**I've added pictures to a couple posts, so they are worth revisiting**
Fort Lauderdale Airport
This scrambled egg sandwich is made with love. I can taste it. Maybe it's because it's less about the sandwich than the situation. I'm curled up by at outlet at 7am in my pajamas, eating my perfectly-grilled tinfoil-wrapped breakfast with my OJ. We need to have picnics like this more often.
(Brooke I know you're reading! Thanks for everything!)
Fantasy Fest was absolute madness. I've never experienced anything like it. Tuesday night I got body painted on the street, and even though it was freaking me out, it took going to Walgreens & eating pizza with Bryan to calm me down. Went to see Entrain that night at the Alamo! That was the last time I saw Bryan.
Wednesday was the night a couple tried to pick me up. It was 3:30am-ish, and the woman bee-lined across the street to tell me how hot I was. Sitting between Cameron & Damon, I got more advances than they did. It's nice getting looks when I'm one of the only women in the street with my clothes on. I was pretty uncomfortable, but I'm pretty good at making awkward situations my own. This was too much though. Dancing around. All Damon could say was "I'm so jealous...."
Thursday was the arrival of Wendy. C was working, & D was with Wendy, so I wandered on my own. Traipsed over to the world's largest toga party at Sloppy Joe's! I think it's super/mad funny that one night is fancy - white lace or serious bondage type dress - while the next night it's dressed down. Like casual Thursdays. Togas! I could have pulled that one off, but didn't want to steal my friend's silk sheets. The best part of this night was running into Paul across the street from the Red Elvises at the Green Parrot. He played a bluegrass gig earlier that day, and made all this huge contacts. Former mayor Tom Sawyer, his wife Kelly, a local promoter, a man who's sailed around the world... We sat on the street drinking beer & dropping in periodically for a song or two from the Elvises. Pretty good band! Tom says he could get us into the parade on his float. .........wait, what?!
The night before had a scene similar to this, where Damon, Paul & I were sitting across from the Parrot singing Johnny Quest thinks we're Sellouts & Dopeman. Dude! Made my day! Damon was like "yeah! LTJ! I hung out with those guys for awhile..." How are we just having this conversation now? My heart is soaring!
Friday was a recovery day from our late nights. Ah yes, Friday was the day we called it in early. There was one night I succeeded at the impossible, & we woke up next to the pool at 7:15am. There was one night I discovered how close it is to walk anywhere on the island, & the night I was given a She-Ra tiara from a Mexican on a bike. There was one day we didn't leave the house until after sunset. One night I called it in early from the bar, and wandered down the pier, and down the beach on imported sand taking the long way home. Justin, C's roomate, was groping Damob's costume before he realized he actually knew us. I kept almost getting hit by the ceiling fan when I was dancing on the bar at the Alamo. One entire day Damon was completely lost & next time we saw him he had a job & his hands were butchered up from an 8ft sailfish. I definately broke Cameron's pirate hook in 3 pieces at some point, and got schooled at pool many a time. That's right! that must have been Friday! Justin made me a delicious rum cocktail in a coconut that was surprisingly heavy. He wields a machete like a motherfucker! Cameron's right - all the days this week blend together.
For Saturday I had been told to show up down the block at 6pm in a stripper outfit. My friends are all fairly sure strippers don't wear clothes. I figure I could do bodypaint, or just go in my underwear or something. I showed up as is - holy NOFX shirt & all - drinking Four Loko with Damon on my tail at once complaining how he can no longer stand and in the same breath saying things like "I'm in this for the long haul." Our float is from the Key West Golf Course. All the men dressed as Tiger, and all the women as strippers. Paul lucked out & got a red collared tee & black shorts from the Salvation Army. From our angle, this parade looks un-believable! We finangled ourselves some wristbands & a red tee for Damon. Unreal! I can't believe this is happening! Ours was the only float with an open bar. Dancing all night! Flirting with men streetside. I would pick beads up off the ground & gave them to people who had none, usually older guys. The street kids are taking over!!! Next year Paul's running for mayor! I wasn't even flowing as much as the other paraders, cause I'd have half a drink & give the rest to Paul, sitting on his crutches at the back of the float. 30,000 people were there taking pictures & singing along!
Cameron slept through the parade. Some people here are just as lame as people back home. Hahahahaha!
I got off the parade & went to some girl's house who was in the parade. Wandered Duval awhile, ending at Mallory Square watching the silhouettes of the fish. So cool! Took a nap there by the water, then wandered back to Cameron's later. Got pretty trashed. The next day there were questions. My texts from last night say things like "I'm not sure where I am...I'm going to work on that first" & "Sitting on the balcony at the Alamo. Sniper mode is on. Watch yourself!" I have a stamp on my hand from Cowboy Bill's....but if I was there, why didn't I go mechanical bull riding? Where did my tiara go? Why are my legs so sore & what are these scratches from? By the time I got back I had completely sobered up. It was a long night.
During the parade I lost my camera, and ran back a couple floats to find it - somebody said they'd put it in the cab of the float we were following. The driver didn't know what we were talking about, but I think they meant the bar... Bummer. But i got a wicked phone secondhand with a camera on it!
Got a ride through CSing with this guy Mike who came down for the weekend from St Petersburg. He rented an RV for 25$ a day. Sweet ride! I am not picky with rides, or meeting CSers in gerenal, but I guess I passed all these tests he had for me. We went down to Miami Beach & met with the Ft Lauderdale crowd, and Brooke & Bryan. I was his first experience using the site, & everybody was super welcoming & hospitable. Man! Lincoln Road ruled! Huge party! Tons of fun! Brooke & Allan made the news with their costumes - her & Bryan were 80's arobics instructors, and Allan was a fisherman with a shark hat covered in blood. Leaving early was fine with me. Life is going to kill me shortly.
Didn't eat Key Lime Pie & didn't ride the mechanical bull - my two missions for the week. Also didn't get green plaid, or any plaid. Did get body painted though...
...my missions aren't failures just yet. This place has a crazy hold on me, like the island from Lost. I am somehow magnetically drawn to it, and I have no control over it. My flight is boarding right now, & I am not on it. I've always wanted to be That Guy who gives up their flight for cash & prizes & free flights. By giving this up I get a free roundtrip through Spirit to anywhere they fly, meal vouchers, & transportation to Miami, where I fly out later tonight. (Little do they know is if I have bought a ticket on the overbooked flight, I am never there.)
How many flights have I missed so far? The answer is 4. In two weeks. I am 20ft away from where I fell asleep 13 days ago.
A tally of the things I lost in Key West:
-a blue bra
-SD card reader
+a cool touch phone w camera
All of the most valuable things I had assessed I wouldn't want to lose when I was in Africa - I have lost already. My hat, notebook & camera. My hat is with a friend & is ready to get shipped out at any time. That & I have Damon on the trail for my camera, which should have GPS hooked into it. I mean, really. And I don't need my camera accessories if I don't have it. Now, my most valuable piece is this computer. I have used it so many times. This post is so long, can you tell I've been here all morning?