John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

December 2011 Journal

December
31  
Happy New Years Eve!!!  This morning Sue, Shelly and Justin headed home early.  We wished they could have stayed longer, but we had a great time with them while they were here.  Today we lounged around the cow, worked on our football picks and just relaxed so we are ready for tonight.  The KOA is having the band “Reach” for New Years Eve.  John and I headed over early to meet Linda and Joe to reserve some tables.  We had a big group from Lazy Lakes.  We enjoyed the band, did some dancing and welcomed in the New Year.
  30   This morning we had some breakfast stuff early, and then headed out.  Our first stop was Smathers Beach.  We got there around 11am and it was already crowded.  We took a nice long walk on the beach and enjoyed the water and scenery.  Next we headed over to Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park.  We found a nice area to set up our beach stuff and then soaked up some rays.  Jennifer from the bloodmobile was there so we stopped by to say hi.  After soaking up the rays, we were ready for a dip and some snorkeling.  John and I headed out to the rocks to check out the fish.  We saw some parrot fish, gar, and a bunch of other fish.  We headed in so the others could check it out.  Justin was all set and ready to go, but he had never snorkeled before and decided today wasn’t the day.  Sue was ready.  She had snorkeled years ago and needed a refresher course, so she and I headed out together so she could get used to it.  She did great.  We can’t stay here too long, we have lot’s to do.  So we rinsed off at the showers and got ready for the rest of the day.
First we walked over to the Fort to check it out.  Then we had to move Big Red over to the Truman Annex for parking.  We headed toward Hemmingway’s house.  It was getting late in the day and we decided to take some photos but not go on the tour.  As we were walking to the Southernmost Point Buoy, we saw Eddie the blues singer from last night with Adrian.  We found out he works on a charter boat and doesn’t have any gigs anywhere.
We continued on to the Southernmost Point and of course we had to get photos.  Now it’s getting close to sunset and we want to be at LaConcha Hotel at least 15 minutes before sunset.  We walked on down Duval and made it to the top for perfect timing.  It was a beautiful sunset with a few clouds, sailboats on the water and pelicans in the air.  After sunset we had another cocktail and enjoyed the after burn.
We haven’t really eaten today other than snacks so we went to “Two Friends” for dinner.  John and I had been there before and really enjoyed it.  Tonight too the atmosphere, drinks, food and family was great.  After dinner we stopped at Ricks to wave at Adrian who we saw yesterday and is performing again tonight.  Our mission tonight is to go to Pete’s Dueling Piano’s.  We had a good table and a couple drinks and listened to a bunch of songs.  They asked for some volunteers, so of course I had to volunteer.  A few of us on stage danced to the Hokey Pokey.  We had another really great day, but now it’s time to head home.
29   Today John’s cousin Sue and her daughter Shelly and her boyfriend Justin is coming to visit.  They were excited about coming to Key West so they got here early.  We Shelly and Justin’s tent set up their stuff organized.  We headed out around noon to Key West.
First we stopped at the Botanical Gardens.  We saw some large iguanas, multiple birds and the Cuban refuge boats.  Then we headed to downtown Key West.  We parked near the Eco Discovery Center.  We visited the center and saw our neighbor Craig that works there.  Now we headed towards Duval.  We mosey on and saw lots of Roosters and chickens.  Then made our way to the wharf area.
We were all hungry so we stopped at Conch Republic Seafood House for lunch and a couple cocktails.  Now it’s time to make our way over to Mallory Square for sunset and to see the different performers.  We saw a tumbler Dr. Juice that was really good.  He performed with the Calypso Tumblers on Americas Got Talent.  We headed to find Dominique the Cat Man.  We watched his show and everyone knows he’s a little crazy but he does really well with his cats.  After a beautiful sunset, we headed to Ricks.
Adrian is performing there tonight.  Shelly and Justin has seen him before in Massachusetts.  This was Sue’s first time at his show.  We all had a great time and toward the end of his show, his buddy Eddie showed up.  He is a really good blues singer.  Adrian let Eddie do a couple songs and we really liked them.  Now we need a little more to eat, so we stopped at Overboard and had some appetizers.  It’s time to head home.  We’re going to be back down here early tomorrow.
28   Today we had a domestic day and did some cleaning and picked up some groceries.  We relaxed at the cow for a bit and then headed over to the KOA to see Howard Livingston.  As always we had a great time and there were lots of people from Lazy Lakes there.  Howard had a special guest, James Slater.  He writes and sings songs for himself and other artists.  He has won a few Grammy’s.  One song he wrote and sings is “Give me a Key West Address”. 27   After enjoying coffee and newspaper, we headed over to the clubhouse to do laundry.  While the laundry was washing, we soaked up some rays at the pool.  After relaxing at the pool, we finished up the laundry and headed back.  I did a few chores at the cow and John cleaned Red.  It’s a beautiful day around 81 degrees and we finished our projects so back to the pool for a while.  We are grounding ourselves tonight because we have a lot of parties coming up.

