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Key West

Getting to the Keys

In just a couple of weeks, it will have been ten years since my first trip to Key West. I will, of course, be celebrating that tenth anniversary by spending even more time in the Keys than I ever have on a single trip.

(You can listen to my song, “Living Key West,” while reading this. Just click the link.)

Southernmost - beautiful beach!

Southernmost – beautiful beach!

As part of my preparations this year, I’m rereading the book that probably did the most, after years of Buffett music, to get my fundament out of its comfortable rut here in the Bay Area and on a plane to south Florida. The book is titled Callahan’s Key, by Spider Robinson, a somewhat wacky romp by a loose “tribe” of individuals, formerly the clientele of Callahan’s Place, formerly the clientele of Mary’s Place, sick and tired of Long Island, who caravan to Key West to open up a bar and get telepathic in the hopes of saving the Universe. The back cover calls it an “improbable tale of impending doom, a road trip, space, drugs, and rock ‘n roll.”

Oh, and they all tell puns.

I’m not making any of this up.

As a writer, Spider has been influenced by the likes of Robert A Heinlein and John D. MacDonald, among many others. His descriptions and characters draw you in and keep you reading, even when you’re not entirely sure what’s going on. This book introduced me to the Keys, to Key West, and to some of the fascinating places there – Schooner Wharf, Mallory Square, and more. And motivated me to go *see* these places for myself.

So I did. :)

And over the years, I’ve collected my own share of pictures and stories about being in the Keys.

Picture of sunset at Mallory Square

Sunset at Mallory Square

This is the way I want to go to work every day.

This is the way I want to go to work every day.

Reef them sails before we capsize!

Even the cloudy days are beautiful.

Ten years of memories…and more to be made! :)

So this year I’m arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on 10/26. Yes, I’ll miss Fantasy Fest again. So it goes. Instead of racing to get to Key West like I have the past few years – needed to make the trip quickly in order to make gigs – I’m taking my time. I’ll spend two days traveling the 160 or so miles from FLL to Mile Zero, checking out places I’ve never been before, taking pictures, making memories. I’m hoping that Eric Stone will have his new bar, Dockside, open by the time I get there on the 27th; if not, I can always hang out at the Sunset Grill. Or both – I’ll have the time. :)

My “big gig” of the week is Monday night in Key West at the Rum Barrel. It’s my second year there, which is another first for me. I’ve got a four-hour set starting at 7, I’ll have Allen “Frankendread” Holland playing steel pan with me, and I know that a few of my musical friends will be stopping by to play a few.

I’ve got a show at Green World Gallery on Thursday at 2:30, will be in Key West Chris‘ showcase at Durty Harry’s sometime after that, and will otherwise be roaming the island with my guitar, hopefully playing a few songs here and there.

As well as getting off the beaten track every now and then to recharge and maybe write something new.

I bid farewell to Key West on Monday the 4th, and fly home on Tuesday the 5th.

There and back again, ten years after my first trip.

Should be fun.

Hunting the Sunset

Tonight I fed my soul.

I can’t speak for anybody else, really, but I know that my soul tends to need feeding on a regular basis. There’s a lot of stressors structured into the society I live in that suck out soul-stuff on a daily basis; if I don’t renew that, I get cranky, and start to forget the important stuff, like sunsets and loving myself enough to take time to enjoy them.

There’s somewhat of a universal appeal to a sunset, it seems. Tonight, for example, I went to what I think is part of Marina Park in San Leandro, about fifteen minutes from where I live. There’s a peninsula separating the marina from the Bay, with a fair bit of parking along the breakwater. It’s an easy destination for me, and for others.

Tonight, I heard at least two languages other than English out there, and saw folks from a number of different social, economic, and ethnic “communities” here. I saw people in tattered denim; I saw one foursome in formal wear. Each and every one of them went out of their way to come down by the water’s edge to watch the sun go down over the Peninsula.

In Key West, they’ve made sunset a celebration. They have jugglers, musicians, one guy who’s trained his cats to jump through hoops, dancers, and the occasional fire eater. And when the last edge of the sun disappears below the horizon, or below Tank Island (Sunset Key)…people applaud and cheer.

I was the only person who applauded tonight at San Leandro Marina, but that’s cool.

