February 11, 2013 “What would Jimmy Buffet do?”

My wife and I were in south Florida yesterday and having never seen the keys we found US Highway 1 and decided to see where it ended.

Our tour took us past such iconic names as Key Largo, Marathon, and Big Pine Key and then eventually as if we were part of some slow parade, the procession of cars we were part of arrived in Key West, Florida.

We followed the road to the end at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming street and then after this picture wondering what to do next, we saw a guest house and walked up the stairs and decided to stay for a day or two….heck, this is Key West, THE place to be, right?  What would Jimmy Buffet do?  He pour up one long and tall, because it is 5 o’clock somewhere.

I looked at my watch, it WAS 5 o’clock here.  The manager at Marrero’s was offering happy hour so we checked in and ordered gin and tonics.

Key West, Florida….the home of noisy chickens, Fantasy fest….after Branson, Vegas, etc. one of the over hyped places in America.  In general, we were not impressed.  but we decided to do the Key West thing.  While drinking the cocktails we saw something called the Duval Crawl.  This activity requires excessive drinking, and then literally crawling home.  How many times can a guy fall into the same bush?  Three times, we saw it right across the street and it wasnt even six yet.

The night we ended up, of course at MargaritaVille, Jimmy’s place on Duval Street, vowing to be able to walk home.  Silja wanted live music. They were stories at happy hour about crazy women doing stripping and exposing themselves at Sloppy Joes or Coyote Ugly and both places were standing room only apparently the stories had gotten around.  MargaritaVille had live music at 9 and so it being only seven, we decided to get a seat and pace ourselves.

Who should be seated next to us at this ‘crazy’ place?  Just our luck, a little league baseball team, named the Stealth.  I guess we had gone to Duval Street and found wholesomeness and a family atmosphere here at the MargaritaVille, well we ordered beers and tried to pace ourselves for two hours.  I like drinking the local flovor and have been a big beer  critic from my days in college and ‘the beer of the month’ club.  This beer, Key West Sunset Ale, was the WORST beer I had ever drank…and that is saying alot since the beer of the month featured the cheapest beer I could bring back to college from the old Presidents Liquor store in Superior WI…..yuck.  I guess I would have to give it 8/10 for carbonation.  What would Jimmy Buffet do?  He would order a different beer so I ordered my standby beer, Blue Moon, with a slice of orange in it….whew…better.

A group of ladies for a bachelorette party took seats center stage and despite the hoard of 10 year olds, there was hope for some quality people watching and then, the band complete with groupies started precisely at nine-o-six, which was pretty good.

Jim Morris and his Big bamboo band….yea every musician wants the women to think he has a big bamboo.  I looked these guys up on Google, the website showed their tour schedule ….and real estate for sale by apparently the Big bamboozeler himself, and his wife.  Not the usual website.  Jimmy Buffett tribute music and real estate….but they weren’t half bad.

We clapped and then the hispanic youth got into the swing of things and began solo dancing while the groupies did mock pole dansing and girl on girl action below the stage, then the kids, one complete with a teddy bear, began suggestive dancing with the groupies and with the bachelorettes, propositioning them.  Little Leaguers??  Where were their parents and coaches?

They were watching them cheering them on and in a few cases they were egged into doing the same thing.  Then the kids started table dancing.  What would Jimmy Buffett do?  Well his manager started kicking the throng or kids out.  I think Jimmy would have just played to his audience which unfortunately was 20% kids….he is the master marketer and he would have seen his next generation of parrotheads.

Why would you bring a group of kids to MargaritaVille?  Wendy’s is just two blocks away.  But if you would have guessed that in an audience of bachelorettes, parrotheads, groupies, and some girls that looked like they had just walked over from the strip club next door, and little leaguers that the group thrown out for being rowdy would have been the kids?  Not I.

With the kids gone, things settled down and soon we realized we were the only people on the upper floor.  The band took a break and we decided that eleven was nearing our bed time.  What would Jimmy Buffett do?  He is getting pretty old and I suspect he goes to bed early, so did we.

The next morning there was stories of drugs, clothing optional bars, streets, henna tattooes in private places, and all we had was the story of the baseball team called the Stealth.  I sure hope they play well because they are a fearless bunch.

beware of the parking meters when doing the Duval Crawl,


9 thoughts on “February 11, 2013 “What would Jimmy Buffet do?”

  1. First timers on Duval Street! Margaritaville is where Howard and I hangout while the ladies do the frockshops. You should have moved up to the grown-up places – the drag show, the dualing piano bar or the bar with the rum runners that put Jan on all fours (and me not exactly vertical). Did you see Hemmingway’s house? when they demolished his bar he took the urinal home becuase he felt he owned it after pouring so much booze into it!

  2. We go to the dueling piano bar where I danced the chicken dance at 1.00 in the morning on my birthday. Wish we had been with you. I owe Silja an email. I have had visitors and have been sick, so will catch up asap.

  3. Did you guys go to the Southern most point of the US? To see the sun go down? There is a crowd there it seems everynight. Its not an impressive place really but the characters and the history are what give it its fame. We have driven there and aso got off a cruise ship there..both fun.

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