Tuesday, January 1, 2019

MEMBER OF THE CLUB

Several years ago, I decided I wanted a tattoo. I've known what I wanted for a few years now, but just never got it. My birthday was a few days ago, and I was given a tattoo as a gift.

My mother called it my brand, but I know she loves me. I wanted something that would symbolize my living in Key West, because I know I will not live here forever. A "Saltwater Conch" is a person born in Key West, while the term "Freshwater Conch" refers to a resident not born in Key West but who has lived in Key West for seven years or more. I'm only two years away from Freshwater Conch status. 

This will probably be my one and only tattoo, but you never know!


Friday, December 14, 2018

CHANGE, NOT FOND OF IT


For the past year, at least, I have been complaining about my phone and needing a newer model. I know my friends were tired of hearing my complaints.

Four years ago, I moved to Verizon and with this new service, I got a free iPhone 4s. I know... it was free because it was already outdated. But, I was happy with it because it did everything I needed it to do. Time went on, newer, bigger data eating phones and apps came out. One by one, my apps quit working because I needed to update the app... but my phone's operating system could not support the newer version. I couldn't update the operating system because I did not have enough memory. Month by month my phone became a little dumber. Now, she is utterly stupid!

When Messenger quit working, that was the last straw. I went to Verizon and talked to the guys there. (Yes, they laughed at my phone too.) In order to have a newer phone, I have to get a better plan, one with more data because the newer phones have to have it. My concern has always been the monthly charge. A bigger bill every month is not in my budget. Good news is, I got an iPhone 6 and an upgraded plan for the same amount each month. Don't laugh... a 6 is better than a 4!

I admit that 4 years of service from a phone is unheard of for most people. I like to think of myself as thrifty, and I don't like change.


Well, I just picked up my new iPhone 6s. They had to order one, and did make a little joke about it was probably waaaaay back in the warehouse, covered in dust. Hopefully this 6s is a lot smarter than his stupid little brother, my 4s.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

PADDLING ROUTE 8

Well, that was a workout!!  

This route is called Five-Mile Creek. You paddle about .6 nautical mile in open water to the main entrance to the creek. The Paddling Guide stated that the currents can get strong at full moons. He was not joking! We were going in on a flood tide and the wind behind us. It was great, very relaxing, with very little paddling, just basically keeping the nose pointed in the right direction. 


And then we turned around to start back. HOLY CRAP! It was hard work and very slow going. Sheri and I had to stop a couple times to rest and catch our breath. Sheri's boyfriend went with us this time, and he stayed at the entrance and fished while we paddled on. 

As we were coming back to the entrance, I heard yelling... like happy yelling. I looked up and saw two skydivers. The Sugarloaf airport is just a quarter mile from the entrance. The wind was whipping them around pretty good. Looked a little scary to me. That is an adventure I don't think I could do. I have a problem with heights. However, when I did the Zipline in Costa Rica, I thought that was fun.





Route #8, check. 
This is one route that is best done with little wind and at slack tide. 



Wednesday, October 31, 2018

HALLOWEEN 2018


When I moved into this neighborhood, I was told of the Halloween tradition. The streets are blocked off and hundreds of children flock to our streets. Yes, I said hundreds. Residents will set a table in front of their decorated home with candy and treats.

Kids and adults both crowded the streets in full costume. It is a huge events.








Sunday, October 28, 2018

FANTASY FEST 2018


For those of you who do not know what Fantasy Fest is, here is a history lesson:

"Fantasy Fest is an annual 10-day party in paradise for grown-ups. Started in 1979 by a small group of Key West locals, the party was created to bring visitors to the island in what was a typically quiet, but beautiful season. It worked. Fantasy Fest has grown every year since its inception and is now the wildest extravaganza around! Fun-loving revelers from around the globe bring their creativity and imaginations as they descend upon Key West each year in October for 10 days filled with costuming, parades, libations, and excitement! " (https://www.fantasyfest.com/)

It was estimated that roughly 60,000 visitors gathered Saturday night for the flamboyant parade. I believe it!

Fantasy Fest is different for everybody. For me, I don't really want to see painted... or unpainted, boobs walking down the street. And truthfully, I don't understand why a woman would want everyone staring and taking pictures of her naked body... in public... by strangers. But, to each his own. 

We had some really cool floats this year. The theme was "OH...THE GAMES WE PLAY". The floats were very good this year. My favorite was the big dragon above the Ice Wall, complete with skeletons climbing the wall. Game of Thrones theme. And the makeup was awesome. I have never had luck with pictures coming out, so I didn't even try this year.
Photo credit to @mrossi3672
Pic: Carol Tedesco

I'm ready for our little island to go back to normal. Oh, wait... it's almost "SEASON", which means the Snowbirds flock to our islands to winter in our warm climate. (sigh) That's what happens when you live in a place called PARADISE!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

ROUTE #12

The wind forcaster lied! 10 mph... Pfft, I saw whitecaps! And there was foam on the ramp.

The plan was to leave the boat ramp on Blimp road and head NW hugging the shoreline. The Paddling Guide said to make a left after the last WARNING sign. Well, I think the landscape has changed slightly between the time this book was written and now.... and I think Irma could have helped with sign removal too. I knew that the map in the book, and Google had discrepancies. So, I thought I would be smart and make a rough map from Google, and trace the route on it. HAHAHAHAHA. It was a good plan, but things look so much differently when you are actually THERE on the water. Sheri and I decided to just go where we wanted to.
We had to stop and take a water break.
The road leading to the boat ramp is called Blimp Road, because that is where FAT ALBERT lives. The blimp, known as FAT ALBERT, is a Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) in military parlance, is part of an Air Force program. Albert keeps an eagle eye on air and sea traffic from the Caribbean Sea to Tampa Bay.
Fat Albert in the background.

If the wind gets too strong, they bring him down. That should have been our first clue that the wind was stronger than forecasted. But, we wandered around the mangroves for awhile. Didn't see many fish. Scared up a couple stingrays, and saw one small nurse shark. 

A few years ago I had picked out a handheld GPS that I was going to buy. Life got in the way and I did not get it. Until today, I didn't think I really needed one. But again, I will start shopping for something so  I can chart routes. 


Sunday, October 14, 2018

PADDLING NEW ROUTES

A friend recommended this paddling guide. There is a list of launch sites and routes. Each route gives you details, such as the length of the route and what you might see.

My goal is to paddle every route. This weekend, my friend Sheri and I paddled ROUTE #14. The water was like glass and it was a very easy and relaxing 3 mile paddle. The hardest part of this route was the launch. I'm not as agile as I once was, so boarding the kayak is not graceful. I knew the day would come when I turned over my kayak, and this was that day. 

This route is in very shallow water, and we did not expect to see all the fish that we did. We scared many nurse sharks, hammerhead sharks, stingrays, a few barracuda and saw a couple tarpon in the deeper section of the route. 

This guy never moved, just posed for his picture, and let Sheri pass right next to him.

It was a beautiful morning. Route #14... check.