GOODWILL GREETINGS TREATS AND TUNES
Devoted, selfless, & magnificent
PUBLISHED BY THE KEYS WEEKLY 2019
Cool stuff, dÃ©cor and more
Celebrate the holidays at
Reserve your table now for: • Christmas Eve Dinner • Christmas Day Brunch
• New Year’s Eve Dinner • New Year’s Day Brunch
Mattsstockisland.com • TEL: 305.294.3939 7001 SHRIMP RD. • KEY WEST, FL 33040
Start Planning Your
‘tis the season to sparkle With an unforgettable party at The Perry!
• Intimate Receptions to Grand Celebrations • 11 Waterfront Venues Ideal for Groups of All Sizes • Award-Winning Catering from Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar
• NEW 10,000 + Sq. Ft. of Waterfront Event Space including Lawn with Raised Stage, Poolside Bar & Grill and Second Pool
RESERVE TODAY! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 786-862-6640
Perrykeywest.com • 7001 Shrimp Road • 305-296-1717
Home for the Holidays
Coastal Holiday Decor • Furniture • Unique Gifts
From coastal ornaments to comfy couches, beautiful bedding to sea life serving ware—D’Asign Source is your one-stop shop this holiday season. Our 25,000 square foot retail showroom has everything conveniently located under one roof with a dedicated staff to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Stop in today! Architecture • Interior Design Landscape Design • Furniture & Accessories
305-743-7130 | DAsignSource.com | 11500 Overseas Hwy, Marathon | MM 53
Holiday Decor & More! Local, Fully Licensed Contractors #CGC026675, Architects #AA26001284, Interior Designers #B26000844 & Landscape Architects #LA6667217
OM T H E HA P PY H OLI DAYS F R T EA M ! S PA R K Y ’S LA ND IN G
OPEN FOR LUNCH, HAPPY HOUR & DINNER
Publisher Jason Koler email@example.com
Taste buds enter holidays | P. 22
7 DAYS A WEEK! 11AM – 10PM DAILY
VOTED BEST HAPPY HOUR 11 YEARS IN A ROW! ALSO VOTED BEST MARGARITA! OUR DOCKS ARE OPEN! COME BY BOAT, BIKE, FOOT OR CAR!
Editor Jim McCarthy firstname.lastname@example.org
SANTA AND MRS.
The man with the bag and the cookie maker | P. 22
SATURDAY & SUNDAY Regular Menu Available and BRUNCH items including Chorizo Breakfast Burrito, Guava French Toast, Crab Benedict, BOGO Mimosas & Glasses of Champagne 11am - 4pm.
SUNDAY LIVE NIGHT! MUSIC SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS
TUESDAY - FRIDAY
FRIED GREEN TOMATO B.L.T. WOOD-FIRED PIZZAS
IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON!
Managing Partner Britt Myers email@example.com
HAPPY HANNUKKAH Traditions and celebrations | P. 16
Account Executives Lesley Aaron firstname.lastname@example.org Stephanie Mitchell email@example.com Nola Acker firstname.lastname@example.org Staff Writers Sara Matthis email@example.com Mandy Miles firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Anneke Patterson email@example.com Art/Design Javier Reyes firstname.lastname@example.org Irene de Brujin email@example.com Travis Cready firstname.lastname@example.org
POPPIN’ BOTTLES Your go-to for all things champagne | P. 36
Office Manager Char Hruska email@example.com Published MMXIX Marathon 9709 Overseas Hwy. Marathon, FL 33050 p. 305.743.0844
WE WIL COOK YOUL CATCH! R FISH or LOBSTER !
www.sparkyslanding.com 305-363-2959 MM 53.5 Overseas Highway, Marathon, Florida Waterfront Location Adjacent To Holiday Inn Express
IN THE KEYS
Key West 5450 MacDonald Ave. No. 5 Key West, FL 33040 p. 305.453.6928 Upper Keys 91760 Overseas Hwy. Tavernier, FL 33070 P. 305.363.2957
MARC PLANT STORE CHRISTMAS TREE SALE
STARTS FRIDAY NOV. 29
EVERY DAY 9.00AM - 7:45PM
UNTIL EVERYTHING IS SOLD!
FRESH FRASER FIRS | LIVE HANDMADE WREATHS GARLAND | POINSETTIAS | YARD DECORATIONS GIFTS MADE BY OUR MARC FAMILY MEMBERS | WE TAKE SPECIAL ORDERS DELIVERY AVAILABLE KEY WEST UP TO KEY HAVEN
1401 SEMINARY ST | KEY WEST 305.296.9556 keysweekly.com
Amri is a full service day spa, salon, and boutique, nestled in the heart of Old Town, Key West. Pamper yourself in luxury and style. MASSAGE • HAIR • SKIN • WAX • NAILS • MAKEUP
1204 Simonton St, Key West
Painting Boot Camp with Rick Worth Paint your own masterpiece - a new Key West scene every week! Priced by the month, single sessions available.
4 MONDAYS DEC 9-30, 6-8:30PM 3 TUESDAYS DEC 3-17, 2-4:30PM & 6-8:30PM
Happy ! ys H olida one who
som ho Know paint... or w o t ? t s e it y love know doesn’t Boot Camp g Paintin great gift! a s e k ma
Sponsored by OurKeyWest 533 EATON ST 305-296-0458
IN THE KEYS
WHAT WE’RE THANKFUL FOR he passing of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie is about to come and go as we enter a December month full of celebrations from Hanukkah and Kwanza to Christmas and New Year’s. The final two months are full of family, friends, food and fun times. It’s also that time of year where we reflect on what we’re thankful for. As you look through this guide and see the treats and gifts, be sure to enjoy the holidays with those you love most.
