Sunday, January 23, 2011

Senility - it is not just for seniors anymore....

Why do I start out this way - because I could have sworn I blogged about our trip to Key West to see our cruising buddies Stephanie and Bob and their canine buddies Cassie and Godiva on September Song!!! Maybe not the Christmas trip but at least our trip down to Marathon in early December - I had to have because there were great pictures and we had too much fun!! Obviously senility is creeping up on me because needless to say when I went to check - no blog!! Is this what work does to your mind - beware everyone??

Well I have some serious catching up to do - here all of you readers are thinking that Doug and I have been up to nothing but contraire mon amis!! We have been living it up down here in FL - well maybe not all the time but we certainly have snuck in some seriously good times. At the beginning of December we headed down to Marathon with Doug driving Bob and Steph's minivan that they had left up with us in Merritt Island where as you know they spent some time with us on their trek south. Yes you read correctly - Doug drove a minivan (he was disguised to look like a senior corporate executive so no one we know would recognize him and add to his shame) - and one without Sirius radio or ez pass no less! What a trooper - we met up in Marathon with Bob and Stephanie as well as more cruising buddies Norm and Vicki on TideHiker who are also spending the winter down there. What started with drinks on SS,
Doug with Bob, Stephanie, Norm and Vicki on September Song
quickly shifted to the Sunset Tiki Bar where we munched on great food, danced to great music (aaahhhhh to be in the Keys again where every bar has if not a great musician at least one that doesn't make you cringe as if nails were dragged down a chalkboard!) and laughed the night away - well at least until the band packed up their gear.
The Gang at the Sunset Tiki Bar
Norm and Vicki Shake a Leg at the Sunset Tiki Bar
Then not wanting the night to end, it was off to the Brass Monkey on the way back to the boat - now the Brass Monkey is one of those dark, slightly (OK completely) divey smoky biker type bars that takes a bit of guts to enter, but we figured we had the numbers and so we dared and had a ball listening to guessed it, more really good music!!! How great it was to be with such good friends again and oh how good it felt to be in the Keys!! As much as we like our new home on Merritt Island, we sure do miss the Keys mon!

The next morning we all piled into the minivan (disguises intact and a cold roadie in our coozies) and headed off to Key West - wooohoooo!!! Starting at Guy Harveys (where much to our dismay, we found out that our Georgia girl Lindsay with the butt tattoo and Caroline were no longer there),
Easing into Key Weird with Beers at Guy Harvey's
we eased back into Key Weird. On to Fogarty's for a sloppy grouper sandwich so that we would have something in our stomachs before seriously going on tour....
Sloppy Grouper All Around at Fogarty's
a cigar and wing stop at Schooner Wharf to hear Michael McCloud
Bob and Tammy Pose With The Cigar Guy at Schooners
was followed by happy hour at the rooftop bar at Turtle Kralls where we met up with all our old cruising buddies from Stock Island where we spent last winter (Brett and Jill from Muircu, Bob and Nancy from SunLuver and Jon and Shawna from Beausoleil!!!) Very kewl!!!!

Sunset from the roofdeck rocked - there really is something about the Keys that makes the sunsets so gorgeous (and its also time for people to let if there needs to be such a time in KW!)
Sunset in Key West
On our way to the Chart Room for some popcorn and peanuts (and a couple adult libations),
The Gang at the Chartroom
we passed this great dinghy with a barcolounger - now that's something you don't see every day!!!
Dinghy with Barcolounger
Little did we know that night was the KW holiday parade - expecting what you usually see in "parades" in KW (ie transvestites in satin bustiers, stockings and heels....), we actually were surprised how PG the parade was. Guess Santa is sacred or something - but we all loved the lights and costumes and some of us even went a little crazy grabbing for candy being thrown from the floats, not mentioning any names Stephanie and Shawna!!!!

Although we had to leave Marathon the next day, no trip to Marathon would be complete without a stop at the Stuffed Pig for breakfast so of course we had to partake the next morning (even though we had sworn we'd never eat or drink ever again after our disgusting display of both in KW the day before)!! Ahhhhhh, yummmy!
Breakfast at the Stuffed Pig

While we were in KW, Bob and Stephanie checked on dockage for September Song and we made plans to meet up with them again for Christmas!! Yippeee!!! Norm and Vicki were headed to Biscayne Bay and most of the Stock Island cruising group were headed off for the holidays, but we figured that Bob, Stephanie, Doug and I could do some serious damage on our own in KW! Well - mission accomplished!! Doug and I actually got to drive together this time (and we had Sirius and ez pass) so we were good to go - we made it to Key Largo on Thursday night where we stopped and had an amazing mahi meal at the Fish House (almost as good as the mahi we used to catch on Gypsies!!) The next morning it was on to KW to meet up with the September Song crew - on the way into KW Doug dropped me off for my Xmas present at Paradise Tattoo!! Pete the Parrot now has a cousin Tonks the Unicorn on my other ankle - Bob, Stephanie and Doug met up with me there although they didn't last long (think the needles and my gritted teeth wiped out any thought they ever might have had about getting one themselves!!!)
Tammy Getting Her Christmas Tattoo at Paradise Tattoo
I met them afterwards at Fogarty's for some well deserved adult beverages - and we were off and rolling!!!
Adult Beverages at Fogarty's After Tammy's Tattoo Experience
No Sloppy Grouper this time so we could graze as we hopped from bar to bar listening to great music everywhere we went!!! Oysters at the Raw Bar,
Bob, Stephanie and Doug Dig Into Their Oysters
Bob Enjoying His Oysters
wings at the Wharf with great reggae music - yahoo! No trip to KW is complete though without hearing our great friends Scott Kirby and Dave Edmisten play so we headed off to Margaritaville. Along the way we ran into another great musician and friend Bill Blue and Scott's wife Michelle - amazing who you run into on the streets of KW - man they'll let anyone in town. Michelle couldn't believe the "boat people" were back in town - not sure Scott ever convinced her he didn't know we were coming to town - seriously Michelle, he didn't! The surprised look on Scott's face - priceless!!