Just being by the water calms me. It was near low tide tonight, so the water was *way* out. The wind was almost calm; the water was almost glass-like. I also like the sound of waves slapping against the shore, but that wasn’t part of tonight’s symphony.

Picture of approaching sunset

Sunset Coming Soon

Advice for the Would-Be Sunset Hunter

I highly recommend showing up early. There are plenty of resources online and smart phone apps that will tell you what time sunset occurs where you are; look this stuff up ahead of time. If you plan to show up a half hour before actual sunset, this is enough time for you to really “arrive,” to let go of any stress you might have had about getting there in time, and if you take pictures or want to set up a folding chair, to figure out where you want to be and get settled there.

Another sunset picture

Low tide at San Leandro Marina – taken while waiting for sunset

Some clouds are good. Clouds are the stuff that the reddening light of the setting sun will color. A few strategically-placed clouds will turn an “ordinary” sunset into a spectacular one. If there are no clouds, you’ll still see a great sunset, but the truly photogenic ones have some high clouds in them.

I use my iPhone to take pictures. I have friends who use fancy cameras. They get better pictures. I get pictures that are still pretty spectacular. Use what you have. If you have a smartphone, try using the HDR setting on your cam software, or download an HDR app. This will take two pictures at different exposures and combine them. This can compensate for the sun’s glare, at least until the sun has gone down, and brings back other details in your pictures. Sometimes you get weird “ghosting” effects in an HDR picture, but if you’re digital, you can always delete it. :)

Roughly the same as the first sunset picture, with HDR

Up until the sun starts to cross the horizon, all the interesting stuff to look at and photograph is what’s around you – if you’re by the water, maybe the birds or boats are doing something interesting. I got a picture or two of a blimp tonight, which was in the air as a camera platform for the 49ers game at Candlestick. I could see the lights at the ‘Stick from my vantage point.

Contrails make a nice composition touch

Don’t look directly at the sun! You’ll go blind. Look off to one side or the other, or through the viewfinder of your camera/phone.

I take a bunch of pictures while the sun is crossing the horizon, trying to capture the exact moment of sunset. If I’m someplace like Key West, where I can see the sun crossing into the sea, I’m still hoping to see and get a picture of the “green flash.” When I’m by the Bay, I can’t see that of course – the sun disappears over the hills, and isn’t low enough to give me that view. But as I’ve written elsewhere…the sunset is still worthwhile. :)

Once the sun has set…wait. Keep watching. This is when the sky starts to turn interesting colors, especially if there are clouds. This stage of sunset can last another half hour or more, and is well worth sitting through. You can get a hint of what the clouds nearer the west will do by occasionally looking east – the colors will show up in the east first, and then travel across the sky with the Earth’s shadow.

Half an hour after sunset – worth waiting for!

If you’re taking pictures, rotate the camera from time to time – take some shots “portrait” and some “landscape.” You never know what’ll look great later.

After the red part of sunset starts to fade, you’re probably done taking pictures. Kick back and watch the sky for as long as you like before heading in.

I hope you enjoy many sunsets!

 

Packing for Paradise

As I write this, I’m three point something days away from hopping a Southwest flight, on my first leg of a weeklong trip to the Conch Republic, mka Key West. Hurricane Sandy is very considerately staying out of my way, so I expect a safe and relatively uneventful flight east, followed by a lovely if not leisurely drive down Highway 1 on Monday.

What does one pack for a trip like this? In his book “A Pirate Looks at Fifty,” Mr. Buffett devotes an entire chapter to talking about all the cool goodies he packed his seaplane with for that particular trip. It was an entertaining read.

I, however, don’t have an entire aircraft at my disposal. I get two bags, plus the guitar in its case and my “portable office” shoulder bag. And I have to keep each bag under 50 pounds, or a) Southwest will charge me a small fortune for the privilege of hauling it for me and b) I will hurt myself trying to schlep it. Until I have a significant fraction of Mr. Buffett’s money, that’s how it’ll have to be.

So…what *does* one take, on a week-long journey to Paradise? I’ll spare you the details of the entire list, but share some highlights:

Guitar case – I take the soft case with shoulder straps; on Southwest, I can carry it on-board and put it in an overhead bin:

  • Guitar – Martin HD-28V, my “go to” guitar since roughly 2004
  • Spare strings
  • 1/4″ coax cable to plug into someone else’s amp, for when I need to do that
  • Songs I’m learning, in case I feel like dragging something out that ain’t completely baked
  • Capos – the regular full-neck version, and the “short cut” capo I use on “Green Flash.” I’ll eventually write and/or cover more songs that use it, maybe re-learning “Piece of Work.”