Irene de Bruijn
Anneke Patterson Mandy Miles
Key West Weekly Account Manager Stephanie Mitchell is thankful for fantastic friends, amazing family (related and chosen), Joe & Jack Attack, her fairy godmother Emma and 18 years in paradise. Key West Weekly Editor Mandy Miles is thankful this holiday season for: Crusty baguettes, elastic waistbands, Key West’s holiday spirit, 22 years of friends who became family on an irreplaceable island and a family and husband who never let her doubt that she is loved beyond words.
IN THE KEYS
Key West Weekly Graphic Designer Irene de Bruijn is thankful for a surprise visit she had by her parents for her birthday. Having them here for the first time, meeting her Key West family, peeking into her Key West life and getting a feel for this crazy wonderful island, was the highlight of her year!
Upper Keys Weekly Account Manager Nola Acker is thankful for having a wonderful and loving husband and my two amazing kids, Sam and Anna, who make her proud of the adults they have become. And, of course, her two rescue misfits, Colada and Cortadito. Keys Weekly Production Manager Anneke Patterson is most thankful for her faith in God, her wonderful husband, TJ, their amazing children, Ariana and Evan, and very loving and supportive family and friends.
Keys Weekly Staff Writer Tiffany Duong is thankful to call the Keys her new home. “Living here in paradise, surrounded by other oceanlovers, I'm inspired every day to keep fighting the good (blue, green) fight and telling the stories that matter.”
By JIM McCARTHY
We all love those holiday classics on the radio this time of year. “Let It Snow” by Bing Crosby, “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey and “Last Christmas” by Wham come to mind as we decorate our homes, make cookies and wrap those gifts. As we ring in the holidays, make sure to throw some of the Weekly’s favorite tunes onto that holiday playlist.
1. Best be sure “Santa Claus and his Old Lady” by Cheech and Chong will be one of Publisher Jason Koler’s story tales this season.
2. “Christmas In Hollis” by RunDMC is Publisher Britt Myers’ song as he decorates the tree in his new holiday Joe Boxers, a Santa hat, sunglasses and eggnog in hand. 3. It’s hard for Keys Weekly Copy Editor Mike Howie to pick his favorite song, as he has many. Atop that list is Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band’s “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”
4. Don’t make fun of Key West Weekly Editor Mandy Miles’ love for “Do They Know It’s Christmastime?” from Band Aid. While it’s cheesy, she’s a child of the ‘80s, and she loves it. 5. Marathon Weekly Editor Sara Matthis “pa rum pum pum pums” to the tune of “Little Drummer Boy” by Bob Seger and The Bullet Band. 6. For Marathon Sales Manager Lesley Aaron, it’s “Coventry Carol.” What can we say; she’s a classically trained musician.
Open Mon-Sat 10AM-5:30PM • 305-922-2493 305 Sadowski Causeway, Key Colony Beach
Open Mon-Sat 10AM-5:30PM • 305-922-2493 303 Sadowski Causeway, Key Colony Beach
Souvenirs, Tee-Shirts, Stickers, Candles, Magnets, Home Goods, Unique Hostess Gifts, Local Art & Much, Much More! Gifts for All Occasions Free Gift Wrap
Fashion Forward Clothing & Accessories Jammed-Packed with Hip, Fun & Ready for The Sun, Bathing Suits, Rash Guards, Sundresses, Men’s Clothing & Gear; We Got Ya Covered!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS & CHEERS TO 2020! From left to right: Dr. Hector Guzman D.D.S, Dr. David McDonald D.M.D Dr. Natalia Vazquez-Marrero D.M.D and Dr. Oscar Rodriguez D.M.D
Located at 2758 N. Roosevelt Blvd. (in the Overseas Market) • Key West, FL 33040 Phone 305.294.9914 • Fax 305.295.9691 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.docguzman.com 10
IN THE KEYS
MARATHON SEAWALLS & DOCKS
Happy Holidays from the Crew at Marathon Seawalls and Docks!
Complete Marine Construction • Docks • Seawalls • Vinyl Sheets • Dredging Boulder Walls • House Foundations • Boat Lift Installation • Auger Cast Injection Piles
305.289.9393 www.marathonseawallsanddocks.com keysweekly.com
The two are some of Santa’s biggest helpers throughout the holiday season in the Keys. As co-coordinators of Florida Keys’ Toys for Tots, the drive continues to get bigger and bigger by the year. The two holiday helpers have served as co-coordinators for the past four years now. As participants in Toys for Tots locally in the past, the two have enjoyed participating in the mission to give children a Christmas that they otherwise would not have. For the two Kims, helping out Keys families is their main drive as they coordinate another year of toy collections. “It’s such a challenge to live down here in the Keys, people that make it here have to work so hard,” Bouchard said. “It’s a privilege to be able to alleviate a little of the stress for the parents and guardians and add some joy to the season for the kids. Every child deserves a Christmas. I want to encourage family registration.” In 2018, the local toy drive distributed 24,970 toys to support 12,316 children Keyswide. This year, they’re looking to top that and fill the lists for kids from Key Largo all the way down to Key West. They help to fulfill registrations for churches and a number of nonprofits as well. “Once we have the lists and piles of toys built up and bagged up, they then get transported to the fire stations,” Stevenson said. “They (the firefighters) will call people in their area and get presents. Islamorada Fire Rescue rocks it and Monroe County Fire Rescue lined up to do it. It’s a plus all around.” With the toy collections also comes the “Run for Fun,” which will see hundreds of bikers going from Gilbert’s Resort in Key Largo to Founders Park in Islamorada. Bikers not only pay a registration fee, they also bring a new, unwrapped toy. What started as a small run has grown exponentially to one of the bigger poker runs around.
