for a couple cocktails! As there was an outside art festival just setting up near Schooner, Michael McCloud was already gearing up to play and his puppy was firmly ensconced in his guitar case where he happily lies during all of Michael's gigs (the dog is more photographed by far than Michael!!!!)
Michael McCloud's Cute Dog
Our plan worked as we immediately got a table upon venturing back to Pepe's and as always the food rocked.
Breakfast at Pepe's

And that was just the start of the day.....another more leisurely Duval Crawl ensued with Bob finding his bestest buddy the Captain to cozy up to
Bob and the Captain
and Bob and Doug trying on yet more hats (can you say fetish??).
The street performers were out in force as usual (the ones with animals always do better!!!)
as were the bikers - think it was some kind of bike week down here but man were the bikes gorgeous!!!
Motorcycle Row
Early afternoon we scootered back to the boat to await the arrival of our nephew Luke and his girlfriend Laura who had flown into Miami from Virginia the previous evening and who were driving down through the Keys!! No sooner had they tossed their bags on the boat and we were headed into town once again to meet up with the SS and Sea Pearl crews at Kelly's happy hour where we demolished lots of wings and margaritas!!!
The Gang at Kelly's
Luke and Laura had always wanted to see the Mile Marker 0 sign so we stopped along the way for a couple photos!!
Luke and Laura at Mile 0
And then it was off to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration - this was Luke and Laura's first time to KW and you can't really say you've experienced KW without going to Mallory Square. We saw performers on huge unicycles juggling and eating fire, escaping from chains, playing guitar while his shorts wearing dog collected tips and put them into the bucket,
dogs with bonnets doing tricks
and there was even a performer dressed in some silver getup who just stood silent all evening (even I could pull that one off)!!
But by far the funniest guy was the one who hid behind a couple palm fronds and jumped out at the unsuspecting tourists to scare the crap out of them - we watched him for awhile - guess we're just sick but it was screamingly funny!!! You just can't make this sh_t up!!!! Welcome to KW guys!!

From there it was a magical mystery tour of bar and music hopping with a trip to the Chart Room where Jimmy Buffett first got his start
The Gang at the Chart Room
- the place is a small hole in the wall around which a beautiful hotel has been built but the bar itself remains unchanged - you can still eat as much popcorn as you want, throw peanut shells on the floor and meet the old locals who have already reserved their final resting place with plaques in the Chart Room bar (yes that's exactly what I mean - many years ago when Doug and I first came to KW there was one old guy who spent every night at the Chart Room and his dying wish was to be buried there so when he finally went to the big beer stand in the sky, his buddies cored out a section of the bar in the Chart Room, poured in his ashes and then plugged the hole up with a plaque commemorating his final resting place!!! There are now multiple plaques and we actually met a guy who's place in the bar he'd already reserved!!!
Have I mentioned you just can't make this stuff up!!!!) The night finally ended up with us at Schooner Wharf (fittingly since that is where our day had all begun) watching a great reggae band,
The Reggae Band at Schooners
having more wings and making friends with the local cigar guy!!!
The Gang at Schooners
He especially liked Laura as the cute young chick of the group and Bob who bought him rum!!!
Bob with the Cigar Man
Laura Enjoys Her Cigar After Meeting the Cigar Guy
The Cigar Guy with Laura and a New Friend