“Portable office:” CDs to sell, stickers and sampler CDs to hand out, sign-up sheets for my newsletter, coasters, pens, Sharpies, CD opener, Square widget for my cell phone, mini recorder(s), change envelope for events where someone else is selling my stuff. Paperwork folder – air reservations, hotel reservations, car reservations, parking coupon, MOTM confirmation for my membership, printed schedules. (Yes, I’m old-school about that. And in the habit of marking up the printed copy with where I have to be and where I want to try to be.) Music journal, because I always write something new while I’m in the Keys.

It will also contain my iPad. This will be my third trip without a laptop. I can do pretty much everything I *need* to do with just the iPad, and they don’t make you take it out of the bag going through airport security.

Merch bag: New for this trip, this will hold T-shirts, swag, and probably some CDs. It’s a rolling duffle from LL Bean in a Hawaiian shirt print; it should be impossible to miss coming off the baggage conveyor. I won’t put anything in here that can be broken. I *might* pack some costuming in, as I’ll be in Key West for Halloween.

Suitcase:

  • Clothes for a week. I expect to do laundry sometime around Saturday, so I don’t have to carry clothes for the duration. There’s a great laundromat on White Street that has a Cuban deli attached; they make a decent Cubano sandwich. Clothes will mostly be Hawaiian shirts, 1-2 pair of shorts, and a waterproof windbreaker in case it decides to rain.
  • Pills and remedies. I ain’t twenty-something no more, so I schlep along the stuff I need to stay healthy and comfortable while I’m away. Also toiletries, sunscreen, similar stuff.
  • More CDs and/or shot glasses. This trip, I need to give out some of the extra “goodies” that people who supported my new album on Kickstarter get. And I might sell a few shot glasses along the way; they’re kinda cool. These go in the suitcase, so that Southwest has a harder time breaking them. :)
  • Headset mic and cabling. I *think* I’ll have what I need everyplace I’m gigging this time. But just in case, I want to be prepared. I don’t need the rest of the portable PA, which has its own suitcase, but I’m going to take the mic.
  • Ear plugs. I need to preserve what little of my hearing is left, and some of the music is *loud*.
  • SunPass transponder (Yes, I got one!), maps of FL and the Keys.
  • Possibly an insulated cup to carry my own potables in.
  • Hat, to keep sun and/or rain off my face.
  • Power cord(s) – to recharge my iDevices, mostly.

It’s not an exhaustive list…but some items just really aren’t “need to know” for the Internet. :)

Taking it on the Road

I’m going to be a bit busy with travel the next few months. Well, actually with travel *and* working on my upcoming album *and* the 97 other things that make up a Life. :) But I’m really excited today about my upcoming trips.

May 17-20: Phins to the West, Laughlin NV

This just in: I’m performing on the Horizon stage (at Registration) on Friday 5/18 at 2:30 PM. If you’re out at PTTW, I hope you’ll stop by. It’s a short set, so it’ll be all-originals, and I’m thinking of weighing it a bit heavily on new material.

PTTW is one of the big West Coast Phlockings that happens every year. It attracts some extremely talented musicians and a whole lot of fun people. It’s at the AVI Casino and resort, right on the Colorado River at the pointy end of Nevada. I’m looking forward to a good time.

June 13-18: Meet Me in the Keys mini-tour, Key Largo to Key West

This is part of what I love about my weekend job. I get to go to the Florida Keys twice a year on business.

The Coconut Castaways, Howard Livingston’s fan club, has an annual weekend-long party in Key West. This year, they’ve invited me to join them and make some music. Being no fool, I accepted. I’ll be playing for them on Wednesday night, and then wandering around town doing my usual two-songs-here, three there thing the rest of the time if I can find friends who’ll share their stage. I’m still hoping for a house concert or some such in the Upper Keys on Sunday; if you want to help make that happen, give me a call.

This will be the first time I’ll be in Key West with some actual time to kick back. If you’re going to be there, let’s get together and have drinks somewhere.

