Saturday, July 19th – Part One
It’s my birthday!
Sweet and wonderful Frank took the girls for an early morning walk so that I could sleep in. I woke up to find that thoughtful and beautiful Hope bought doughnuts and muffins for breakfast. I opened super birthday presents while we enjoyed our lazy Saturday morning and then we put a stop to the laziness and got ready for the good times! First thing, first – off to Key West’s own Butterfly Museum. A nice museum man told us all sorts of stuff about some scary big moths and how moths differ from butterflies – a learning experience for all!
We ate lunch at Caroline’s – my favorite Key West restaurant. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their HUGE meals and cleaned their plates. During lunch, due to some heckling from the rest of the gang, it occurred to Mike M. and I that it was probably time to complete another item on the list. Yes, you guessed it – it was Naked Margarita Time.
For those of who don’t know the details of this particular ridiculousness, I’ll explain. One of my unfinished 30-before-30 list items was to drink naked margaritas. There is a clothing-optional bar there, on Duval Street called the Garden of Eden where I’d never been, but had always heard about and this seemed like the sort of adventurous thing that a 30th birthday called for. I didn’t want to embark on this adventure alone, (goodness knows what sorts of crazies would pray on a lonesome naked gal) but unfortunately most of my traveling companions politely declined the invitation. Fortunately for me, Mike M. is a handsome single man who is game for just about anything, and he thought it seemed like the sort of craziness he was eager to participate in. Back to the story…
Mike M. and I headed to the restroom at Caroline’s to take one last look at “ourselves” to make sure that we were “show ready” if you will… (and we will). We were as ready as we were going to get (which really means that our stomachs had started to rumble and we were really beginning to freak out). We’d left the bill for the rest of the gang (aka: the non-participants) and walked quickly and frantically to the Garden of Eden. We agreed that we just had to do it, get there and get it done, so that we wouldn’t chicken out. We marched into the bar and up the stairs. The Garden of Eden (the bar, not the original biblical version) is on the roof, so we walked up one flight of stairs and concerned and confused, realized that it wasn’t the roof. Have no fear though, after looking around frantically, we found a flight of stairs and a sign so we timidly climbed another flight, finding ourselves on the roof. We knew right away that we were in the right place because a naked man was sitting on a towel on a barstool at the bar. I didn’t look too closely, but Mike M. checked to make sure that everything was available to see, and according to him, everything was very available.
We looked around to the rest of the bar for a private place to have our margaritas and were thwarted. Oh there was a bar and probably even fixin’s for margaritas but privacy was not an option – a rooftop bar doesn’t exactly have separate sections or partitions. We counted 7 patrons along with the bartender who at this point had realized what we were there for. We were not sticking to the plan of “keeping cool” by anyone’s imagination. We were sweaty, panicky, and jumpy. The bartender (who was wearing tie-wasted pants and a string bikini) told us that there were showers in case we were interested (something I rudely dismissed) and told us that we could take off as much or as little as we wanted to. She’d figured us out. I had a nasty case of the dry mouth syndrome, because as most of you know I’m a little chatty and usually this would give me the perfect opportunity to share our plan, making it a funny story, and win her over… but I didn’t want to win her over. I didn’t want her to remember us, or even pay any special attention to us, but our fidgety, frantic nature was taking priority and that seemed like an unlikely objective. Mike M. pointed out a piece of railing and palm tree to be our designated drinking location and we ordered. I asked for 2 margaritas on the rocks (since the urgency of our slurping would rule out the frozen sort – no one wants an ice cream headache), when our string bikini’d bartender told us that the two-for-one margaritas were on downstairs. We giggled and said that we were in the right place and just wanted two of her special rooftop margaritas – which she informed us had been called the best on the island (again, not something we wanted to hang around to find out about, but I digress). We headed to our selected slice of banister and got to business. I started to take off my watch, jewelry, and glasses. Mike M. took his top layer shirt (because boys in Florida should rarely wear one layer for fear of the sweaty monster within) and gave me a frantic “you’d better start taking something real off” look when I told him that if I were to take ANY clothes off, private moments would be shared, which was not the case for him in his layered glory so I was merely pacing myself. In a moment, he was down to his underoos so it was time for me to remove something meaningful and in the attempt to do so I got stuck inside my shirt when trying to do a tricky bra-tshirt combination of removal… I stopped being fancy, as did Mike M. and we just pulled it all off.
That’s when we’re fairly sure that we heard cheering, and hooting from the bar. We didn’t look around though, because we had an unspoken agreement to look straight ahead – at each other’s faces only – and drink, drink, drink! We only had to stay naked as long as there was margarita to drink so drink we did! In unison, at some point during our frantic slurping we both realized how much nicer it was there, in no clothes with a cool drink and the lovely breeze, than it had been all day in our sticky clothes two stories down. We giggled about it a little and then Mike M. said “Time to drink”! So we wrapped up our glasses of tequila and hurriedly put our damp clothes back on. Our seven-minutes in hell was finally over! We turned around to find the bartender cheering and waving her girls around eagerly as she’d freed them from their bikini’d harnesses by wrapping the little bit of fabric around her ladies as if it were acting as border to her gal-parts. Priceless. I’m glad I tipped her $5 as anything less than that would be seen as an insult for the “show” we subsequently received! As we were rushing to get down the stairs and appreciate the conversations that we were trying to evacuate from a big handsome man stopped us to thank us for our big reveal and tell us that it was the best 5 minutes of his day.
That’s a compliment I’ll take to the bank!