No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


September 15, 2015

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Kathy left a couple of weeks early to head up to her childhood home where her father Jim still resides to prepare for her huge 50th birthday celebration in Marshfield, Massachusetts. Her actual birthday is not until December 20th, but she wanted to host a party on the beautiful property in Marshfield and the weather in December is not historically all that great in December in Massachusetts, especially when much of the party is to take place outdoors.

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The party was a big deal in that Kathy invited a number of her friends from every aspect of her life to join her and many readily agreed to come from across the country to participate. While some from the local area, who she has been friends with since her childhood were there, others traveled from states as far flung as California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and even Florida as some friends from Key West made the trip up.

 photo 041_zpscbdkbbkv.jpg Matt

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Kathy went up early to get the place ready, cleaning, getting supplies, decorating as only she can, while I was back in Key West working and only made it for the party weekend itself. Many of her friends stayed on-site and Kathy had to prepare sleeping arrangements for the out of town crowd, which is another reason she choose to have the party in Marshfield.

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 photo 028_zpswqovgw3t.jpg Noa and Bonnie

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Many of her friends stayed the entire weekend and even her brother Chris made the trip out from Colorado. In addition to her friends, some of her closest family members were on hand. It was a wonderful full weekend celebration of friends, family and of Kathy’s 50 glorious years.

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 photo 122_zpstfrtqv7j.jpg Kate, Kathy and Anne

 photo 033_zps8wtlwp58.jpg Kathy and Pam

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The property is the perfect location for such a gathering, with a large beautiful house and studio as well as a huge property that backs right up to the Marsh with a pier out into the small river that flows through the property, a quick swim across the shallow river and you find yourself right on the beautiful ocean beach which is also part of the private homeowners land. It is a sweet set-up and just about the perfect situation for this type of gathering.

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The party itself was a blast, friends and family and great food and libations, reconnecting with those you haven’t seen in ages and picking up right where you left off, this is the stuff that makes life worth living and a life worth celebrating. I always find it interesting of just how well Kathy’s friends from various portions of her life, mesh so well together and there seems to be some commonality swirling among them all.

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It was a fun reunion party and lasted fairly late into the cool Marshfield evening, a wonderful fire was started that served as a gathering place after much drinking and dancing had occurred where old friends could reminisce about memorable experiences while at the same time creating new ones.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Key West Brew Fest

September 6, 2015

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Key West Brew Fest

This year marked the sixth anniversary of what has become one of the best events in Key West all year, the Key West Brew Fest. I have been fortunate to attend every year and watch as the event has exploded in popularity, attendance and quality over the time it has been held. The brainchild of Matt Babich from Southermost Hotel Collections in partnership with the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club, the fun event raises funds for the Rotary Club and the charities that they support.

 photo 031_zpsl1pplgnl.jpg Debbie and Matt

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Having fun for a good cause is pretty much the Key West mantra, but this event is wonderfully entertaining, especially to craft beer lovers like myself. The main event is held on the beach at the Southernmost Café but there are seemingly more and more ancillary events such as pool parties, tap takeovers, special releases, beer dinners, parties and even seminars on the brewing process and home brewing.

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Every year more and more Florida Breweries send representatives and where they once had to practically beg some to come down, now there is a line of breweries trying to get access to what has become one of the premier craft beer events in Florida. The signature tasting event now features over 150 beers from multiple breweries and it is something to behold.

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I had purchased, as I always have, a VIP ticket for the event which allowed early entry by two full hours this year. This is a great way to avoid the massive crowds that file in once the event is opened up to the public. You are able to get around and sample just about any craft beer available with no lines and there are some breweries which unveil specialty beers during the VIP section that are not available during the general session. Also there is free food during the VIP hours which is a nice bonus.

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It was as per usual, incredibly hot at the beachfront location, but the sweltering heat was tempered somewhat by the icy cold beers that were being offered from every one of Florida’s finest breweries. All the best were on hand from Cigar City to Funky Buddah to the Wynwood Brewery and more. The Keys were well-represented as every brewery in the Keys was there including a great booth by the newly opened Waterfront Brewery.

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 photo 057_zpslmaev6gc.jpg Amanda and Effie

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One of the other things that I really love about the Brew Fest is how it really brings out the local crowd to enjoy the Labor Day weekend party. You see so many friendly and happy locals and it almost reminds me of the old Cayo Carnival days or classic Goombay Fest. Everyone is in a good mood, one enhanced by the beer of course, but this is not a drunken party, which is another pleasing aspect. It is all about quality not quantity.

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It was another fantastic event, and this year something new and exciting closed out the fest as the New Orleans based band Waterseed led a traditional Second Line March from South Beach, down Duval Street and over to the Green Parrot bar, where the party continued late into the night. It was a classy and cool new addition and people really seemed to get in to it, with hundreds of people marching behind the band down the street.

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