Friday, December 21, 2012

Keys to Christmas in The Keys

Christmas in The Keys. The Best U Family Tradition

Just like Santa, Christmas is a time for the U family to kick back relax and enjoy a frozen drink or 12 (per day). If you would have told anyone 5 years ago that our family would give up a real Christmas tree and all the trimmings, you would have been called crazy. The last year we spent Christmas in Indiana just wasn't the same. Mama and the dadster actually left on Christmas to head down south. This left sis and I unsure what to do with the rest or our day (and a little sad). We womened up and did what any U member would do in crisis. We headed to Hooiser Park Casino with our friend Erin. What made Christmas sadder for us, was that they don't sell booze on Christmas in Indiana. DUMB LAW! We had to gamble without drinks in our hands, what a shame! Don't get me wrong, we still had fun. Watching Erin win/lose/win/lose/win/win/lose was fun! (I'm pretty sure I lost my $$$ before I even sat down)

Mama and sis, the not so traditional two, thought the first year would be hard for the dadster and I. Sticklers for tradition, they thought convincing us would take some time. It didn't! One thing dad and I like better then a real tree is a real beach. We were prepared to throw all the old traditions out the window and start over.   At first we weren't sure we would even have traditions but that was silly. Of course we tweaked some traditions, started some new, and threw a couple old right out the window.

Old Tradition:  Driving looking at lights. It isn't the holiday season until you have been blinded by tackey visual impressed with tasteful lighting. Instead of driving through the famous Renyold's John Deere light show in Fishers, Indiana. We drove through the park in Marathon Florida. A couple of years ago, they made a sign for me! Hot Coco!

New Twist on a Old Tradition: Of course, the real tree was the first thing we knew we had to let go of! Unsure of how/what/if there was going to be a tree, the dadster came up with a FAB-U-LOS idea. If you are going to have a fake tree...why not go ALL.THE.WAY. Our new nontraditional tradition is this beautiful blow up palm tree, decorated with one strand of multi color lights. (We only use one b/c that's all we have/wanted to buy)
New Tradition: Leaving our Mark at No Name Pub.
In between Marathon and Key West, No Name Pub (not so ironically) is located on No Name Key. When driving to the pub you will for sure think you have missed it. When you get to that point, just keep driving, you haven't made it yet. Just when you are about to give up and turn around, you look up and see the sign that says it all..."You Found It".
Some people think that the pizza is the most amazing thing about the place. I, being gluten free, have no clue about that. Some people think the cold drinks are what bring people back, (they are cold), maybe it's the staff with their stories of the tourists, but it's the money. MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!

See, I told you! MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! The restaurant is a cave of money! There is about a trillion billion million (according to last year's bartender) over $100,000. Everyone writes or "leaves their mark" on the money. See the U family examples: 

 Then you staple,glue,tape, stick up with gum, your money to anyplace you can find/make. The owner of No Name Pub is a rich rich rich genius! It's such a fun place to visit and a great way to start your drinking buzz on the way to Key West. (KIDDING?) While you're driving around make sure to watch out for key deer. They are about the size of a large dog and kinda act like them too! It's really fun to spot the deer. Mama and I always try to pet one but the dadster and sis don't think it's such a great idea. No fun I tell ya!

New Twist on an Old Tradition: Shopping

I know what you are thinking? Really how can you put a twist on shopping? Well you can shop on "island time" for "island" themed gifts? The ladies set aside one day before Christmas to go shopping in the Keys. We go from Marathon to Key Largo, back to Marathon. Unlike Indiana, the open/close times written on the store's doors are just suggestions of when they might be there. A guesstatmation if you will. Also, have you ever seen this shopping in Indiana?

A giant crustation! I haven't

New Tradition: Santa Claus Caravan. A little unknown fact, Santa lands in the Keys first. Before he makes his way across the rest of the United States, he grabs Mrs. Claus for an island party. 

The locals grab their ugly sweaters and load up on a vintage (LOVE VINTAGE) firetruck. With Christmas music playing on the loud speakers, Santa and the Mrs. make their way all around the island spreading cheer. Lucky for Mrs. Claus this is her last stop. She gets to give Santa a kiss and send him on his way to give gifts to all the good little girls and boys. But don't worry. 

She has cocktails waiting for him when he finally makes it back to the island for his well deserved vacation!

Merry Christmas from the U family in the Keys!

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