The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Pard'ner, Bobby

Our final week in Key West was shared with another set of visitors from home.  My long time good friend and business partner, Bobby, and his wife, Alisa, flew into Key West Airport last Wednesday and joined us on Once Around.  Bobby is as close a “brother” to me as I have ever had.  He, Carrie and I have been friends for over 30 years, and he is the “Bobby” referred to several times in this blog as my water skiing buddy.  We have worked together since those days, but it has been a long time since we’ve been able to vacation and relax together like this, and it was great. 
Alisa and Bobby

One of the first sights we enjoyed with them was the tour of the Harry S. Truman “Little White House”.  It was a step back into the 1950’s and a history lesson about the end of WWII, the Korean War and Truman’s other accomplishments.  President Truman spent quite a bit of time in Key West at his Little White House, and he is still loved here.
Little White House, Key West, FL
We also sampled more of the fine eating (and drinking) establishments here in Key West, and of course, spent quite a bit of time shopping on Duval Street. 
Me and Bobby
Alisa, Bobby, Carrie and me in the smallest bar in Key West.  It is wedged in between two buildings...this is the whole bar!
One night we attended a play at the local “Red Barn Theater”.  It was called God of Carnage and was a hilarious comedy about two couples who get together to discuss the fight their ten year old sons had gotten into at school.  What started out as a very civilized discussion degenerated over the next hour and a half into complete mayhem!  We laughed all the way back to the boat!
Believe it or not, if you Yelp restaurants here in Key West and sort the search by most highly rated, the only “five star” that comes up is Garbo’s.  In pure Key West fashion, Garbo’s turns out to be a tiny ”gourmet” food cart in a gravel parking stall on Front Street near the harbor.  I think a lot of people drive by and think the restaurant must have been torn down.  Bobby and I had lunch there one day while the ladies were getting decked out with manicures at the beauty salon nearby.  There is no place really to sit and eat at Garbo’s except on a few ice chests they have next to the cart.  Bobby and I overheard them tell another customer that they could take their lunch across the street to the pepper sauce store and sit at the counter trying various hot sauces on the food they brought from Garbo’s.  Seemed like a good plan to us.  The folks who came in after us had even more local knowledge, stopping first at the bar next door for a roadie beer to wash down the hot sauce.  I had the best hot dog ever.  It had fresh mango slices, fresh jalapeno peppers and a “Caribbean sauce”.  We told the ladies about it and took them there a couple of days later.  This time I had a mahi-mahi burrito (and a beer this time) and tried about ten different sauces as I munched it down.  It is a classic Key West experience none of us is likely to forget, especially since each shipped about $50 worth of hot sauces home!
Alisa and Carrie at the world famous, Garbo's...
...and Garbo's menu board.  (The girl in the poster to the right is not actually on the menu!  We know, because Bobby and I inquired the day before!)
Our favorite dinner spot by far was Blue Heaven, where Rob, Carrie and I had lunch the previous week.  It was good for lunch, great for dinner (and the chickens Flat Stanley had met at lunch were fast asleep in the trees by dinner time!).
One of the axioms learned at the Looper Rendezvous’ is that if you invite guests to stay on your boat on the loop, be sure to invite a good cook, because you get tired of your own cooking.  Well, Alisa sure fits that requirement!  She made an excellent grilled snapper dinner for the four of us one night, and some mushroom bruschetta another night that we shared with Garth and Kathy from Algonquin and Rich and Carol from Salt n’ Sand who stopped by for cocktails. 
Today is Monday the 13th of February.  We had planned to depart from Key West today, but (surprise, surprise) the weather gods entered the picture.  It is a bit rough out there today, although we might have gone anyway except the Admiral has a bad cold and/or flu and I have a few early signs of the same.  Our next stop is supposed to be “Little Palm Island” which is a secluded resort accessible only by boat and according to our friend Elaine, “The most romantic spot in the world”.  We decided to wait till we felt better before going to such a nice place.  The weather looks good the rest of the week so hopefully we’ll get out of here Tuesday or Wednesday.  Even though Key West has been a blast, after three weeks we’re getting antsy to move on.
A Happy Valentine’s Day (one day early) to all you lovely ladies out there, especially my First Mate, my daughters Dina and Carla and my granddaughter Lia.  I love you girls.

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