John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

October 2013 Journal

This morning after our coffee and breakfast outside on our verandah, we picked up Linda and headed down to the Casa Marina Resort for MOTM.  We scoped out our area and got our chairs all set up.  Linda was relaxing and we took a walk around the Casa.
John Patti was playing at the pool bar and Nadirah Shakoor joined in for a few songs.  Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24 was doing his sound check at the main stage and Linda, Patti, Jeff, Jim, Diane, John and I relaxed in our chairs and listened to some of the sound check.
Of course, by the time Howard started there was a big crowd at the main stage.  We had cocktails, listened to music, and did some dancing.  I met the Craig Cates the Mayor of Key West and Jim bought a Howard hat for 100.00.  All the proceeds from the hat go to Care Camp for kids with cancer.  We watched the sunset from the pier and listened to Ramajay Intercoastal for a little while.  MOTM goes from 8am until 1am, but we headed home around 8pm.  We will be back early again tomorrow.

 30   This morning we went to our pool for a little down time and some rays.  For lunch we grilled up the mangrove snappers Jeff caught yesterday.
Now it’s time to head back to Key West.  Jim and Diane are flying in this afternoon and we were there to pick them up.
We parked at there hotel and walked over to La-Te-Da for a couple drinks while they unpacked.  They met us there and after a couple more, we continued on Duval.  This is the start of Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) which is the annual parrothead party down in Key West.  So for the next 4 days it will be a big party on the island and at the Casa Marina Resort.  There are dozens of great Trop-Rock band in town playing at all different venues.
We stopped at Willie T’s to see Capt Josh and have some drinks and appetizers.  It’s almost sunset so up to the rooftop at LaConcha for to take in the sunset and beauty of Key West.  After a couple other stops, we ended up at The Bull to see Sunny Jim.  It’s time for us to head home.  We’ll be back early tomorrow.
29   After a relaxing morning, we all headed to the bridge for fishing.  Jeff has only been fishing one time before when he was young.  Today he did great with 8 keeper mangrove snappers and a grouper he had to throw back.  I also caught a throw back grouper and hooked on to a tarpon.  I couldn’t land it, but got a picture.  We regrouped and headed to Looe Key Tiki Bar for taco Tuesday and jam night.  Chicago Sandy did some jamming and we did some dancing. 
28   Another beach day with history and Key West mixed in.  We went to Ft Zachary Taylor State Park.  We did some swimming, snorkeling, got a nap and some rays.  We took a walk to the fort and overlooked Key West.
Now we made a stop at the Southernmost point in the continental US.  We are hungry and thirsty so we stopped at the Southernmost Café for happy hour rum punches and appetizers.  We are back on Duval and made a couple bar stops and ended up at Irish Kevin’s.  Another great Key West day.  

27   We’ve had a couple of great Key West and Fantasy Fest days.  Now we need a little down time, so we headed to Bahia Honda State Park for a nice relaxing beach day.  We soaked up some sun, did some swimming and took naps.  We regrouped and headed to No Name Pub for drinks and Key Deer camera hunting.  We found a few key deer and one was hanging out with a cat.
We stopped at Boondocks for dinner and the Red Elvis’s were performing.  We have never seen them before and we want to make their whole show next time there down here.  OK, we are done, we headed back, had a good night cocktail and then we were out.
26   We all feel pretty good this morning.  We had our coffee and breakfast and a little lounging at the campsite.  We headed back to Key West for more Fantasy Fest around noon.  The big Parade is tonight at 7pm.
Today we are strolling around the wharf area.  We started on the rooftop at Turtle Krawls.  Some appetizers and cocktails.  Jeff is on a mission to find the best conch fritters.  So far, the boys like Smokin Tuna’s and the girls like Turtle Krawls the best.  We continued our walk, stopped at Schooner Wharf and continued on to Conch Republic.  More drinks and appetizers including conch fritters.
We walked along the wharf and on to Mallory Square.  We can’t stay for sunset because we need to get our place for the parade.  Tonight there are only a couple performers because of the parade.
We had our normal spot for the parade, at Whitehead and Caroline just outside of Kelly’s Bar.  We met lots of crazy people and the parade was great.  This is theme is Superheroes and Villains.  We joined in the parade at the end and walked in it until we got to Ricks Bar.  We stopped there to see Yo Adrian.  Another great Fantasy Fest day.  

