Saturday, January 28, 2012
We have spent the past few days here in Key West just enjoying the sunshine, checking out the shopping and visiting with fellow Loopers and their friends. Algonquin actually got their transmission fixed (correctly this time it seems) and was able to get down here on Thursday. Kathy and Garth have a couple of boat guests from their home town of Toronto staying with them. They are at Galleon Marina a short walk from Conch Harbor where Once Around is docked.
Friday was the 29th anniversary of my 30th birthday. My first Mate and I had dinner reservations for the two of us at a place one of the locals told us was one of the best in town. At about 10 AM we left the boat to meet the crews from Boreas and Brandy IV who had driven into Key West for the day. As we walked down the waterfront, my First Mate said she had forgotten something at the boat. As luck would have it, we were right in front of The Schooner Bar. Larry from Abreojos had just emailed us to tell us The Schooner made “the best Bloody Marys in the world.” What the heck, it was a little early, but it was my birthday, so why not. When Carrie returned, I was finishing my first and told the bartender I had to run, but assured him that he would see me again over the next couple of weeks. It really was an outstanding Bloody Mary.
We met up with Fred, Julaine and Fred’s son (Fred 2) from Boreas, along with John and Rita from Brandy IV. The bunch of us traipsed up and down Duval Street all day, which is the main drag for shopping and eating. The Algonquin gang did the smart thing and rented a golf cart (or two or three, each time we saw them they seemed to be in a different one???) They honked and waved each time they passed, and once stopped and dropped off a birthday gift to me (a giant chocolate chip cookie and some awesome fudge).
Cart #1, front seat-Kathy and Garth, rear-Heather, Zeke and Stacey
Then Garth upsized to a Hummer!
We and the Boreas crew had lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. The top shelf Margaritas there are almost as good as the Bloody Mary at the Schooner. I had two, and even the shopping started to get more interesting. We met back up with John and Rita at the southernmost point in the continental US, and here’s the photo to prove it.
By about 3:30, we had gotten separated from the others and stopped in for a birthday “Rum Runner” at the Flying Monkey Bar. By the time I finished mine and half of my First Mate’s, I was really starting to get going on this whole birthday thing. Good thing, too, because an hour or so later we all ended up at some dive bar on Duval. Knowing I had plans for the evening, I took it back a notch and just ordered a light beer.
That’s when John from Brandy IV decided he was going to buy me a drink for my birthday. John is usually pretty quiet and reserved. You gotta watch his kind. The drink he bought turned out to be a double shot of bourbon straight up. He paced me with a double shot of tequila, so I couldn’t wimp out, right? “How ‘bout another”, John asks. “Sure, why not…”
A group of four or five folks wandered up and this huge guy bellows at me, “HOW IN THE HELL DOES A GUY GO ABOUT GETTING’ A DRINK AROUND HERE?”
Having completely lost any filter for my own thoughts I yelled back, “FIRST YOU HAVE TO FIND SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY GIVES A S_ _T!”
He responds, “AND I’M THINKIN’ THAT ISN’T YOU, HUH?”
“YOU GOT THAT RIGHT, BUT THAT BARTENDER THERE CAN PROBABLYL HELP YOU”.
Luckily the guy was in as good a mood as I was (it was probably his birthday too), so we both laughed and he worked his way into the bar. The Admiral just gave me “the look”.
Left to right: "Quiet John", Julaine, Fred 2, Rita, Fred, Heather, Kathy, Stacey and Carrie.
"Sloppy Joes", notable for two things: 1) Earnest Hemmingway drank here regularly; 2) It is one of the few places I did not have a birthday drink!
Fred 2 wanted to check out Once Around, so we all walked back to the boat at around 6:30. OK, the Red Stripe beer John and I each downed there were probably not really necessary. At about 7:00 our guests said their goodbyes and wandered off to dinner. I needed a cold shower if I was going to make dinner at all, but as I rose I heard the Admiral on the phone with the restaurant changing my birthday dinner reservations to Saturday. I didn’t argue too much. I wasn’t feeling really well at all and am not even sure if we ate dinner or not. I remember my dad under these circumstances had a theory that somewhere along the line he must have gotten some “bad ice”. I was pretty sure I had all the symptoms. When I woke up this morning I was positive that “bad ice” was the culprit, as I had an awful headache and a bit of an upset stomach.
The Admiral took no pity. We walked about eight miles to the grocery store and lugged a couple of hundred pounds of groceries back. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. Then she ordered me to sweat it out working in the sun all day polishing the stainless on Once Around.
Apparently she didn’t buy any part of my “Bad Ice” theory.
Only late in the day did she allow any fun at all with a dinghy ride around the harbor.
No, the Turtle Museum is not that popular...this is the dinghy dock for most of the bars on the waterfront.
One of the nice boats we passed
And, one of the not-so-nice ones in the anchorageWe're headed off to my "Birthday dinner" shortly. Hopefully this place doesn't have any "Bad Ice"!