Fantasy Fest – One Less Item on My Bucket List

I have lived in Florida for much of my adult life and have traveled to the Keys on several occasions.  I have even been all the way to the Marquesas and Fort Jefferson when we had our boat and loved every minute of each and every visit.  In Key West, I have attended Bike Week (although inadvertently) and now I can check off Fantasy Fest, (this event however, was on purpose).  I told my daughter-in-law that we needed to rid ourselves of all our adult debauchery before we returned to Charleston to babysit Camden for three months.  LOL.  Well, since John had been to several Mardi Gras and Fantasy Fest events, I wanted to experience the craziness first hand as well.  I am not much of a drinker but I do enjoy the sport of people watching, and Fantasy Fest is people watching at its best!

During the week of Fantasy Fest, several events are held.  Some public, some for a fee, but if you walk the streets, what you see is all free.  What I found rather interesting is that everyone seems to keep their “paws” to themselves, which is pretty amazing considering the number of people attending.  Everyone is, just plain and simply, having a good time.  This was a common comment talked about amongst those of us who chose to go with “clothing optional” instead. 

We opted to go on Friday and then again on Saturday so we could watch the parade. We met up with our long time friends, Rich Mahshie and Loretta and Wayne Bauer, ran into some Palm City friends, Elaine and John Cicchino and reconnected with new friends, Renee and Ken Diaz, Sr.  As to be expected, my hubby,  prearranged and pre-paid parking for our Bertha Butt, so that was a breeze.  We took our camping chairs and a couple of coolers full of beer and (water for me) and although we arrived close to 4 pm and the streets were pretty packed, we walked easily down Green Street for two blocks until we reached the corner of Duval Street.  That happened to be the corner of Sloppy Joe’s.  The streets were already barricaded, and as if a spot had been saved for us, we found an area right on the corner by the curb where we set up our chairs right behind the barricades.  It was fantastic.  We could hear the music coming from Sloppy Joe’s, food vendors were no more than 10 feet away, bathrooms were available so all was good.  As the parade time got closer, people began to creep closer and closer to Duval Street, as expected.  Thankfully, because of our chairs, we had a built-in buffer which actually made our location very enjoyable.  During the parade, if you show your breasts you get more beads.  So John flashed his and tons of beads he got, which of course made it that much funnier. 

There were many costumes, but the body painting, oh my.  Some artists were pretty unbelievable, others painted their bodies on their own and it was pretty obvious who did what.  However, the consensus is that some people have absolutely no business ever taking their clothes off in public or especially getting their bodies painted, but oh well, it is Key West after all and we probably will never meet again.

I will post some pictures below but feel free to x out if you choose not to continue.  Our next post will be from back in Charleston, and you can continue to follow our adventures from there.





Wow!  I wonder to whom do these grammies belong?

We have tons more pictures but the above are just selected few to provide a taste of what we experienced.  Both John and I spent both of our birthdays in this unique town with fabulous people and had a wonderful time.  

We now leave the Keys and travel north to Charleston.  Darn, from now on, we will just have to behave.

See you soon!!!