26  
Yesterday at dinner, John decided to go fishing this morning.  I didn’t want to get up at 6pm, so John picked up Floyd at 645am and ended up meeting Marty and Ted at the bridge.  They fished until about 1015am and caught their limit of mangrove snapper.  I got up late and practiced my harmonica and enjoyed the morning.  When they got back we had lunch and then headed over to the clubhouse around 1245pm for our pre-season horseshoe tournament.  There were 16 people so 8 teams.  Teams are random and John and I ended up together.  We ended up coming in 2nd place.  Not bad for pre-season.  OK, now we had to regroup, kidnap Debbie, and walk over to KOA for happy hour.  We left shortly before bingo started and had a nice walk back to the cow.

25  
Merry Christmas!!  Another beautiful day.  Santa and Santa Cat came by last night.  So John, Magic and I opened our gifts and then had a nice breakfast.  We took a walk around the lake and visited with people.  We got our au gratin potatoes, rum balls, and wine ready to bring to the clubhouse.  We headed over around 3pm.  Delis was cooking the pork on the grill and it looked and tasted great.  People started bringing appetizers and dinner was at 5pm.  Of course there was way too much food and all of it was great!  The dessert table was packed.  After dinner we relaxed for a while, then a bunch of us got a jokers game together.  We had a great Christmas Day!!
24   After relaxing outside with our coffee and newspaper, we took a walk around the lake to wish people a Merry Christmas Eve Day.  We hung around the cow and enjoyed the day.  Later in the afternoon we picked up Linda and Joe and headed to George and Darlene’s for their annual Christmas Eve Party.  It was a perfect evening.  The stars were out and the temperature was around 76 degrees.  We enjoyed good drinks, good food and good friends.  We couldn’t stay real late, because Santa is coming tonight.
23   Today was a nice lazy day.  We picked up a few groceries and then played jokers in the afternoon.  I made fish dip from yesterdays catch and rum balls for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day parties.

22  
This morning we were up and out and picked up Floyd by 7am.  The tides are right and we are heading to the bridge for fishing.  Ted showed up shortly after we got there.  Eric and Big John stopped by to see how we were doing.  I ended up catching 1 keeper snapper, John had 6 keepers, Floyd had 6 and Ted had 3 keepers.  We got back, cleaned the fish, gear and ourselves then had to get our football picks in for this week.  We are relaxing a couple hours then heading over to the clubhouse for Lazy Lakes Karaoke Night.  Another beautiful winter day in the Florida Keys.
21   This is the way we like to welcome winter.  Today is sunny and 79 degrees.  John and TJ headed out this morning to check the bait traps, re-chum them and put them out again.  Then we worked on getting our fishing stuff ready for tomorrow.  We headed into Key West in the afternoon for a dentist appointment for John and to pick up groceries.  Tonight is movie night under the stars.  The first feature was “Elf” for Christmas.  The main feature is “Paris after Midnight”. 

20  
These winter days are so rough down here.  Too much to do and not enough time.  We did our coffee, paper and walk.  We may head to the pool.  Terri called and had a jokers game going at 130pm.  Jokers is so addicting,  since you can play with anywhere from 3-12 players, you can almost always get a game going.  I think we had 10 for a couple games and then 8 for a couple more.  We had to go regroup and then headed to Looe Key Tiki Bar for taco Tuesday and jam night.  I have been trying to get better on harmonica and really enjoy going up there to play.  Sally and Debbie bring their tambourines and they join in the band too!
19   After our morning coffee, paper and walk, we headed to the pool for some rays and relaxing.  We decided to play a couple games of horseshoes, because we have to practice for when the Monday afternoon horseshoe tournaments start.  After a couple games, it was time to head home and regroup.  Tonight is Monday and that means happy hour at the KOA.  Bingo has started and quite a few Lazy Lakes people stay for that, but we will one of these weeks.  Tonight we had a nice walk back and then relaxed at the cow.

