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!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Party

December 22, 2016

Chris, Michael, Keith and Livi

Carol, Tom, Lucy and Kathy

Erin and Michel

Christmas Party

Jean and Michael

It took the better part of a week to get the house and yard ready for the big party, which we had scheduled once again to coincide with Mark and Nancy’s annual Christmas lights bicycle ride. For many years our party was held on Christmas Eve and we joined the bike ride, which is always a ton of fun. After the Christmas Eve party got to be too much to handle, we took a hiatus for a few years until last year when we were asked to become an official stop on the ride.


Garth, Greta and Katie

Scott and Wendy

It seemed to us a perfect opportunity to give people a close up look at the Christmas display that Kathy worked so hard on and to also have a bunch of our good friends over to celebrate the holiday season and Kathy’s birthday. So our party was scheduled on the Sunday evening prior to Christmas to be able to be a stop on the bike ride.

Michael and Carol

Alison, Diane and Sherry

Unlike last year, we had invited a whole host of friends who were not on the bike ride to the party and they began arriving in ­­abundance early and the party was off and running. We are so blessed to live in such a wonderful, eclectic and diverse community and the guests at our party reminded us just how fortunate we are.

Jeremy and Laura

From long-time good friends to people literally walking by on the street that we invited in, all were welcome and we had an amazing array of wonderful people on hand to share in the food and libations. I am never sure of the exact number who came by over the course of the night, but I’d guess the number somewhere north of two hundred.

Michael and Jeremy

Matt and Tony

Mark, Nancy and David

The massive amount of holiday lights and decorations just added to the festive air and we even had a bubble machine going that sent out thousands of bubbles over the entrance to our yard and in to the street where the many Conch Trains and Trolleys passed by as well.

Robert and Lucy

It was a fun, fun night and it reached its raucous peak when Mark and Nan’s bike tour rolled in around 8:30 and an additional 60-70 people flooded onto the property. The bike ride was populated by a large number of our friends, many decked out in their Christmas finery and they all rushed in to grab a quick beverage or bite to eat.

Kate and Effie

It was quite an experience to see them all rush in, stay for a bit then head off again, though a number of the riders decided to stay for an extended time, either completing their ride at our place or playing catch up and meeting up with the ride on the next stop.

The only bad thing about the party is that it always ends too soon and I never feel like we never feel like we get the chance to spend as much time with each guest as we would like. People seem to enjoy it and that is what counts for us during the holiday season. Giving a little back to the people who make our life so enjoyable on this island we call home is the least we can do.

*Special Thanks to Virginia Wark for many of these photos!

Erin and Ryan

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happiness and Cheer

Happiness and Cheer

Amanda Palmer, Judy Blume and George

December 21, 2016

The festive spirit in Key West continued in full song this week as the holidays crept closer and more and more events were happening including our big somewhat annual Christmas party and a couple of really cool events with the Key West premiere of a new play and an incredible performance by the brilliant Amanda Palmer at the Studios of Key West. It was another really fun and fascinating week here on the Island of Misfit Toys.


Jason Webley

Amanda Palmer performing “Judy Blume”

Kathy and I fortunate to include Key West residents Judy Blume and her husband George among our friends and it is through them that we got a chance to see the amazing Amanda Palmer perform at the Studios of Key West. Judy and George opened the fabulous Books and Books at the Studios, book store at the Studios and they were able to arrange to have Palmer sign on to perform her magical show at the Studios, followed by a book signing where Palmer could sign her latest book, based on her well received Ted talk on the same subject, “The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help.” Palmer was formally in the performance art band the Dresden Dolls and is married to the iconic author Neil Gaiman.

Amanda Palmer

Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy” read by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

The show was an eclectic mix of music, performance art and readings from Mr. Gaiman. Including a powerful reading of the late Leonard Cohen’s, “Democracy”. Palmer was joined by her friend and musician Jason Webley who also happens to be a mutual friend to my friends Josh and Breezy Peyton of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. In fact they had suggested that he visit the famous Catman while in Key West, which he did and he and Palmer created a special song about the Catman during the show.

Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley

In addition to the zany brilliance of Amanda Palmer, I also took some time to attend the opening night of the new play at the Waterfront Playhouse, “Throw Me On the Burnpile and Light Me Up”. Kathy was busy so I went with my buddy Trevor after we had stopped at the new bar/ restaurant MaryEllen’s that just opened in the former Wax on Applerouth Lane for a drink and delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Another awesome place that will be added to our regular rotation.

David and Martha

George and Jeff

The play, was written by Lucy Alibar who also wrote the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and is a one woman tour-de-force of stories of growing up in the deep South. A lecherous goat, Pentecostals on the radio, a clutter of in-bred cats, phone calls from death row, and Daddy’s burnpile are all central to this funny, insightful and wonderful play.

Mark and Wendi

The rest of the week was spent preparing for our somewhat annual Christmas party. For many years, Kathy and I hosted a massive Christmas Eve party that seemed to grow larger and larger each year. Eventually it just got to be too much and we took a hiatus for a few years. Then last year, our friends Mark and Nancy who host an annual holiday bike tour of Key West, asked if our home could be a stop on the tour and our holiday party saw a rebirth.


Rich and Penny

Fiona, Sue and Chuck

Tom, Effie and Greta

We started off slowly last year with a small gathering at the house that was suddenly invaded by 65-70 bicycle riders who descend like a happy swarm of holiday locusts on the house, eating and drinking for 30 minutes or so, before riding off in to the night. This year, we decided to go all out and invite a massive amount of friends and have an all-out party.

Suzyjo and Tara

David and Breane

Eric, Rosie and Betsy