Monday, April 19, 2010

Bye September Song....For Now

Well our friends on September Song (Bob and Stephanie) and Sea Pearl (Joe and Salty) left this morning to cross over to the Bahamas for a couple months - we wish them a safe crossing and lots of fun!!! We sure wish we were going with them, but a new chapter of our life awaits us and we are starting to get pretty excited about it!! More on this later!!

We couldn't let them leave without one last hurrah though so on Friday we drove up to Marathon for one last party - we were greeted by all their dock friends who had been forewarned that the "gypsies were coming, the gypsies were coming!!" Needless to say we received a wonderfully warm reception, especially from Cassie and Godiva who we haven't seen in a little while!
Cassie and Godiva Welcome Us onto September Song
After several cocktails on the boat, we spied Salty sporting his new Hawaiian attire - I swear he knew he looked good as he pranced around the dock showing off his gift from Auntie Stephanie!!!
Salty Shows Off His New Hawaiian Shirt
Then it was time to head over to Sombrero Resort for some poolside antics and the music of Tommy Santelli - about 20 of the Dockside gang showed up and despite the local hospital usurping the gang's usual tables, we made due and had a great time!!

Not Sure Who This Guy Was But He Had an Uncanny Resemblance
to a
Coconut Skull Hanging in the Bar
Where oh where did all those funny hats come from and why were we wearing them????
After much merriment, some liquid and solid sustenance and a little dancing,
The Two Love Birds from September Song...Watch that Hand, Bob!
we had to take our leave to drive back to KW - while it was sad to say good-bye (again), we know we will see our friends soon!!!! We will keep track of all their antics via their blog and live vicariously through them until we see them again when they return from the Bahamas!!! Safe travels our friends!!!

Meanwhile, Doug and I spent Thursday driving up to Miami to - god forbid - shop for suits and real dress shoes (no we can't wear flip-flops to interviews!!!!) Yes we have decided to go back to work for awhile - real work, like what we used to do so we can restock the cruising kitty as quickly as we can!! Doug actually has an interview this Thursday and since there isn't a suit (other than a bathing suit) to be found in all of Key West, we had to head north. While Doug had fits over the thought of wearing a tie again (he's not sure he remembers how to tie one), for me the hardest part was trying to squeeze my feet which have been barefoot or in flip-flops for the past two years into heels (now what masochistic guy ever decided that women should wear high heels??? - I'm telling you, it's just not natural!!! UGH!!) Anyways, mission accomplished as we each came back to the boat with a couple suits, shirts, ties, shoes, etc.......we'll raid our storage pod for more later but for now the issue is where do we put all these trappings of reality?? Know the other truly traumatic part of looking for jobs - Doug has to get his hair cut!!! He hasn't done that in over two and a half years and had grown really fond of his ponytail which is longer than mine - I guess we're done sharing scrunchies and earrings for awhile!!! Here's a couple "before" pictures of Doug - I'll post the "after" pictures when the dirty deed is done!!!

Another part of this change of lifestyle/job search is where do we go from here literally - well we think we've figured that out at least in the short term - Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove, right outside of Miami on Biscayne Bay!! We both want to look in the Miami/Ft Lauderdale area at least to start and being closer to that area will probably be a good thing - right now we are a 4 hour car ride from Miami and while we have had an absolute blast spending the winter down here in KW, there may be just a few too many distractions and temptations down here (read on and you'll see what I mean)!! Coconut Grove is a funky, artsy, diverse ethnic section of Miami with a great marina right in the middle of it where we hope to spend some time while we look for work and then maybe even afterwards if things work out - we spent several days there on one of our trips south and loved the area (that's actually where we watched Obama's inauguration!!!) We're going to drive up again on Wednesday to do some more advance scoping and we'll keep you all posted, but at least for now our game plan involves heading Gypsies north sometime the first two weeks of May!!

