Jackson is Now a Swimmer – Oh Boy!

I stand corrected.  Our doggie boy, Jackson who is now 4 years old never liked water much.  He always stayed away from our pool, away from ponds, very seldom had he willingly gotten himself in any body of water, including the shower stall, and when he did it’s because he was seduced by either a bird, a fish, lately a shark, and as for bath time, he always needed a gentle tug on his collar. 

As soon as we arrived at Bluewater he got really excited.  He loves to chase lizards and at Bluewater they have the biggest lizards he’d seen in a while, (you know the key west iguanas).  So his sniffer  continuously worked overtime.

The iguanas love to sun themselves on the rocks that make up the seawall, so his new sport was to try to catch them before they hid from him in the cracks of the rocks.   Well this one particular time apparently he had enough and decided that he just was not going to let the one he was eyeing get away and so when it hid out of sight, as I previously said, probably inside one of the crevices between rocks, he just jumped in the water to go after it.  He then realized he was in the water so he just started paddling.  He must have enjoyed the warm water very much, because from then on, when his lead was tied with enough give that he could reach the water, he would just jump in and start swimming.  It was actually really neat to watch, except that now we have one more concern to add to our list.  I have heard of some dogs actually going after fish, perhaps this might be in his future, hmm.

Back for some more Craziness!

We decided to take a morning swim behind our RV and invited Jackson to join us.

Poor boy, he swam towards me and hugged me soooo tight.  He put his head on my head, just to make sure he would stay afloat!  I got help from noodles.

I was craving Cuban food and since it was my birthday, it was agreed that we would all go to El Siboney in Key West.  BTW, if you’ve never been, it’s off the beaten path, towards the southern part of the island, the food is incredible and you don’t have to eat for a week afterwards.  I ordered my favorite which is Palomilla Steak with white rice, black beans and tostones.  Yumm!

After being totally satisfied, we went into town for some souvenir shopping as Bruce and Mary Clare would be leaving the following day.

While there, we saw many people in costumes and wild dresses made to be worn by those who have been blessed with hourglass figures, except this lady had not had an hourglass shape in a long time.   Nevertheless it was amazing how this outfit stretched!

We then went to Sunset Pier and Malory Square to watch the well-known Key West sunset.  As expected, we enjoyed a great sunset and as a bonus we also saw what I’ve only read about in Shades of Grey.  A young guy had a dog leash with a short lead being held by the girl sitting next to him.  We happened to be standing right behind them.  I’m not usually speechless, but in my attempt to be tactful (?) since I was so close to them, just opened my mouth and nothing came out.

On second thought, he might just look a bit like a bulldog and just maybe he does need a leash?  Perhaps not, bulldogs are much  cuter.  Hmmm,  oh well.  Again, I digress.

Looking at the water, while the sun was setting, two beautiful dolphins swam by.  That was just the perfect way to bring our friends’ weekend here in Key West to and end before they have to return to work (yuck).

Bye for now!  We’ll keep you posted.

Oh My, It is so Cool to Visit Key West – But it is not for the Faint of Heart!

Where to start…..

Our friends Bruce and Mary Clare arrived…’nuff said.  Bruce was John’s drinking buddy in Greenville and to this day they remain, the same…   

On Friday, we drove into Key West during the day.  We toured the island before the crazies came out and did a lot of the touristy stuff.  You know, visited the famous 90 mile buoy, took the obligatory pictures and continued on to drive through the famous Duval Street and more.  We then proceeded to visit the Casa Marina Resort, which is now a Waldorf Astoria (probably owned by the same Japanese Insurance Company that now owns the one in New York and who knows what else).   Anyway, we went directly to the bar, did not stop and did not collect $200.00 either.   Our first order of business was to order their “wonderful” mojitos.  Have I ever mentioned that I don’t particularly like mojitos?  Except, after taking a sip – oh my!!! They were delicious and so unbelievably strong.  Two was all I needed to make me HAPPY – Just like Pharrell Williams’ song.

Please DO NOT criticize my choice of footwear! I am very aware they are not cute however, I’ve developed plantars fasciatis and it hurts to walk in Florida shoes (flip flops).  So, moving on….

Of course, after we left the Casa Marina we just had to visit Sloppy Joe’s for “lunch” and then on to Captain Tony’s for even more libations, because you see the Florida sun really makes you thirsty.

We walked by the Smallest Bar, which is really no bigger than my closet was.  Max capacity – maybe 4 (thin people) plus the bartender?

We returned back to the RV because, as the responsible adults we were “attempting” to be, we had to feed and walk Jackson.  However, as soon as Baby J was taken care off, we all just recharged and took power naps (or better stated slept off the drunkenness).

Once our body batteries charged to at best 90%, we showered, dressed and back to crazy town we went.  It was the first of two days of the Goombay Festival and we went to see what that would be all about.  Frankly, I did not even know that there was a Bahamas Village in Key West.  As many times as I’ve been to Key West, we usually stay in the Duval Street area and always end up going to the same places.  It was fun to do something a bit different.  Well, maybe more than a bit.  Just wait.

