MOTM 2014 Part 1
The last two weeks ave been beyond busy! We were busy throughout Fantasy Fest and MOTM. Fantasy Fest Tuesday and Wednesday Dani and I played The Bull's late night gig 10 - 2 What a hoot that was! The place was packed all night long with people in various costumes, plus a few with body paint.
Fantasy Fest is a great festival. Naturally the body paint folks get the main publicity from it all, however in reality, they only compromise maybe about 15% of the crowd.
Dani Hoy and John Sausser at The Bull
The Shanty Hounds had their weekly Saturday gig at The Hen and Hound, on Angela Street, just in from Duval St. and we made it a Welcome to Key West gig for some of our out of town friends, who arrived in time for the Fantasy Fest Parade, later that evening!
Art and Darlene Hessen arrived from Georgia along with their friends Lee and Debbie Simmons. What a great way to travel to Key West! Dave and Audrey Overholt in from Ohio, Tim and Angela Cordts came from just a few Keys up, Naval Air Station at Boca Chica Key and Tim sat in with is playing harp! They live on their sailboat at the marina there. Talk about living the good life!
We had a "Welcome To MOTM" BBQ party at our place on Sunday. A stellar crowd again at our home, what we call "the Conch Rock Shanty" too! Michelle Tofoya and Brian Fields from Albuquerque, Patty and Rick Holden from New Jersey, Micki Greer from Tennessee, Fred Wunder from Pittsburgh, Audrey and Dave Overholt from Ohio, and Shanty Hound percussionist John Sausser and Terri Wlaschin, recent arrivals to Key West from Maryland.
A BBQ is our standard welcome party here at the Conch Rock Shanty and this followed in the tradition. I think it's fair to say that a marvenous time was had by all! If you come to Key West, let us know and we'll throw a BBQ! (we're just looking for an excuse to throw party!)
The next day we were off to Key Largo, 100 miles (162 km) up the Keys, for the 7th annual Pit Stop Party, with our friends Brian and Michelle from New Mexico! This would be an over night excursion and we wanted to make it an adventure. To make things easier on us all, we let our dogs Cajun and Tooloulou drive while we sat in the back and enjoyed the scenic drive through the Keys, which by the way, is always rated in the top ten most scenic drives in the United States.
On the way down, someone posted in Facebook that they got a speeding ticket rushing to Key West.
Wow. rushing to Key West. Now there's a prime example of someone who is in a mainland mentality. Hey! You're in the Keys. Relax. You don't rush to get anywhere here. Leave that "got to get there" mentality back in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New York, L.A.... what have you. If the speed limit in the Keys is 45, go 45... or 40, for that matter. The I rushed to get here so I can relax" theory is just flat out wrong.
Before I moved here I lived in a town called Cutler Bay, which was about 36 miles to Key Largo. I used to head to the Keys quite often and whenever I crossed that border line at the Last Chance Saloon in Florida City, where the Conch Republic starts, it was as if a large weight lifted off my shoulders. The pressures of day to day life were now released and I just relaxed. On the 18 mile stretch ( the drive through the Everglades between Florida City and Key Largo, the speed limit is 55. I'd go 55 but it seemed there was always someone who had to rush to the Keys come up behind me. Here's the usual look on their face:
Now is that the mindset you want to be in when you're in the the Keys? Of course not! Leave the rushing around back at your front door when you leave. Or at least when you cross the border to the Conch Republic.
Come to the Keys, relax and chill. You're on Island Time!
The Pit Stop Party was a blast! They had a new location this year and it turned out, dogs were not allowed! Holy Crap! Well, in the end they were kind enough to let us stay in the back area, which was cool with us! We hung out with Harry Teaford and Billy Bob of Radio A1A! How cool is that? They play our music and also air our pod cast shows "The Key West Music Show - Conch Rockin in the Keys" and "Key West Beer Tales - The Sum of all Beers" Now that's what I call good company! Great hanging with you guys!
What a beautiful setting too!
An all day event, with many performers, a big tiki hut, good food, BYOB, right on the water... who could ask for more? What a great event! Thanks to Ray Yu for putting on such a great event!
Just before sunset we ran up to my old favorite bar, the Caribbean Club, up US1 a couple of miles for sunset. Tough to beat both the establishment and the sunsets there. A lot of the 1948 movie "Key Largo" was filmed here and you can feel the spirits of Bogie and Bacall there!
For the evening we retired to Sunset Cove resort, which I spoke about in the last blog. I love this place. As it turned out, our friend Rick Schettino was also there and he, Dani, Brian, Michelle, and I headed out on the dock with guitars playing commenced! After a short while a few people came out who were also staying at the motel and joined us. They were from Washington State and had spent the last week in Key West for Fantasy Fest and catching a flight from Fort Lauderdale for home in the morning.
Dani, Brian, Rick, and I had decided all the songs we were going to play that evening out on the dock, would be the slow, quiet ones that we wrote, yet don't get to perform all that much. It just fit the situation. All too often playing in bars, people want the up-beat, get up and go songs. These folks from Washington State were digging what we were playing though. They had a week of get up and go and the quiet music suited them perfectly. It was a seriously great evening of playing music in an ideal setting. A light breeze and you could hear the lines on the masts of the sailboats, anchored off shore.
Waking up in Key Largo at Sunset Cove is so relaxing! Nothing like Key West, which for us is like the big city. This is tropical tranquility at it's best. Do yourself a favor...
(A view of the dock at Sunset Cove in Key Largo where we just hung out and played the night before)
(At Sunset Cove Beach Resort beach tiki with Dany Hoy, Michelle Tofoya, Brian Fields, Key West Chris Rehm Cajun Rehm and Tooloulou Rehm)
Dani Hoy and the author, Key West Chris hanging in the Tiki
view of Sunset Cove Beach Resort, Key Largo, from the beach.
Here we are in Key Largo and now are heading back to Key West, albeit making several stops on the way! The game is a foot and we're off to other destinations in the Florida Keys, bringing music and fun to wherever we go! That's what we do!
To be continued.....
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Thank you everyone!!