So… I’m about four days late in writing this post. In fact, it’s been nearly two weeks since my last update. Don’t judge. I’m totally admitting to being a complete slacker here. Truth is, we’ve just been enjoying the time we have left here in Key West before we head out in a few days. We had some very productive days (Provisioning done! Boat clean! Tanks topped off!) and some very un-productive days (four books read in the past two weeks, Matt is now a master of Boom Beach, and interactive Sims like game – hello!), but we’ve absolutely loved our “de-compression” time here and can’t wait to come back for good after our trip to the Bahamas.
Christmas was tough for us this year, since it was the first time we haven’t spent it with our families. Ironic because nearly every year prior, as we spent weeks trying to plan the logistics of dividing our time between multiple houses, we dreamed of taking a vacation to just escape it all. This year we finally had that chance… and it sucked. The waves of homesickness we felt as we FaceTimed our families doing their thing without us was something even the decorated palm trees and warm balmy nights of being in paradise couldn’t soothe. There’s nothing quite like being home for the holidays, even if home comes with a few days of chaos and freezing temps. As we watched our adorable niece and nephews hold up the goodies that Santa brought them, we made a vow that we would try to get back home every Christmas to come.
However, the day wasn’t all doom and gloom for us. We got to experience our first cruiser Christmas, thanks to Bob and Linda aboard s/v Storymaker, which happens to also be a Lagoon 410 (same exact boat as ours!), and hails from Bel Air, MD, a town just an hour away from where we’re from. How funny is that? We weren’t too sure what to expect, seeing that this was our first “cruisers party” and we’d only met them for about 10 minutes prior while doing laundry at the marina facilities. Our apprehension dissolved within about two minutes after climbing on board. We spent the better part of Christmas day aboard their boat, meeting new friends, swapping stories, and making what I’m sure will be lifelong friends. Just what we needed to pull ourselves out of our funk of being away from home for the holidays.
The festivities continued the day after with another connection to home. Long story short, my mom’s childhood friend Gina, along with her husband Skip and daughter Lindsay, moved to Key West from Maryland a little over a year ago. They’ve pretty much been our foster family, and have embraced us with open arms and introduced us to all the island has to offer. They’re absolutely awesome and we couldn’t have been more thankful to meet them. Matt and I have become good friends with Lindsay, and decided to do a little Christmas party of our own at her house since Gina and Skip went back to Maryland for the holidays (Lindsay had to work and stayed behind – lucky us!). While our parents were partying it up together back in MD, we were having our own little misfit Christmas with a few others down here in KW. How funny is that? We were all apart, but still together at the same time.
Here, Matt is wrapping Lindsay’s Secret Santa gift (a bottle of wine) in an entire roll of paper towels, laughing that whoever got it would have a hell of a time opening it. Guess who got it? Matt. Ha!
Check out the view of their neighborhood. Can you get anymore Key West than this?
The festivities flowed right into New Years Eve, where the day was kicked off by a wiener dog parade downtown. You read that right. Hundreds of wiener dogs (aka dachshunds), paraded their little legs down Duval Street dressed to the nines. We figured with a start like this, the day was going to be pretty epic. Or at least extremely bizarre/awesome.
Keeping with the bizarre/awesome theme, we were excited to see the dropping of the shoe at the Bourbon St. Pub on Duval Street. In case you’re not familiar, the 800 block of Duval is the hub of the LGBT community here, and Bourbon St. Pub is pretty much the epicenter of it all. We caught them testing out the pulley system on the shoe earlier in the day. The last thing a lady wants is for her heel to break on her big night.
We spent the afternoon riding around town on our bikes enjoying all the preparations for the various NYE parties downtown and savoring every minute of how fortunate we are to be here right now.
As the sun set, the festivities really got lively. We wandered down Duval and just took in all of the amazing sights before our very (wide) eyes. Bull riding, girls in over-the-top outfits, boys dressed as girls in over-the-top outfits, lights and music everywhere. It was fantastic. Around 11:30 we ducked into Bourbon St. Pub and watched the shoe – with the famous Key West drag queen, Sushi onboard – drop right in front of us. We were literally standing inside the bar, just behind the shoe. It was amazing. We even made new friends who taught me how to do a ‘fierce’ pose and who thought Matt was just beautiful. Ha! He took it all in stride for a while, but as the drinks flowed, the advances got to be a little too much and we decided to call it a night. I was just happy that, finally, just once, the line to the girls bathroom was shorter than the one to the guys.
Needless to say, New Years Day was spent being extremely unproductive. Hey, you only live once!
So, as we wrapped up 2014, and welcomed in 2015 with a hell of a bang, we’re ready to move on to our next adventure – the Bahamas! Looks like we’ll be leaving Key West on Wednesday and will hopefully (weather permitting) be over to Bimini by this time next week. We’ve been keeping busy the past few days prepping and provisioning for our trip and feel like we’re in a good spot to leave. We’ll miss KW, but are super excited for next leg of the trip.
Hope you and yours had a great holiday and are looking forward to getting back to the grind tomorrow. Wait… too soon?