Roll out the red carpet, turn on the klieg lights, prop up the media and wake up the drunks for its time for another edition of my not-quite-a-trip-report.
A shiney bright silver gam-mee is awarded to MOTHER NATURE for the sunny weather during our ten days in March '10. With the winter we had in the northeast, it was great to see blue skies. (Hint to Mom N.: if you'd like to win a Gold Gam-mee, we are going to need much warmer temperatures. 60s in KW in March is nice but we wanted something a little more 80-ish).
A golden brown and delicious gam-mee is awarded to TWO FRIENDS PATIO for their MOST excellent conch fritters. I mourn the loss of Conchtown, but was happy to find the art of deep fried bliss is serenely practice at this Front Street institution.
A machine sown leather gam-mee is awarded to KINO'S SANDALS for having my size. And for the spectacle of waves of spring breakers trying on pair after pair of inexpensive sandals.
A solid diamond Gam-mee (with vespa clusters) is awarded to the WAITRESS FROM MANGIA MANGIA who, after your humble writer left his Discover card sitting on the table, came roaring after us, the delightful Mrs. Gam and I, on her motor scooter to return said card to me. This is what I call service. I was glad I had tipped her handsomely and offer this as a modest lesson to our European friends. (Too bad the food at Mangia, Mangia wasn't better. It was merely alright).
A solid tin Gam-mee is awarded to the IMPATIENT LOCAL IN THE WHITE FORD PICK-UP who almost ran me over because I was not crossing the street fast enough for him. It was across Whitehead opposite the Green Parrot. I had the light and the 'walk' sign, and wasn't dawdling, but this wasn't good enough for him. I saw a few other examples of such mainland style driving. This is a disturbing trend.
A gam-mee of forty shades of green is awarded to FINEGAN'S WAKE for an absolutely fantastic St. Paddy's Day. Loved the food, loved the band, loved the vibe. It was much better than any fake 'pub crawl' organized by lesser bars to bring in the tourists.
A red brick gam-mee is awarded to the EAST MARTELLO for a fun afternoon of picking through Key West history. The Mario Sanchez woodcarving exhibit was particularly cool, but nothing compared with finally meeting Robert the doll. But a cautionary note: some serious restoration work needs to be done on some of the exhibits.
A three-sheets to the wind gam-mee is awarded to DANGER CHARTER for another successful wind & wine cruise, though I wish they handed out a list of the wines we were samplling. Between the salt air, the wind and the sunset it's a little difficult to remember the names of all those wines they gave us.
A medium rare gam-mee is awarded to JACK FLATS (yes, Jack Flats) for an unexpectedly great hamburger. We dashed in here because we thought it would be quick, but we were stunned to find out how good it was.
A behind closed doors gam-mee is awarded to the HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOUSE TOUR for again being scheduled during our annual March visit. We enjoy looking at the houses from the outside, but this lets us see what folks have done on the inside.
A tatched roof gam-mee is awarded to HOGFISH GRILL for a great fish sandwich and a 'stella moon' beer.
A royal red gam-mee is awarded to our SPIRITED friends over at the CONCH REPUBLIC SEAFOOD COMPANY, with whom we shared a happy hour of tales, conch and otherwise. It was good to see old friends again and meet other old friends for the first time. Yo, Keith & Buster.
And finally, a solid led gam-mee is awarded to ME, YOUR PAL, for not checking my email & private messages to see what other meetings and get-togethers were on tap in the bars and restaurants of Key West. Sorry I missed meeting other TA folks and locals. Maybe next year.
Submitted for your approval this 6th day of April, 2010, CE,
I remain your most loyal & humble pal,