25   This morning we all had coffee and breakfast outside enjoying our natural window through the mangroves.  We have our togas for the Masquerade March and are ready for Fantasy Fest.  First we had to make a stop at the airport to drop off Patti and Jeff’s rental car.
Now we headed to Duval in Key West.  Fantasy Fest is the largest party on the island and today and tomorrow is the busiest days.  We found parking and decided to leave our togas in Big Red for now and come back and change before the march.
Today is the street fest and it’s a wild time.  We walked along Duval and our first bar stop was 801.  We got some drinks to walk with and continued on.  Along the way we stopped for pictures with some of the painted and dressed up people.  Jeff wanted to become a zombie, so he got his face painted outside of Smokin Tuna.
There was a SLS party going on there and if you joined their mailing list, you got a free bag and a free drink.  So the four of us joined.  We found out SLS stands for Swinging Life Style.  Oh well, its fantasy fest, a free drink and a nice bag.  After a few drinks at Smoking Tuna, we continued on.
Patti got her tata’s weighed and we both got airbrushed tattoos.  We saw lots of crazy costumes and paint jobs.  We walked on to World of Beers, Capt Tonys and to Ricks to see Yo Adrian.  We never ended up getting dressed in our togas, and didn’t make it to the Masquerade March.  But that’s ok, we made the rounds.  We are done for today and got back to Big Red and headed home.  We have another Fantasy Fest day tomorrow.

24   Tonight our friends Patti and Jeff are arriving from Phoenix.  This morning we did a trial run trying on our toga outfits for tomorrows Masquerade March at Fantasy Fest.  We are heading up for groceries and liquor.
Patti and Jeff arrived around 7pm.  Just when Craig was setting up for the movie.  We introduced them to Craig and showed them how our tropical walk-in movie is set up.  We didn’t stay for the movie, we headed to the cow and got Pattie and Jeff unpacked.  We were all ready for a cocktail, so we relaxed in our backyard, had a few cocktails and talked about what’s on the agenda.

23   We took a walk around the lake and visited with friends.  Our buddy Chuck got in last night, so we stopped and had coffee by him for a while.  Today we have domestic stuff were getting done.  John took a walk to the burned out bridge and then we had a time out evening with steaks on the grill.

   22   I am behind on my journal, pics and website.  We know the next month is going to be real busy, so I got caught up with those.  We have some domestic stuff we need to get done and then we headed to the pool. We met Debi Jordon and Bob.  Bob had brought his guitar and I went and got a couple harps and we did a little jamming poolside.  Debi is performing at Mangrove Mamas, Boondocks and Looe Key over the next few nights.  She plays guitar and sings and Bob plays guitar and sings with her.  Her website is  Her new song, Low Tide is being played on beachfront radio.
Now John and I regrouped and then headed to Looe Key Tiki Bar for Taco Tuesday and Jam Night.  I brought my egg and Buckeye Peggy played that with the band.  Chicago Sandy did some jamming and a bunch of us did lots of dancing.

21   This morning I did some domestic stuff and John headed to the horseshoe pits to get them ready for this afternoon.  It’s our first Monday afternoon horseshoes of the season.  Steve, Sue, Larry, Peg, John and I played shoes.  Debi stopped by and then Pat and Sally made it over.  John and I was the big winner of shoes.  John ended up with 3 ringers and I had 1 ringer.  Not bad for the first week.  Steve and Sue brought corn hole over and John, Pat, Sue and Sally play a game of that.  Tonight is bingo, but John and I headed home and had a nice fish dinner and took a time-out tonight. 

   20   We were up early and headed out for bridge fishing with our buddy Larry.  Our bait was having problems staying alive and didn’t work out to well.  We did end up catching 4 mangroves, so we didn’t get skunked.  After cleaning the fish and equipment and showers for ourselves, we regrouped and headed to Boondocks for Sunday football.  Larry met us there and we had cocktails and appetizers.  After the first games, we headed home.  When we drove in our park, Steve, Sue and Peg were having cocktails, so we got our cooler and walked over.  After hanging out for a while, we were done.

John had bait and was ready for fishing.  I relaxed and did some reading.  Later we made a cocktail and walked around the lake and stopped to visit with friends.