“It’s the community. It’s Tavernier, Islamorada on downward. They’re rocking it,” Stevenson said. For more about Florida Keys Toys for Tots and ways to donate, visit floridakeys.toysfortots.org.
IN THE KEYS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM McCARTHY
As the ones getting the word out and moving the toys, Stevenson said it’s not just them making Christmas a memorable one for kids.
“It is one of the most gratifying events we do all year long,” said Jerry DuBois. The kids walk through the store, accompanied by a Moose member, choosing gifts. The amazing part, DuBois said, is when the kids put their own wants aside, and start buying for family members. “They end up getting something for their mother, or an older brother … it’s very touching,” he said. The Moose sets aside about $100 each for about a dozen children, and maximizes their dollars at the register with its non-profit status, and a special discount from Kmart. The Moose also adopts residents at The Heron House, a facility for adults with mental disabilities. Again, the goal is about $100 in gifts for each.
The volunteers of KAIR — Keys Area Interdenominational Resources — are a hardworking, modest group; and none more so than Phyllis Michaelis. She puts in about 40 hours a week doing whatever is needed — sorting clothes, unloading food for the pantry, or helping clients with paperwork. “One gentleman needs a birth certificate … from Japan. That’s going to take some time to figure out,” she said, smiling. But during the holidays, the group kicks into overdrive — putting together 600 holiday meals for clients. For Thanksgiving, KAIR focuses on turkey, stuffing, gravy and fresh produce. At Christmas, the focus switches to ham and all the trimmings. “We set up at Marathon Community Park and folks come by to pick up their bags,” said Michaelis.
Community service, DuBois said, is a year-round priority for the 400+ members of the local lodge and includes donations and hosting events for many causes.
Michaelis says she can’t imagine doing anything else. “I am just one of many volunteers. This is a really neat place doing neat work,” she said.
To donate, call 305-7434528 or stop by the hall at 11601 1st Ave., Gulfside, in Marathon.
To donate to KAIR, please call 305-743-4582, write a check or buy a gift card.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BARRY GAUKEL
For the past decade, members of the Marathon Moose Lodge No. 1058 have taken kids Christmas shopping at the local Kmart.
Throughout the year, Kids Come First provides new clothes, shoes, school supplies, even prom dresses for students whose families can’t afford the essentials, much less any extras. But come Christmastime, Posada moves mountains to make the magic happen. She’s in touch with every school in Monroe County, getting referrals from teachers and counselors who know which kids don’t bother with a wish list or letter to Santa. “We give the schools referral sheets and we get an adult to fill it out with the younger kids. Every kid in need gets to fill out a wish list for three or more items,” she said. “Then, I have sponsors within this amazingly generous community who get them what they want – without taking any credit.” The credit goes to the big man in the red suit. To donate or volunteer, text Posada at 305-360-1689.
Fatherhood shouldn’t be optional, because childhood isn’t, and every kid deserves the benefits and support only a father can provide. But too many kids in Monroe County have grown up with no father figure, and plenty of them end up fathering children while still kids themselves. In Monroe County, between 2010 and 2015, more than 500 young men, aged 16 to 24, became fathers. Also in Monroe County, 34 percent of kids are growing up in a single-parent household, compared to 31 percent in the rest of Florida. Enter Billy Davis, who last year launched the Southernmost Fatherhood Initiative throughout the Florida Keys. Davis is working to turn absent fathers into involved dads who show up at baseball practices and demonstrate for their daughters the respect they deserve from a man. The initiative is free to all participants and meets once a week for 12 weeks. “We’re available to help any dads, from new fathers who are nervous around their new babies, to dads who weren’t around when their kids were babies,” Davis said. For more information, contact Billy Davis at 305304-1969 or apsmccrp@aol. com.
IN THE KEYS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LARRY BLACKBURN
Roxanne Posada makes magic happen. As head of the nonprofit Kids Come First, Posada’s goal is to make Christmas magical for every kid in the Keys. “I’m all about making sure the littlest kids we serve have no idea their gifts came from a generous person in the community,” she said. “They come from Santa and that’s all there is to it.”
HUMBLE LIVING. ISLAND PRIDE.