July 4-8: Upstate NY – Trop Starz & Tiki Barz mini-tour

The third trip of my summer touring trifecta comes to my old stomping grounds of upstate NY on the Fourth of July. Anchoring this trip will be my appearance at Trop Starz & Tiki Barz, a Phlocking in Binghamton, NY. This will be another fun, fine event with lots of excellent live music. I’m still available for other shows on July 5 and July 8, anywhere within a couple of hours of Binghamton and preferably not more than a half-dozen hours out of my likely flight hub of Buffalo.

Three trips, time spent with friends and fun people listening to excellent music, and making a bit of it myself. All of it coming up in the next couple of months!

I hope to see you somewhere on the road!

New Album Update – “Of All the Rum Joints…”

Cover for "Of All the Rum Joints..." - new albumI’ve been working hard with producer Kevin Johnston and with artists Dave Daily and Albert Hinojosa, and some of the early bits of this new album are starting to fall into place.

The title, as you may have heard, will be “Of All the Rum Joints…” It’s my fifth album, and the second on which I’ve used a song lyric for the title.

Albert is responsible for the new Cafe Tropicale logo, visible in a slightly altered form in the album cover graphic. Dave took that logo and some other bits of guidance from me and created this way-cool cover concept. They’ve both done excellent work so far. Dave is also working on a couple of T-shirt ideas for me right now.

Another bit of trivia: Partly by design and partly by happenstance, I do album covers that alternate having and not having my picture on them. So albums 1, 3, 1nd 5 (this one) have my picture on the front; 2 and 4 do not. So the odds are good that the eventual album six won’t either. But as I haven’t even finished this album yet, I’m not making too many plans that far ahead. :)

Meanwhile, Kevin and I have approximately finalized the song list for this one. There will be eleven original songs and two covers. The covers will be a reggae version of John Denver’s classic “Sunshine on my Shoulders” and my own interpretation of an old Doors tune, “Moonlight Drive.”

Here’s a list of the other songs on the album. The links, where provided, are to “snapshot in time” and “homebrew” versions; the songs have continued to evolve, and will likely be different on the album. But still worth listening to.

  • Green Flash” – upbeat and using an alternate guitar tuning, this is a song about watching sunsets for that elusive and rare atmospheric phenomenon known as a “green flash.” And it’s about the journey being as important as the destination. Stuff like that.
  • Looking at You” – A few months back, I realized that the song “Margaritaville” and the movie Casablanca pretty much had the same premise – boy meets girl, girl dumps boy, boy goes someplace with palm trees to drink it off. Which may be powerful, but isn’t very empowering. So I wrote this song, which is really “Margaritaville” meets “How Do You Like Me Now?” It provides the album title and theme.
  • “Voodoo Lounge” – I’ve written earlier about this song, which has undergone some revision since the earlier version I posted about. We’ll be going musically to some of the less savory corners of New Orleans to flesh this one out.
  • Fly Away” – This was inspired by a couple of other songs, that I won’t name here. It’s upbeat and lively and hopeful, because I think we all need that to look forward to every now and then.
  • “One More Rum” – This song took shape one day as I was contemplating one of the Greatest Lies in the World – “C’mon, man, we’re only going to have one more round and then we can go home.” Never happens. It’s becoming the signature “last song of the night” when I play, and will be the last song on the album.
  • “Pontiac Motel” – This song has no beaches, no boat drinks, and no bars in it. I’ve had the title kicking around in my “hook book” for at least five years. It’s really a counterpoint in some ways to everything else I write – we fantasize about walking away from our jobs now and then, but there’s an entire class of people who don’t have jobs – the homeless – who probably fantasize about having lives like the ones we fantasize about escaping from. And if your employer were bought out tomorrow, or went out of business, or just decided, “hey, let’s let a bunch of people go,” how many paychecks are *any* of us away from living on the streets?
  • Island Moonlight” – Everyone loves being in love…right? But even the best romance has its bad days, and sometimes you question whether it’s all going to work out. In this song it does, thanks to the magic of island moonlight.
  • “Way Out” – In addition to an interesting play on words in chorus, this song is going to put the “rock” in “trop rock.” Really. I was stretching my writing skills in a particular direction, and this is what emerged.
  • “Somewhere, Someday” – One man’s dream of Paradise.
  • “Tropical Therapy” – Because I’d been trying hard *not* to write Yet Another Margaritaville Near-Clone for many years, and realized that I’d succeeded. So, having proved I could write nearly everything else, I proved I could write this too.
  • Living Key West” – One of my friends is musician Howard Livingston, who posts about his carefree, happy life in the Florida Keys. A lot. Some might even say to excess. I say it’s easy to live on Key West Time when you’re in the keys; it’s a bit more of a challenge for those of us in the “upper 48.” But it can be done, and this song is about how I do it. Any resemblance between my song and Howie’s is out of love, done with his blessing, and as far as I can tell, doesn’t cross any legally bad lines anyway.