Until then there is a lot happening in KW to keep us busy and having fun - this week is the Independence Celebration recognizing the 28th anniversary of when KW seceded from the Union and founded the Conch Republic!! This is taken quite seriously down here and is cause for lots of insane craziness - more so than even usual. Saturday Doug and I journeyed into town for the "drag races" which in KW have a whole other meaning - no racing cars are to be found on the KW back streets - instead all of the drag queens from Aqua, 801 Bourbon Street and other alternative bars in town compete in full drag and high heels in races down a closed Duval Street pushing grocery carts after maneuvering through the tire obstacle course!! You think I jest - I'll let the pictures back me up and tell the story!!!
Some Things You Just Can't Describe!
No sooner did we get to the races than we met up with the whole Dockside gang from Marathon that we had partied with the night before!!!! Too funny!!
The Gang from Marathon Invades KW for the Drag Races
Many of us wound up first at El Alamo for $1 beer and pork sliders and then went on to the Green Parrot for soundcheck where Li'l Ed and the Blues Imperials were playing - great blues!!!
Li'l Ed and the Blues Imperials

Yesterday was a day spent largely with Bootsie who was feeling a little left out of things as we've been gone a lot lately - she was not amused!!! Later today though, we trek into town for the great haircut and then will need to indulge in a little independence frivolity. It is also Michelle Kirby's bday today so we have plans to do something - not sure yet what - it's up to the bday girl!! Our friend Mary Ouellette arrives on Saturday for a week of fun and her stay coincides with the KW singer/songwriters festival so I see lots and lots of great music in our future!! We need to leave KW on a high note after all - who needs a liver to work right???

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Comings and Goings in Key Weird

We had one more day with Todd and Brenda on Life's2Short in Key West although Todd was somewhat under the weather (he claims to have picked up a bug down here although most of us suspect it was about 6 or so margaritas too many the night before....but we'll go with his story....yeah OK - why not?). Todd's sister Jennifer and her husband Mark came into town for the day so we all met up (along with Greg and Sandy of Latitude Dancer who are in town for a month!!!) at Irish Kevin's for one last Bil Krauss show.
Mark, Brenda, Jennifer and Todd at Irish Kevin's
He had us laughing and groovin as usual - we'll miss you in KW Bil - thanks for the entertainment this winter!!! Bil left on Friday to head up to our old stomping grounds to run the Boston marathon and do a couple shows. Anyone up in or around Boston should check out his website and try to get to his show in Watertown on Friday, April 16th at 7:00 pm at the Orchard Park Grill!!!

From Irish Kevin's the gang headed over to hear more Michael McCloud at Schooner Wharf where Todd, thinking food would help his "bug," left the ordering to Brenda - not his best idea as she thought the junkyard fries would do the trick!!! When they arrived complete with tons of jalapenos, chili, spicy tomatoes, gobs of cheese and anything else that had been left over in the kitchen, we all just looked on in awe as Todd ate the whole thing - needless to say, they didn't help!!!!
Sitting at Schooner Wharf Listening to Michael McCloud
Todd, Brenda, Jennifer and Mark on the Wharf Outside Schooner Wharf Bar

So we suggested what he really needed was $1 beers and pulled pork sliders at our newest favorite bar in town, El Alamo - despite grimacing at the thought, he was a real trouper and followed us over where we indulged while watching the Masters! Finally uttering uncle, Todd convinced Brenda it was time to head back to their boat and being the wonderful wife she is, she reluctantly agreed (after giving some thought to our suggestion that she stay in town with us and Todd could pick her up on Gypsies on his way out of town tomorrow....we are bad!!!) Not wanting our evening to end, we picked up great Chinese food and munched while watching the rest of the Masters back on Gypsies!!! Bye guys - we had a ball and hope to see you soon!!! Our Marathon spies (which is where Life's2Short headed next) tell us Todd is still claiming to have picked up some suspicious bug while in KW.....amateur!!!!

As many of you know, our boat is over on Stock Island in the direct flight path of the Boca Chica Naval Air Station - while this has often been a pain in the butt due to the F-18s which regularly switch on their afterburners directly over our heads, on Thursday we had prime viewing as all the various airplanes started coming in to practice for the weekend air show!! We watched not only the Blue Angels but lots of red baron type trick prop planes come overhead and do tricks - way cool!!!

