By The Bartender, PubClub.com Roving Party Animal
The dude’s name is Hayney, he’s got a convertible, a locals knowledge of the Florida Keys and more Jimmy Buffett music than probably The Man himself.
Add to the fact that Hayney can load up a cooler the way my mother can pack car, and I was in business for my first visit to Cayo Hueso, as the Cubans call Key West.
If fact, it was Hayney, along with his buddy Laz that in essence created the very first PubClub.com trip (before the Internet came along). A couple of friends were headed down A1A to Key West and Hayney and Laz put together the now-famous (at least to us) “Killer Key West Itinerary.”
It included a stop-by-stop drive down U.S. Highway 1 from the beginning of the Florida Keys south of Miami all the way to the Conch Republic. The details were so fine it included the best place for not only the “Pain in the Ass” drinks but for beer huggies. Once in Key West, it featured the finest in bars, cuisine and good times.
That awesome itinerary soon became “the bible” for friends and friends of friends visiting Key West, and now I was about to experience it first-hand.
My excuse was St. Patrick’s Day and Hayney was taking me to a pub crawl. It was at this event the previous year where he met his girlfriend, Mary, while both were walking across Duval Street on their hands and knees in a desperate attempt to get from the Hog’s Breath to Sloppy Joe’s.
The drive from Hayney’s home in West Palm Beach, took the usual eight hours as we made all the necessary stops along the way.
We arrived not by accident but by design at sunset. Key West, for those of you unfortunate enough not to know, celebrates sunsets the way the rest of the world celebrates New Year’s Eve. It’s a festival full of street performers, bands and thousands of revelers. We watched it from the deck of our suite at the Ocean Key House, Key West’s premier hotel.
From there, Hayney and Mary put a concert ticket in one of my hands and a rum drink in another and took me outside. We went to see The Radiators, a New Orleans institution that happened to be playing in a lagoon that appeared to be straight out of Gilligan’s Island. This, I deduced, was The Life.
Later that evening, we visited all the local haunts. I somehow wound up on the other side of the island not to return back until about 6 in the morning. Three hours later, Hayney and Mary awoke me to, you guessed it, start drinking.
Soon enough, it was full steam ahead at the pub crawl and by the time we headed for Sloppy Joe’s I fully understood how it was that Hayney and Mary resorted to the hands and knees method of making it to the plac.
Now THAT’s what I call a Pub Crawl!
Next stop on the Party Bus: Bars & Nightlife PubClubbing!
PubClub.com covers nightlife, bars, festivals and party events around the world. The Bartender has been to Key West many times.