Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Live from Anna Maria Island!

it's the Dancing Pig Road Show!
That's right folks, we've slunk off to the Gulf Coast of Florida to lick our wounds in sunnier climes. We're bruised, burnt out and heartsore but we're still trying to carry on.
We'd planned this sojourn in early September, when both of our beloved dogs were still alive and well and we couldn't back out. How does the song go? "Can't turn back and you can't stand still and if the thunder don't get you the lightning will" Well, we decided to run away from the thunder and lightning. At least for two weeks.
We came down here to do the Sarasota Medieval Faire. It's a two weekend, 2nd year show that we knew practically nothing about other than it was in Florida & we had been pre-approved as crafters. It was pretty cheap fee wise and came at a time when we could use a vacation, so we went for it.

We booked ourselves into a great hotel that we'd found when we crashed a family reunion two years ago (long story condensed: my brother in law's family live down here, we came down and stayed with sis, bro-in-law, niece and nephew when they were down for Grandpa's 60th or 70th birthday). The hotel is only a block from the beach on an awesome island and best of all, they welcome pets. So, we figured, hey, tax deductible vacation. Come down, do the show on the weekends, lounge on the beach during the week, what's not to like?!

Then, dog tragedy stuck, twice in 6 weeks. We were stunned and numb, but carried on. We loaded ourselves and our new and now only dog up and hit the road, in search of money and healing on the beach.

Lucky for us, our new dog, Budgth, is very much a road hound. Here she is, the queen of our caravan:

Not so much with the money. The show was full of great folks and we made some new friends and good contacts, but not very much money. No alcohol at the show made for lots of "Looky Lous" and not so much with the "wrap it up i'll take its"

The first weekend, we set up under some beautiful trees, covered in spanish moss. It was very picturesque, but also very much out of the way. Here's a snap of the booth on the first weekend:

Great neighbors. Beautiful scenery. No customers. Or at least, hardly any foot traffic.
We moved our tent from the back end of the faire into a more central spot for the 2nd weekend and that helped, but it was still a marginal show for us money wise.

Still, we've had a conversion experience and are currently-- not sure if you'd call it brainstorming or daydreaming, but either way, spending alot of time scheming about ways to become snowbirds & spend most of February and March down here on the gulf coast, selling pottery and leather and hiding out from the cold and rain. We even went window shopping for a new trailer: a 'toy box' which is basically an RV and cargo trailer combined. We figure it would save us on the hotel bills... that's our story anyway. Wouldn't it be cool to have all the comforts of an RV and still be able to haul our stock and setup with us?!? And the one we looked at was only 23K! A bargain at half the price! OK, so it'll be awhile before we can afford one of those suckers, but it was fun to dream...

I think we're a little young to become snowbirds, but heck, if youth is wasted on the young i guess the opposite applies: retirement is wasted on the old. We're thinking you don't have to be 70 and wealthy to be a snowbird. I'm even toying with the idea of taking up a supplemental craft that i can do 'on the road' so i don't have to come back to the studio and kilns to make more stock. I'm thinking either knitted wool socks &/or maybe funky painted chairs and tables and beaded jewelry... or cool/ funky dog leashes and collars-- that would combine D's leatherwork and my general weirdness... anyway, that's what happens to me when i spend the better part of two weeks goofing off in the sub-tropical sun.

When i got here last week, i was all mocking about the folks down here: "They're either old or drunk or both. And litterbugs. These people are filthy!" (there is alot more trash down here than i see in either WVa or Maryland). "And weather wimps! Everyone has their panties in a bunch and their winter woollies on because it's going down to 50 degrees tonight!"

In my defense, it did get colder this second week. And downright windy. There were even some respectable waves. Here's a cool pic of the sunset on a very blustery day:

Well, you can guess what happened. This week i'm in Walmart looking for long sleeved shirts and warm socks cause it's getting COLD at night. Heck, it's gonna be 50 tonight! How quickly we adjust. I just hope i can adjust back, cause we're going home to my valley tomorrow morning and the projected high for Thursday is 43 degrees. That's the HIGH! Wailee, wailee wailee! How will i manage?!

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