Bon Buffett Voyage – Day Four: Buffett Brings Debauchery

April 24, 2015:

While we love big bunnies and balloon animals as much as anyone, we were far more excited about the night we had ahead.  It was finally time for Buffett’s big debut!  It was Phillip’s birthdday, we had a big steak dinner planned and every intention of blowing the evening out with a mayhem-filled night of debauchery at the Buffett concert.

Buffett said, “I want to see YOU there!”


You got it Jimmy.

Funny thing was, though, the folks at the marina told us Jimmy actually spent a good bit of the morning riding around the Wharf grounds in a golf cart asking meandering Wharf patrons where the concert was and when it started.  As you know or have probably heard, Mr. Buffett likes to stay non-descript.  He’s not much for the flash and flare of a paparazzi lifestyle, so he does a good job of blending in.  Word on the street was, he would pick the obvious Parrotheads–those walking around decked out in Landshark hats, Tommy Bahamas shirts and Hawaiian leis–yet they had no clue they were talking to the man himself, their idol, their icon, Jimmy Buffett.  Some pointed him politely toward the amphitheater, some gave him wrong times for the concert and some even blew him off a bit, not wanting any interruptions while they were sauntering around in their blissful Buffett zone.  That man seems to have fun with his celebrity status.

In addition to the Sunset Festival, the Wharf also had the Bama Coast Cruise going on.  It was pretty cool walking around checking out all of these old, cherried-out cruisers along the main drive.

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I liked the ones that were decked out with big stuffed characters from the olden days!

The Grinch:


Wiley Coyote:


Little known fact – the RoadRunner is the state bird of my home state, New Mexico.  Road-kill coyote might be the state meat.  I’ll have to verify that.

As if Buffett and the Bama Coast Cruise weren’t enough, they also had the famous Flora-Bama Mullet Toss going on that weekend too.  I highly recommend this redneck tradition.  If the flailing fish aren’t entertaining enough, I guarantee the groomed mullets and tramps stamps will be.  We take our fish flinging pretty seriously around here.


I should know — Yours Truly placed second in the female 26-39 division at the Mullet Toss in 2011.  Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up:


Rather than a redneck parade at the Flora-Bama, we spent the day lounging at the Oasis.  I mean … who wouldn’t?  The place is gorgeous.


I decided to dawn a special birthday suit for the occasion — not that one, this one!


My “Captain Jo” hat my brother got me for my birthday last year.  It’s kind of become the birthday hat.  We certainly got some funny looks at the pool with it, which made it totally worth it.  Thank you John!!


After a few hours around the lazy river, it was back to the boat to spruce up for our big b’day dinner.  Where were we going, you might ask?  Only the best restaurant at the Wharf.  Well, only the best restaurant anywhere — Chez Phillipe!  Phillip really is a phenomenal chef so when we cook, at home or on the boat, we’re pretty much guaranteed the best meal in “town.”  What had he planned to cook up for his big day?

BEEF!  It’s what’s for dinner.


Sure beats Roadkill Coyote!

The smell of it, though, must have been wafting through the air, because no sooner than we had pulled our steaks out to sear we get a knock on the hull.

“Excuse me,” a voice rang out.  “Have you seen my lost shaker of salt?”


“Oh, never mind.  I found it hanging around my neck!”  Elle.  You gotta love a woman that makes a hat for every occasion.  Fourth of July:


St. Patty’s Day:


And, this here was her Jimmy Buffett Landshark hat.  She said she couldn’t find a shark, so a stuffed dolphin would have to do.


A worldwide traveler, accomplished sailor and seasoned skier, Elle is first and foremost a hoot.  She and her friend Terry were going to the Buffett concert, too.  They stopped by the Plaintiff’s Rest to say hello on their way to the amphitheater, so we did what we normally do when guests arrive–promptly make them our famous house drink, the “Oh Shiiiit!” (five i’s).

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We had a fun visit with the gals over cocktails, but it was getting close to Buffett time and we had some fine steaks to get sizzling.  “It’s been fun ladies, but we need to get back to the beef.”  We bid Elle and Terry adieu and set to dinner.

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I will say, Phillip cooked up a perfect piece of meat.  It was a birthday feast indeed.


Our bellies full, we were ready for a full night of Buffett shenanigans.  We walked over to the amphitheater a little before 7:00 pm to check out the crowd and nab our seats.


There were at least 10 beach balls being bounced around and they stayed afloat pretty much the entire concert.  It was just as much fun to watch and swat those things around as it was to watch Jimmy on the stage.  You had to keep your hands up and a sharp lookout or you would get … well bonked in the head by an inflatable ball.  We soon stopped worrying about it and just let the balls fly while we shouted along to some of Buffett’s finest!


“You got fins to the left, fins to the right and you’re the only girl in town!”  

Buffett was a lot of fun.  He didn’t play Margaritaville (probably because he’s sick of it), and he threw in a couple of oldies but goodies to shake things up — Stars Fell on Alabama was interesting.  Southern Cross was a big hit and probably the highlight for Phillip and I as that song really resonates with us.  The Buffett concert was the perfect end to our birthday bonanza.  We had one more night on the trip and were planning to head out in the morning to motor sail back to Red Fish Point to spend one last quiet night on the hook.  The next day was Saturday, April 25, 2015.  I’m sure many of you recognize the date.  We had no idea what was coming.  No one did.  But, we definitely found ourselves on the deadly outskirts of that storm late in the afternoon.  While we, thankfully, weathered it safely, we witnessed some damage, some close calls and learned a few lessons, which I will share.

At the time, though, we had no clue what the next day had in store.  We were shouting Buffet lyrics, bopping beach balls and dancing the night away.

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