Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Eve (Key West, Fl)

Please let me begin with a HUGE HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone who "enjoys" our blog!  More seriously, we appreciate the fact that some folks are interested in what we're doing and take the time to read about us.  When I'm blogging, I feel like I'm talking to someone and lord knows I like to talk!  So THANK YOU! 

Our Key West life style continues.  One day we rode our bikes into Key West.  Once we get there we just pedal around, see the sights, watch the people and again we had Shave Ice.  Other days we just hang around the base, walk dogs, talk to people, knit or read by the ocean.  One night we picked up pizza.  That's always a hit.

And then New Years Eve arrived.  Now as we know, Duane and Debbie are not the party animals...any more!  But here we are in Key West and New Years Eve in Key West is suppose to be mighty  unique.  So unique that I think I've heard that something like 50,000 come to town to experience the madness.  The madness includes massive crowds, blatant displays of homosexual behavior and lots of drunkenness.  This may not normally be our cup of tea but we're here in KW so lets go see the show. The Navy Air Station where we're camping offered a deal that for $2 a person each way we could ride a bus to and from town. So we boarded the bus. 

The most happening area of KW is Duval Street.  There are two bars on Duval that attract enormous crowds for New Years Eve.  One is the Bourbon Street Pub.  As best we could tell, it's mostly about an outrageous male review show on a stage in the street.  However at midnight they lower a drag queen in a high heel shoe from a roof top.  We were there about 10ish and you already had to "muscle" your way thru the crowd.  But it was interesting!

Next we moved on to Sloppy Joe's Bar.  This is Hemingway's old hang out.  There they lower a conch shell from the roof at midnight.  The crowd was growing when we got there but we really just kept moving.

From Duval we continued our New Years Eve stroll and headed for the historic sea port area that is suppose to be a bit more tame.  One of the popular locations there is the Schooner Wharf  Bar.  At midnight, in lieu of dropping the great silver ball, they lower a pirate wench from the top of a tall mast.

The Schooner Wharf Bar is a very down to earth place with floors that range from wood to concrete to gravel.  Some of it is indoors and some of it is outdoors.  So in we go.  There's no seating so we stand around watching the crowd and the band.  We're standing close to an 8 seater table with folks sitting there.  A couple our age gets up to depart.  The dude is already quite wasted and the wife offers their seats to us.  They're leaving the bar.  We take their seats.  Maybe 15 minutes later we're sitting there and Debbie starts to fall from her stool.  She's not drunk but she's also not all that athletic so what do I know.  I think I'm going to catch her but then I realize that we're now both falling.  It's only then that I realize we're not falling, but that the drunk dude has returned and he's dragging Debbie off the stool to the floor.  I later learn that he's screaming something to Debbie about us being on his stool or he was there first or some form of craziness.  Remember, his wife offered us their seats when they departed.  He may not have known that he departed - love that drunkenness!  So I jump up and now I'm face to face with the crazy.  I'm really not sure if he's still threatening us or I'm just so furious over what he's done.  Regardless, I slam him in the chest with a mighty 2 handed shove and he falls in a heap on the floor!  Now the bar bouncers come swooping in for the kill.  They immediately want to throw me out but eventually I convince them of what really occurred.  Lets remember, I'm likely one of the few people in the bar drinking water!  As the dust settles they throw the other fellow out and their tune with us changes dramatically.  They offer us a free drink, I get a fresh water, Debbie gets her rum and coke and throughout the evening they check on us to see if we're alright and having a good time.  Oh yes, Debbie is fine.  She'll likely have a bruise from the drunk's death grip on her arm but otherwise she's fine.  A bit shaken, but fine.  The other folks at the table are very nice and supportive.

After the "attack"
We remain there until midnight and then go watch the lowering of the pirate wench.

We left right after that and boarded our safe little bus back to the Air Station.  So we  wanted to experience a unique KW New Years Eve and I'd say we got that and more!

New Years Day was quiet.  The campground hosted a pig roast.  Tons of food and pleasant conversation. 

Again, a Happy New Year to all.


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