While we thought Bootsie would be out of her mind with the noise, she slept through the whole thing - it's great to be a cat!!!
Bootsie Sleeps Through the Blue Angels

The air show on Saturday was truly awesome - the little trick planes entertained us from our boat all morning and early afternoon but the main event was the Blue Angels. We all headed over to Coconuts, which has the highest deck of any boat in the marina and an awesome open air upper deck, for the viewing and a great party complete with our KW/ME friends Marni and Roger Heinen (who are also friends of Loie and Terry of Coconuts due to their shared island experience in Islesboro, ME - way small world!!!)
The Gang Gathers on Coconuts in Anticipation of the Air Show
What a great gathering we had in near perfect sunny, warm weather and the Angels did not disappoint. After lots of laughs, great food, cold drinks and general merriment, the Blue Angels had us mesmerized - it felt like the Fourth of July with all the ooohing and ahhhing!!!
The Crew on Coconuts Watches the Show
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves but they were simply awesome!! Thanks Coconuts for the great viewing platform and the fun!!!!
The Blue Angels Traveling Cargo Plane Fat Albert Airlines

As if the day couldn't get any better, the September Song (Bob and Stephanie), Sea Pearl (Joe) and Adventures (Jim and Robin) crews came over to the boat after hitting the air show from Marathon. Drinks up on Gypsies' flybridge
Cocktails on Gypsies in the Palace
was followed by a wonderful dinner over at Hogfish outside by the water and shrimp docks!!
Dinner at Hogfish
We introduced them to our SIG (our Stock Island Ghetto). They even got to see a few songs by the fabulous Raven - we had tried to see her when the gang was in KW on prior trips but it just never worked out!!! Once again the good-byes were sad but we are beginning to realize that with such good friends, we'll always find a way to see each other again as soon as possible. In fact, we are planning on renting a car this coming week for a reconnaisance trip to Miami and we may have to stop on our way back in Marathon, especially since the weather looks like it won't let those guys cross to the Bahamas until the end of next week - sometimes Mother Nature smiles on us even if it is in weird ways. See you guys next week - hopefully!!!

Today is a day of rest - time to chill out, dry out, starve out and just watch the final day of the Masters!!! Say what you want about Tiger but man can that guy play golf and the TV ratings are up by 47% - we'll sure be watching!!! One of the things about being at a dock is that we actually have cable and can watch sports (we hadn't watched any TV in about a year and a half while we were out on anchor most of the time!!) Well maybe the diet can start tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's a Massacoustics Thing...

I know I talk about the great music here in Key West but if you are a true music fan, Key West is a virtual nirvana!!! If you're not in the mood for whatever music is playing wherever you are, you just need to walk to the next bar and find something you like better - it's that easy!!! How does such a small island attract such amazing talent? One of our favorite bands, the Massacoustics, rolled into town this past week and we have been loving life!!
The Massacoustics at Hogs Breath

But before we get into that, last week was bittersweet for us since we had to say goodbye to Shawna and Jon on Beausoleil - some of our new ragbagger buddies who we weathered the winter with down here in the SIG (short for Stock Island Ghetto). They are a great couple who we had lots of fun with over the winter - while we were sorry to see them go (especially since they are heading over to the Bahamas so we're totally jealous!), we know we will see them out on the waters again sometime, somewhere because that's just what cruisers do. Even though we are planning to head back to work for awhile, we'll be someplace warm, sunny and on the water so we'll hopefully get to see all our friends as they pass through either on their way north or south!! Stay safe guys and have a great time - see you soon!
The Crew of Beausoleil Prepares for Sea
Beausoleil Motors Out of the Harbor

We passed up a trip out to the Dry Tortugas with SunLuver, Muircu and Beausoleil since our friends Todd and Brenda on Life's2Short were headed to town - yippee!!!
Muircu Pulls Out of the Marina Headed for the Dry Tortugas
We plan on hitting the Tortugas and Marquesas before we leave here probably in May sometime - one last cruising fling!! But back to happenings on the island - prior to hitting Hog's Breath to see the Massacoustics play, we made our usual stop at Guy Harveys and ran into our Georgia girls Lindsay and Caroline (eat your heart out Bob and Ron!! we told them you both said hi!) Also at GH we ran into some guys from Massachusetts and turned them on to the Massacoustics - eventually we all wound up at the Hog for some seriously great music. Well to make a long story short, we did a repeat the next several nights and by Thursday night, Jeff, Vic and Vic's wife Sharon were fast friends!!
Even the Kids Get into the Act at Hogs Breath
We even took them over to the Sunset Pier after the Massacoustics to see Scott and Dave play - and of course ran into Brook (aka one of the Wicked Sisters) and her parents. I'll just leave it at ugly.....
The Gang at the Sunset Pier

