Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Beauty of the Keys

The Florida Keys are treating us well!  We're both working hard and having a lot of fun.  Our new motto seems to be "Work Hard, Play Hard!"  I've been volunteering at both Bahia Honda State Park and the Dolphin Research Center.  Chris spends 5 days a week on his regular (paying) job and they've had a lot for him to take care of lately.  When he has a chance he will cover one of my shifts at the state park for me.  We love the work and we love the setting!

In our spare time we love to ride bikes around the island, kayak or snorkel the crystal clear water, or go out on a dive charter to the reef!  We've gone lobstering and fishing for yummy dinner!  We love the other volunteers here.  We've had some great happy hours and potluck dinners with our new friends! 

Dolphin Research Center has brand new baby dolphins that were born last week!  Aren't they adorable?!

We love our bikes!

Our friends Fred and Cindy let us take their boat out!  Whee!

Mmm,,, dinner!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fantasy Fest was fantastic!

I dressed up as a spider queen!

Chris calls his costume "Key West Camo"

For Halloween we visited Key West for Fantasy Fest. This is a world-famous festival on par with Carnivale or Mardi Gras. The costumes and body painting were fabulous!
There were plenty of people in regular costumes and some extraordinary ones! We saw GI Joes, Avatars, construction fairies, birdcage heads, and my personal favorite - the YipYip Monsters! The creativity involved is outstanding!

They looked even more "real" in person!

Apparently the Na'vi had their own float in the parade.

"Yip-yip-yip-yip-yip!" (they were on Sesame Street)

Some people may be shocked by the nude painted bodies wandering around on Duval Street but if you haven't seen this amazing art don't be too quick to judge! Yes, many people were topless and some are even completely nude but the painting is professionally done and the human body becomes a canvas for these beautiful creations. Some are painted to look like they are wearing clothes. Some are painted as animals or in animal print. Flower designs were also very popular.

Since I know Mom is reading I'll keep the body painting pictures clean!

That's just paint!

I know, Mom. They're naked. But isn't it pretty art?

It seemed like the later we stayed the more fabulous the costumes became! I'm very sorry we couldn't stay for the biggest event, the parade on Saturday! I have no doubt the costumes get even better than this...

Fantasy Fest is also known for fabulous drag queens. Isn't she amazing?

We had a great time and loved it so much we plan to return next year. This year we went on Friday night and Chris had to play designated driver for the hour-long drive back to Bahia Honda. Next year we are getting a hotel room so we can see the big parade instead of having to drive home and work the next day (yeah, that part wasn't as much fun!) We can all look forward to more pictures of Fantasy Fest next year!