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!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Santa Baby

December 14, 2018


Santa Baby

The holiday spirit continued unabated this week in Key West as things continued to ramp up as Christmas draws ever closer. It seems that every night there seems to be one or more activities or events related to the holiday and there is no way to really keep up with everything that is happening, though I must say I am doing my best this season. 


The first event that I went to this week was the annual holiday show put on by my friends at Key West Burlesque. I had a table for their opening show in their new home, Sidebar and invited my friends Tom, Greta and Caitlin to see the new show, “Chief Peachy-Poo’s Holiday Revue!”  The show hosted by a festive Chief Peach featured some of Key West Burlesque’s favorite performers and special guest for a night of variety and burlesque performed to a packed sold-out venue.


Key West Burlesque founder and star, Tatah DuJour made a triumphant return to performing and the show featured an amazing aerialist who performed acrobatics on a hoop hanging from the ceiling. Perhaps the best part of the show were the songs performed by Chief Peach, who it turns out is a very good singer in addition to being an excellent host of the show.

It was a fun night out and I certainly wish Key West Burlesque nothing but success in their new home, it will be nice to have regularly scheduled burlesque performances in town again, just like the old days of the Red Rooster Review at Kelly’s.  The morning following the burlesque show, I was at another holiday favorite event. This one sponsored by the SPCA and held at the Higgs Beach Dog Park.


The fifth annual Parade of Paws and Holiday Bazaar was a fundraising event for the SPCA and featured all manner of vendors and food and the opportunity to have your pet’s photo taken with Santa, which is the main reason that I came out. I actually got Jack to sit briefly with Santa for a photo which turned out pretty good.


One of the coolest things about the event is the appearance of Farmer Jeanne from the Monroe County Sheriff’s animal farm and her sidekick Mo the Sloth who were there to promote the animal farm. Mo is pretty cool and patient as he even allowed Jack and other dogs on hand to get a good sniff. I am not sure what Jack could have thought seeing a sloth, but he remained curious but well-behaved.

Probably the biggest and most fun holiday event that I went to this week was the annual Santacon. This gathering of literally hundreds of people all dressed as Santa or in some sort of holiday outfit is a spectacular bar stroll through downtown Key West. It starts at the Conch Republic Seafood Company and this year happened to coincide with the lighted boat parade, making it a holiday themed chaotic mess downtown,

I caught up with the Santa-clad revelers at the Conch Farm and was able to take in the mass of red outfit wearing Santas before they really got underway on their bar stroll. I had tickets to a concert at Coast the same night, so I could not participate in the full event, but was really glad that I went downtown to check it out.


I had a bunch of friends who were participating and it looked like it was going to be an amazing night of fun and frivolity. I stayed as long as I could, mingling with the santas and getting photos of those involved. I think next year I am going to commit to doing the entire thing as I hated to have to take off, just as they were on their way to the second stop.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Island of Misfit Toys

December 10, 2018

Pony and Landon

Joe, Kathy and Pony 

Larry and Nick

Island of Misfit Toys

The holiday season is probably the busiest time of the year in Key West. People here take the holidays very seriously, whether it comes to decorating their homes with Christmas lights and decorations, holiday events and parties filling the calendar that often times there are just too many options on a single evening to possibly do everything. Invariably there is some sort of holiday themed party or event just about every night in December leading up to Christmas.



It can be exhausting trying to keep up, but I always tell anyone that I hear complaining that it could be worse, there could be nothing to do, that is certainly not a problem here as there is constantly some fun or zany event or party happening.




Raven Cooper

One of those events was a comedy/ variety show hosted by the twisted and legendary Landon Bradbury at First Flight restaurant called simply, “Landon’s Dysfunctional Family Reunion”.  With Kathy continuing to be out of town, I had a spare ticket and invited our friend Caitlin. I had joined her entire family for a wonderful dinner at Salute and then Caitlin and I headed over to First Flight to catch the show.


It always amazes me just how many amazingly talented people we have on this small island and many of them were on display as part of Landon’s wacky show. Comedians such as Joe Madaus, Kathy Gilmour and Pony Charvet and Chad Newman all performed holiday themed stand-up routines that were interspaced with musical numbers from some of the island’s finest musical talent including Raven Cooper, Larry Baeder, Nick Norman and Kristin McNamara.


Uproarious fun was had by both the performers and the sold-out audience. In fact tickets sold out so fast that the organizers added a few extra tables to accommodate the demand. It was almost an exclusively local audience, only a single man raised his hand when Landon inquired how many tourists were on hand for the show. It is too bad as visitors were deprived of the opportunity to see the wonderful talent that we locals are obviously all too well aware of.


That was just one of the holiday events that I attended this week, another one which was held at the Side Bar was the third annual Gingerbread House auction to benefit the Florida Outreach Coalition. Ironically, this event was also hosted by the ubiquitous Landon Bradbury, who stays very busy this time of year. I had never been to this event before and was prompted to go after seeing that a couple of my friends had created the gingerbread houses that were going to be auctioned off and I wanted to see what it was all about.

Hannah and Alicia


It was another wonderful event that again highlighted the creative talents of the people who live here, this time the artistic talent involved in creating detailed and impeccable gingerbread creations that were auctioned off as a fundraiser. The designs and creation of these beautiful edible artworks were amazing and the prices that the auction was bringing reflected the creativity of those who made the houses.



I ended up bringing home a gingerbread house that was created by my friend Alicia that I was thrilled to win. I had tried previously to bid on a few others and could not keep up with the prices they were generating. Maybe by the end, the money in the room had dried up as I was able to take the house I won at a relatively great price.


This week was extra fun at home as well as we had a visitor, our friends Martina and Jen were out of town and we took care of their adorable dog Spike for the week. Jack and the cats all seemed excited to have a new friend on hand and I had a great time taking care of Spike. We went on nice walks, visited the dog park and took a lot of naps as well. Kathy remains out in New Mexico helping our friend Dakota with her baby Sloane and having a wonderful time as well.

Sloane and Santa


Smokey and Spike