   18   Today we were going to ground ourselves and watch football and eat chili.  Terri called us for some joker games, so up to the clubhouse we went.  We did watch football during jokers.  Afterwards, we headed back to the cow, had our chili and watched the Survivor finale.

17  
Today is Saturday and that means the Big Pine Flea Market is going on.  John needs to make some salsa, so were stopping at the flea market for his peppers and other vegetables he needs.  We picked up a few groceries since were up here and headed back.  Now that John has all his supplies, he’s in the kitchen making up his salsa.  I started a pot of chili for tomorrow.  Tonight Joe and Linda came up to Boondocks with us to see a Johnny Cash Tribute show.  Frisbee met us up there.
16   This morning is laundry day.  We started laundry and then hung out at the clubhouse.  Marty is frying up some mangrove snappers at lunch so while we did laundry we also had a nice fish fry lunch.  Thanks Marty!  We played a couple games of jokers, and then headed back to the cow to regroup.  We headed down to Key West for a little Christmas Shopping then on to Old Town Key West by the Armory.  We parked and walked down to the wharf and stopped at Dante’s for a cocktail.  We couldn’t stay long.  Tonight we are meeting Craig, Debbie, Mike and Joan for dinner and a play.  We walked on over to Micheals Restaurant.  They have great steaks and martinis.  After dinner we all walked back to the Armory.  That is where the Burlesque Christmas Show, Fantazimo is being performed.  Along the way we saw some beautiful Christmas decorations.  Fantazimo was a good time.  We are glad we went. 15   After coffee, we took our walk around the lake and up to the clubhouse.  It’s a perfect day for pickleball.  We headed over to the Sugarloaf Lodge’s tennis courts and set up pickleball courts with duct tape.  Pickleball is played on a court about half the size of a regular tennis court.  After a couple hours we headed home to relax a bit.  After an early dinner, we headed to the clubhouse for karaoke night.
14   Today we took a walk around the lake and visited with people at the clubhouse.  Terri called us about a game of jokers so we played a few games in the afternoon.  After dinner and regrouping, we headed back over to the clubhouse for Movie Night.  Tonight’s feature is “Rise of the apes”.  John and I didn’t stay for the 2nd movie but headed back to the cow.  On the way we saw a huge meteor.

13  
 Another beautiful December day in the Florida Keys.  We had coffee outside, read the paper and I practiced my harmonica.  We took a walk around the lake and visited with people at the clubhouse.  We stopped by Mike and Joan’s to look at Joan’s keyboard.  Last night at KOA, Joan, Richard and I were talking about music and how Joan needs to get her keyboard out.  We need her for the Lazy Lakes Trailer Trash Band.  After yesterdays Christmas shopping, John and I are wrapping each others gifts and in different parts of the cow.  John needed a walk so he headed to the burned out bridge and back which is 6.6 miles.  I finished wrapping then relaxed a bit.  Tonight we headed to Looe Key Tiki Bar for Taco Tuesday and Jam Night.  I played a few songs with the band.  When we got home we went over to Craig and Debbie’s to sit on their deck and look for meteors.        12   We headed to Key West today to do some Christmas Shopping.  We saw that the bloodmobile was across the street and headed over.  We try to give blood as often as we can.  After our blood donation, we stopped at Hong Kong Restaurant for lunch.  Now we headed home and regrouped.  John, Debbie and I walked over to KOA for happy hour.  Quite a few lazy lakes people stayed for bingo, but John and I headed home.

   11   Football Day.  We took a time-out day and hung around the cow and watched football.

10  
We had a relaxing morning.  Then we headed down to Key West around 130pm.  Linda, Joe, TJ and Robin drove down with us.  We have a full day.  First we headed to Smokin Tuna to see Howard Livingston and the mile marker 24 band.  We had at least 12 of us from Lazy Lakes there plus George, Darlene and other people we know from down here.  Then Craig, Debbie, Mike, Joan, John and I headed to Cheeseburger for dinner.  Linda, Joe and the others headed to Hogs Breath to see Jason Miller.  After dinner, we caught up with everyone and more from Lazy Lakes at Hogs Breath.  After a while there, Craig, Debbie, TJ, Robin, John and I headed to the wharf to watch the Christmas Boat Parade.  We found a spot next to this huge yacht called “The Mary P”.  It was huge.  We had a great spot for the parade, but a lot of my pictures were blurry from the lights and the boats moving.  Toward the end of the parade, we headed to “The Bull” to meet up with Joe, Linda, Ray and Bonnie.  The band Afterthought is playing and we know most of the members.  We all had a great time and headed home. 9   This morning we walked around the lake and visited with people at the clubhouse.  I worked out our journal and website for a bit, then Terri called us to let us know a jokers game was getting started.  So up to the clubhouse for a couple hours of jokers.  We couldn’t stay to long, because we had to go back, regroup and get ready for karaoke tonight.  I’m the one organizing it, so John and I got it set up and we got going around 615pm.  We ended up with a big group and almost everyone sang.  We still had people wanting to sing at 11pm, but they will have to wait until next time.
 8   We finished up our football picks this morning and got them in.  We took a walk around the lake and ended up at the clubhouse visiting with people.  Chuck is making ham soup for lunch, Terri made homemade cornbread and we had lunch.  We were heading into Key West for Christmas shopping, but we ended up playing jokers instead.  Afterwards, we took a quick drive up to Big Pine to get some supplies I need for karaoke tomorrow.  We stopped at the Golden Margarita restaurant to check out their happy hour.  We had a couple cocktails and some appetizers and headed home.  Tonight we are grounding ourselves and had a relaxing cow evening.