Living my Bliss – What I Did on my Vacation

(Yes, the title of this post is a tribute to post-summer essays from my childhood. My vacations have improved somewhat since then.)

I’ve now been home almost a week from this year’s Key West vacation at Meeting of the Minds (MOTM). It’s a working vacation for me, because I need to be out performing, networking, and otherwise promoting myself as a Trop Rock artist. So there’s always this inner conflict going on between “need to be at X event(s)” and “want to sit by the water and do nothing.”

This year I made sure to do some of both. I was going eight days in a row partying, and I knew that if I didn’t pace myself, I’d never make it through. So I did, and I did, and my voice was in better shape on my second Monday than on my first as a result.

I did get out to play in quite a few places, and you can see a lot of the pictures on my Facebook pages. I played with and around a bunch of my fellow Trop Rockers, and had something I was invited to play at every day this year – a first.

Here’s a partial list of the cool and talented folks who either invited me to gig with them, or whom I actually did gig with: Captain Josh Ramsteck, Chris Sacks, Dusty and Barry of the Conch Fritters, Gary PhillipS, Barbara Smith and Scott Paulsen, John Friday, and the good folks at BeachFront Radio. Thank you, one and all, for inviting me to be part of your party.

I also wrote drafts for two new songs down there, one more than usual. :)

Even cooler than that: I’ve been doing a lot of spiritual work the past year around embodying and manifesting bliss in my daily life. It’s easy to be blissful, driving through the Keys and looking at the gorgeous scenery. Something I consciously focused on this year was drinking in all that natural beauty and the magnificently-elated mood I’m in when I’m down there and “storing” it inside me. Now that I’m home, all I have to do is remember one or more of those really cool, magical moments when I could look out at the water or breathe the air, and no matter what’s going on, I feel better. And I’m still smiling about 95% of the time.

My friend Howard Livingston calls that “Living on Key West Time.” I call it “Island Standard Time.” It’s the same thing no matter what you call it – remembering what it’s like to be in that beautiful place, surrounded by several thousand of your closest friends, excellent music, good booze, and spectacular scenery, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Heck; I’m even smiling my way through rush hour traffic.

If you were down there too, try that the next time you’re faced with something that’s been stressful for you in the past. If you weren’t down there, remember the last really wonderful and blissful time you had, breathe that in, and remember it when things threaten to get a bit shitty. What’s the worst that can happen?

If I were Jimmy Buffett

It’s funny…I was originally thinking that I’d be writing some travelogue-style posts about my Keys “working vacation.” And I might still do that. However, in the process of taking some down time tonight, away from the hustle and bustle of Duval Street and the Casa Marina, I started pondering something very different.

For those who are just tuning in and haven’t been following the whole thing on Facebook, I’m at the Meeting of the Minds in Key West – an annual convention/festival/party for Parrotheads. It’s the twentieth annual such event, and the ninth that it’s been my privilege to attend. Hopefully I’ll also have some reflections later on how my participation here as a musician has evolved over the years, but that’s also a topic for another time.

The perennial rumor is that “Buffett’s going to be here.” We hear it every year. Generally, the expected time is one show or another featuring many of the Coral Reefers, members of his band. The last time he actually *did* show up was in 2004. It was a memorable year for me, for multiple reasons. The Buffett show at the Casa during a Peter Mayer concert was one of those reasons.

This year, there has been a last-minute scheduling shift on Friday afternoon for the Street Fest on Duval right outside the Margaritaville. The new schedule lists Mac MacAnally and a “Surprise Guest” to do a show around Mac’s new album. Several other major programming items were timeshifted to make room for this. So if Jimmy’s going to show up this year, this makes sense as one possible time. Then again, Mac knows everyone in Nashville, so we could get anyone from Zac Brown to Kenny Chesney.

