Recent Visit to Paradise

Hey gang, just got back from another fabulous trip to Key West with Marjorie, Stacy and Tim. We had a great time over the Labor Day weekend as usual. Many thanks to Tim and Stacy for shuttling us back and forth to the N.A.S. for much needed supplies!!! Swimmer Diana Nyad was also in town to commemorate the first anniversary of her historic swim from Cuba to Key West which was really cool. Great food, cool drinks and fond memories!!!  While we were in town we took many pictures and would like to share them with you all.

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Lipstick Killers

Hey, I just wanted to send a shout out to my friend Tate Thibadeaux who is in town here in the Tampa area rehearsing for a Lipstick Killers show on August 22nd at the Local 662 on Central Avenue in St Petersburg Florida. It was great to see him again and catch up a little bit. The Lipstick Killers are the premier Alice Cooper Tribute band in all the land and I highly recommend that you check out the show on Friday night if you’re in the Tampa Bay area.  They’ll rock you to a nub and the theatrical performance is classic Alice!! I know I’ll be there!!

They’ll be headlining the show but also on the bill is Kozmic Pearl, one of the top Janis Joplin tribute bands on the circuit. I suggest that you get there early. Advance tickets plus one free drink 727- 278=9921 Kenny.  Enjoy.

3 years

How time flies. It’s coming up on three years since Marjorie and I got married in Historic Key West. And that means we’re headed back to town for the long Labor Day weekend. Lots happening in town over the Labor Day weekend including the annual Key West Brewfest which runs from August 28th thru September 1st. For you beer lovers out there, and you know who you are, this is one festival not to miss. It takes place in many different venues around town so click on the website linkfor complete details about tickets, times, venues etc… There’s quite an impressive list of beers that will be available for consumption.

Also on Friday August 29th and 30th, the Miami-based funk, Caribbean, Afro, Reggae, Rock, Jazz band Suenelo, will be rockin the house at the Green Parrot Bar on Southard St for 3 live shows Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening. The Parrot, in my opinion, is hands down one of the single best venues in all of the Southeast for live original music. The Parrot plays host to some of the best live bands in the nation. And the best thing about it is…there’s NEVER any cover charge!!! That’s right people. No cover charge. Reasonable drink prices. This place is one of the best kept secrets on the planet. If you’re a fan of top notch live music, and you’re out and about, you  have to stop by to catch at least one of their shows!! I recommend the 5:30 show on Saturday afternoon. Suenelo will rock you off your feet. Later you’ll thank me…

Labor Day weekend is a great time to get away to Key West. Get out and see something historical!! It’s all right under your nose. Every where you go you’ll see something historical. Take a tour. Rent a bicycle. Explore the Island. Get out on the water. There’s so much to see and learn about. That’s what we’ll be doing. Or just chilin out around town somewhere, perhaps Dante’s Pool Bar or any other drinkatorium. Can’t wait to see the Reverend Lovejoy and his lovely wife Mrs. Lovejoy who will be joining us for fun and frivolity. And perhaps some shenanigans. See you there.

A Gala Event

The Chow and Leo 001

Hey folks,  Marjorie and I are heading out this weekend to celebrate the Grand Opening of the brand new “Club Laydle” on Reddington Beach, in the Tampa area. This one of a kind facility near the beach and John’s Pass is owned and operated by two of our best friends Maude and Ned Flanders who are primarily responsible for steering this project through the red tape to its fruition. They’re sure to have some A-list celebs this weekend at this long awaited Premier where…. “Dreams Do Come True”.

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The concept for Club Laydle has been kicked around for decades and through some kind of divine intervention, has indeed “risen to life” much to the surprise of many. Maude, Ned and myself have collaborated over the years painstakingly, so that we may bring you this one of a kind experience.

We would be remiss if we did not pause for a moment to reflect on the Memorial Day Weekend and the great sacrifices made by our soldiers, past and present, so that we all may enjoy the freedoms of living in this great nation. Thank You to you all!!!

See you all at “Club Laydle”.

Key West Songwriters Festival

Hey Folks,

Every year more than 100 of the best musicians on the planet make their way down to Key West to perform their magic at this annual festival of music. This year’s event is no different. The Key West Songwriters Festival will take place this year from May 7th through May 11th at venues all over the Island including, The Green Parrot Bar, Schooner Wharf Bar, Smokin Tuna Saloon, and at the beaches, on boats, at resorts, and Historic theaters throughout Key West.

It’s the largest festival of its kind in the world and will be celebrating its 19th year. This event has been a favorite of the locals and has grown to become an annual tourist attraction. Since 1997 BMI has been the presenting sponsor of the event that covers 5 days and nights of musical bliss.