7  
We have wanted to check out the tennis courts at Sugarloaf Lodge just a couple miles down the road.  We see them from US1 but have not stopped.  Today we took our rackets and went over there.  The nets were up, so we volleyed for a couple hours.  Now we headed to Big Pine to do a little Christmas shopping.  We don’t need a lot, but right now the tree has no presents under it, so we have to fix that.  Tonight is movie night under the stars and the features are: “The Help” and “Tucker and Dale vs Evil.  We really enjoyed both movies.  Thanks Craig for doing movie night.

6  
After a walk around the lake, I still have some TCI work today.  John headed to the burned out bridge again for a 6 mile walk.  When I finished my stuff, I headed to the pool to soak up some rays.  Terri stopped by and asked about jokers, shortly thereafter John got back from his hike.  So we regrouped and played some 8 person jokers.  We ended early and then headed to Looe Key Tiki Bar for Taco Tuesday and Jam Night.  Craig, Debbie, Sally, Frisbee, Gill, Betty, Gary, Mattie and Paul joined us.  There were lots of others there too.  I got my mic and stuff set up and played some harmonica.  Debbie and Sally brought their tambourines and played them.  We all did some dancing and like always had a great time.
 5   This morning I have a few hours of TCI work to do and John needed a walk.  So he headed to the Burned out Bridge which is a 6.6 mile round trip hike.  Later on, we kidnapped Debbie and walked to KOA for happy hour.  Tonight is the first night for bingo, but we decided not to play tonight.  On our way home we stopped at Lee’s house to see his Christmas decorations. 4   Today is football.  We have been watching the games at the cow, but today a couple games we want to see is not on regular cable.  So we headed up to Big Pine Key to the Island Grill.  Debbie and Craig came by for a while, then they headed to Boondocks to meet up with Fred and Judy.  After the first game, we moseyed on to Boondocks.  We watched most of the second games there.  Fred and Judy had left and Craig, Debbie, John and I decided to play Boondocks Mini Pirate Golf.  This is the keys and the Mini Golf has a full bar on the course.  So we played 18 holes and had a great time.

3  
Today is Saturday and that means the Big Pine Flea Market is going on.  Last time we were there, there still were not to many vendors.  Today there are more, but still not a lot.  John was able to get his peppers and vegetable to make salsa, so that worked out great.  When we got home, John took over the kitchen and made a big batch of salsa.  I made some phone calls and did some harmonica practice.  We were done with our projects, so we took a walk around the lake.  It’s quite this afternoon so we headed back to the cow, played some cribbage and had a time out night at the cow.  I got about half the karaoke songs loaded into the computer so I can make up books for karaoke night.

2  
This morning we took a nice walk around lake and stopped to visit with people at the clubhouse.  Later a game of 8 man jokers got going so we joined in.  We were just going to relax in the cow tonight, but we heard commotion outside and went to check it out.  There was an impromptu party at Mike and Robbins, so we headed over.  After a while, I got my harmonica and Vicki went to get Bruce’s bongo drums.  So Bruce and I had a little jam.

1  
This morning we hung around the cow.  John has a dentist appointment so we headed into Key West and afterwards picked up some groceries.  Tonight is karaoke.  Right now John and I are the ones organizing it.  Lazy Lakes has a karaoke machine and cd’s.  We got it all set up and wasn’t sure if it was going to work out.  It ended up it worked out great.  We had a good crowd for the first night.  Now we are going to try to get it more organized.