The next day was Christmas and we had a ball -
Doug Tries on One of Steph's Tree Ornaments
everyone had stockings to open including Cassie and Godiva -
Cassie Attacks Her Stocking While Godiva Looks On
Stephanie Gets Into the Christmas Spirit
thanks guys for making Xmas so much fun!!! Stephanie and Bob completely outdid themselves with dinner too - prime rib, chocolate, cherry bread pudding and lots of wine!!!
Christmas Dinner on September Song
Now how you might ask could we go out on the town after that - it was not easy but we figured a long walk might help us digest, plus we've heard that barley and malt helps digestion....well ok maybe not but...... More music at the Wharf and we finally called it a day (even though we were supposed to meet up with Scott at an Xmas party across town....for once we made the smart decision - don't get used to that though because especially when we're in Key Weird we're usually not smart!!!) is good, especially when you are with great friends and its warm out!
Music at Schooner Wharf on Christmas Night
Just like you can't leave Marathon without having breakfast at the Stuffed Pig, you can't leave Key West without having breakfast at Pepe's, so once again after swearing we'd never be able to eat or drink again, we lied and found ourselves at Pepe's with Scott scarfing down homemade bread and other delectable treats!!! UGH - Betty Ford, Weight Watchers here we come!!!

No sooner did we got back up to Merritt Island and it was time for us to get on a plane to head to Massachusetts to see family and friends. What a whirlwind - first it was lunch with our great friend Mary Ouellette who drove up from RI to see us (thanks Mary!!!) and then it was drinks with my cousin Chris and his fiancee Carolina (their wedding was after all the real reason for us coming to Massachusetts in the middle of winter - did you really think we would voluntarily choose to go to New England in the winter?? and especially two days after a blizzard???) NOT!!! New Year's Eve which happens to also be Doug's bday was spent at Chris' restaurant with my gorgeous Aunt Peg and my cousin Warren and his wife Debbie! Way fun - thanks for the great food Chris - if you're ever up near Boston make sure to visit Lexx Restaurant in Lexington!!! We spent a whole day with my niece Samantha and her son Rocco - what an amazing little guy!!!
Sam and Rocco
Rocco in His New Coat
Rocco and His New Truck
Then it was off to see my nephew Wyatt who is just about ready to get his license - how is it humanly possible that time goes by this fast!!
From Left, Wyatt, Larry, Sam and Rocco, Doug and Kristy
The next day was the wedding - what a wonderful day! Unlike most people, they actually pulled off a small wedding - about 30 of us gathered to share their special day - Chris and Carolina were gorgeous and happy, all my cousins and my Aunt were dressed to the nines and having a ball, and I thought I wasn't going to cry and I wouldn't have if Chris hadn't started blubbering when it was his turn to say his vows. Seriously - we couldn't be more happy for them - they have found their true soul mate and we hope for them all the happiness in the world!!!
The Bride and Groom with the Pastor
The Groom, Chris, and Mother of the Groom, Aunt Peg
The Groom's Sister, Melissa, and Her Family, Russ, Maclen and Bridget
The Groom's Brother, Warren, and His Family, Debbie and Kayla
The Mother of the Bride and the Mother of the Groom
The reception at the house and the dinner were typical Chris and Warren productions - the food better than anything you would ever get in a restaurant (at the risk of making you drool on your computer, I'm talking homemade lobster bisque and beef wellington!!!) Add in side trips to see my brother Tom and my nephew Drew and you've got a major whirlwind which seemed to take a toll on us. The day we were headed home, Doug and I became violently sick - we'll spare you the details but suffice it to say, it took me over a week to recover. It's just now that I am starting to feel half way human - guess I can look at it as an outside imposed jump start on my diet and dry out period which I'd promised myself after New Year (me and everyone in the world resolves to get in shape come January......) Well I actually did something about it.....I got sick and couldn't eat anything for days and couldn't even smell alcohol for over a week!!! Glad that didn't last!!

[note from Doug: as the IT staff, it is my job to post the great blogs that Tammy writes. This one was written on January 17 but I am just getting around to posting it on January 23]

Doug just got back from a week in California and I leave tomorrow for the rest of the week in Aventura - so yes, we're back to work! Good thing we sneak in some fun when we can, huh??? Especially since all we have to look forward to is the start of spring training - when exactly do pitchers and catchers report??? and you thought I could make it all the way through a blog without touching on the depressing showing of my beloved Patriots. Couldn't they have lost to anyone BUT the freakin' Jets???????