6404 FRONT STREET @ ART SHACK STOCK ISLAND COCKYKW.COM - STRUT@COCKYKW.COM
Sliding Glass Doors Hard To Open? ar 3 Yea n t y ! r Wa r
IT CAN BE REPAIRED! Roller Maintenance Track Maintenance Security Pins Door Alignment Security Locks & Handles
PROFESSIONAL - RELIABLE - INSURED
Sliding Glass Door Maintenance
BY MANDY MILES
Keys congregations celebrate lights of Chanukah “A little light dispels a lot of darkness, and you can’t beat darkness with a stick, only light.” Such is the prevailing message of Chanukah, said Rabbi Jacob Zucker of Chabad Jewish Center of the Florida Keys & Key West. The eight-night Jewish holiday runs from Dec. 22-30 this year, and Zucker will spend much of that time traveling up and down the Keys, spreading the light — and lighting menorahs. When asked whether he again would light the Grand Menorah on Key West’s Duval Street this year, Zucker replied with no hesitation and just a little laughter, “Absolutely. We’ll be doing it this year and every year until the Messiah comes, and after that, we’ll be doing it in Jerusalem.” The first menorah lighting of the season in the Florida Keys will take place on the first night of Chanukah, Dec. 22, at 5 p.m. in Key West’s Bayview Park, where the menorah, one of the most recognizable symbols of this Jewish holiday, will stand alongside the city’s Christmas tree. Zucker will be in Tavernier with the Keys Jewish Community Center for another lighting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 23 and then he’ll be back in Key West for the Grand Menorah Lighting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 26 in the 100 block of Duval Street. “That event is always a fun, family-friendly event on Duval Street,” Zucker said.” In addition to the menorahs on Duval Street and at Bayview Park, “The city of Key West ordered a brand new, 9-foot menorah that will be on display in City Hall alongside the Christmas tree,” Zucker said, thanking City Commissioner Sam Kaufman, who is a member of Chabad, for ensuring the inclusion of all religions in the city’s celebrations. Zucker estimated that there are about 800 Jews in Key West alone. Chabad Congregation B’Nai Zion, Key West’s two Jewish congregations, each have about 200 members, Zucker estimated. “But then there’s probably another 400 who identify themselves as Jewish, but aren’t affiliated with a particular congregation,” he said.
CHANUKAH HISTORY LESSON The celebration of Chanukah is as much a history lesson as a holiday, involving wicked rulers and religious heroes. And while the history lesson is a complex one, Rabbi Sara Y. Sapadin of New York City wrote a succinct narrative of the holiday and its history for young people. She explained that nearly 200 years BCE, King Antiochus Epiphanes prohibited the practice of Judaism in Israel, forcing all to worship Greek gods and installing Greek idols in the Jews’ Holy Temple in Jerusalem. A group of defiant and dedicated Jews, known as the Maccabees, were determined to take back their Temple and defend their religious freedom. “With faith and relentless determination as their guides, the Maccabees won a stunning victory over the King’s army,” Sapadin writes. “The Maccabees successfully took back their Temple, removed the Greek idols and held a rededication ceremony, but when they walked into the Temple, they found only enough oil to light the menorah, or lamp, for one day – but miraculously, that small amount of oil lasted for eight days, which is exactly how long it took to get new oil.” Hence the eight-night winter holiday. “With every Hanukkah candle we light, we illumine the most important messages of all: that we must always work to find light in the darkness….”
IN THE KEYS
CALL 305.289.0614 TO BOOK YOUR SNORKEL TRIP!
FUN FOR EVERYONE!
BOAT RENTALS CALL 305-743-4403
VOTED BEST WATERSPORTS BY THE LOCALS! BOAT RENTALS | SNORKELING | JET SKIS HOTEL ROOMS | PARASAILING | FISING CHARTERS KAYAKS & BICYCLES AVAILABLE, TOO! 1480 OVERSEAS HWY. | MM 47.6 | MARATHON
BOOK ONLINE AT CAPTAINPIPS.COM keysweekly.com
Holidays in the Keys are unlike any other. And so are those items on our wish list. No need for sweaters and slippers, at least not here in the Florida Keys. If youâ€™re spending the holidays in the islands, find some of the best and unique items here.
IN THE KEYS
DESIGNER CANDLES The LAFCO company, based in New York, creates very sought-after home fragrances and personal care products, including these candles. The “Marine” candle features notes of water, lily, sea jasmine, bergamot and vetiver. Shop for them at the D’Asign Source showroom in Marathon that features many accessories for the home. $30-$60
STRAW FEDORA Pick up this little bit of fun to shade your eyes this holiday season. The straw fedora is stamped with hot pink flamingos and available for sale in the gift shop of Crane Point Museum in Marathon. The store also features jewelry, books, candles and honey harvested from hives on site. $10
IN THE MIDDLE KEYS
AIR PLANT JELLYFISH Keys local Sherri Griffin makes these air plant “jellyfish” using found sea anemones. Each one is hand-strung with fishing line and designed to be hung inside or outside. Find them at local art shows and farmers markets, or order online at floridakeysgiftshop.etsy.com. $15-$25
WOODEN TREASURES Keys Boat Furniture on Big Pine Key uses 100% reclaimed wood from old fishing boats to make charming pieces of hand-built home décor. Dressers, benches, bookshelves feature a variety of tones and textures designed to catch the eye. This treasure chest measures about 20 inches wide and 17 inches tall. $500
ENAMELED RING BOX Midas Touch Jewelry Store sells these endearing enameled and bejeweled jewelry boxes. The one pictured, a nautilus shell on a bed of color, is actually two pieces, but the shop also carries similar pieces in different shapes and sizes. The Marathon jewelry store also carries Steven Douglas designs (lots of mermaids) plus unique and custom pieces. $85
IN THE UPPER KEYS