Most of the shows around town are FREE, but some do require advanced ticket purchases. So click on the schedule link below or above to see the complete lineup for the Festival. Many of the venues have limited seating, so check out the schedule and purchase your tickets early. I highly recommend attending this year’s event.

On Saturday May,3rd, World Famous band The Doobie Brothers will kick off the week in grand fashion performing many of their greatest hits at the Truman Annex Waterfront at the end of Eaton street. General Admission tickets are 45.00 for the event. Doors open at 5:00pm and the show starts around 6:00pm. The opening act will be Howard Livingston. I recommend purchasing tickets early for this one!!

Key West is so wonderful and Historical on its own, but to experience this one of a kind festival in the cozy confines of some of Key Wests most intimate venues is surely something that brings the crowds back on a consistent basis year after year!!!  Enjoy the shows.

Air Service to Cuba

Beginning on March 17th, regular air service between Key West and Havana, Cuba will resume after a 52 year hiatus. The flight operators will be Air Marbrisa and Air Key West and will be providing service between Key West International Airport and Jose Marti International Airport three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.Round trip fares start at around 480 dollars on Mondays and Wednesdays, and around 525 dollars on Fridays. Departure times are 2:30pm from Key West and returning at 4:15pm.

Travelers must obtain either a general or specific license from the US Dept. of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.

 

New Years Eve

New Year's Eve in Key West

Hey folks, it’s not too late to make plans to come to Key West for New Years.  The accommodations are filling up fast but there are plenty of rooms out there that are still available. New Years Eve in Key West is unlike many other parties on the planet with so many things happening around the Island.

New York has the Ball Drop in Time’s Square, Atlanta the Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta… but leave it to Key West to do it just right in several entertaining ways… a conch shell drop at Sloppy Joe’s Bar… the Red High Heel Drop with drag queen Sushi at Bourbon St. Pub/New Orleans House and… Schooner Wharf Bar lowers a “Pirate Wench” from the mast of the Schooner Liberty Clipper, accompanied with a cannon blast to be sure!

The island starts to tilt a bit with the amount of people who gather in front of the Bourbon St. Pub & the New Orleans House on Duval Street to ring in the new year as the world famous drag queen Sushi is lowered in a huge red high heel shoe from the top of the New Orleans House to the ground at the stroke of midnight and can be seen live on CNN hosted by Anderson Cooper.

There is no place better than Key West to ring the new year in! Duval Street is closed to traffic which allows the tens of thousands of party goers to celebrate and the weather is warm and dry! For more information visit bourbonstpub.com.

Sloppy Joe’s will host its 21st Annual Dropping of the Conch Shell. Anything goes New Year’s Eve in Key West on Duval Street. You’ll find people all decked out for the midnight celebration, and folks still in their bathing suits and flip flops when the Conch Shell drops from the roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar.

The idea and implementation of the New Year’s Eve Dropping of the Conch Shell is that of local artist Tobias McGregor. In 1993, McGregor approach Sloppy Joe’s management about the New Year’s Eve plan. “Before the dropping of the Conch Shell, everyone would just wonder around Duval Street, celebrating the New Year when their watches read midnight. The crowd was just not in sync,” said McGregor.

The initial Conch Shell was rigged on a frame, the shell was lowered manually, and timed by watch, or by looking across the street into a window and watching the count down in Times Square on someone’s TV. McGregor said, “the Queen Conch has come along way since the early years, and the crowd at the corner of Duval and Greene expects more each year.”

The crowd starts to gather on the street around 10:00pm as Sloppy Joe’s rooftop host entertains the crowd and everyone dances, catches beads and waits for the count down clock to begin. As midnight strikes and the Conch Shell is lowered confetti, streamers and lights will fill the sky. For more information visit sloppyjoes.com.

New Year’s Eve Madness @ Schooner Wharf Bar

Start the New Year at “A Last Little Piece of Old Key West”Join your friends and make new ones at the Schooner Wharf Bar New Year’s Eve Celebration, where the past meets the future and the present is a whole lot of funJoin everyone on the harbor walk for a musical line-up guaranteed to take you dancing into the new year, and for the COUNTDOWN into the new year 2014!

For more information visit schoonerwharf.com.

These are just a few of the things you’ll love about New Years Eve in Key West. Sunsets, sailing, great culinary expertise, as created by some of the finest chefs on the planet, the Island’s rich history, top notch music and entertainment, and thousands of friends to hang out with and have fun make it a must-do trip at least once in your life.

