John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

October 2011 Journal

This morning early I headed to the doctor and got some antibiotics.  Those were the key.  After a couple hours I started feeling better.  Today Candy, Traci, John and I headed to Bahia Honda State Park.  We parked way down on the North end and had a really nice walk and dip in the ocean.  On the way back to Lazy Lakes we stopped for a few groceries.
We got back and regrouped then we walked over to KOA for happy hour.  Candy and Traci were hungry and headed to Boondocks with Robert and Chuck.  After a little bit John and I walked back to watch football at the cow.  When Candy and Traci got back from Boondocks, they joined us.

 30   This morning we had coffee and breakfast at our camper.  Around noon we headed out for some fishing.  TJ, Candy, Traci, John and I headed to the bridge.  After a while I was feeling really bad.  I’ve been fighting a bad cold and cough for a week and needed to go back to the cow.  John dropped me off, and then headed back to the bridge.
They had lots of action.  Fish joined them and they caught mangrove snappers, a bonnet head shark and a 50 lb stingray.  Craig, Debbie, Fish, TJ, Candy, Traci, John and I had a huge seafood buffet for dinner.  Craig brought his projector and big screen over and we watched football outside under the stars. 

 29   We were up early and enjoyed coffee on the patio with Candy and Traci.  They stayed in the cow last night and today they are moving into Joe and Linda’s 5ver.  They got all settled in and it was time to head out.  Today is the Fantasy Fest Parade.  We found parking and then stopped at Pepe’s for appetizers and a couple drinks.  We continued on.
Duval Street was crazy.  We had already decided to watch the parade on Whitehead and Angela by Kelly’s.  Good decision.  We found a great place right on the corner and some nice people around us.  When the parade was over, we joined in and walked the parade route back to Duval and Angela.  We had collected a lot of beads, so we had a lot to throw.  Just as we were getting by Ricks, it started to sprinkle.  That was ok.  We had brought our rain ponchos and it worked out great.  We had a great time and really enjoyed the parade.

28   This morning is a sad morning.  We woke up and found Gypsy sleeping peacefully.  He is now in cat heaven.  We will miss you Gypsy. 

Our friends Candy and Traci are flying in early afternoon.  We are going to be heading down to the Fantasy Fest Street Party and then the Masquerade March.  We have a group of us dressing as 70’s hippies.  We picked up Candy and Traci and headed to Duval.  It’s already crazy!
After moseying along we stopped at Cheeseburger for a couple drinks and something to eat.  We had a table right along Duval so we had a great place to people watch.  We stayed for a while then headed to Hogs Breath.
It’s getting time for the Masquerade March so we headed to the cemetery to meet up with Duchess Liz and others.  We did finally find Liz, but we ended up doing the parade just the 4 of us which worked out fine.  We saw Tony and friends (the guitar player at Looe Key Tiki Bar) at the start.  During the parade, various guest houses were giving out free drinks and shots along the way.  So of course we had to quench our thirst.  We did finally end up finding Duchess Liz.  We walked down Duval for a while and ended up at The Bull.  We met up with Linda, Joe, Todd, Debra, Karen, Ron, and then it was time to head home.
27   Today is domestic and relax day.  We headed to Big Pine for laundry and groceries.  Now were all stocked up and relaxing the rest of the evening.  We have some party, party, party days coming.

