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Wednesday, August 12, 2015



The best way to get to MOTM 2015

It was quite funny actually. MOTM, when Trop Rock heads to Key West for the annual get together at the beginning of November, It’s actually set up perfectly for a Key West event. It runs from Thursday to Sunday, following Fantasy Fest, which ends the previous Sunday. Fantasy Fest is by far, the largest festival Key West hosts. At its pinnacle, Fantasy Fest has over thirteen times the crowd that MOTM has, which is quite respectable unto itself. However, there is that three day buffer zone between the two festivals to give it the cushion it needs.

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Fantasy Fest ... yes, this girl is 100% naked, save for body paint.

That little cushion is the funny part of it all. Over the years folks have taken a few days to get to the Keys for MOTM. Some have left on the preceding Saturday and driven down from where ever they come from. Those who are smart, hit the Keys and take a few days to get to Key West, staying overnight at a couple of hotels along the way and just taking in the completely laid back atmosphere of the Keys. Those who do, understand me when I say Key West is in high gear for the Keys, don’t you? 

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Last year it was Tuesday before MOTM, myself and Dani, with our friends from Albuquerque, Michelle and Brian Fields, left from Key Largo to head to Key West. We had a few stops to make, just to take in the Olde Keys. We had spent the day and night there and were at one of our stops, when Dani checked Facebook. Someone had posted that they got a speeding ticket racing to Key West.

This was the funniest thing to me! Someone was racing to get to Key West. That’s the irony. In the Keys, it’s all laid back. You take your time in the Keys, Rushing around… that’s a mainland mentality thing. These people were mentally still in Chicago, New York, Boston, or Atlanta. They sure as hell weren't in a Keys frame of mind, I'll tell you that!

Get used to it. Once you hit Key Largo, the speed limit is 45 mph. There are spots where it hits 55 mph further up the Keys here and there. On Big Pine Key at night, its 35 mph, because of the endangered key deer who sometimes wander onto the road there.

Entering Route 1, A.K.A. Overseas Highway, from either side, you’ll see the year’s fatalities to date posted on a large billboard. By year’s end it’s usually somewhere around 17 – 22 deaths. If you don’t like going the speed limit here, turn around and go back to the mainland until you can get your brain out of the “GO! GO! GO! I GOTTA GO!  Mainland Mentality”. Don’t become a statistic. That’s not the Keys. Here just relax and take it slow. That’s what the Keys are all about.

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How does one achieve this? Well, if you are coming from the mainland, stop and spend a night or two in Key Largo, the first Key you’ll hit coming down. If you hit Key Largo Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, it’s perfect! It’s also substantially less expensive than Key West, by the way.

This year there are a few MOTM Pit Stop Parties in the Keys and one or two on the mainland as well.The Pit Stop parties are filled with live music from Trop Musicians likewise heading to Key West.

The first one in the Keys will be in Key Largo at Popp’s Motel on Monday, November 2nd. Popp’s is the exact type of motel that I recommend for folks to stay at in the Keys Plus, there are many in Key Largo and Islemorada.. Popp's is a classic, small, family owned and run with cottages and a waterfront. Sure, you can stay in a Holiday Inn, or some other similar sterile, chain, cardboard cubical that could be anywhere in the U.S.A. that has no personality whatsoever. 

Here’s the difference. Six months later when remembering your trip you say to your friends and family who shared the trip with you “Hey! Wasn’t that little motel with the waterfront amazing???!!!”. You go through your pictures and reminisce with a smile as you look at the pictures of where you stayed. Are you going to do that with a Holiday Inn? Besides, staying in a Holiday Inn is like eating a sealed tuna sandwich in a wrapper that you buy in a gas station.

There are many places like Popp’s in Key Largo and Islemorada. Anyone who’s read the blog before may recall that Dani and I usually stay at Sunset Cove. We love places that have history and bring those fantastic memories back. On top of that, when we originally booked there a few years ago, it was very marginally more expensive. Hardly anything really and more than well worth it!

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Sunset Cove, Key Largo
Sunset Cove, Key Largo




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Here’s a listing of hotels/motels in Key Largo. This is the gamut, so some are exactly what I’m talking about, others are what I steer clear of. If there’s not a link, just google the name and check it out’

Here’s a listing for Islamorada:

In checking out rates, sometimes the motels post the seasonal rates. If you don’t see June – December rates listed, be sure to ask!

I just checked and Popp's is booked solid while Sunset Cove was totally empty as of this moment on August 12th. We're booked there now and highly recommend it. Here's their link.

There are also pit stop parties at The Dockside Tropical Café in Marathon. Old Keys place and highly recommended! Marathon is the half way point between Key Largo and Key West

About twenty miles north of Marathon is Boondocks on Ramrod Key. Tammy and Marc Hollander of the Southernmost Coconut Castaways will be hosting their second Pit Stop Party here. Dani and I will be playing there on Tuesday, November 3. Time is TBA, however there will be a great assortment of players at all of these locations!

Here’s some Facebook links for the Pit Stop Parties
Pit Stop Party Tour
Dockside Tropical Café:

So, in surmising this blog for MOTM folks, here’s what we have:

A)     Come to the Keys with a Keys mentality! Leave the rat race at home. There is a bumper sticker you’ll sometimes see here in the Keys that says “Slow down, you’re not on the mainland”. So true! Take your time. Relax. You’re in the Keys!
B)      Don’t blast through the Keys nonstop. Take your time and stop and smell the roses! Don’t be a dummy, take two or three days getting to Key West.
C)       Through the Keys… it’s cheaper too!
D)     Stay in a “Mom and Pop” motel that has some character and personality, rather than a cardboard shoebox. You’ll never regret it, believe me!
E)      Enjoy the Pit Stops music and events!

To obtain my music, be sure to check my website for downloads and physical CDs!! This site also has material not available on other sites.

Also My CD is available on iTunes, CD Baby, CD Universe, Rhapsody, and Beachfront Radio.
Search: Key West Chris

Thank you everyone!!

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