SNAKE EYES YARD DICE Play your favorite dice games with family and friends in the yard and let the good times roll. Found at Key Largo Flowers and Gifts, many customers love this outdoor game. $49.95 VITAJUWEL This glass gem water bottle has an enlivening and vitalizing effect that encourages inner stability. The 16.9 fluid oz., BPA free, glass bottle infused with genuine stones has stainless steel caps and opens at both ends for an easy clean. Found at Island Trendz at Postcard Inn Beach Resort and Marina at Holiday Isle. $78
GOLDEN OCTOPUS SHOT GLASS This Golden octopus shot glass holder décor is for every inspired home. Check it out at Island Dreamz at Postcard Inn Beach Resort and Marina at Holiday Isle. Stars at $125 BROSWAY MEN’S BRACELET Bracelets like this from Brosway are born to be worn every day and on all occasions. Found at Key Largo Flowers and Gifts, they don’t require extraordinary maintenance. $68-$81
HIMALAYAN SALT NIGHT LIGHT BY CANDLE WARMERS With its therapeutic glow, this Himalayan salt pluggable found at Shell World in Key Largo, allows for maximum exchange of purifying negative ions. Purifying the air, it improves mood while giving a natural-feeling light source. $15 and up
IN THE KEYS
IN KEY WEST
SOCKS THAT GIVE BACK Make waves with these socks that protect the world’s oceans with Oceana. With their three-tone tidal pattern, your ankles will be sure to attract all the right kind of attention. Each pair supports Oceana, helping to make our oceans healthy. Grab them at Books & Books in Key West. $15.99 KW SANTA SNAPBACK HAT Not your traditional Santa hat, this looks like something your cool older sibling would wear (that you’d beg them to borrow). And Cocky KW is the latest hip kid on the block. Found @ Art Shack Stock Island. $35.00
VELVET EYE PILLOW Organic bamboo velvet cover with vintage linen damask lining. Filled with buckwheat, flax, lavender and beads to give a bit of weight. Find it at Besame Mucho, Key West. $35
SNAKESKINEMBOSSED FLASK Perfect for the gentleman in your life who appreciates a classy yet unexpected twist in their flask game. Snakeskin-embossed and oh so eye-catching, this one is found at Fast Buck’s at Home, Key West. $48
EDISON This New York Times best seller from Pulitzer Prizewinning author Edmund Morris is a revelatory new biography of Thomas Alva Edison, the most prolific genius in American history. Grab it at Books & Books, Key West. Hardcover starts at $25.99
ARM CANDY BRACELET The perfect stocking stuffer for women of any age. Choose from a beautiful selection of colored stones that add just the right amount of sparkle to your day. Arm Candy bracelets can be found at Vignette, Key West. $28
TASTY TREATS Yes, it’s a time to spend quality time with family. But it’s also the season to indulge in those cut-out cookies, cupcakes, pies and more. Send those taste buds into the holidays with some of these delectable desserts found here in the Keys.
CUPCAKE SUSHI Cupcake Sushi started when caterer/cake artist Lori Shubert’s customers started asking for mini-cupcakes. Shubert knew paper dried out the moist, decadent inside of a cupcake, so she started wrapping her bite-sized cupcake “insides” with her award-winning butter cream frosting and dark chocolate ganache, then topping each with a colorful candy bauble. The results are tiny drops of dessert, satisfying for a sweet tooth, but small enough to assuage any guilt. Find them at 700 Front St. and 1114 Truman Ave., Key West, and at cupcakesushi.com.
HOLIDAY CAKES & TREATS Sweet Savannah’s in Marathon produces the most sought-after holiday cakes and treat baskets. Customers can order custom cakes in flavors such as vanilla with strawberry and cream filling, or dark chocolate with salted caramel. (Santa, baby!) The cakes can be decorated to fit a holiday theme, too. The shop in Marathon also produces holiday treat baskets that feature an array of goodies — cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, cake balls and more. The only caveat is this — order early. For more information, call 305-743-3131 or visit www.sweetsavannahs.com.
PEPPERMINT ICE CREAM If you want a dose of the holidays, stop in to Key Largo Chocolates Cakes & Ice Cream, and you’ll no doubt be put into the spirit with its homemade peppermint ice cream. Behind the counter and the eye-popping display of homemade chocolates is where all the goodies and treats are made. With 16 crushed candy canes, 8-10 oz. of chocolate chips and homemade ice cream mix, it doesn’t take long to whip the ice cream up before it settles for 10-12 hours inside the freezer, with temps dipping below 0. When finished, it’s the kind of ice cream that makes you close your eyes to envision a white Christmas while all curled up by the fire waiting for Santa. Find this ice cream and more than 30 other flavors, not to mention the chocolates and other treats, at MM 100.4 bayside. Visit keylargochocolates.com for more info.
IN THE KEYS
Centrally Located in Big Pine Key • New Construction • Residential & Commercial Repairs • Rethatching • Pole Replacement • Fire Proofing
305-587-2702 • www.FloridaKeysTikis.com keysweekly.com 23
BINDY BLATT IS KEY WEST’S “MRS. CLAUS”
JOHN GROUTEN IS MARATHON’S SANTA CLAUSE
Bindy Blatt started her Christmas career as an elf more than 20 years ago, depositing hundreds of hopeful kids on Santa’s lap during the Fantasy Flight to the North Pole that the Key West Silverliners (Blatt, Chrissy Gallagher, M.J. Webster and Joyce Benavides) have been hosting at Key West International Airport for 35 years. A national group of retired Eastern Airlines flight attendants, the Silverliners, raise money for children and host an epic holiday event for more than 600 local kids up to age 5. The event includes a snow machine, petting zoo, face-painting, an audience with Santa and Mrs. Claus and plenty of presents.
This Middle Keys resident invested in a premium red suit long ago and has about 30 years experience in two states — his native Connecticut and his current home, the Florida Keys. John Grouten does the “regular” rounds — Christmas at the park, visiting local daycares and setting up shop at the Lions Club tree lot. But he also makes the sweetest visits to the homes of friends and family for “private” sessions with some of his favorite Keys kids.