26   This morning we took a walk around the lake and stopped at the clubhouse to visit with people.  There are a lot of Fantasy Fest activities going on down in Key West.
So we headed down and started at Hogs Breath Saloon for lunch.  We ran into Todd and Debra and had some cocktails with them and then we all started street walking on Duval.  Fantasy Fest is the Mardi Gras of Key West.  Anything goes.  So many people spend hundreds of dollars on costumes and body painting.  Everyone is ready to have their pictures taken.  So we moseyed on down and took lots of pictures.  We took Todd and Debra to the top of the Hotel La Concha for music with Alfonso and sunset.  Todd and Debra wanted to go back to their motorhome which they parked down here and regroup for tonight.
We ran into our friend Liz, the Duchess of Fantasy Fest.  So off we went with her and Steve.  First they were headed for the Lazy Gecko for the Redneck Party.  It was packed and we had a great time.
Now were headed back to Hotel La Concha for the Celebrity look-a-like contest.  It was great.  Our friend, Chica dressed as Howard Livingston.  The King and Queen of Fantasy Fest were also there and they were the judges.  Howard Hughes, Jack Sparrow, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Jack Nicholson, Kiss, Marlene Monroe, Elvis, Cher and more.  Chica ended winning first place.  I think it helped that Howard Livingston was also there.
Now John and I headed with Liz and Steve to 801 for the Leather and Lace party.  John and I started early today and it’s already late, so we decided to head home.
25   We had coffee outside and then took a walk around the lake and visited with people at the clubhouse.  I have some TCI stuff I need to do and John is doing some projects around the cow.  We got the cow and red all cleaned up and ready for company.  John needed a walk about and I needed a cow afternoon.  So John hiked up to the burned out bridge and back which is about 6 ½ miles.
When he got back, we regrouped and headed to Looe Key Tiki Bar for Taco Tuesday and Jam Night.  We had a bunch of us there.  George, Darlene, Ron, Karen, TJ, Chris, Jenn, Craig and Debbie.  We had a great time.  I brought my mic stand, new microphone and harmonicas and got up with the jam band for quite a few songs.  I still need lot’s of practice but I had a great time.
 24   This morning we are doing some projects around the cow.  We are still fighting these colds, so we’re not planning too much.  We headed out to walk over to Mangrove Mamas and then to the KOA.  TJ was outside and he decided to come along.  Then we corrupted Debbie and she came along.  Craig met us at Mangrove Mama’s and we had a few beers.  Then we all walked on over to KOA for Lazy Lakes happy hour at KOA.  Richard, George, Darlene, Linda and Joe were already there.  Tonight KOA had a singer and DJ so we did some dancing and had a great time.  It was nice afterwards to walk home and enjoy the stars.
23   John and I are both under the weather today.  Our neighbor Mike stopped by and showed John some info on cleaning and replacing the AC unit on our roof.  It’s fine now, but now John knows how to do it.  Today is Sunday so we hung out at the cow and watched some football.  John is feeling better and TJ stopped by to see if we wanted to go fishing at the bridge.  I decided to stay here and just relax.  John and TJ headed out.  They caught 4 large groupers but no keepers.

Beautiful day today, sunny and around 78 degrees.  Today we have music by the pool at noon.  So we are regrouping and heading down there for a while.  It’s still early in the season and unless you read the board you don’t know what’s going on.  We saw there was a band, Noah Cornelius, at the pool at noon so here we are.  Noah and the band came, set up and started playing for John and I.  We have our own private band at the pool.  A few others heard the music and came on down.  After our private band, we headed back to the cow for a nice dinner.  Tonight we just stayed in and relaxed.  We are both fighting colds and want to get over them quickly.

   21   After coffee and reading the newspaper outside, we took a walk around the lake and stopped at the clubhouse to catch up on stuff.
Today is the start of Fantasy Fest in Key West!  So after relaxing during the day, Linda, Debbie, John and I headed down to the Southernmost Café to meet up with Craig for the Coronation Party for Liz for Queen and the start of Fantasy Fest.  We got there early and had our chairs set up in a perfect location.  We saw Liz and Duane and her entourage.  Howard was there because he is doing a performance tonight.  Joy and TJ and lots of other people we know are also down here.
People are starting to dress up (or should I saw down) for Fantasy Fest.  I have a picture with a dragonfly.  We had a great time at the coronation.  Liz didn’t get Queen, but she did become the Duchess of Fantasy Fest.
After the festivities, Craig and Debbie headed home and Joy, TJ, Linda, John and I headed over to the Goombay Festival.  There were lots of vendors and great food.  Also lots of great Caribbean music.  After enjoying some meat pies, rice and beans and corn and cheese patties, we listened to some music and then decided it was time to head home.  Another great day in paradise.

20   We need supplies and decided to head into Key West for breakfast and some miscellaneous shopping.  I got a new microphone for my harmonica and we picked up groceries and stuff.  When we got back, I had to test my new mic.  So we had some wine, listened to music, and I practiced harmonica.  Soon our neighbors were out in front so we joined them.  Pretty soon, we had quite a few of us having an impromptu party and enjoying the great weather and sunset.  Life is good!

