Shiver Me Timbers: EGR PCA Invades the Keys for the 2018 WOTY
This past weekend, 86 pirates and wenches applied black eye-liner, grabbed their gold doubloons and hopped in their trusty Porsches to caravan down to the Keys. By all accounts, Jenny and Chris Branston outdid themselves planning the best Weekend of the Year (WOTY) ever.
On April 27 at 9:00 AM, heads were turning in the Michael’s shopping plaza on Collier Blvd, where 43 EGR PCA Porsches met up to kick off the WOTY under an EGR PCA banner that served as our jolly roger flag for the weekend. The mood was jovial as all old salts, scallywags, seadogs and landlubbers joined together to scuttle down towards the Keys along US 41 and back roads.
We took Krome Avenue through scenic farmlands, landscaping nurseries and orchid growers to get to our first stop, the Schnebly Winery & Brewery in Redlands. A light rain didn’t dampen our spirits and we remained dry under the enormous tiki hut for a farm-to-table lunch. Most of us partook in the Schnebly beer on tap or sampled the fabulous and uniquely Florida-style Schnebly wines, including Carambola (Starfruit) and Avovino, the first wine ever made from Florida Avocados.
Fully fortified, we left the Schnebly Winery & Brewery and headed to our next stop, the Coral Castle. Rainy season officially began just as we arrived at the Coral Castle during a teeming monsoon. An informal poll indicated that many members were crying internally at this point, having spent hours detailing their Porsches in preparation for the weekend. Nonetheless, we bravely pressed on, donning rain jackets and carrying umbrellas for a tour of this mysterious labor of love.
We learned that tiny 100-pound Ed Leedskalin spent 28 years building this “castle” (or rather outdoor garden) featuring chairs, a telescope, fountains and a 9-ton gate that moves with the touch of a finger. He built it in the hopes of winning the heart of a woman he loved unrequitedly, but his “castle” failed to win her over and Ed took the secret of how he moved these heavy stones with him to his grave.
From the Coral Castle, pirates and wenches headed south to pillage and plunder our final destination: the Holiday Inn Marathon. We enjoyed fabulous water views and the convenience of the Sparky’s Landing tiki bar at this venue, which also served as the perfect location to explore the Keys over the weekend by heading south down to Key West or north to Islamorada.
Everyone gathered Friday night for a fabulous “Pirates and Wenches” waterfront poolside party with dinner. Thanks to John and Valerie Petracco for using their local Keys contacts to organize the party, including the fabulous food from Irie Island Eats.
EGR PCA members went all-in for the costume contest and many were unrecognizable with wigs and makeup. Costume contest booty winners:
- Best Pirate: Mark Lowers won for his accurate and authentic Pirate representation. Mark could easily have escaped from the set of Blackbeard’s Ghost or Treasure Island.
- Best Wench: Steve Wassersug won for his theatrical and of-the-moment Hollywood-style Wench entry complete with #MeToo emblazoned on his vest. Think Cher meets Caitlyn Jenner meets Johnny Depp!Steve Wassersug’s Best Wench Acceptance Speech
- Best Couple: Tom Stuart and Cyndi Casteel took their costumes in another direction combining Marilyn Mansonesque makeup with rugged pirate fashion. This award should definitely be updated from “Best” to “Most Badass” couple!
After the party wound down, some EGR PCA members remained around the pool to socialize and others walked over to Sparky’s for more drinks and dancing to live music. EGR PCA members managed to convince the band to stay late and closed down the bar.
Saturday was a free day in the Keys. Members were able to choose from a wide array of activities including swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center, snorkeling with Captain Hooks, fishing with Sea Square Charters, kayaking, visiting Islamorada or simply driving down to Key West for some free-style exploration.
Many members chose to drive down to Key West on Saturday in search of the perfect “tacky tourist” gift as well as some entertainment and fresh seafood. Saturday saw a Porsche invasion of Key West; EGR PCA members were spotted at the “Southern-most Point” of the United States, driving up and down Duvall Street and parked in every possible “safe” parking spot on the island.
On Saturday night EGR PCA members all mingled at outside veranda of the Faro Blanco Lighthouse Grill for a beautiful waterside sunset cocktail reception followed by dinner. We enjoyed fabulous food, drinks and festivities. We shared conversation and laughs as we compared our entries into the evening’s “tackiest Keys souvenir” competition. Some of the souvenirs were rather risqué but thankfully all in attendance were over 18 and not easily offended. Photos of these items not included in the interest of public decency.
All duplicate entries were eliminated and the prizes went to an orgasmic chicken, a souvenir toilet emblazoned with “Key West” and a pirate mask complete with facial hair. The winners of this contest prefer to remain anonymous.
The group was serenaded by a group of surprisingly in-tune EGR PCA ladies singing the WOTY theme song to the tune of Gilligan’s Island. The creative and talented Steve Wassersug penned the lyrics and directed the singers, “Just drive right down and you’ll hear a tale of WOTY’s awesome cars, that started from the Naples Port, then Porsches stopped at bars…ninety set to drive that day for a 3-day tour. A 3-day tour. The weather started getting rough, the speeding cars were tossed. If not for the courage of our drivers, the Porsches would be lost, the Porsches would be lost.” WOTY Gilligan Lyrics
We were pleased to have our PCA Zone 12 Representative Lisa Lewis, along with her mother, join EGR PCA for the weekend. Everyone enjoyed the chance to meet Lisa in person to share our enthusiasm for our cars as well as the genuine camaraderie of our club. Our region is known for its fun personality… and (yo ho ho) that was definitely on display throughout the 2018 WOTY.
If you attended the WOTY and have photos to share, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org so they can be added to the online photo album. If you did not attend: blimey, you missed out on all the fun!
Be sure to put next year’s western-themed WOTY on your calendar; it will be held April 12-14, 2019 in the Mount Dora area. Jenny and Chris Branston are already planning the event. Be there and be square dancing! Until next year…