How long have you been Mrs. Claus? For about the past seven years. I took the place of the late Marina Mosher, who was our Mrs. Claus for about 25 years, with her husband, Mo Mosher, as Santa. Has there been an especially touching moment while you’re wearing the red suit? Too many to count, seeing their little faces light up, or become terrified on Santa’s lap. Cookies and milk? Or brownies and bourbon? Brownies and bourbon for me; cookies and milk for my husband — he’s driving. (Did we mention Blatt’s family owns a liquor store in Key West?) Who is your favorite reindeer? Come on now, I can’t answer that. They all think they’re my favorite. What kind of bonus are the elves going to get this year? Health insurance. What does Mrs. Claus do on Christmas Eve? Like most wives with traveling husbands, I watch the worldwide weather reports and worry ‘til he gets home safely.
IN THE KEYS
How long have you been Santa? Well, I’ve been Santa since birth in the North Pole, a long time ago. It’s always been so much fun to spend time with the kids. Has there been an especially touching moment while you’re wearing the red suit? Well, this one happened when I WASN’T wearing the red suit. I saw one of “my” kids at another holiday event who spotted the other Santa. He told his dad, “That’s not MY Santa; MY Santa has his own beard!” What’s the weirdest request a kid has ever made? One year, at least six or eight little girls got in my lap and wanted unicorns! Cookies and milk? Or brownies and bourbon? Definitely cookies and milk; I can’t be crocked driving the reindeer! Who is your favorite reindeer? Rudolph is the leader. It’s a long, long journey from the North Pole What kind of bonus are the elves going to get this year? They are going to get lots of love from Santa and Mrs. Claus. What does Mrs. Claus do on Christmas Eve? She prepares Christmas dinner for all of the elves and Santa.
UNIQUES BY KENNEDY STUDIOS â€Ś G I F T S , A RT & C U S T O M F R A M I N G
A unique gift shop with a tropical flair.
8903 Overseas Hwy Southwind Plaza
(across from the fire station)
and mas t s i r Ch om ar fr Merry e Y w ve! y Ne er Da v a Happ P f rew o the C
Installation Commercial retaining walls Brick Cleaning and Sealing 305.304.9232
paverdaveinc.com License #SP3573 keysweekly.com 25
HOLIDAY EATING TIPS
SWEATIN’ WITH SANTA By SARA MATTHIS
Cranberry glazed roasted brussel sprouts. CONTRIBUTED
By JIM McCARTHY Eating healthy during the holidays? Is it even possible with all the cookies and eggnog? The holidays can be stressful when it comes to healthy eating and staying on track toward your goal. We spoke with Upper Keys’ “The Food Coach” and registered dietitian Hannah Padgett on some tips to help you stay health mindful while you celebrate the holidays with family and friends. • Eat slow and mindfully. Take a break between bites to talk and take sips of water. • Make sure there are healthy options to enjoy. This includes vegetables, lean meats and fruit. Some of my favorite healthier side dishes include cranberry glazed roasted Brussels sprouts and poached pears with homemade whipped cream. • Allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love but in moderation. Love pumpkin and pecan pie? Have a small slice of each. • Foods you don’t love, pass! Not a huge stuffing fan? Skip it. Pick something else you just can’t live without. • Eat healthy, balanced meals before the big holiday lunch/dinner. Eat a protein packed breakfast/lunch with healthy fats and vegetables beforehand. Try a big egg scramble with vegetables, potatoes and hot sauce! • Don’t starve yourself the next day/meal after a larger holiday meal. • Don’t feel guilty and ENJOY!
hat if vacations also included FUN workouts? Or at least the chance to stay physically active? (Stop rolling your eyes right now, so you can hear, because it’s possible.) What if you researched sweat venues with the same zeal you picked out the restaurants you were going to hit, or the bars with the best variety of tequila? “Instead of doing your normal class or your normal run, you can walk on the beach. Or, if you visit the mountains, take a hike. The cold helps you burn twice as many calories,” said Cristina Malafy, a personal trainer and Spin instructor in Marathon. The key here, she said, is willingness to try something new — even if it’s a routine-distance run in a different city. Secondly, she said, is putting some advance planning in place.
“One of my
fears is that I will
marry into a family that on the holidays.”
— author unknown
• Tailor the physical activity to the place you’re visiting. Visiting the Keys? Go paddle boarding or kayaking. Visiting Lake Tahoe at Christmas? Skiing, of course. If at first glance, your destination doesn’t lend itself to any particular outdoor sport, make sure to sign up for a walking ghost tour or a walking historic tour in the city you are visiting.
• For Keys folks venturing off the rock for the holidays, this is a great chance to try something new. Take a barre class, or go to one of those trampoline places. There’s even a trend called Pound sweeping the nation; it’s a full-body cardio class that uses light resistance sticks, called RipStix, to simulate drumming to the music. There’s also OT — or Orange Theory. It’s a franchise gym with about 115 outlets in Florida alone. Get there early to sign-in and strap on a heart monitor. Your stats are displayed on a screen as you do cardio (treadmill, bike or rowing) and then switch over to the strength portion of the session. (Hint: no cheating here; numbers don’t lie.) • If push comes to shove, hit the hotel gym. They are usually accessible 24-hours with a room key. “Design a workout ahead of time. Write it down,” said Malafy. “Most gyms have basic equipment, like a treadmill, so use that. But also incorporate bodyweight movements like lunges.” Malafy said that if your travel mates aren’t gym rats, plan around them. Wake up early or skip brunch or work out while they’re napping. “There’s nothing wrong with taking a vacation from working out,” said Malafy, “but if you are one of those people who does it regularly, it actually feels BAD to skip it.”
