After my performance at Dulci-More 13 in Lisbon, I watched some of Four Shillings Short's set and then said my goodbyes and began the trek back towards Florida. In the middle of a rainstorm. Taking the backroad trip suggested by MapQuest, it took only a couple of hours before my eyes began closing and it became apparent that a stop-over would be happening sooner than later. I hate driving at night anyway - but I wanted to expedite the process in order to get home in decent time. We had a new member of the family to pick up before heading down to Key West.
I stopped over at a Best Western, uploaded the latest Dulcimerica Video Podcast, checked some e-mail and then got a decent night's sleep before heading out on the road the next day. Smooth sailing on Memorial Day - with only a ticket in West Virginia to dampen my spirits (I still call bullshit on that ticket, but contesting it from Florida would be a chore.)
Making pretty good time, I arrived home and fell into the arms of my loving wife, made time with our cats and switched out dirty laundry for clean clothes. We'd be up early to go pick up our new doggie. Jae had seen her on Craig's List - a full-blood border collie that had been rescued from a shelter where she was scheduled to be put down in a week. A couple had taken her home, not wanting to see that happen to her, but had too many dogs themselves - so this would be her second placement. When we got to their house - she ran out to meet us, no signs of mistreatment or fear. We decided to call her Bella Dolce - because she was obviously beautiful and very, very sweet.
We then proceeded to take her directly to Key West for her first big adventure. As a year-and-a-half old puppy, we're pretty sure that she hadn't yet been to the southernmost point in the United States, and was going to have a blast soaking in all the sights, smells and interactions that happen for everybody, no matter what your species.
Jae and I have been coming to Key West for six years now and it's become an annual stop to celebrate our wedding anniversary, since we got married just off the coast of the island. Every year, we have an appointment with the Schooner Liberty and we take a sail on our anniversary day. This time around, we'd be not only celebrating our wedding, but also the arrival of a new family member.
So, straight home from Ohio, and then skipping off to Key West - life will return somewhat to normal on Sunday when we return home to Orlando - where the true settling-in of Bella Dolce will commence. She still has two cats to meet and grow used to - not to mention the house and the backyard with the occasional snake sighting courtesy of Monty.
With Tropical Storm Barry providing a nice island breeze and a guaranteed tailwind home - we've got another night on the island, which will include an awesome dinner conjured by my brother-in-law George and a night of karaoke singing which will included the traditional showpiece of "Rock Lobster" performed with my sister-in-law Sheri.
I'm still in the afterglow of Dulci-More 13 and Dulcimer Days - more of that to come here and in the Dulcimerica Video Podcast.