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, May 09, 2018

The Magic of the Moment

April 25, 2018

The Magic of the Moment

Kathy and Susan


Lea and Effie

Life is made up of a finite selection of moments which flow together, overlap and hopefully if worthy enough are committed to memory. Sometimes I get so caught up in writing about a specific event that the day to day rituals that make up our life somehow seem to slip right past. It seems this month has been full of cool little slices of life that are worthy of mention.


It has been a month of new beginnings with the birth of our good friends’ Dakota and Andy’s new baby, visits from old friends (Susan and Paul, Todd, Jody), birthday celebrations, fond farewells to Key West (Miguel, Mia and Stephanie) and ultimate farewells with the passing of our friend Tom. All these things and more are worthy moments to be remembered and celebrated and were part of the past month here in Key West.



So many things in fact that it is tough to know where to begin, I guess with the exciting news of Sloane Harper Smith to our good friends Dakota and Andy. Sloane is their first child and she was born on April 17th. Dakota was Kathy’s first mentee as part of the old Take Stock in Children program and has become an integral part of our lives as we have watched her grow into a truly special young woman. No longer a mentee, just a friend, Dakota and her husband Andy are like family to us and the arrival of their beautiful daughter is a pretty big deal. Kathy has taken to making fun of me because I am now always stopping at the baby section in stores and pulling out my phone to show photos of the baby like some goofy grandparent….guilty as charged.


Ruger and Sloane

Susan, Kathy and Paul

This month has also had a few visitors to our lovely island starting with Kathy’s friend Susan from her college years who stayed with us for a few days along with her husband Paul. It was really great fun to have them here and we spent a few evenings out and Kathy got to play tourist for a few days.
They were really the very best kind of guests, fun and interesting to talk with, yet also self-sufficient and accommodating guests – which is not always the case. We hope that they return soon and often.

Susan and Paul

Bruce and Arlo

Susan and Kathy

Another blast from the past was the visit to Key West of my friend and former ex, Jody. I had not seen her since she left Key West eighteen years ago and she was back for the first time along with her boyfriend Matt. I was a tiny bit worried that it might be a little awkward but those fears were allayed within seconds of our meeting with them at the Roost. It makes me so happy, not only how well things went, but that we have been able to maintain our friendship over all these years. So very happy that Jody is well and happy and once again it was so nice to catch up with an old friend and to meet a new one.

Jim and Jody

Michael, Jim, Kathy, Jody, and Matt

Michael and Todd

Another old friend, Todd, was in town as well, but for a reason that was a lot less fun, the passing of our mutual friend Tom Scott. Tom passed away earlier this year after fighting health issues that have kept him under the weather for the past few years. His passing while not unexpected, still was a pretty sad day and Todd was in town to attend the memorial gathering where Tom’s life was celebrated. Tom’s wife Terri and many friends and family gathered to share stories, recall and remember how Tom had impacted all of our lives. Tom and Terri served as surrogate parents to many of our friends and their home was constantly open and a place where one could always go for a good time. Kathy and I feel fortunate to have known Tom and wish Terri and all who knew him our sincere sympathy.

Elaney, Mia, Margit and Livi

Miguel and Shawn

Chris, Miguel, Garth and Jeremy

Key West is a constantly changing community and as such it was our sad duty to say goodbye to a few friends who are moving away after being threads in the fabric of our community to hopefully bright horizons. Our friend Stephanie only moved as far as Miami, so we will no doubt still get to see her occasionally, but it won’t be the same at Sinz Burrito where she most recently worked and we will miss her. Moving even farther afield are our friends Miguel and Mia who are relocating to Portland, Maine. A going away party was held for them at the Key West Supper Club/ Stock Island Yacht Club where we were able to say our goodbyes. I doubt we will see much of them going forward though hopefully they will come back at times to visit. Our island’s losses are just gains for other places and we wish all of our departing friends the best of luck in their new adventures.



Our good friend Effie celebrated her big 26th birthday and we were invited out for a day of boating on our friends Lea and Andrew’s boat to join the party. It was so great to be out on the water and it was truly a beautiful day with some really fun mostly young friends. One of the things I love about living here is that you can attend a 25th birthday party one day and an 85th birthday party the next and have just as good a time and be just as welcome at each. It isn’t really like that in a lot of places and it is one of the things that makes this place special. It was also great to see Effie enjoying her party, she is one of the nicest people on the island and we are such good friends that I am bringing her, her boyfriend Cale and her entire family to the Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend.

Effie and Cale

Greta, Tom and Effie

Cale, Effie and Kate


This month also saw us getting to see friends appearing in the most recent two excellent plays at the Red Barn Theatre. Our friend Morgan starred in “Native Garden” which closed this month there and we also caught our friend Erin on opening night of the new play at the Red Barn, “Cry It Out”. It is so awesome to see friends rocking the stage in theatrical productions and both shows were stellar. Key West is full of talented actors and we really enjoy seeing our friends excel in local productions.

Erin and Kathy

Finally I also got a chance to get out to a meet and greet benefit for the local Habitat for Humanity at the Gardens Hotel with the famed Diana Nyad. Diana is a famous swimmer and is probably most famous for completing a swim across the Gulf Stream from Havana to Key West at age 60 a few years ago. I was there on the beach when she completed her swim and it was an amazing thing and this event offered a chance to hang out and talk with her about her life and accomplishments.


Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Taste of Key West

April 20, 2018

Taste of Key West

During the twenty three year existence of the annual foodie festival, A Taste of Key West, the festival has moved around quite a bit. It is hard to find a permanent home for such a large gathering that draws thousands of people who are anxious to sample culinary delights from close to fifty of the finest restaurants on the island. I have followed the festival to its various locales and been attending most years during the history of the event.

Last year, because the previous location at the Truman waterfront was unavailable due to construction the event was relocated for what was thought to be a one-off for that year, but instead turned out to be possibly a new permanent home at Mallory Square where the event was held this year for the second year in a row.


The location works out great as it is already crowded with tourists and there is much more room for the restaurant booths as well as the beer and wine sampling areas. The nightly performers may be put out for the night but just about everyone else is thrilled with the new location. As such the event has attracted an even larger crowd than ever.


The event is among the largest fundraisers of the year for AIDS Help and it is great to see so many locals and tourists mingling, eating delicious food and trying all manner of new and exciting beers and wines.  All of the restaurants and chefs donate their food and services and a ton of funding is raised thanks to their efforts. Most all of Key West’s premier restaurants participate each creating a small plate serving or two that they provide to the guests.

The other advantage of holding the event at Mallory Square is the amazing Key West sunset, which while visible from the Truman waterfront, is much more associated with Mallory Square. The setting allows for plenty of room for all of the restaurants as well as room for sunset watchers to catch a good view of the famous Key West sunset.

The event is also a great place to run into and catch up with friends from across the spectrum of Key West life. Locals turn up in droves to indulge in all the food and drink and often I run into people that I only rarely see out and about town. Taste of Key West is always like that and it is always fun to see friends old and new.

The event was another huge success and I stayed till just about the last call for food and drinks before heading home, already looking forward to returning next year for the twenty-fourth edition.