BEAUTIFY ANY EXISTING CONCRETE SURFACE Have an award winning Keys artist, Ed Moran, design and resurface your concrete at a fraction of the cost of replacement. STAMPED CONCRETE
Factory Authorized Dealer • Licensed & Insured SP#3136 • FREE ESTIMATES
ARTISTIC CONCRETE DESIGN CORP. For more information go to www.keysdecoconcrete.com or call 305-923-0654
• Concrete Stamping & Sealing • Limitless Colors & Designs • Stain, Mildew & Oil Resistant • Acid Staining & Sealing • Pool Decks/Patios • Driveways • Commercial Floors
GIFTS FOR TEENS & TIKES By JIM McCARTHY Having trouble finding the gift for that one between the years of a toddler and teen? It’s often the issue faced by the childless friend who may not be sure what they’re looking for as they navigate through Amazon. While it’s a good idea to ask the parent before going out to buy, here are some items to tell them about.
FOR THE TODDLER: The Joovy Tricycle 4.1 is a 4-stage trike that adjusts as the child grows. The parent push handle is height adjustable so moms and dads can push and closely monitor their little ones. It also comes with a UVF 50 canopy for sun protection, along with a cup holder and rear storage basket.
FOR THE BABIES: From the popular preschool learning video series comes Twinkle the Star plush. Squeeze Twinkle’s tummy to hear the official little baby bum version of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Super soft and huggable plush toy features an attached star trail lovely blanket.
FOR THE SCHOOL AGE KIDS: There’s nothing better than handing them an Amazon gift card to let them choose. And it teaches them about their spending limits.
GIFTS FOR ALL: The Disney Plus year subscription. You’re welcome.
IN THE KEYS
When you need a break from decking the halls come join us at Robbies’s
AWE Island Life! Eat, Drink, Feed the Tarpon and shop for unique gifts for everyone naughty or nice on your list! Grab the family and meet us at Robbie’s your place for family fun since 1976! Robbie’s Marina mm 77.5 305 664-8070 learn more @robbies.com
A KEY WEST FAMILY TRADITION IN FINE FOODS SINCE 1926 1075 Duval | Duval Square C-22 305.434.6480 APPOINTMENT SUGGESTED
LOOK FOR OUR HOLIDAY DINNERS AND SPECIALS DELIVERY & GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE
522 FLEMING STREET 1105 WHITE STREET WWW.FAUSTOS.COM
5178 US-1 | Stock Island 305.292.1460 WALK-INS WELCOME
Happy Holidays from Dr. Denise!
Dr. Denise Vedrenne
Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14 10am–2pm
HIGGS BEACH DOG PARK All dogs welcome to join the parade starting at 10am! Costumes encouraged!
• Only Pediatric Dentist in The Keys • 30 Years Experience (20+ in The Keys) • Days & Hours Vary. Call for an Appointment • Pediatric Dental Emergencies • Se Habla Espanol/Francais • Accept Most Insurance and Medicaid Old Town Centre • 9713 O/S Highway • MM 52 Ocean, Marathon, FL
Photos with Santa
Holiday Bazaar with Local Vendors
Live Music Raﬄes Doggy Kissing Booth Questions? Contact us at 305.294.4857
Tickets Available for Purchase at MCT Box Office: 305-743-0994 or online at www.marathontheater.org
IN THE KEYS
Wonderful & Amazing Selection of Keys Christmas Ornaments Flags • T-SHIRTS • Beach Bags HATS • Kid Stuff • Lamps Serving Accessories & So much more…
MAROONED IN MARATHON 11528 Overseas Hwy. 305-289-0250
CHOCOLATE COVERED KEY LIME PIE ON A STICK
THEREʻS NO PLACE LIKE HERE FOR THE HOLIDAYS!
DON’T FORGET THE CIGARS!
LOCALSʻ FAVORITE GIFT SHOPS
Gifts & Christmas ornaments from all the Keys, including Key Colony Beach! T-SHIRTS • HATS • DECOR ISLAND MEMORIES
12420 Overseas Hwy. MM 53.5 BAYSIDE Across from the Art Studio & Coral Lagoon
305-743-2420 OPEN EVERY DAY!
BARRY GAUKEL/Keys Weekly
2019 From boat parades to tree lightings and ringing in New Year’s, here’s some of the events and celebrations you don’t want to miss out on from Key Largo to Key West.
HOLIDAY FEST ISLAMORADA & LIGHT UP KEY LARGO It’s back-to-back days of holiday excitement in the Upper Keys with the 15th annual Islamorada Chamber of Commerce Holiday Festival at Founders Park on Dec. 6 and Light Up Key Largo at the Murray Nelson on Dec. 7. With holiday gift bazaars and pictures with Santa at both events, Holiday Fest features a nighttime parade and the famous 30 tons of white cold stuff. Light Up Key Largo features an ice skating rink for kids and families to skate around on, as well as story time and lots of crafts.
IN THE KEYS
SOUTHERNMOST CITY NEW YEAR’S EVE The Southernmost City isn’t known for silent nights, and it’s anything but calm come New Year’s Eve. The 8-squaremile island hosts as many as six “drops” reminiscent of the lighted ball that descends from Times Square in New York City. A pirate wench, and owner of Schooner Wharf Bar, Evalena Worthington, will mark the final moments of 2020 by descending from the towering mast of a tall ship at the Historic Seaport. Just a few blocks away, a giant conch shell will descend on the roof of the infamous Sloppy Joe’s Bar while welllubricated crowds pack the streets below. And finally, in one of the most publicized drops, a drag queen named Sushi rides inside a giant, red high-heeled pump from the second-floor balcony of Bourbon Street Pub to the colorful crowd on the street below.
