Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Better Late Than Never (And a free book)

Okay, so I was supposed to post on Saturday, but I'm on the road touring with my book THERE GOES THE BRIDE. Please forgive my tardiness, I got so caught up in the trip I neglected to get over here.

I was in Miami over the weekend for the Fun in the Sun conference and we did have fun! Later, my hubby and I took a side trip to Key West because we'd never been. I must say, I was a bit disappointed in the drive. I thought it would be 120 miles of bridge over the water. The reality was bumper to bumper traffic on a flat road with very little view of the water. Where did I get the idea that the bridge experience was like driving Lake Ponchatrain? Uh, how about the movie True Lies.

Anyway, Key West proved to be a very colorful place. Lots of interesting characters to send an author's mind to spinning ideas. Of course we did the Hemingway's House thing. My poor hubby. He's had to endure Mark Twain's boyhood home, the last house Carl Sandburg lived in, the apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind and many other writerly haunts. He patiently trails me in my homage to writers past. I loved the cats at the Hemingway house. They have a cat cam and the cats are on the web. They're all descendants of Hemingway's cat.

Lunch was a surreal. We were trying to find someplace off the beaten path and so asked a couple of locals for a real Key West experience. We were directed to this shack, and when I say shack, I mean shack. The place was made of unpainted, sea weathered lumber and slabs of tin stacked inward like a teepee. You literally walk through this hole in the wall--no kidding.

Inside we find completely mismatched plastic tables around weathered picnic tables carved with the names of all those brave souls who'd dared slip through the hole. There were manikins lounging all over the place. (I could have sworn I'd seen this dive in a horror movie) Anchors, barrels, detoriating life perservers and rusted licenses plates from all around the country were tacked to the walls. Christmas lights stuck inside wine bottles mounted from the ceiling served as lighting (That plus the holes in the teepee shack).

People were coming and going from other holes in the walls. Around the front side of the place was a wooden bar that fronted the street. Tenatively, we ordered our food and gingerly took our seats. Behind us was an elderly couple from Sweden. They were arguing with the visibly stoned waiter over global warming. The Swedish couple was winning the arguement because they were clear headed and the stoner kept losing his train of thought.

A drunk dude and his pissed off girlfriend slip in through one of the holes. They have an Alaskan husky on a leash. They sit down. The dog hops up on the picnic bench beside them about six feet from where we're sitting and starts licking the table. Now, I love pets, I have a dog of my own, but this was getting to be too Fellini-esque for me. The guy is pulling of hunks of dog hair and letting it fly around the "restaurant". (I use that term loosely) His dinner companion is bitching saying he loves that dog more than he loves her. The stoned waiter staggers over with what looks to be our order, but oops! gives it to the elderly Swedish couple who have already eaten. After finally figuring out the food belonged to us, Stoner boy plunked blackened Mahi-Mahi and conch fritters down in front of us. It looked good and smelled great. Telling myself it was all about the experience, I girded my loins and took a bite.

And you know what? The food was great. Although half-way through the meal I felt something brush the back of my bare calf. I stifled a shriek and looked down to see an inquistive pullet staring up at me. I gave it a French fry. He was happy.

We didn't stay for dessert.

Today I'm giving away a copy of YOU ONLY LOVE TWICE. This book is a finalist in both the Smoky Mountain Laurie Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. If you'd like a copy just post here and I'll pick the winner tomorrow.

17 comments:

Cherie said...

Some of those hole in the wall in the places do have the best food. I wouldn't have had dessert either after being visited by the pullet either. What is a pullet anyway?

Cherie Japp

Mary J said...

Ugh I wouldn't have stuck around either

Lois said...

I can't wait to pick up this book! :) But well, while some of the events that happened would have been better if they didn't. .. it sure beats a boring trip!! LOL :)

Lois

Teresa said...

Reading about your experience had me cracking up. The book sounds wonderful. Yes I must admit sometimes these unknown places do have the best food. I have experienced some of them myself on various trips I've been on.

principessa said...

What a memorable experience. I would not have tried the Shack but it was definitly entertaining to say the least.

alissa said...

Loved hearing about your trip and the Shack was at least worth the trip, lunch and all.

ellie said...

Well, at least you had a good lunch and the characters and locale were unforgettable.

joelle said...

A unique lunch which was worth the trip, for sure and the great surroundings.

pearl said...

Quite a trip and interesting lunch experience.

sharon said...

Glad that your trip did work out well. Funny story which should be interesting to remember for the future.

KimW said...

hahaha! Loved your story. I really think you would have a better time in Chicago. Are you sure you don't want to make a stop here? lol

Maria, Lover of All Things Romance said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this book, that sounds like a horrible experience to have, horrible but funny

Jeanette J said...

Sounds like a great prize

Judy T said...

Cherie, a pullet is a chicken, more specifically a young hen.

What an adventure! I'm glad your husband was with you, but even so, I think I would have turned right around and left. Then again, it was a once in a lifetime experience, I hope! Thanks for sharing the fun (so I didn't have to experience it myself *w*).

ReadingAddict1 said...

Your trip to the Keys sounds a lot more interesting than mine was. Maybe you can use the experience for a book ;). ~Wanda

Meljprincess said...

LOL! Lori,
Sounds like a typical Key West experience. I like the Keys 'cause it's so laid back there. Loved reading your story. I'm still cracking up!

xo Mel

Lori Wilde said...

Pearl, you won the book. Send me your mailing address to Loriwilde@aol.com and I'll pop the book in the mail to you.

Thanks for the comments everyone. It was an experience.