YEAH!!!!  We picked up Big Red from the truck hospital today.  Good as new!!   We returned the rental car and picked up some groceries since were in Key West.  Tonight we went next door to Craig and Debi’s for a full moon party.  Steve, Sue, Peggy, Patty, Robin, Wes were also there.  Craig and Debi made sloppy joes and we all brought a dish to pass. 
17   Today is our 7 year Gypsy Anniversary.  It’s hard to believe we have been fulltime RV’ers for 7 years now.  It’s been great and we love our lifestyle.
We decided to head to Key West for some shopping and to walk around Duval and the wharf area.  We haven’t been down there since we’ve been back.  We parked by the Eco Center and walked to our first stop the Schooner Wharf Bar.  We had some drinks and appetizers and listening to Michael McCloud.
Next, we walked along the wharf and stopped at Turtle Krawls.  We went upstairs to overlook the harbor.  After some drinks and appetizers we found out CW Colt was playing downstairs, so we moved there.  While we were at the bar, we saw Dave and Joe from our park.  We talked to them for a couple minutes.  We started talking to the people next to us at the bar.  Steve and Anita are from Santa Barbara CA and visiting Key West.
We ended up walking to Conch Republic with them for drinks and music.  Then we all walked on to Rum Barrel rooftop.  They have open mic tonight.  I only have one harp with me, but I got up for a song.  So now Chicago Sandy has jammed in Key West.  We parted ways with Steve and Anita and John and I headed to the Bull.  Sallie was playing and we had a couple drinks and John sang “All the way to Key West” with her.  Now it’s time to head home.  We had a nice Key West Bar day.

16   Most of today I worked on stuff relating to our truck repair.  John did a walkabout to the burned out bridge.  We took a time out and did some reading and hung around our site.

We were out for fishing by 7am this morning.  We didn’t limit out but did catch  4 mangrove snappers.  Marty and Donna stopped by the bridge and we got to catch up with them.  They moved from our park, so one day we’ll have to stop and see them at their new place.  In the afternoon, we headed up to Big Pine Key.  I went to the doctor before my cough got too bad.  Every year we come down here, after 2 weeks I get this bad cough.  The doctor says some kind of blooming allergy.  Once I kick it, I’m fine.  Tonight is taco Tuesday and jam night at Looe Key Tiki bar, so on the way home we met up with our friends at Looe Key.
14   This morning we took a walk around our lake and stopped to visit with people.  John headed out to run his bait trap and I headed to the pool.  John joined me at the pool and we enjoyed the sun, pool and did some reading.  After regrouping, we walked over to the KOA.  We had some beers for happy hour and then played bingo.  John won 40.00 on the 50/50 game.  After bingo we walked home.

We took a time-out day and picked up some groceries, made fish dip, had snacks and watched football.  While we were at Winn Dixie we saw lots of chickens with their baby chicks.
12   John and I headed out to the bridge for some fishing.  It only took us about 1 ½ hours to catch our limit of 10 mangrove snappers.  We had a quite a few that was really large.  When we were cleaning them back at Lazy Lakes, Barry the Barracuda showed up for dinner. 
11   Linda, John and I got to Hogfish Bar and Grill on Stock Island at 4pm.  Debi and Craig got there shortly there after.  There were tables reserved, but ours was better.  We were the first table right in front of the stage.  We got dinner and drinks and relaxed until the music started at 6pm.  Our parks owner, Joe Cleghorn had brought Nick Cross in from Nashville.  Sir CW Colt and 5 time Country Music Award winner (CMA), Mac McAnally.  Mac is also Jimmy Buffett’s lead guitar player.  There were lots of people we knew there, Howard and Cyndi Livingston, the Mayor Craig Cates, Dave and Mary, Joe, Arial, Mel the mail lady.  It was great to be able to talk and get pictures with all the performers.
10   We took a nice walk around our lake and then finished up our football picks for the week and I updated our journal, pictures and website.  John worked on the fishing poles and I headed to the pool.  John joined me and we soaked up some rays, listened to tunes and did some reading.
After making fish dip and a blackened snapper and rice dinner, we headed to the clubhouse for the tropical drive-in movie.  Tonight’s feature movie is “The Lone Ranger” with Johnny Depp.  There were stars out and lightning around us.  We really enjoyed the movie and when we were walking home, the raindrops started.  As soon as we were inside, the rain came.

John has lots of bait and wants to head to the bridge for fishing.  I need some pool time.  So off we went.  I med Sandy and Charles at the pool and enjoyed talking to them.  Debi stopped by for a while.
When John got back from fishing, he said to get the camera.  He nailed the mangrove snappers today.  He had 12 nice size mangroves.  He got them all cleaned and I packaged them up for filets on the grill and fish dip.  We already had chicken out for tonight, so tomorrow night we’ll have fish.  After dinner, we took a time-out, relaxed and watched some TV.

