Monday, October 4, 2010

TropStock Rocked!!!

What an absolutely awesome weekend of sun, friends and unbelievably great music (a few coldies here and there didn't hurt either)!!! We just had one of those very rare, perfect weekends - the only issue is that it went by way too fast and we've got to wait a whole year for the Second Annual TropStock in the Village extravaganza!!
The Crowd at Trop Stock
Who knew sleepy little Cocoa could come up with such an amazing line-up of musicians and who knew Mother Nature would smile on us as she did (while we were cruising on our boat, MN always seemed to screw up our plans - maybe she's moved on to mess with someone else!!) Bob and Nancy - sorry you guys couldn't share it with us but there's always next year!

Saturday dawned bright and sunny and after a few boat chores (nothing too strenuous) - we headed off to the Riverfront Park to hear some music and soak up some rays. Armed with our concert chairs and high hopes, we set up our chairs in front of the awesome amphitheater stage and proceeded to groove to some music by Tropical Motivation
and Pyrates of the Coast. We watched some of the beach volleyball tournament and the official cornhole tournament - man, these guys and gals were good!! Who knew there are cornhole leagues - we just thought it was a way to pass time while waiting for our pork sliders and $1 beers at El Alamo in KW!!
Then it was back to our seats for our KW friends Scott Kirby and Dave Edmisten - as many times as we've seen those guys perform over the years, it still amazes me how good they really are and how much we love their music!
Scott Kirby and Dave Edmisten
Scott Signs CDs for his Adoring Fans
Some rocking pizza at Ryan's across the street and we were ready to party out with the final band for the night - Peter and Jim Mayer!!!!
Peter (left) and Jim (right) Mayer
Those guys along with their band (including a 20 year old fiddle/mandolin player who was unbelievable) had everyone dancing and screaming for more.
Peter Rocks with Maggie, the 20 Year Old Fiddle Player
Peter Does an Encore for the Crowd
Peter even came off the stage to join the huge conga line winding it's way around the park - now that's quite an entertainer (or a nut!) I'm sure Peter gets sick of it, but it's just too funny to see all the women in the crowd go crazy for him!! We overheard the guy behind us actually say that he loved when he and his wife saw Peter play because he knew he'd get lucky that just can't make this up!!!

Scott got us into the after party for all the musicians and I gotta say it was pretty cool hanging out with Scott and Dave, Peter, Jim and their band and Nadirah Shakoor!!!! That is until the bar opened up to the public and all the pirates from the pirate pub crawl invaded the party. Time to leave!!! Somehow (and we still aren't quite sure how this happened) it was back to Gypsies for a big nightcap party on the flybridge!! Before we knew it, we had Scott and Dave, Scott and Peter Mayer's marketing folks and believe it or not, Steve Huntington and JD Spradlin of Radio Margaritaville on Gypsies!!! Again - you can't make this stuff up!!! Steve runs the programming for RadioMargaritaville and DJs out of the New Orleans Margaritaville Cafe while JD DJ's in the Orlando Margaritaville - way cool guys and we all had a ball on Gypises until way past our bedtimes!! It's always great to hang with old friends and meet new ones sitting on the flybridge of Gypsies sipping some adult beverages and enjoying the peace and quiet of being on the water - what a way to wind up an awesome day! To protect the not so innocent, no pictures were taken of the after hours party or the ensuing party on Gypsies!!! although there was some drinking and dialing which in retrospect probably wasn't the best of ideas!!!

A little slow to get going on Sunday but we were off to TropStock by about 12:30 - ready for another day of sun and great music - it didn't disappoint. Captain Josh was playing as we arrived and then Jim Morris and the Big Bamboo Band rocked out the afternoon! How can you not like someone whose saying is "Booze is the duct tape of life?"
Jim Morris and the Big Bamboo Band
We had been given a Jim Morris CD from some friends we met in KW this winter and loved it, so it was a great afternoon - bare feet in the grass, coldies, scorching sun with a gentle sea breeze and live music - yippppeeee!!!! Could the afternoon get any better? Answer - you bet!!!! After Jim, came Doyle Grisham on the steel guitar (another member of Jimmy's band) and John Patti (aka Cabana Boy) on the steel drums - take me to the islands mon!!!!

Saving the best for last, Nadirah Shakoor and Outside Art took to the stage and treated us to an absolutely unbelievable evening!!! All I can say is that if you've never heard Nadirah (outside of Jimmy's concerts), you need to!!!! Not only does she have truly the most amazing singing voice I have ever heard, but the songs she sings are so positive, upbeat and empowering not just for women but for all people.
Nadirah Shakoor Rocks It for the Crowd
She sings of love, freedom, peace, pride and power and does it in a way that makes you want to stand up and yell "you go girl!!!!"
Nadirah Sings of Love, Freedom, Peace, Pride and Power
She and her brother Rasheed (who plays drums and bongos) played several poignant songs together which really made you think (when was the last time a musician made you think??)
Nadirah Sings, Accompanied by Her Brother, Rasheed, on the Bongos
Even though her songs were powerful, they had a beat to bring down the house or should I say the park. For an encore she came out into the crowd singing a song called Pride and had everyone on their feet.
Nadirah Sings "Pride" Down in the Crowd
Doug and I just looked at each other when it was over and said "WOW!!!!!" We have already been on her website to find out when we can see her again - not only is she an incredibly talented musician but her songs make you believe that she is an equally wonderful human being.