We had some really mean thunder and lighting storms overnight with a lot more rain.  Our backyard has water over the mangroves.  We decided to put on our rain ponchos because it’s still raining and head out for a walk to survey the campground.  Most of our neighbors have water in their yards some more than others.  We walked the back of the lake and saw the point was surrounded by water.  Someone else was trying to collect part of their deck that had floated away.  Johnson road coming into our park is completely flooded and looks like a canal in Amsterdam.  Luckily the rain should be ending later today.  We are still expecting some more, but I think we’ve had about 15 inches the past 2 days.  That’s in addition to the 5 inches we had 3 days ago.  Well, we grounded ourselves in the cow today and its early evening and the rain has stopped.  YEAH!!!  Tonight is movie night so we will head down to the clubhouse around 730pm.  Tonight’s feature is the new “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
18   Ah…  No rain this morning.  Over the last 48 hours we’ve had about 10 inches of rain.  We had our coffee outside and read the paper.  Then we took a walk around the lake and stopped at the clubhouse to visit with people.  Since there is a break in the rain, John decided to open some coconuts for the juice and meat.  We really like munching on coconut.  After a while, it started raining again.  We hung around the cow, did lots of reading, played some cribbage and just hung out.
17   Happy 5 year Gypsy Anniversary to us.  We left Chicago 5 years ago today on our gypsy adventure.  We can’t believe how great it’s been.  We have done so many things and met so many great people.  The more people we meet the more things we know we have to do.  We just don’t know how we ever had time to work.
Today it’s still pouring in the keys.  All night it rained.  There is a tropical low down by Cuba and Cancun so that’s what’s causing all this.  The weather channel said we had 7 inches overnight and 2 more expected today and then more tonight and tomorrow.  We are getting our rain ponchos on and taking a walk around the campground to check it out.  We saw a few sites are getting run off from the lake and the lake is now flowing over the road, but still not too bad.  It’s still raining.  So today we are hunkered down in the cow and work on our journal, photos, website and do some reading.  We were going to head down to Key West later for a fundraiser for Liz for Fantasy Fest Queen and to see Howard Livingston, but our neighbor Fish was sent home from work down in KW and he said the roads are flooded bad, so we decided not to go.
Well, we changed our minds.  So Linda, John and I headed down to the Overboard Bar on Duval for Liz for Fantasy Fest Queen to see Howard.  We’re glad we went.  We had a great time.  Met a bunch of new friends and saw some old ones, had some good drinks and good music.  Of course it’s Monday and that means Lazy Lakes Happy Hour all night at the KOA, so we left overboard around 830pm and headed back to KOA for a while.  Another rough day.
16   This morning we were able to read the paper outside under the awning.  But not for long.  The rain and wind came so it’s a perfect day for football.  We enjoyed snacks including fish dip and watched the games.  The rain just keeps coming.

15   The rain is all around us this morning.  There is a tropical front by Cuba that’s coming our way and going to bring windy and rainy weather.  So this morning we enjoyed our coffee inside while listening to the rain and thunder.  I made fish dip and we did some reading and relaxed a while.  We headed over to Todd and Debra’s to meet up with them and Linda and Joe.  We are all heading down to Key West for a Saturday night on Duval Street.  Todd and Debra drove us all down in their motorhome.  We started at Ricks Bar and found some seats outside out of the rain and had cocktails and people watched.  Yo Adrian was performing and we have seen him a lot there.  Of course we made new friends Jamie and Randy from St. Petersburg Florida.  Next we headed to Pete’s for dueling pianos.  This used to be Big Uns Bar and now it’s Pete’s.  After a while there, off to The Bull we all went.  Afterthought was playing with Kenny on drums and Bo on guitar.  We did some dancing and had a great time.  OK, were all done, time to head home.  
14   We headed up to Big Pine today to give blood.  We try to give blood every couple months.  Over the summer we had a hard time finding blood drives.  Down here they have them all the time.  They also give you cool T-shirts when you donate.  Since we were in Big Pine, we stopped for groceries then headed home.  After regrouping, we headed to the clubhouse for 2 reasons, do laundry and hang out at the pool.  Laundry can be really relaxing you know!!  We had a nice pork chop and sweet potato dinner and then took a time out.

John headed out first thing to check and empty his bait trap.  It was loaded.  He got back and TJ joined us for coffee this morning and we all talked fishing.  We checked the tide report and decided to head out to the bridge around noon.  We got our rods set up and got ready to go.  Even though it’s the middle of the day and it’s hot, we did good.  I got 1 nice size mangrove snapper and John got 4 mangroves.  He also caught a bonnet head shark.  TJ wasn’t as lucky today, but had a couple big hits.  We got back and got the fish and our equipment all cleaned up then it was cocktail time.  Some rain moved in but it wasn’t windy, so we put the awning down and hung out under it.  The rain let up, we grilled up the shark and made some rice.  TJ came over and brought snacks and a nice salad.  After dinner we hung out at our campsite a bit, then John, TJ and I decided to take a walkabout.  We didn’t get to far, just a couple sites down Mike, Robin and Geri were also outside.  So we stopped there for a while and then John and I were done.  We left TJ there and headed back to the cow.   Camping is rough when you have fresh fish, cocktails and friends to enjoy it with.  Another rough day!!
12   We are ready to go fishing but need bait.  With all the rains we haven’t been able to put our traps out due to too much fresh water where we trap.  Today we got some chum and cut it up in pieces.  Som to use today and the extra goes in the freezer.  John threw his cast net but only got 1 bait, so we headed to place the bait trap.  We’ll see what happens.  So it’s hot and pool time.  We hung out at the pool and Todd and Debra was there.  After the pool, we had dinner and John headed to check the trap and re-chum.  Only 8 baits, that’s not going to go to far.  Hopefully more overnight.  Tonight is movie night and Craig has the feature movie Zookeeper with Kevin James.  As we were walking over to the outdoor movie area, the full moon was just rising and beautiful orange color.  Before the feature film, we had a short film with Jeff Dunham and Achmed the Dead Terrorist.  We really enjoyed both.