8   This morning I wanted to get laundry done and John headed for another walkabout to the burned out bridge.   The truck hospital called and needed the key for the toolbox, so we had to take a ride to Stock Island to drop that off.  When we got there, we saw Big Red, but the entire truck bed was missing.  They had taken it off and inside.  When it’s all fixed it will go back on.
After regrouping at home, we picked up Linda and headed to Looe Key tiki bar for taco Tuesday and jam night.  We had a group from Lazy Lakes and other friends, Craig, Debi, Sally, Linda, Steve, Sue, Dilbert, George, Darlene, Barb and Dave.  Chicago Sandy got up to jam and Sally and Debi did some dancing.  We all had a great time.

7   This morning we set the alarm so we could be in Key West by 730am to pick up a rental car and drop Big Red off at the truck hospital for surgery.  Since were out and about, we are doing some shopping and domestic stuff. John needed a walk so he went to the burned out bridge and back about a 6 mile walk.  I relaxed in our yard and did some reading.
We regrouped and were headed to the KOA with a cocktail for the walk.  Debi was driving with Craig, so we didn’t kidnap her.  We didn’t make it very far, Ray and Bonnie just arrived so we stopped to talk to them and David and Debbie.  Our drink is gone, so we had to walk back and make another.  This time we made it out of the park and to the entrance of the KOA.  We saw Tammi and Greg and stopped to visit with them.  We finally made it to the bar when bingo was starting.  We decided not to play and just hang out and talk to others not playing.  After bingo we stayed a little while longer and Sally gave us a ride back.

   6   We were out at sunrise heading to the bridge for fishing.  We unpacked and then went to see how our bait trap did.  Great!  We had a couple dozen pinfish.  The first couple hours were good.  We had lots of action and had a few big jacks on our lines but couldn’t land them.
I caught the first fish of the season.  A nice grouper.  We had to throw it back because grouper is not in season now.  John had the next one, a really nice mangrove snapper which we did keep and clean.  After we packed up we went to check the bait trap again and it was loaded.  We headed home and regrouped.  It’s time for football and we’re hungry so we headed to Boondocks for football and lunch.  After the first games, we headed home and watched the other games.

5   While I was doing some domestic stuff, John was doing the finishing touches on his bait trap.  We did some reading and then headed to the KOA for chum for the trap.  John threw the casting net, but we didn’t get anything.  So we put the trap out and will check it tomorrow morning.  Hopefully, we’ll have bait.  When we got home, Debi stopped by and then Liz and Duane stopped by.  We visited with them for a while and then got dinner going.  We took a time-out tonight since were getting up early tomorrow.
4   It’s a beautiful day and we’ve been doing a bunch of projects.  I need some pool time.  So we headed to the pool.  We ran into Joy and she joined us.  After a few hours, we regrouped and headed to Big Pine for a couple things and then stopped at the Moose Lodge.  We had a few cocktails and then had dinner which was blackened grouper.  It’s still early so we stopped at Mangrove Mama’s for some music.  Billy Brown and his band with Ray West are there tonight.  After a little while, Craig and Debi showed up so we hung out together.
3   Before we do anything, we had to work on our football picks.  RVGypsy has been in the gutter, so maybe this week I can redeem myself.  Today is our neighbor, Debi’s birthday.  So we went to Spinners on Big Pine Key for lunch with Craig, Debi, Dellas, and Dilbert.  We have a couple hours before movie night so Craig and Debi came by for a couple cocktails.  Tonight is movie night under the stars, hosted by Craig.  Tonight’s feature is “Chasing Ice”.  A documentary about how the world’s glaciers are receding.  It was a really interesting movie.  We really like movie night.

After coffee and reading the local paper, we took a walk around our lake and visited with people along the way.  We are still working on projects and reorganizing.  John needed fishing supplies, so we went to Cudjoe to get what he needed.  We were going to pick up a tide report at the KOA and saw Sally was at the bar, so we stopped for one.  Right!  We had a few, talked to Antonia the bartender, Sally and others.  Linda showed up for happy hour.  So we actually got kidnapped at KOA for a couple hours.  On the way home, Steve and Sue kidnapped us for a beer.  They had just arrived and we welcomed them back.  Tonight we took a time-out.  We have to have a few of those once in a while.

This morning we read the paper, had coffee and looked through our natural window in the backyard at our winter home, Lazy Lakes.  We did have to head down to Key West early to get Big Red looked at for his repair job.  When we got back, we continued to get stuff put out the way we like it. Craig, Debi, John and I headed to Looe Key Tiki Bar for the Tuesday taco and jam night.  Tony the host was there on guitar and vocals, Mark on keyboards, George on sax, and Chris on trombone.  Gary also showed up for keyboards, Paul on drums and Chris on drums.  Ray West played a few songs on guitar, vocals and flute.  Chicago Sandy was in the house on harmonica.  Our friends George and Darlene were also there.