John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

November 2010 Journal

November
30  
Today we had a full day.  First laundry.  Then over to the clubhouse for Chucks Turkey Rice Soup at lunch.  It’s around 83 today so the pool is calling.  While I was at the pool, John headed out with his cast net for some bait.  We regrouped then headed over to the bridge for fishing.  Marty, Charlie, Martin was already there.  I caught a couple undersized grouper and John got his limit of 5 mangrove snapper.  We have dinner cooking in the crockpot and when we got back we put the fish on the grill to add to dinner.

29  
Beautiful blue sky and nice warm temps.  We took a walk around the lake.  We looked at the tides and decided to go fishing later in the day.  John headed out to catch some bait with his net.  We headed to our KOA Bridge.  We caught some undersize mangrove snapper and a nice but undersize grouper about 15 inches.  We had some big hits.  I had a 4 foot shark on my line but the line broke before I could get it in.  Some other people caught a fish we couldn’t identify.  Marty at the campground said to check out a Remora.  It is.  This is a fish that attaches itself or swims along with sharks to fee on the leftovers.  Tonight we are hanging around the cow.
28   Today we are grounded to the campground.  We enjoyed coffee and read the paper.  Craig, Debbie, John, Frisbee and others headed out for the Toys for Tots Bike Run.  John made up a new batch of salsa.  Now it’s time for football.  Today is Sunday and that means it’s our Lazy Lakes Sunday afternoon party.  Dave Aaron and his band will be playing at the party today.  Another great Sunday party.

27   Overnight we had quite a bit of rain so our chairs are soaked and we are having coffee in the cow.  We took a nice walk around the lake and then headed to the Big Pine Flea Market for salsa supplies.  We did some grocery shopping and then relaxed around the cow.  We picked up Linda around 5pm and headed over to Boondocks.  Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24 Band are playing tonight at 7pm.  We know we have to get there early to get a seat.  When we got there, the tables were gone, but Video Dave and his friends were there so we set up some chairs by them.  A little while later our friends Craig and Debbie showed up.  Frisbee came in a little later.  The winners of one of the power boat races were there.  Rum Runners won last year and this year.  We all had a great time and even Santa showed up. 

26   We had a few showers overnight, but it’s still nice and warm.  John headed out before 7am with some cat food and his bait cast net to catch some bait for fishing later this afternoon.  John got back and he had a bucket full of bait.  We took a nice walk around the lake and then hung around the cow for a while.  We checked the tides and headed out for some fishing around 2pm.  We each caught a small grouper, but that was it.  Not much action at all.  We still had a great time.  We didn’t have fish for dinner, but we still had a nice dinner and grounded ourselves to the cow tonight.

25  
Happy Thanksgiving!!  We know we are very blessed to be able to travel to far off places, experience new things and enjoy life.  We are also fortunate to have our health.  Health and Happiness are the keys to life.  Today we put our Christmas decorations up.  Since we live in a cow, we don’t have many, but it looks festive.  I am bringing my pistachio fruit salad to our Lazy Lakes Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner.  Hors d’oeuvres start at 2pm so we headed over right before then.  We enjoyed all sorts of appetizers, some wine, visited with friends and watched football.  The campground supplied the turkey and ham and everyone brought a dish for dinner.  As always, there was so much great food.  Of course we all ate too much.  We had a few joker games between dinner and dessert.  We had a little dessert but brought some home to enjoy later.  We had a wonderful day.
24   This morning after coffee, we took a walk around the lake.  We stopped at the clubhouse and decided to practice more horseshoes.  John finished and won the rubber match with a 6 pack.  That is two shoes, two ringers.  It was sunny and hot and I was ready for the pool.  John needed a walk.  So off he went 6.5 miles round trip to the burned out bridge and back.  I headed to the pool to enjoy some reading and rays.  After dinner we headed to the clubhouse for Wednesday night at the movies.  Tonight’s features are “The Book of Eli” and an oldie from 1965, “Bikini Beach”. 

23  
Today we are lounging around the cow and doing some reading.  Tonight is Taco Tuesday at Looe Key Tiki Bar.  We are meeting George and Darlene there.  Joy and TJ also showed up.  There were others from Lazy Lakes too, but we didn’t see them until we were leaving.  The tacos, music and friends were all great. 