KEY COLONY BEACH CHRISTMAS BOAT PARADE The Tucker Degraw Memorial Christmas Boat Parade is an established tradition in Key Colony Beach, the tiny hamlet in the Middle Keys. Spectators will line Sadowski Causeway on Sunday, Dec. 8, or congregate at friendsí houses to watch. The boats — think sportsfisher, center consoles and, once, a spinning, floating tiki bar — make their way through the canals. The parade is open to all boats. A similar boat parade in Boot Key Harbor is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14.
YOU’RE INVITED TO
THE CUSTOM HOUSE HOLIDAY CONCERT & BAZAAR
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM CUSTOM HOUSE | 281 FRONT STREET
in the spirit of friendship & beautiful things come shop with us interior design, home decor & posh island gifts
FRESH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON SEND THE GIFT OF
FROM FLORIDA SEAFOOD
We offer catering for your Holiday parties and events as well as shipping Fresh Florida Seafood to surprise your friends and family this season!
305-922-2033 5190 Overseas Hwy. Marathon, Florida Keys
STONE CRABS, FLORIDA LOBSTER, YELLOW TAIL SNAPPER, MAHI MAHI
FRESH SOUPS, SALADS, AND SAUCES:
Conch Salad, Snapper, Smoked Fish Dip, Lobster Bisque Seafood Market open Mon - Thurs 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Fri & Sat 7 AM - 7 PM 1313 Ocean bay Drive Key Largo, Fl 33037 305 451-3782 www.keylargofisheries.com
IN THE KEYS
WE ARE LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED FOR OVER 15 YEARS UPPER KEYS
Keys B at Furniture Reclaimed & renewed 100% from old fishing boats
DISTRIBUTED KEYS - WIDE
TROPICAL LIVING MAGAZINES (over 30 magazines annually)
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS
THE BEST OF MARATHON THE BUBBAS - Key West People’s Choice
PREFERRED PROGRAM PARTNER OF: MARATHON SEAFOOD FESTIVAL / NAUTICAL FLEA MARKET / OCEANFEST KEY WEST SEAFOOD FESTIVAL / MONROE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS and more… A HOMETOWN PAPER YOU CAN BE PROUD TO CALL YOUR OWN Key West 5450 MacDonald Ave, Suite 5 305.453.6928
Marathon 9709 Overseas Highway 305.743.0844
Tavernier 91760 Overseas Highway 305.363.2957
EVERY PIECE IS ONE OF A KIND HAND CRAFTED | UNIQUE | TROPICAL www.keysboatfurniture.com | 305.849.7760
30313 Overseas Hwy. Big Pine Key (next to Ace Hardware)
By STEPHANIE MITCHELL 9
It’s the time of year when we’re drowning in party invitations, and most of these events require a hostess gift or the perfect bubbly for a toast. Always here to help, we’ve selected a few of our favorites ranging in price that are sure to please even the pickiest of palates.
7 5 6
1. Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude in Gift Box 2002 | $399. 2. Jaume Serra Cristalino Cava Brut | $9. 3. Krug Grande Cuvee Brut (167th Edition) | $209. 4. LaurentPerrier - Brut Champagne Grand Siècle | $149. 5. Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut | $60. 6. Dom Perigon Rose 2006 with gift box | $379. 7. Mumm Napa Brut Rose | $22. 8. Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2016 | $35. 9. Veuve Clicquot Vintage Brut Rose 2008 | $99. 10 Chandon California Blanc de Pinot Noir | $25. 11. La Marca Prosecco | $14.
IN THE KEYS
ONE STOP SHOP FOR ALL YOUR FURRY FRIENDS NEEDS (DOGS, CATS, RABBITS & MORE)
One of a kind and custom jewelr y creations and gifts for the Holidays! Bring Jeff your ideas and he will make them a beautiful reality!
1025 WHITE ST 305.296.4848
MONDAY FRIDAY 10A -6P SATURDAY 10A - 5P
Winner of Key West People’s Choice Award for BEST JEWELRY STORE 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019! 40 Years Experience in Fine Jewelry Sales & Jewelry Repair 906-F Kennedy Drive • Key West • 296-GEMS (4367) Tuesday-Friday 10am - 5pm • Saturday 10am - 4pm
IN THE KEYS
WE WELCOME YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY TO STOP IN AND CHECK OUT OUR MONTHLY SPECIALS AND REWARDS PROGRAM.
HOPPY OLIVE WAYS? HARPY HOLLANDAISE? HELPY HOLLER DAZE? The holidays just don’t sound the same with hearing loss. The holiday season can be filled with lots of different emotions, but don’t let confusion or embarrassment be among them. If you’re struggling to hear and make yourself heard, Dr. Michelle and Hear 4 U Audiology are here to help!
HOLIDAY HEARING SCREENINGS AVAILABLE
NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 31st CALL THE LOCATION NEAREST YOU TO START YOUR HEARING JOURNEY
MIAMI 17670 NW 78th Avenue #201
MARATHON 11399 Overseas Highway - Suite 7 The Exchange Building
KEY WEST 513 Fleming Street, Suite 11 (2nd floor accessible via elevator)
Visit us online at www.hear4uaudiology.com and www.heardrmichelle.com
HOMESTEAD Towers Professional Plaza 151 NW 11th St., Ste. W-301
Holiday Shopping in the Florida Keys.