Ahhhhh, Lobstah!

I know. It’s been a long time since we’ve spoken to each other. It’s not that we don’t love you anymore. It’s just….we’ve met someone else. Her name is Life. I know I’ve said it before, but life sure does get in the way of a good time, doesn’t it? Not to say we don’t have a good time. We do. We just haven’t had time to share it here on the blog. Not saying this is the start of a renewed blogging friendship either, but hey…who knows?

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This weekend, we made a day trip to Key West for Lobsterfest. One of our favorite things to do, and normally when Lobsterfest rolls around, we make it a long weekend, hop in the car and take our time rolling through the beautiful Florida Keys. This time, it was pretty spontaneous. Thanks to some very good friends who hooked us up with some tickets, we decided to hop on the Key West Express and make it a day trip.

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Depending on the day you travel (and how long in advance you book), you’re looking at between $99 and $150 for a round trip. It’s about a 3 1/2 hour ride, so consider it somewhat like a long plane flight. For us, instead of the 6 hour drive, we got there in 3 and a half.

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I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the boat. It was clean and cozy with a snack bar, drink bar and plenty of TVs with satellite for entertainment along the way.

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I ventured up to the top deck to take in the scenery. If you’re not careful, whatever is in your hand (or on your head) is gonna go flyin into the ocean. The boat is cookin pretty good – between 40-45 knots.

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Like I said, long ride. So if this is something you’d enjoy doing, make sure you pack some magazines, snacks and things to entertain you. After about 2 hours, I was starting to get antsy. The Key West Express is a good idea if you’re in town on vacation and don’t have time to make the 12 hour round trip drive. Me? I prefer the drive. The ability to stop off and get in the water, check out the scenery, drive the 7 Mile Bridge….that’s what I prefer. Not saying I wouldn’t take the KWE again – I would if I needed to. But big picture – it’s not for me.

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But we came for the Lobster. The sweet sweet lobster. I’ll take it any way I can get it. Boat, drive – doesn’t matter. Just bring me lobster.

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And we got lobster. Like years before, my first stop was the Lobster Roll.

Delicious.

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After slamming the Maine Roll in two bites and washing it down with an ice cold beer, I quickly moved onto the Lobster and Shrimp taco…Which was the best taco I’ve ever eaten.

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The Queen got the lobster Mac n Cheese with a lobster slider…which I helped her finish. My father-in-law says that when it comes to festivals, I’m like a shark. I bite something, then swim around a little while just to bite something else.

Know what? He’s right.

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No trip to Key West is complete until you’ve walked Duval end to end to see the sights.

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Chased a few chickens….

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….eaten some Key Lime Pie

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…and stopped off in Mallory Square.

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::insert innuendo here::

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It wasn’t as hot as it had been in previous years. But with that long and bumpy boat ride and coupled with 90 degree heat, we both had headaches and needed to sit for a bit in the A/C.

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Due to the lack of time (you’re only on shore about 4 hours before you have to board the boat back home), we grabbed something chilly to drink (and wash down the Excedrin) and moseyed along back towards the pier for our return.

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A dip in a pool would have been really nice.

Just not THAT pool.

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It was a fun day. Both short (in the time we actually were in KW) and long (that boat ride, whew!). Despite how convenient it is for some (and it really is a cool boat), I don’t think I’d do the boat again. Four hours to get there, four hours on shore and four hours to get home. No, thanks. For me, driving is the ticket.

Luckily, we’ll be doing some Keys driving in the next few weeks, as we return there for a little lobstering and diving.

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Can’t wait for that!

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Fourteen Florida Fun and Festival Tour – March 2014

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With all the festivities going on over on Sanibel Island this weekend, we thought we’d take a different direction this month. So, the March Installment of the Quadruple F Tour brought us to Fort Myers Beach for the 56th Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival. At seventy-two degrees and sunny with a nice breeze, I don’t believe you could have picked a more perfect day to attend.

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Just a few short years ago, the Queen and I attended and noticed a smattering of booths and a small number of food vendors. However, this time around it was jam packed with all sorts of arts and crafts, trinkets, beachy-themed collectibles and what else?

FOOD.

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You know, we have nine more months of this festival thing and by December, it’ll only be by the grace of God that the Queen isn’t pushing me in a wheelbarrow due to the sheer mass of all the meat on a stick I’ll have consumed throughout the year.

But as of today, I’m a dashing and svelte buck eighty-five, so let the face feeding continue.

So it IS a Shrimp Festival, and therefore it’s all about the shrimp.

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See, the thing about shrimp is, You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There are shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burgers, shrimp sandwiches.

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Well, you get the picture.

The shrimp was over flowing. The hot spot was the line to the Lion’s Club of Fort Myers dinner….

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HOT SHRIMP COMIN’ TROO! HOT SHRIMP!

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which as you can see below, stretched a LOOOOONG way.

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So what did we get?

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Well, we got the Grouper, of course.

Now honestly before you bust out laughing, we tried to get shrimp. They were just out at the booth we chose. So rather than jumping back in at the end of some massive line, we opted for the Grouper Sandwich, which was amazing and as big as your head.

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Yes, there was meat on a stick there, but I passed on it this time. (I know, what’s wrong with me?)

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Now let me make a recommendation to the Town of Fort Myers Beach at this point. They put on an awesome event.

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But I think this year is the year they have finally outgrown the area they’re using.

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So many people and so few places to sit and eat that people were finding whatever flat surface was nearby.

Recommendation? Extend this thing to the beach itself. Put a big ol’ tent out there in the sand and let folks enjoy eating near the water. It would make a huge difference!

Speaking of water….we made our way near it and captured a great drum line team called Marcato, performing on the beach. Click on the pic below to see the video (and subscribe to our page) of this great team of drummers.

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Special thanks to James Royce over at the Island Sand Paper for putting the video on their front page.

As we moved into the pier, we got an even bigger treat – a small pod of dolphins (with two babies) chasing fish, eerily close to shore. Tourists were waist deep and the dolphins were within an arm’s reach (click on the picture to see the video). We originally thought there were three, when in fact it was more like six.

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Another beautiful South Florida day and a wonderful festival experience. If you get the chance to stop by Fort Myers Beach in the early evening, do it. It really is a fantastic spot to eat dinner, walk and explore the shops.

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Queenie saw a Pirate Ship.

HOT WIFE COMIN’ TROO!

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I saw a bunch of muscle cars.

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And it appears the Google Car took our picture.

Come on. What would YOU do if YOU saw the Google Car?

😉