22  
This morning we took a walk around the lake and then stopped to play some horseshoes.  Our Monday afternoon tournaments won’t start for a few more weeks, but we can get some practice in.  After horseshoes we played some jokers marble games with Chuck and Marty.  Then we walked over to the KOA for happy hour.  We had a good Lazy Lakes crowd.  Bingo starts tonight so we stayed.  We didn’t win, but Linda won 2 games.  They gave us a ride home in the Chevy golf cart.

21  
This morning we had coffee and read the paper on our verandah.  We took a walk around our lake and then lounged back at the cow for awhile.  We watched the early football games at the cow and then headed over to the clubhouse for our Sunday Party.  Dave Herzog plays the Steel Drums and was part of Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 band.  Dave and his wife Barb are moving back to Minnesota, so this is his last gig in the keys.  Our party was packed.  As always we had a great time.
 20   Today was a lounging day.  We did a lot of reading and just relaxed.  We did end up at the grocery store but that was it.

19   This morning we lounged around the cow and I worked on our journal, photos and website.  We started to take a walk around our lake, but then got sidetracked.  We checked the bait trap and had bait.  So even though the tides are right, we headed out fishing.  We caught a couple and I caught a Bonnet head Shark.  It was about 3 feet long.  They don’t get real big.  They are a member of the hammerhead shark family.  We got back and enjoyed a sundowner on our neighbor’s pier.  The KOA is having Moose and his Bullet Proof Blues Band play tonight.  So we walked over to check it out.  After a while a few more people from Lazy Lakes showed up.  I had my harmonica and ended up on stage with Moose.  I still have a lot to learn, but to play a few chords on stage is workable for me.
18   We had our coffee outside enjoying the nature channel.  We were going to go to the pool and fishing again, but Liz called.  Liz and Duane are the ones who coordinated everything for the float in the Fantasy Fest Parade.  Since our float finished in the top 10, we got an award.  The ceremony is tonight.  So we changed our plans.  We headed to the pool, then regrouped and we drove Liz, Duane, TJ, Joy, John and I down to Key West to Dante’s on the waterfront.  We all got a free buffet dinner and a cocktail.  They had a slideshow of the local’s parade and the main parade with all the floats.  There were 56 floats in the parade and ours won 10th place.  Liz accepted the plaque and cash award.  We had a couple more drinks, and then headed home.
17   After coffee on the verandah we headed off to the pool to enjoy the warm sunshine and do some reading.  After a couple hours it was time to go.  The tides are right for bridge fishing this afternoon.  We headed out to the KOA bridge and it was perfect timing.  We had a lot of action and kept some mangrove snapper, caravelle jack and mackerel.  We caught some nice grouper and John had a big tarpon on his line.  We got back and cleaned our catch.  We’re not cooking it tonight.  We have the crockpot cooking.  We had a quick dinner, and then headed to the clubhouse area for our Conch Republic Drive-In Movie Theater.  Tonight’s features are “Ghost Writer” and “She’s out of my League”.  We enjoyed the movies under the stars and palm trees.  Another rough day!
16   Our toilet foot pedal broke and has to be fixed.  John got out the parts list and took it apart.  The RV store down the road had the parts, so John got it back together and everything is good.  That was enough for the day.  We did some reading and enjoyed a nice dinner and relaxed.

15  
Today is domestic day.  We got our stuff done then walked over to the KOA for Monday night Lazy Lakes Happy Hour.  Richard and Chuck picked us up on the way.  We had a couple pitchers and then walked back to the cow.

14  
 After our coffee on our verandah, we decided to try our luck at fishing.  John has made another bait trap and put it in our lake the other day.  It is full of bait fish so that’s the first step.  We headed over to the KOA bridge.  We are here at the right time for the tides, we have good bait, but the fish just aren’t biting.  John did catch a grouper but it wasn’t a keeper.  He also caught a snapper just a keeper so we kept it and will use it in our bait trap.  We headed back to the cow.
Today is Sunday and as you know, we have our Lazy Lakes Sunday Party.  We headed over to the pool and clubhouse.  Today is Ray West and his band.  They played mostly 70’s with some Jethro Tull.  Ray also plays the flute, so some really good music.  We watched the football games, listened to music, munched on all different kinds of food from the potluck, had some cocktails and enjoyed a great sunset.  We lost power for a while during our party.  We all sat around the pool with our cocktails and enjoyed the nature channel.  The Night Sky was playing.
13   Today is a time out day.  We are grounding ourselves to the campground. 

