You call it paradise, we call it outside.

Some friends and I, a hand picked crew, intend to take to the boats next month and spend 4 or 5 days on Dog Island. I feel blessed to live here in North Florida, where a few nights in paradise is not too much to ask even in the face of unemployment or thieving politicians.

For a fat man who has to wear sunblock to go look at a full moon, I'm at my happiest in or next to my Gulf of Mexico. Oh, don't get me wrong - I'm scared to death of all that's lurking beneath the waves, unseeable especially with my glasses off to swim. But I was raised on the beach, in off season cottages and meandering state park coastlines and bars with walls open to the sea where I ate maraschino cherries in the afternoon while my dad played guitar.

This is what life on the island looks like.
In this case, a half dozen of us - old salts and new fish - will load up the coolers, the jugs of water, the playing cards and toilet paper and bump across the narrow space between land and strip. We'll drive wildly through the loose sand roads to keep from bogging down, and then we'll pile out and proceed to forget what day it is.

Aside from groceries and beer and a pair of clean drawers, my packing list:
- a lifetime of pirate adventure stories
- a broken in bandanna
- a brand new belt knife, in case of whittling or attack
- 50 years of friendship, combined, with my friends
- 1000 blank white cards
- 4 novels, 2 notebooks, and a fat handful of pens

Combined with rum and canned corned beef, that should get us through.


B.E. Earl said...

Sounds like a perfect vacation. I'm headed to Key West in April for a bachelor party getaway. Annoying tourists (including my party) and strippers and Parrotheads. Always a good time, but Dog Island sounds like more my speed these days.

Have a blast!

Ms. Moon said...

Oooh. Corned beef! You just made me want either some corned beef hash or else come creamed chip beef on toast. Man. I miss that shit.
I miss the Gulf, too.
Y'all are gonna have an awesome time. I love that picture.

downtown guy said...

BE, you'd love it.

Mama, damn, now I want chipped beef on toast. How do you make that shit?

Dena said...

The title of your blog post says it all!

Lily said...

Bank I am so jealous! I wish I was not 9 months pregnant and could go have some beers on the beach with ya! Some day we will have to do that. Oh and btw they have creamed beef in the freezer section. You just make your own toast and voila! Supposed to be good too, I think Stoffers makes it.

downtown guy said...

Dena: It's amazing and I try not to take it for granted.

Lily: I wish you could go! You better not have that baby while I am gone, by the way. We should take a trip out there with the kids in a year or two. You know Owen would love it.

Magnum said...

Sounds absolutely perfect! If I'm on the water, I'll be sure to buzz the tower.

Is there any gambling involved in that card game?

downtown guy said...

Swing into port if you can find us - we're on the bay side. Mind the naked hippie guy, he's harmless.

Gambling? Yes, but only for pride.