 

 

 

Our Lion

I regret to bring you some sad news from the home front. Our beloved Lion is no longer with us. After a long illness, we are mourning the loss of a one of a kind type soul. At this time our hearts are broken over the loss of the kindest, most loving friend that could ever be. May God keep our lion wrapped in His loving arms throughout eternity. All who knew and loved him and got love from him will truly miss and never forget him. Best One Ever!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Solemn Remembrance

I would like to pause and reflect on this historic day of remembrance, upon that fateful day of September 11th, 2001 and send my heartfelt condolences, once again , to the families and friends of the victims of the tragedy that affected us all.  I wish you all peace and may God continue to guide you and keep you in His warm and loving hands.

Being a native of the Boston area, I would imagine that most of America, if not the world, know of the venomous sports rivalry between the two cities of Boston and New York. Like most people, I remember where I was and what I was doing when I glanced up at the TV while at work and saw that horrible tragedy unfolding, live in front of me. That October, I recall the World Series being something that was, in my mind, something that was going to be an ancillary event that, again being a Boston native and long suffering baseball fanatic, would culminate in a Yankee defeat, therefore giving me some sort of twisted, peaceful comfort knowing that, at least the Yankees didn’t win the World Series. This sports rivalry I speak of is very deeply engrained as part of the fabric between the two cities and exists in all the sports, but in large part through the game of baseball.

So many heartbreaking defeats over the years, and many at the hands of the Yankees.  For me, the 2001 World Series became so much more than I ever expected it to be. I remember thinking though, that in the aftermath of everything that had happened,  it would be a great story if the Yankees could win the World Series and lift the spirits of the city in some small way.  What happened though in games 4 and 5, in New York, has changed my personal views on life, baseball, and of New Yorkers in general, for the rest of my life.  

After those two games, I was You. You were Me. Those were two of the greatest baseball games I’ve seen in my entire life. And that’s saying something coming from a native Bostonian. I felt all the childish sports vitriol I had inside me since I was 7 years old, drain from my body forever. I felt like those games had to happen this way. I felt like the Good Lord was saying… ”Let there be Unity and Healing”. I couldn’t have sensed more compassion and sense of humanity and unity for my country and the people of New York than I did after watching those two games. I will stand with you side by side forever as One Human Family and will never forget what happened on September 11th, the sacrifices and heroics of countless individuals, and what it means to me to be an American.

A few years later, I went to Yankee Stadium for the first time for Opening Day of the 2005 season with my friend Rob and it was simply one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. It was the year after the Red Sox finally vanquished the “Curse of the Bambino” forever.  The first thing we did was head down to Ground Zero to pay our respects to the good people lost and to pray for the healing of the nation and New York in particular. Unless you have been down there, it’s impossible to describe the feelings that you have once you see for real what it looked like. And it was a full 4 years after the fact. It was my first chance to actually be in the city and be able to grieve alongside the people of New York.

A full 4 years later, letters and notes from family members searching for lost loved ones in the tragedy, were still posted inside the St Paul’s Church across the street from where the Towers fell. Incredibly, the church sustained only minor damage. After reading some of these letters, the game and my anticipations of seeing one of the great shrines of baseball, seemed extraordinarily inconsequential. From the time we set foot in the city, we were treated with the utmost respect, class and dignity by the people of New York. I will never forget the respect they all gave us. It changed the way I looked at things. I wasn’t expecting to be getting any love from New Yorkers who saw us in Red Sox gear all weekend. New Yorkers are much like Bostonians in that we share both great history and passion for our sports. Most of us live and breathe it. Why? It’s hard to say. Baseball gives us time to slow down and catch up with the world again. Baseball somehow makes us feel human again. Baseball somehow lifted our spirits a bit and helped us all in a way enjoy a few brief, but incredibly uplifting moments after an unimaginable event. It’s difficult to understand what could motivate someone to perpetrate such a horrific act against other human beings.

In times of trouble we  must unite. On this solemn anniversary I would say we all must remain vigilant and aware of anything that seems unusual. Yet, in all of the chaos, those two games gave us all hope that somehow everything will be alright. I believe they will. I believe in us. I believe in all of us.

 

Swimmers Triumph

Congrats to 64 years young, swimmer Diana Nyad on being the first swimmer to make it 103 miles from Havana, Cuba to Key West without a shark cage. She came ashore here, in Key West,  just a few minutes ago to throngs of cheering people and a large media welcome, as well. I’m watching on CNN and can’t believe this is happening right here in front of me as I speak. We were also here in town for the sinking of the USS Vandenburg. Incredible accomplishment!! Great job Diana!!!

http://www.cnn.com/

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