Saturday, February 20, 2010

Key West entertainment

So many bars, so few days

We’d never seen a female impersonator perform, and we are in Key West, so . . . we went to La Te Da on Thursday night to see the “Randy Roberts Live” cabaret show. He really sounds like and looks terrific as Bette Midler, later as Cher, and last as himself/herself, Randy. Now I have to go to that show in Boston with Julie that we missed a year ago! How did the term “drag queen” originate? If you want to know, click on  It's a real education on the differences between drag queens, transvestites, female impersonators, etc.

“Lunch out” is an attraction too, even the few that don’t have live music, like B.O.’s Fish Wagon and Pepe’s. The d├ęcor is the main attraction (see photos below), and they’re both institutions here. Every bar seems to have live entertainment darn near around the clock. Almost all are open to the street, even with this cold spell. A few guys in minimal “budgie smugglers” were dancin’ up a storm on one bar last night as we walked by. Ya gotta look.

Then there’s The Bull, known for its clothing-optional bar on the 3rd floor roof. So many ideas for E-Series at Two Rivers! Why am I not surprised that The Full Monty will be offered at the local theatre next week?

Pete and Gary
Bob Marley’s son, Stephen, performed here last night, but one big night out is enough for us. Plus, friends from Governor’s Land, Gary and Marie, are in Duck Key in their big RV. So Gary drove down to Key West last night to see us (Marie didn't accompany him since she wasn’t feeling well). We walked down Duval Street to Willie T’s for a few margaritas. We are in Margaritaville!

Cowboy Bill’s Honky Tonk Saloon and Captain Tony’s Saloon (the original Sloppy Joes’s) look promising for another night.

Only the pelicans don’t seem to mind this 50s and 60s degree weather. We’re still waiting for the high 70s and even 80s that are supposed to arrive tomorrow.

We finally have cable now that we’re in a marina, so I can watch some of the Olympics.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Arrived in Key West yesterday!

I thought we'd never see Duval Street again, but here we are. The winds were only 5-10 today, so we motor sailed for 8 hours to get here in one "fell swoop."

We had enough of anchoring out (and the mooring field here is WAY out), so we got a slip at Galleon Resort and Marina for a few days. The yacht next to MicMac provided lots of protection from the wind last night!

Out of the multitude of bars and restaurants here in Key West, we opted to eat dinner at Kelly's Caribbean Bar and Grill last night because Wayne and Millie (now back in VA) had recommended it as one of their favorites. What a coinkydink! Mike, Audrey, Pete, and Mary Lee were there, after driving down to Key West for the day. Another happy hour with them!

Today we went to another of Wayne and Millie's favorites, Schooner Wharf, for lunch and to listen to legend Michael McCloud. Of course I had to buy one of his CDs. Chatted with a nice young couple from the cruise ship that's in port today who were on a pub crawl. I think that's what everyone in Key West, since Ernest Hemingway, is on!

We tried to find the cute B & B we stayed at 5 years ago, but it's now for sale, along with LOTS of homes here. Perhaps the mortgage fiasco has opened up the real estate down here.

Windjammers from NJ in Marathon

Terrific! We got to see more old sailing friends from NJ.

Audrey and Mike, from our Windjammer days on Barnegat Bay, spend half the year in their Tampa area home. They drove down to Marathon to visit other former Windjammers, Pete and Mary Lee, who spend Februarys in Marathon on their Endeavor 44 power catamaran, "Twin Chariot." Audrey read our blog and emailed us that they'd be in town while we were marooned here. They picked us up in a dinghy and we enjoyed lunch with all of them at another Marathon spot, Hurricane's (famous for their $5 lunch). Then back to "Twin Chariot" for happy hour.

If NOAA isn't lying and the wind is from the north, we planned to head south the next day to get closer to Key West.

Our layover in Marathon, FL

I am going to be in serious need of Weight Watchers when we get home. My bum knee is still talking to me, so I'm getting little walking exercise. We enjoyed a humongous lunch at Keys Fisheries one day. It's a legendary spot for $1 stone crab claws for lunch, but the open air deck was not appealing on that cold day. Instead, Pete bought a pound of them another day and we cracked them onboard. MIGHTY tasty. The cool thing about these huge claws is that they are taken from the living crab who is then returned to the seas to grow another one. That takes about 18-24 months, but it's "sustainability" at its finest.

We walked to Crane Point Preserve and Nature Center one day. It's a nifty little slice of Florida like it used to be: thick black, red, and white mangrove forests, the oldest tabby house in Florida (outside of Key West), and lots of trails to explore. They also house the Wild Bird Center that rescues and releases injured birds.

I found one crab trap float the day after the big storm that I'll add it to my flotsam collection on our porch at home.

These blasted things are spread out in no obvious pattern across Florida waters, both in the ICW and outside in Hawk Channel. Captain Pete just loves dodging them. Some mark stone crab traps and some are tied to spiny lobster traps. They kinda remind you of  Tom Hanks' "Wilson."

We had anchored FAR away from the City Marina's dinghy dock because the 250+ mooring balls were already in use, and many (as in another 150) boats were anchored out. It was a long ride in. So I chose to stay aboard two days, catching up on my reading, instead of getting a bouncy wet ride in to shore.

But we had "cabin fever" one day. Luckily, Deb and Dan invited us to a Sunday afternoon of Mexican Train Dominoes on shore. It took Pete and me a while to get the gist of it, but it's the traditional Sunday afternoon pastime for Marathon sailors. We met lots of nice folks and now have another past-time other than Rummikube and Scrabble.

Our son Dave also introduced us to a challenging website with challenging trivia categories. Try and try any category. Pete and I must have killed a lot of brain cells, because we haven't aced any of the categories.

BIG winds

Wow, glad we were prepared for that big storm. Ony poor guy was in his dinghy returning to his boat when the winds arrived. MicMac danced around "like a ballerina" on her anchor (according to the sailor anchored behind us) when the winds jumped from 20 to 30-40 knots in one minute. A local restaurant clocked one gust at 50 knots. That was probably the one that sent everything on our table crashing to the floor as we heeled over. The excitement lasted for about 45 minutes, then the winds stayed around after the rain and lightning. NOT a good night for sleeping as the winds howled.