The Goombay Festival is a two day “family friendly” event, or at least as family friendly as these types of events could be, which offered all types of food and music, from reggae to gospel, arts and crafts but more especially a good opportunity for people watching!  

The photograph below is not blurry, you are actually seeing this from my perspective.  Notice – no wee wee on the guy to the right – probably hibernating.   Haha. 

Talking about people watching, John thought that we should all be exposed to a very special but well-known bar in the area.  We went to the rooftop of this establishment and it was a clothing optional entertainment area where for obvious reasons no photography was permitted.   Let me assure you, we all were in the clothing optional group and entered solely for “educational purposes”.  We danced, drank and had a great time.  Everyone pretty much kept to themselves or with the party they came with.  However, as the night wore on, I was beginning to see things that even major surgery could not possibly repair.  I knew that as we aged “things” tend to go south.  Well, the things I saw were in “Antartica”, that’s how far south they were.  I saw more eggplants and wee wee’s in so many sizes, colors and shapes than I will ever care to recall.  Thank goodness for strong alcohol.

Below us on the streets, the body painting had begun.  

Saw a woman, no was it a man? No wait, it’s was a woman, oh dear, it’s a whatever!  

On our way to grab a cab back, we just had to stop by Coyote Ugly.
This is a pretty neat place where women climb on the bar and attempt to dance, while drunk of course, without falling off.  Quite a feat if you ask me.

This was only Friday, and it was only the tip of the iceberg.  We would return on Saturday!

Bluewater Key RV Resort – Now That’s Living!!

We arrived at Bluewater Key RV Resort and found our site.  All lots have fully grown foliage as boundaries between sites making every one very private.  Also, since they are all privately owned, they are all landscaped differently.  However, at a minimum, the sites on the water, such as ours, must all have a tiki hut and a dock. The view from this site is quite spectacular except since we are on the ocean side we will not be able to see sunsets, just sunrises.  Oh well, I guess I’ll have to set my alarm clock as I haven’t been up before 9ish in a very long time.  It has a floating dock, a Tiki Hut with running lights for evening comfort and includes a table with four chairs.  We immediately set up our hammock and got ready to do what we do best – relax and do nothing.

Our friends and neighbors from Greenville, SC, Bruce and Mary Clare Hadsell joined us on Thursday and spent the weekend. They are gluttons for punishment.  The boys are betting on who was going to get painted.  Silly boys!  Neither of us girls could imagine putting the poor artist through such a traumatic event.

Finally, we had the RV and truck washed and waxed so they can be  ready for yet more adventures.  The RV was so dirty that since I had limited internet service, I opted to write the draft of the blog side of the RV.   Can’t do that anymore, I guess I’ll revert back to using the laptop.  Oh well.  Nothing good lasts forever.

To those who are unaware, Stone Crab season began on October 15th so guess what we had for dinner?


Our stay at Fiesta Key

We’ve been staying at Fiesta Key RV Resort for the past two weeks and though we have not done much of anything, all in all we’ve had a wonderful time.  The site given to us upon arrival was just plain  amazing.  We could see boats going by, fish swimming along the sea wall, birds flying above us and then honing in on their prey, all while enjoying fabulous weather and an incredible ongoing breeze.

 John was able to get an epidural shot in his back and finally he now feels real relief, thank goodness.  
We went fishing several times successfully, (naturally my way, of course).  By now, you know what that means.  Haha.  I do hope the fishermen out there don’t get too awfully upset with me.  After all, but for them I couldn’t go fishing. 
Our friends, Linda and Walter West met us at Lazy Days Restaurant which is just south of Islamorada for a delicious lunch.  I ordered lion fish for the very first time and it was really, really good.   So good in fact, I highly recommend you try it when available.  Lion fish have long spines around their entire bodies, kind of like porcupines but in the water, so the stinkers no predators and they are really wreak havoc for the marine environment.   However, they are truly delicious to eat.

In the meantime, everyday we would wake up to a gorgeous view from the inside of our unit.

From here we would watch sunsets 

These are some of the beautiful sunsets we have the privilege to enjoy!

We had the amazing good fortune to reconnect with several couples, whom we have known for many, many years.  Rich and Sandy Mahshi and Alan and Jackie Thayer.  John has known Rich since 1968 and was in their wedding in 1982.  Our friends of over 20 years, Alan and Jackie Thayer, also came by for dinner and stayed to watch one of the many gorgeous sunsets we had the opportunity to enjoy.  We befriended a really fun couple, Ken and Renee Diaz.  They are the exact opposite of us.  She is the “Gringa” and he is Cuban and happens not to speak Spanish.   Ken and Renee would sit on the bench (shown above) and we would sit on camping chairs every evening to watch the sunsets.  He did not care for Jackson licking his legs.  Unfortunately, that was all Jackson wanted to do.  We just couldn’t keep him away.  It got so bad, I had to ask if he was wearing some cream or something.  It so happened that he used coconut oil, Jackson’s favorite.  He stopped using it and it slowed Jackson down, but boy was he a magnet.  We also met an older couple, Jack and Jill.  Really, those were their names.  He was a retired embalmer (Funeral Director) and she, a retired nurse.  To those who know me well would then understand what came next.  I asked if when she took care of the living would she give a parting gift – her husband’s business card – you know –  for when the time came.  I also had no qualms to ask whether he had ever practiced on her for makeup and hairdo’s, which after much laughter from others, it happened that he did!  I guess you’d have to think of him as the hairdresser and makeup artist for the everafter.   Eewwww.   Anyway, sorry I digress.