   11  John was on a mission this morning and in the kitchen making salsa.  I was supervising while I did some reading.  It’s a warm and humid day today, perfect for the pool.  Tonight is Taco Tuesday and Jam night at Looe Key Tiki Bar.  George and Darlene were up there and Craig and Debbie came and joined us.  We saw lots of others we know and haven’t seen for a while.  I talked to Curt and Tony that organize the jam night.  I’m ready, I have my microphone, stand and of course my harmonicas.  I got up there for a few songs later on and had a great time.
10   This morning we are working around the cow.  John outside and me inside.  Now were ready for some pool time.  We soaked up some rays and did some reading.  OK, now it’s time for our Monday night Lazy Lakes Happy Hour at the KOA.  Then of course, we had to watch Monday Night football.  What a day!!

We are having a cow football day today. 

Today we have some big storms moving through.  It’s going to be an on/off rain day.  We headed to Big Pine for the Saturday Flea Market.  It just restarted last weekend and there were a couple vendors but that’s all right now.  We’ll try it again in a few weeks.  The rain is back and we hung out in the cow the rest of the day. 

   7   It’s a nice morning, so we enjoyed coffee on the patio and then took a walk around the lake.  Our fishing stuff is all ready to go, but we need some live bait.  We don’t have the bait trap in yet, so we took our cast net and headed to a couple places we like to throw it.  We got about 6 so that was a start.  We headed back and got our equipment and headed to the bridge.  Right away John hit a big grouper.  Grouper’s are not in season, so we had to throw it back.  Then he hit on a really nice size mangrove snapper.  We ended up with 4 keeper mangroves, a 16, 15, 14 and 10 inch.  We got them all cleaned up and headed back to the cow to regroup.  We took a walk around the lake and out to the point and enjoyed a couple cocktails.  We watched the sunset and then decided to walk over to Mangrove Mamas for some live music.  Sally and Dale were heading to the KOA, so after a while, we walked over there to meet up with them.  On the way, we stopped at Raul’s so John could get a couple cigars.
6   We enjoyed reading the paper outside with our coffee this morning.  We got our stuff all set up outside and worked on getting our fishing equipment ready.  After picking up a few groceries, we headed to the pool to soak up some rays and do some reading.  After dinner we took a walk around the lake and watched a beautiful sunset.
 After enjoying coffee outside, we took a 3 mile walk across our fishing bridge and back.  We saw a dolphin just off the bridge.  The person that was on our site finally moved.  So we got all packed and hooked up and moved over to our site.  We took our time leveling the cow since we will be here 6 months we want it right.  We got all set back up with a little more to do tomorrow, and then were done.  Tonight is movie night and it’s Scary Movie 4.  So after dinner, I was done and John wanted to see the movie.  So he headed over to the rec center and I relaxed on the couch and watched Survivor.

This morning we are still drying stuff out.  We had to wash and dry our bedding.  I helped Donna and Marty with some internet stuff and then we hung around the cow.  It’s an overcast and windy day with light showers in the area.  Later in the afternoon we relaxed outside and did some reading.   Delis and Marty was over on the pier on our lake and caught a 22 inch 5 pound mangrove snapper.  John went to check it out and it was huge.
 3   We are “On the Road” again.  We are driving from Homestead to Lazy Lakes RV resort on Sugarloaf Key.  Someone is still on our site, so we got set up on Chuck’s site since he’s not here yet.  We took a walk around the campground and lake and visited with our friends that are already here.  We stopped by Debbie’s, then TJ’s and we all ended up having a couple beers at Debbie’s.  When we got back to the cow, we regrouped then walked over to the KOA for Lazy Lakes Happy Hour at the KOA.  We had a bunch of people show up and had a great time.  Some major lighting was starting and then the wind and rain.  It seemed like a mini hurricane.  So we all hunkered down in the tiki bar until it blew by.  Linda and Joe gave us a ride home in their golf cart.  Even though our vents were only open an inch or so, we had quite a bit of water come in and our bed was soaked.  We opened up the sofa sleeper, watched the end of the Monday night football game and slept there.

This morning we had coffee outside and read the Sunday Miami paper.  We did some laundry and packed up for tomorrows travels.  We got all our stuff done and then enjoyed an afternoon of football. 

1    Today we got our stock up shopping, gassed up red, got some rv supplies then headed to the pool.  After the pool, we were sitting outside with a cocktail and a couple drove up on their Rolls Royce golf cart.  Bill and Betty live fulltime at the park were at.  We got to talking about the keys.  Bill used to be a boxer and Betty used to play around with harmonicas, but hasn’t played in a long time.  We had a few more drinks together they told us some friend of there’s Gigi may be coming down to the keys over the winter.