And on Saturday, all of the Coral Reefers – except Ralph Macdonald, who’s had some health issues – will be doing a show at the Casa. It’s another possible time for Jimmy to show.

Personally, I think he could show at one, both, or neither. But if *I* were Jimmy, let me tell you what *I’d* do:

I *might* show up at both. It’d be a zoo, but the Key West PD and con security could probably handle it. But where I *would* show up would be the Trop Rock Music Awards on Friday night. I’d show up to encourage all of the new artists doing their (okay, our) best to create new stuff based on the inspiration of Mr. Buffett and others. I would at least stop by, give a short talk and present an award or two, and maybe arrange to meet all the award nominees personally, just to give them some encouragement from the Head Parrot. I’d do it just because it’s the right thing to do, and because other than paying some extra money for security – which I, as Mr. Buffett, would certainly have in my other pair of pants – what would it really cost me? A day away from fishing and flying?

As the TRMAs aren’t that heavily-attended, he could attend without being horribly mobbed, at least initially. And as the word spread across the island, it would bring more people to the TRMAs, which would be worthy.

(Note: Despite much effort on my part and a great song originally in contention, I’m not an award nominee, and wouldn’t get to meet Jimmy as part of this. I still think it’d be a good idea.)

Don’t get me wrong. Jimmy doesn’t “owe” us anything. He’s produced some great music, which we’ve taken as inspiration to do other great music. He’s helped instigate some good community service among the Parrothead Nation. That’s all he has had to do, and he’s been compensated for that. He doesn’t have to do anything more.

But it would sure be a kick if he *did*.

I’m just sayin’.

My MOTM 2011 Schedule

On the road to Key West:

  • Sun 10/30, 3-9 PM: Freaky Tiki Party, Ft. Myers – with Jimi Pappas, John Friday, Tiki Thom, others
  • Mon 10/31 – Tues 11/1 (all day): Pit Stop Party, MM101, Key Largo – with Captain Josh and a cast of many as they pass through

In Key West:

  • Wed 11/2, 4 PM: BeachFront Radio “Welcome to Key West” Party – Southernmost at the Beach. Part of a full lineup of Trop Rockers.
  • Friday between 11 AM-2 PM: Jimi Pappas & Friends, Green World Gallery
  • Sat 11/5, 1-2 PM: Green World Gallery, 712B Duval St. – Solo show

Other possible appearances:

  • Thursday between 2-5: Kelly McGuire’s songwriter showcase, Lighthouse Ct.
  • Thursday between 12-4: Chris Sachs & Friends, Captain Tony’s

Are you having a party in Key West during MOTM? Want some music? Call me – 510-821-1812. Have guitar, will bring fun.

I’ll be appearing in other places, both with and without my guitar. To find out where I am in realtime & hear about some of the cool stuff happening during MOTM: Follow @lorendavidson on Twitter.

Congratulations, “Popcorn” Jack Terry!

One of my Key West friends just got a cool new gig.

His name is Jack Terry, and for the past few months he’s been in competition to become Tommy Bahama‘s new rumologist. You can read the announcement here.

Jack is very nice people. He’s a bartender, of course, and an author in his Copious Free Time. I’d known him online for a while, and got to meet him back in June when I was in Key West. If anyone deserves something like this…it’s him.

I look forward to hearing the stories he’ll be able to tell by this time next year. I hope it’s a fun and worthwhile ride.

I’m featured on ConchTV!

I love getting phone calls like this.

I got a call an hour or so ago from Artist Koz, the owner of Green World Gallery in Key West. I did a solo show down there back in June, it went well, and I’m playing there again during Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) next month.

He was excited because he’d recently filmed a video with Howard Livingston about the music series he’s hosting during MOTM and he’d just seen the results. He pointed me to ConchTV’s Website, and there they were in full, glorious Key West color! And I was one of the artists discussed who is coming down to play there.

So the schedule is also posted on ConchTV’s home page right now, including my performance on Saturday, 11/5 from 1-2. If you’re going to be in Key West during MOTM, I hope you’ll stop by for my show, and wander through the gallery and see if there’s some piece of art and a few CDs that just want to follow you home.

Follow my progress from Ft. Myers to Key West and back home on my Twitter feed, @lorendavidson, or on Facebook if you’re my friend there.