On one night's rest which was taken up watching the Final Four, Todd and Brenda blew into town - and off we went - what better way to spend Easter than on a binge in KW! We met up with them at the dinghy dock since they are out on a mooring ball and brought them to Irish Kevin's to see Bil Krauss who was his usual hysterical self - he is also a seriously good musician!! We've had a lot of laughs and fun watching him all winter - thanks Bil!!
Doug, Todd and Brenda at Irish Kevin's
Todd was great at luring unsuspecting tourists into the bar with yes a rubber chicken!!!
Todd with His Rubber Chicken at Irish Kevin's
Then it was on to an Easter BBQ at Frank and Di's house with Country Dave
Doug and Country Dave Chat over a Couple of Beers
- what an awesome afternoon we had playing with the dogs and Patty, their very temperamental cockatoo
Patty the Cockatoo
(who by the way loves ice cubes and Todd's fingers!!
Patty Nibbles on Todd
although she sure does love Frank!!),
Frank and Patty
eating amazing ribs and bbq pork, hanging out at hillbilly beach
Dave on Hillbilly Beach
and just enjoying some great company. Thanks so much guys for a wonderful Easter - doesn't Dave look cute in his bunny ears!!!

Then it was on to Hogs Breath so Todd and Brenda could see the Massacoustics
Todd, Brenda and Doug Watching the Massacoustics
- seems like everyone wanted to hear good music that night as we were joined by Bil Krauss,
Bil Krauss at Hogs Breath to See the Massacoustics
Scott Kirby and a ton of screaming girls (OK yes in Brenda's words they are yummy - but that's just a bonus since they are amazingly talented musicians!!!)
The "Yummy" Massacoustics at Hogs Breath
From there we were off to the Lazy Gecko to meet up with some dockmates and fellow Red Sox fans, Terry and Loie on Coconuts - for those of you who don't know, the Gecko is THE Red Sox bar in KW and even has tee-shirts boasting they are the Southernmost Red Sox Nation!!! Despite the game not really starting out too well for us (much to the glee of the few Yankees fans who dared step foot through the Gecko's doors (OK - like most bars in KW there are no doors at the Gecko but across the threshold shall we say). However, we Sox fans had the last laugh as the Good Guys defeated the Evil Empire in resounding fashion - well at least by a couple of runs in the 8th inning!!! What an Easter!!! We were glad to get an email from Life's2Short that they safely maneuvered their dinghy back to the boat in the dark!!!

Yesterday we met up again around 1:00 because it was just too beautiful a day to waste
Tammy and Doug Enjoy Wings with Todd and Brenda at Schooner Wharf
- an afternoon of wings listening to Michael McCloud at Schooner Wharf was just what the doctor ordered!!!
Michael McCloud at Schooner Wharf
Of course no trip to KW is complete without a happy hour trip to the Raw Bar for oysters, shrimp and pitchers of ShockTop so of course we had to indulge - making sure we left in time to go see the yummy boys again (Brenda wanted to make sure we were able to see their whole set this time!!) Unfortunately we got to Hogs Breath and someone decidedly "unyummy" was on the stage playing what we think was music .... no seriously we were just bummed since we thought the Massacoustics were playing one more night - the Hog's website lied!!! We could have called it a day.....but no....on to Irish Kevins to see who was playing and then by luck we found a new bar (actually Doug and Todd saw the clown outside the bar holding up a sign that read "16 ounce beers for $1" - you can't make this stuff up you know!!!) Well of course we had to see what that was all about - El Alamo here we come!! Turns out it is quite a joint - centered around an outside courtyard, the beers are cold and in fact $1 all day and for happy hour they have $1 pulled pork sliders - unfortunately they were out of buns but brought us out a couple bowls of pulled pork and gave us some crackers - worked for us!!!
Beers and Pulled Pork at El Alamo with Tye the Bartender
It was also the home of some interesting characters ranging from Tye the bartender who showed us pictures of his hot Russian wife (who Todd thought was named Olga ...not) and the ever present KW pirate!!
Tammy and Brenda with the Key West Pirate
Quite a cool place - we didn't stick around for the evening's dirty joke contest - seriously, you can't make this up!!! but I'm sure we'll be back!!

Today is yet another gorgeous sunny warm day so our plan is to meet up at Guy Harveys, happy hour at Kelly's for some wings, hit a party at Brook's parents house, sunset at Mallory Square and then invade the Sunset Pier to hear Scott and Dave play! Whew, I haven't even left the boat and I'm having fun already ...... meanwhile Bootsie is ensconced on her throne - she now owns not just the love seat but also one of our two chairs in the salon - she's just so cute, we don't have the heart to kick her off!!!