Friday, April 13, 2012

Full Boat [Part 3]

So, in mid-March, we had one more bout of company.  Avid blog followers will probably recognize my friend, Angela, from previous blogs ...[Angela's Visit ('09), Angela's Adventure ('10), Return of the Redhead ('11)]...but on this quick visit, she brought along her boyfriend, Chip.

They arrived in the early afternoon on a Wednesday just as I was getting off work.  We promptly gathered their luggage and shuttled them out to the sail boat where cocktails ensued.  Knowing our guests would be fatigued from a day of travel, we watched the sun set, gave Chip his first lesson in conch shell blowing, then dinghied off to Dockside for a bite of dinner.

The next morning, Angela and Chip had plans to go fishing on one of the local charter boats.  It was a half day trip and I promptly picked them up at noon and whisked them to Castaways for a much needed bloody mary.  They had a great time on their excursion, but the fish just didn't cooperate and it wasn't a big haul.  It was enough, however, to make use of Castaway's "You Hook It, We'll Cook It" policy and Chip ended up with a blackened snapper sandwich of which the main ingredient had been swimming less than 2 hours prior.  Talk about fresh seafood!

Before I go any further, I should probably introduce you to Angela's other traveling companion.
This is Chipmonkey ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>>>>>>>>>>
He's a Rushton Vintage Collectable with origins in the 1950's "Howdy Doody Show" and he has traveled the globe with Chip, the human.  Mostly used as a photo prop, Chipmonkey has seen his share of adventures...all well documented.
[Think Traveling Gnome.]
Chipmonkey's trip to Marathon would be no exception.

Here he is deep-sea fishing with mate, Tim, to help him out.

And here he's making friends with Ruckus at the docks.

After our lunch at Castaways, we all headed to Big Pine where we looked for the elusive Key Deer.
We found several.
Most of which looked at us and shied away, but not this brave guy!  He actually started wagging his tail and then walked right up to the car and gave Chipmonkey a nuzzle.

Next, we visited the Blue Hole and it's 2 resident alligators.
Pretty cool, Chipmonkey!

On our way back to town, we stopped and bought some basic supplies:  Key West pink shrimp, and stone crab claws.
Dinner tonight would be on the boat.  Shrimp and grits...always a favorite.  Throw in a side of crab claws and some grilled peppers stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon and how could you go wrong?
One of the "basic supplies" we forgot to acquire was fuel for the generator and since everyone was ready for a nice, hot shower some needed to be obtained.
The boys made a quick trip to shore where a funny thing happened that Jeff will continue to tease Chip about so therefore, I had to include it.
Celebrity Look-Alike?

While at the Publix, Chip was asked by the cashier if he was the guy on the cover of the National Enquirer:  the controversial,"Dancing With the Stars" celebrity - Chaz Bono.

Chaz Bono


The boys returned with Jeff in a fit of a giggles, then it was hot showers and a tasty dinner for all.

Friday we had big plans to do a lot of nothing.  We all slept late then enjoyed my nearly famous pressed cuban breakfast sandwich while sipping tea in the cockpit.
Soon, the beverage of choice was mimosas.

Next, I headed to shore to retrieve our Friday main event...2 boxes of fresh, raw oysters.
Upon my return, the shucking commenced!

Friends popped in to share in our mollusk-ular fun and it was a good day on the S/V Thin Line!

Just before sunset, we all got cleaned up and we headed to shore where a cab awaited to take us to Castaways for a evening of more friends, food, and the melodic emanations of  Dan Sullivan.
There was an abundance of dancing, carousing, and cocktails...and another cab ride home.

Saturday dawned with everyone a little worse for the wear but we were volunteering to work the Seafood Festival, regardless!

While Jeff had to make a boat run, Angela and I donned our volunteer shirts and with Chip in tow, headed to the back gate.  The Marathon Seafood Festival, a 2 day event in the city park next door, is the biggest event that happens during the year and we love having company come and share it with us.  I have volunteered myself, our company, and unsuspecting friends for the past 4 years.  The job comes with a t-shirt, free admission, and a 2 hour shift admitting festival-goers into the gates.  It's easy.  It's fun.  And I like it.  Can't wait until next year!

We made the mistake this year of having a bit too much fun...or too few brain cells,  and we forgot to pick up the rental car that would take Angela and Chip to the airport the following day!
It didn't even occur to us until we were relaxing, having a snack in the shade at Burdines...30 minutes after the rental place closed.  Oops.

Oh well...nothing to be done about it until morning.
We headed back to the boat, enjoyed a lovely sunset, and turned in early for a good night's sleep.

The next morning, with fingers crossed, I called AVIS and was told it would be a bit before we could get a car...but at least there was one to be had!

We headed off in the dinghy for breakfast at nearby Dockside to wait it out.
And WAIT we did!
Breakfast took over an hour just to make it to the table, albeit, it was really good when it finally got there...or we were starving. One or the other.
Perhaps both.
No matter, though.  It seems to be an island thing and so it was Ang and Chip's last little dose of  life in the Keys before they headed back to the hustle and bustle of the mainland.

I think this trip only furthered Angela's desire to sell her things, leave it all, and live on a boat...

...And maybe Chip caught the bug as well.

And let's not forget Chipmonkey.  I think he would LOVE living on an island!