As far as Jackson was concerned, he too had a lot of fun.  As you know, we had already introduced him to a shark.  A few days later, a couple of baby sharks swam by our site and, of course, Jackson became so intrigued that he just had to jump in the water.  However, once he realized that the sharks had swam away and that he was actually in the water, which he really dislikes, he unsuccessfully tried to climb back up on the sharp rocks, which serve as the sea wall.  Instead, he just got his two front paws on one of the rocks and just started barking and crying until mom had to come to the rescue.  I just wished I had a camera, as his big brown eyes were just pleading for help, he actually looked pretty funny.  For the remainder of our stay however, he never jumped in again, which is a good thing because there were also many jellyfish floating around.

We sadly left this place this morning and arrived at Bluewater Key RV Resort.  More on that to come soon!!

Bark, Bark Bark, mommy what is that?

We went fishing (my way), which is going to a fish market where I can get whatever fish I want, cleaned and ready to cook.  No boat, no gas, no sunburn, no need for dramamine, get the picture.  Of course, our little (well probably not so little anymore) Jackson had to come along.  

While we are ordering our fish, there was a guy with a fishing rod fishing (“catching”) off the dock right behind the counter, about 4 feet away from us.  This was not a big deal except that he actually caught something which was exactly what he set out to do just then.  Well surprise, surprise he caught a shark!  Now the fun was going to be how to lift the shark up on the dock, without a gaff, as he was not prepared for such a heavy catch.  

In the meantime, Jackson was barking up a storm, probably wondering what on earth was he barking at?  I don’t think he had ever seen a shark, let alone one swimming right below his nose. Thank goodness Jackson does not like water otherwise he would have jumped right on in but he could not have gotten any closer to the edge of the dock if he tried.  This other short little guy laid down on the dock and feebly attempted to catch the tail of the shark with his bare hands.  The shark was wiggling like crazy trying to get away, which is exactly what I would be doing if I were a shark. 

An oriental guy came from nowhere, was really excited, jumping up and down screaming fitch, fitch, (fish) to which I told him it was a shark and then he changed to screaming chak, chak, (shark).  It was really chaotic.  The guy fishing and the guy laying on the dock were likewise as excited, each loudly screaming at each other in very fast Spanish (which I had the benefit of understanding LOL), the guy fishing telling the other guy to grab hold of the tail, the poor guy trying as hard as he could, and yelling that he just could not stretch out any more, as he must have barely been 4’9″ on a stretch table, Jackson barking as loud as he could, when suddenly the oriental guy brought out a net on a pole.  On the first attempt they caught the shark around its head, which naturally caused the net to break off from the pole as the shark wiggled itself from its webby constraint.  Another bigger fishing net was brought and once the shark was restrained, it was brought up to the dock.  That is when Jackson had a field day.  Jackson got really close and barked and jumped back as the shark would shake its tail with such force that would have hurt him he been struck.  Oh well, it appears that, like crabs, sharks are not meant to be played with.

But yet, another Jackson experience.

Yet Another Little Snafu – Thank Goodness Not a Bad One

As we left our friends’ home in Homestead, even though we were connected to the truck, anything operated by the batteries would not work.  It was obvious that the current was not getting through.  The refrigerator’s inverter would not work but we decided to make the drive to Long Key regardless since it was not going to exceed a couple of hours.  When we arrived at Fiesta Key, we were given a most wonderful site.  We are on the campground’s edge, surrounded by water on each side, with a tiki hut on a small pier right next to us which no one seems to utilize. 

We wake up to this…

The sunsets from our site are typical Key West sunsets – just absolutely spectacular!

In the meantime, we made calls to an RV mobile repairmen.  One came out today to investigate the situation.  We knew that it had to do something with the batteries, but the switch was on and I did not know what else I needed to do.  I learned that there is a small button (about the size of a half a pea at best) below a bank of connectors that connect the batteries to the battery switch.  Well, I’ll be…. That “HIDDEN” button works just like a bathroom GFI switch.  You push it in and when it clicks, it resets itself.  The guy pushed it in and all was well in the world again.  Yet another thing I learned to look into if something similar happens again.  Why nobody tells you these things is beyond me.  I guess they believe that half the fun is to learn the hard way.  Oh and everything is hidden too and not obvious either.  Oh well. 

For those who do not know, John’s back was getting much better when he misstepped coming out of the RV and jarred his back again.  So…. back to square one we go.  Thank goodness his pain level is only half as bad as last time.  I will be taking him to a pain doctor in Homestead on Monday.   In the meantime, since he has no painkillers, alcohol will just have to do the trick.  LOL.  

After all what is the Keys without alcohol.  🙂