12  
Today is the second of three big race days.  Our neighbor Craig works down at the Eco Discovery Center right in the middle of the staging area for all the powerboats.  Today the Eco Center is having a roof party and Craig and Debbie invited us.  Rocky, Lois, Fred, Judy, Craig, Debbie, John and I were all there from the campground plus the employees and volunteers at the Eco Center.  Everyone brought a dish and Craig was cooking up burgers and brats.  We set our chairs up overlooking the harbor where the boats put in and race by.  Today we saw 2 races.  It’s pretty cool.  There are helicopters that fly so low above the boats.  Some are for filming.  Some are for rescue.  Some are for monitoring the boats.
After the races, Judy, Fred, Craig, Debbie, John and I headed for Duval St.  There is a boat parade at 6pm where they bring some of the boats and parade then park them right on Duval.  We stopped at The Bull for a couple drinks and ran into a couple girls from Antioch Illinois.  They were Judy P’s nieces.  Judy P runs Grass Lake Landing up at the Grass Lake Marina where we stay when we visit Chicago.  Now we headed to Ricks.  The boat parade is coming and the we saw Yo Adrian.  He puts on a great show.  Alright, we had enough, time to ground ourselves.  Another great day!!  
 
11   Happy Veterans Day.  We decided to head down to Key West today.  We stopped at Home Depot to pick up supplies to build another bait trap.  Then we were off to Fort Zackary Taylor State Park.  For Veterans Day there is free admission.  We never made it last year and have been wanting to go.  We toured the Fort and saw two cruise ships in port.  The Carnival Fascination and Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas.  It was pretty cool.  We have cruised on both ships.  We took a walk along the nature trail and along the waterfront.  The powerboat races are going on and today are the practice runs.  We were able to see the boats from the shore.  We walked along the beach and checked out the snorkeling area.  It looked good so we got our snorkeling stuff and headed in.  We saw various tropical fish and a small barracuda.
We needed a break so we found a place on the beach and soaked up some rays.  Now we decided to use our Key West Bar Card and headed down Duval.  We stopped in at Cowboy Bills.  They had live music so we had a couple cocktails.  The bartender asked us if we were going to the parade.  What parade?  The Veterans Day Parade, of course!  It worked out perfect, we found a spot along Duval and watched the parade.  Afterwards, we headed to 801 for a cocktail and now it’s time to head home.  A quick stop at the grocery store and that was it.
10   This morning after a quick coffee, we were up and out with our frozen fish guts.  We headed to Blimp Rd to chum the water, then to the bait shop for some frozen pin fish.  We stopped back at Blimp road, got our bait net out and snuck up on the place we threw the fish guts.  John tossed the net and we got a couple dozen small live pinfish.  We headed to our bridge by the KOA.  We were 2 hours before low tide.  It worked perfect.  We started getting hits right away and started pulling in keeper mangrove snapper.  We got a couple really good size ones and we had a few fish bite threw our line.  We ended up with a jack and 6 mangrove snappers.  We caught a lot more, but only kept the ones 11 inches and over.  We got back to the campground and cleaned our catch.  George, the Goliath Grouper in our lake was waiting for lunch, so we gave him most of our fish guts.  We had to save some for next time.  Now it’s pool time.  We headed to the pool to do some reading and soak up some rays.  After chicken and fish dinner, we headed down to the clubhouse.  Craig moved movie night from Friday to Wednesday.  Tonight’s features are “Grown Ups” and “The Hangover”  both were hilarious.   It was great.  I call it a Conch Republic Drive In.  Movie night under the stars and palm trees, slight breeze and 67 degrees.
9   Another time out day.  We headed to the pool to pick up some rays.  John and Marty cleaned up the horseshoe pits and had a couple games.

8  
Today is going to be a time out day.  We are hanging around the cow.  We did have a jokers game with Chuck and Marty in the afternoon.  We ended up with 6 people, Dan and Barb also joined in. 