And then today, we rest - well not really. While Doug had to head off to work bright and early, I've been doing boat chores all day trying to get ready for the day I have to head back to work (Wednesday!!!!) No longer the woman of leisure, I'm trying to get all our errands done in anticipation of having no free time again!! We like our weekends way too much to have to do errands then - we'll figure it out I'm sure! All I can say is that TropStock was a great send-off into the working world - tough to beat a weekend like that!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Big News

Well I have officially lost my life of leisure and joined the ranks of the working stiffs - I have accepted a position as Vice President and General Counsel for a company named Sanswire, which is relocating their corporate offices to Orlando in the next couple weeks. Sanswire is a publicly traded bulletin board company that develops and markets lighter than air unmanned aerial vehicles. I met with several advisors to the company last week and then this week flew out to Colorado Springs to meet with the new CEO and Chairman of the Board who were attending the High Altitude and Near Space Conference which Sanswire was sponsoring (think lots of Air Force and Army Generals, NASA folks and assorted other military and scientific gurus - I fit right in.....haha) To say we all clicked would be an understatement!!! While there is an awful lot of work to be done, we all believe that based on the amazing technology the company has, we are in a unique position to really build something spectacular and save lots of lives along the way. Kind of cool to be doing something important rather than just making widgets or making money for people who already have too much!!! I fly off to Easton, MD (which we've actually been to before when cruising the Chesapeake which no one at Sanswire could believe!) this Wednesday to their facility to see a demo of the airship - how kewl!!! I am really excited about the opportunity and if you have to go back to work - this is a pretty cool gig!!! Doug is a little bummed at losing his "housewife" but I keep telling him, the second paycheck makes up for that!!! Plus its not like we won't continue to have lots and lots of fun!!!

Last weekend there was supposed to be this great International Sound and Flavor Festival down in Melbourne - always game to try something new and thinking good food and music, we figured why not so we hopped in the car and headed down. Well - it was an experience shall we say!! We first drove into this park where we thought it was supposed to be (there was even a sign at the entrance announcing the festival) and after driving around twice, all we came across was a pavilion with a very sad sounding country western band and some fat, bald, old guys flipping burgers. This couldn't be it, could it???? But yet there was nothing else around - so we got out just to make sure but from the looks of the crowd (think Elks club outing meets biker bar) and the fact I don't really consider burgers and dogs to be "international," we packed it in and headed out. On our way out about a mile down the road we actually saw a whole bunch of signs for the festival we'd been looking for and followed them to a field - OK here we go. Well not so much..... but at least they had beer and a couple booths selling gyros (which I guess are international although they looked slightly less than desirable) - other than that, really not so much!!! We went into the tent to hear the "international sound" and were greeted by an old scraggly looking guy playing a banjo singing christian folk songs. You just can't make this up!! YIKES - time to leave!!! So much for the festival - although they did have on display a very funny limousine!!!
Thinking we would eat and drink our way through a fun festival teeming with delicious international cuisine, we hadn't had lunch and by this time we were hungry!! So as we always do, we made the best of the afternoon by finding the Conch Key Grill and Tiki Bar which sits right on the ICW and is a great little funky bar!
Hurricanes are a big deal down here and the Conch Key has survived quite a few which they proclaim proudly from above the bar!!
Knock on big wood but so far we've had a quiet season down here in FL - maybe Mother Nature decided to give us a break for our first season down here (normally she's not that nice to us)!!! Mahi sandwiches and cold beers - we like this place - plus we found out you get free drinks on your birthdays and anniversaries!!! And Bimini is only 193 miles away!!!!

Last night to celebrate the new job (not really - we've had tickets for weeks), we hit the opening evening of The First Annual TropStock in the Village over at the Riverfront Park in Cocoa. We had wanted to see some of the afternoon music but Doug couldn't break free from work (even though he was working from the boat!!) - I hate when work interferes with our play time!!!! Oh well better late than never! TropStock is an unbelievable three day extravaganza of seriously good trop rock musicians - we're talking Scott Kirby, Peter Mayer and much of the rest of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band like Nadirah Shakoor, Doyle Grisham and Jim Mayer - can you believe it???? ALL in sleepy little Cocoa!!! What am I back in Key West?? We had a great evening sitting out on the grass at the park listening to first Jack Mosley, one of the great trop rock musicians whose music is played on radiomargaritaville and jimmydreamz as well as many other trop rock radio stations! Then it was Homemade Wine, a great tropical country jam band!! Playing trop rock to honky tonk country to Lynyrd Skynyrd, they had the crowd on their feet!! As the sun set and the stars came out, they lit up the stage with lights and great music - what a great way to spend an evening!!!

And we've still got two more days of great music to go - today we plan on bringing chairs for the afternoon/evening. The line-up includes Pyrates of the Coast, Tropical Motivations followed by our good friends Scott and Dave and then ending with Peter Mayer!!! Although my guess is our night won't end there - have we mentioned Scotty is in town!! There are also after hours parties in the pubs around Cocoa Village where other trop rock guys are playing!! Too fun! Then on Sunday we've got Jim Morris and the Big Bamboo Band, Doyle Grisham and then Nadirah!!!! Good thing I don't start work until Wednesday - think Monday will be a day of rest (sorry Doug!!)