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, January 04, 2019

It’s Not a Party Until the Wiener Comes Out

January 3, 2019

It’s Not a Party Until the Wiener Comes Out

One of the coolest Key West traditions is the annual Dachshund Walk which is held at the stroke of noon on New Year’s Eve. This is the 14th annual dachshund walk and I have been there every year to take photos and document this mass gathering of the sausage shaped dogs and their friends and fans. This year an estimated 300 dachshunds of all varieties were on hand to participate and they were joined by an ever increasing crowd of their non-dachshund canine pals including the annual Chihuahua Flash Mob. 


The canines and their owners begin gathering about an hour or so before the walk on the courthouse lawn at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming. The parade route goes a block down Fleming to Duval Street then left for the short distance to Applerouth Lane where they turn and head back a block to Whitehead, it is short and sweet but perfect for the long, stubby-legged weiner dogs. 


Crowds line the path of the walk to watch and cheer on the little dogs as they parade past. The event has grown in to one of the favorite New Year’s events in Key West and now draws people and their pets from across the US. Of course every local, and there are many, who owns a dachshund is on hand to participate, so I always see a lot of familiar faces, both human and canine. 


All manner of dachshunds were on hand, shorthaired, longhaired, wirehaired and some mixed breed part dachshunds as well. It seemed that perhaps the total number of dachshunds was down a bit from some of the peak years, but it may just be that other breeds are starting to crowd in the event and it just seems like less. No matter though, there are plenty of weinerdogs to go around.


Dachshund owners seem to spoil their dogs as much or more than owners of just about any other breed. The number of dog carriages and hand carried dachshunds was evidence of that, some of the carriages were more elaborate than any baby carriage I have ever seen. There were also wagons, carts, and other modes of pet transportation on hand, but for most, simply walking was good enough.


The dogs were curious little critters and spent lots of time edging along the crowds lining the street, sniffing and enjoying the petting and adulation of the assembled throng. Surprisingly with so many dogs in such a confined space there was very little if any aggressive behavior on display other than maybe a few yipping outliers.



The Grand Marshall, Lola, had a fascinating story in that she was lost overboard while on a boating expedition and was missing for two days, thankfully she was wearing her tiny doggie life preserver, which dig its job and she was discovered alive and well after having washed up (or having swam over to) a mangrove island. A lucky dog indeed and one to be celebrated as Grand Marshall.


It was another just about perfect Key West event, wacky and fun and full of adorable dachshunds. Who but the most curmudgeonly, could not love a pack of loveable wieners roaming the streets, many dressed in their holiday finery and strutting along in front of thousands of happy spectators. There seems to be all sorts of stress and worry in the world around us, but if the happiness found at this event is any indication, there is still room to be hopeful for a happier and fun New Year ahead.


Thursday, January 03, 2019


January 2, 2019





New Year’s Eve in Key West is one of the biggest parties in the entire United States, the New Year’s celebration here was recently ranked as the third best in the entire United States behind only the classic one held in Times Square in New York City and the mega-party in Las Vegas. It is certainly one of the busiest times of the entire year here in the Keys as the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the most crowded time of the entire year with out of town visitors flooding the streets, bars and restaurants.



Key West has earned its reputation as one of the premier tourist destinations for the New Year by hosting some of the more unique activities you can imagine as an ever expanding series of “drops”, modeled after the famous ball drop in New York City have come to dominate the countdown to midnight on the final day of the year.


The two most famous are the traditional dropping of the Conch Shell at Sloppy Joe’s and in what has become perhaps the most famous due to the continuing live coverage each year on CNN, the  drop of the renowned Drag Queen Sushi in a super-sized red high-heeled shoe at the Bourbon Street Pub. Sushi has been dropping in the pump for 22 years now and has gained fame through the uniqueness of the event and the media coverage.

Sushi was by far from the only game in town as she descended in her ruby slipper into the waiting masses on Duval Street, popping the cork on a bottle of Champagne at the stroke of midnight.  Crowds also celebrated by watching a gigantic manmade conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys, descend to the roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar. At First Flight Island Restaurant, they applauded the landing of a flight attendant in a replica aircraft, saluting Key West’s heritage as the 1927 birthplace of Pan American Airways.

Also commemorating 2019’s arrival were the “splashdown” of a huge replica Key lime wedge into a giant margarita glass, an offbeat “tuna drop” and the lowering of a pirate wench from atop a tall ship’s mast in Key West’s Historic Seaport. In addition the traditional lowering of the Unicorn that had traditionally happened at the Porch but has now moved to the Tiki Hut. Even the Cork and Stogie got into the act by lowering a huge smoking cigar as the clock hit midnight.

There is certainly no shortage of fun and crazy antics to see here in Key West and that is just on the night itself, the parties really stretch on well before and after the actual New Year’s Eve. In fact, Kathy and I attended a wonderful family friendly event the night before New Year’s Eve at the Marriott Beachside resort where they were hosting a wonderful Glo party and fireworks display. In fact we stopped first at the party across the street at Sunset Green where a live band was playing prior to heading over to the beachside.


Our friend Jimmy Cooper was DJing the party on the beach/ pool of the Marriott and it was packed with mostly locals there to take in the party and fireworks, which were fantastic. Easily the best fireworks display in Key West in ages, it was a fantastic celebration, early enough in the evening for kids to enjoy and fun for everyone.

Jimmy and Joanna

This week also marked the first shows from the new Backroom Burlesque by Key West Burlesque in their new permanent home at Sidebar behind Aqua. Having just seen their holiday show recently, I might not have been back so soon except that my friend KP was returning to the island for his first performance and visit since he moved north a couple of years ago and I really wanted to go and see and support him.

with KP


The show was really great with the amazing aerialist returning again as well as awesome performances by Tatah DuJour, Chief Peach and my favorite performer of all the exquisite Cheeky Derriere, aka our good friend Erin. It was a fun night out that I capped off by making a quick visit to see my friend Keith’s newly opened bar, Glitch- which is amazing. Can’t wait to spend more quality time there.