The next day after dropping off Luke and Laura's rental car, we went on tour walking from the airport all the way down to Irish Kevin's where we hooked up with the SS and SP crews, but not before showing Luke and Laura a whole lot of the island including one of our favorite spots Louie's Backyard
Luke and Laura at Louie's Backyard
and the ever popular tourist attraction, the Southernmost Point!!
Luke and Laura at the Southernmost Point
Walking in KW is a way of life but even by our standards this was a monumental hike!! So we were happy to finally hit Duval Street where we could snag a cold brew for the rest of the walk (can you believe that despite all the craziness that is KW, they have a Sunday blue law where you can't buy beer until noon!!!! hello what's up with that????) We surprised our friend Bil Krauss who was playing at Irish Kevins by bringing Bob and Stephanie (we had met all met in Georgetown, SC this past Fourth of July at one of Bil's gigs there at the Buzz's Roost!!!)
Bil Krauss Playing at Irish Kevin's
What ensued can only be called one hilarious afternoon - Bil was his usual crazy wonderful self getting Bob to snare people in off the sidewalk with a rubber chicken,
Bob Carries the Rubber Chicken to the Door
convincing one poor guy to run across the street with the rubber chicken taped to his head while doing jumping jacks and then stealing a coaster from another local bar,
and having one drunk white guy with no rhythm come up on stage and sing and dance in a cage!!! Amidst it all there was great music and too much laughing - my sides ached!!!
Part Way Through the Show Joe Joined Us with Salty, His Boat Dog
The Gang Enjoys Bil Krauss' Show
Food was necessary at this point so all we hit Fogarty's for sloppy groupers and frozen drinks - it truly is the best fish sandwich ever!!! We had planned on heading to the drag show that night but after hitting the tattoo parlor to look at tats (Luke and Laura planned on getting one - no I didn't get another one...yet....although I did pick out my next one!!)
Luke and Laura Get Their Picture Taken at the Tattoo Parlor
and several more eating and drinking establishments, we yelled uncle and settled for picking up some cigars for a quiet evening under the stars back on the boat!!!
Cigars and Cocktails on Gypsies

Monday morning Luke and Laura rented a scooter so we were mobile - scary but really fun!!! We headed back to Paradise Tattoo for the great event - Laura got a gorgeous flower tattoo while Luke sported parachute wings and a V, VI and VII for the months of his and his brothers bdays - all very cool. After that though they were in need of sustenance both liquid and solid - so we hit Flying Monkeys for a Pain in the Ass (mixture of pina colada and rum runner!!) for Laura and Guy Harveys for a couple cold brew to go cups - have I mentioned I really love KW!! Finally over to Schooners once again for more wings (we've decided we like them the best on the island although I'm sure we'll have to hit Kelly's happy hour several times more purely for research purposes!!!) and to hear Michael McCloud play.
Schooner Wharf Bar After Getting the Tattoos
Then it was on to the Green Parrot (just because what is KW without a visit to the Parrot) where we met up with Bob and Steph and their puppies Cassie and Godiva.
Doug and Luke Hang Out at the Green Parrot
Unbeknownst to us, the Parrot is not dog friendly (what???? in KW???) so we headed back over to Schooner
Cassie and Godiva Join Us at Schooners
The Gang Goes Back to Schooners
and then met up with Joe at the Raw Bar for happy hour pitchers, shrimp and oysters.
The Gang at the Raw Bar
Back to the boat for a quick change and it was time to head in to the Sunset Pier to hear our friend Scott Kirby play - the wind had picked up and it turned a little cold so Scott only played a set but it's always so great to hear him play.
Luke and Laura Dance to a Scott Kirby Tune
The Whole Gang at Scott Kirby's Show
Unfortunately from there we had to say goodbye to September Song and Sea Pearl as they were headed off to Marathon the next morning to wait for a weather window to cross over to the Bahamas - so sad!! Wish we were going with you guys but it was great to play with you guys here in KW!!!!! Not content to let their last night in KW end, we managed one last Duval Crawl with Luke and Laura and then on the way home hit Hogfish, the local Stock Island watering hole for some refreshments. Ugh - uncle!!!!

As all good things have to come to an end sometime, the next morning we had to return their scooter and say goodbye to Luke and Laura who were driving back up the Keys for their flight home! Bummer!!! While we tried to fit all the fun we possibly could into three short days, the good news is that there's plenty more to do and see in KW so they'll be sure to come back soon!!! Laura is already planning her next tattoo and we still need to hit the drag show!!! Come back any time guys - we had a wonderful time and can't wait to see you again down here in paradise!!!

So now Doug and I need to dry out, go on a diet and chill....maybe manana....for there is a party tonight at Brett's mom's suite (she just got into town yesterday and is already hosting a soiree!!) Don't stop the carnival!!!!

1 comment:

  1. What's with everyone in all those jackets???? We are in short sleeves here in Ohio!