7  
This morning we regrouped, picked up some groceries and are watching the first football game at the cow.  Today is Sunday and Lazy Lakes Sunday Party starts today.  This year there from 4pm – 8pm.  It’s still free beer, a band, today is Dave Aaron Band and everyone brings a dish.  As always we all had a great time.
6   We made it so far.  One more day to go.  Linda, John and I headed down to the Casa around 1pm.  Today is another beach day.  It’s a little windy and cool today, only 67 degrees, but always great in the keys.  Sunny Jim took the lawn stage around 2pm.  He had the Monkey’s flying.  Next up was Jim Morris and the Big Bamboo Band.  Howie the harmonica player from Boat Drunks played with quite a few different bands.  At around 6pm, Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24 took the stage.  Howard draws a huge crowd down in the keys.  As always, the show was EXCELLENT!!  We had another great day!!   
5   Today for MOTM is the Duval Street Party.  We got down about ½ hour before it started.  We got a great area on a curb, close to the stage.  Once again we ran into a lot of parrotheads we knew and met a lot more.  The Moko Jumbies were out and handing out balloons.  We stopped at Margaritaville after the street party for our free margarita.  It’s early and lots of bands are playing at all different bars in Key West.  The Trop Rock Awards are going on at the Casa.  We grounded ourselves for tonight.  We will be back at the Casa tomorrow.
4   All night we had thunder storms and rain.  Lot’s of it.  Today we are heading back down to Key West again for MOTM.  Linda is coming with us.  We got to the Casa and all registered.  Now we are official!  We got our chairs and coolers and headed to the Casa beach near the main stage.  There were other musicians at the pool bar stage, but we were set.  It worked out great.  Our seats were right along the main walkway so we saw and talked to a lot of the musicians and ran into some parrothead friends and made a bunch of new PH Phriends.  Also, on the main stage the musicians were doing there sound checks.  We did have some rain move in, but we had brought our ponchos so no problem.  We did get a little chill but only for a second.  As the day went on, more people filled in by the stage.  The bands were all GREAT!!  Club Trini is basically the Coral Reefers.  Mac McAnally, Peter Mayer, Robert Greenidge, Michal Utley, Doyle Grisham and more.  When Club Trini had Boat Drunks come up with them it was EXCELLENT!!  Another great parrothead party.
3   This morning we had coffee on our verandah while watching the nature channel in our back yard.  We took a walk around the lake and visited with people at the clubhouse.
Today is the start of MOTM (Meeting of the Minds).  This is a 5 day party of Parrotheads.  Fans of Jimmy Buffett, his music and trop rock music.  Linda is heading down to Key West with us around 3pm.
We started our party at the Schooner Wharf Bar.  We really like this place.  We knew Michael McCloud was playing until 5pm.  Because of MOTM, there were Moko Jumbies walking around and there were giveaways if you knew Jimmy Buffett trivia.  I was a little slow at first but I redeemed myself and ended up winning a Schooner Wharf koozy.  The rain came; luckily we were under an umbrella and just had to readjust a little.  We enjoyed a couple 2 for 1 cocktail’s using our Key West Bar Card and listened to Michael McCloud’s last set.
By now it was just drizzling and we walked on over to the Conch Republic Seafood Company.  The Key West Parrothead Club is having a Welcome to the Island Party.  It’s happy hour here so more 2 for 1 cocktails.  We saw Howard Livingston, Video Dave and his wife, Vivian.  We saw Joe and Dave from Lazy Lakes.  We met a lot of great parrotheads and then our friends, George and Darlene came by.  We stayed for a while and then headed out.
We are on our way to the Rum Barrel.  Brent Burns is having a songwriters showcase.  We have seen Brent a number of times and recently met up with him in Gulf Shores Alabama at Lulu’s Restaurant.  It was packed but we found a spot right near the door.  It actually worked out perfect.  Brent was on stage when we got there.  When he finished up, Howard Livingston and Dave Herzog took the stage.  They did a few songs and then Jim Hoehn.  Cindy and Barb, Howard and Dave’s better half’s were there and Vivian and Video Dave.  Jim Hoehn we have seen a few times as well.
It was time for us to go.  On our way back to Red, we walked past Harpoon Harrys, which is where Dave Aaron works when he’s not playing a gig.  We visited with him for a little while and then it was drizzling, the thunder was booming and the sky was lighting up.  It was time for us to get back to Red and back home.  We had a great first day of MOTM!!
2   During our walk around the lake, John put one of his bait traps in our lake.  We’ll see what happens.  No bait, so we went to pick up a couple dozen shrimp and headed off to the KOA Bridge.  We still put our bait trap in, but no bait.  We did catch a couple small ones which we used as cut bait.  We ended up with a keeper mangrove snapper and a grunt.  We got back, had a couple cocktails then dinner.  We were done.  Fishing takes a lot out of you.

   1   Today is domestic day.  I took care of laundry and John is working on building another bait trap.  We stayed around our campsite.