Manners, Key West
I'm sorry I lost info on who wrote these tips of Do's & Dont's for Fantasy Fest.
It makes sense, so thanks to the creator whereever they are:
Don't wear a mask you can't drink in or costume you can't use the bathroom in, or shoes you can't walk in.
Do dress sexier than you thought you might.
Do make sure you have a place to stay before you get too drunk.
Do leave kids with proper child care. Fantasy Fest is not for kids, teens or even young adults under 21.
Do carry LEGAL IDENTIFICATION if you look under 30, or don't get mad when a bartender refuses to serve you alcohol.
Do realize that the shape & size of your exposed "normally private body parts" will not change with spray paint.
Don't wear your thong with your leg in the wrong hole.
Do trim your "sensitive areas" around your costume.
Don't flash the police or ask them to flash you. Respect them as they are there for you & can't be partying with you.
Do understand that just because you're naked doesn't mean that others find you hot.
Don't go out carrying valuable items that you might lose when you get drunk such as a purse wallet, jewelry or your spouse
Do wrap your money in plastic 1st if you have nothing to carry it in but your bikini bottoms.
Do consider having a portable porta-potty for parade night as unoccupied bathrooms will be scarce for 75,000 people
Don't verbally abuse anyone before stepping inside a porta-potty (result could be gross)
Don't step in front of moving parade floats to pick up beads
Do be aware that if you take Henrietta home with you may wake up with Henry.
Do take lots of pictures but ask 1st. And, use disposable cameras if you tend to lose them.
Do exercise a little tact & courtesy with people working the bars during Fantasy Fest
Don't tip in beads - they don't want nor need any beads
Don't ask female servers to show you their b***s; there are 1000's of women on Duval Street dying to show you all that they've got.
Don't be afraid to dress up, Have an outrageous time & Tip big.
A long-standing rule among old "Conchs" (people born in the Keys) is you don't blow your car horn at people, because it is unmannerly and does not fit the island's laid-back life style. In the last few years, though, with thousands of "Yankees" (anyone not born a Conch to Key -Westers) buying up all the property on the island the old, genteel polite island ways of charm and manners have all but disappeared. Cars race down N. Roosevelt Blvd at 60 miles per hour, though the road is less than a mile long. If you ride a bicycle or a scooter you are taking your life in your hands, and many have been injured or killed by the wild drivers. A few years ago, you could stop right in the street and chat with your neighbor, but now the horns blare and drivers swear in rage. I always wonder, You're HERE! Why are you in such a hurry? Help start a return to sweet old Key West. Have manners! Be polite! and- DON"T BLOW THE HORN!
Key West has its own independence and thinks of itself, tongue in cheek, as the 'Conch Republic>..they even have their own secretary of state who issues passports for the 'Conch Republic' Everyone in Key West has a great sense of humor !
Watch out for Roosters and chickens when you drive into the smaller, less touristy area's. We were driving along the side streets and looking at the old houses and all of a sudden several roosters where in the road! Apparently, a coming sight.
If you want a picture with anyone, just walk up and ask. Most people are flattered and more than happy to pose. A very few want money to pose with you. Though some costumes are worth the dollar or two for the picture, I don't like encouraging the practice. I'm pictured here in my wizard outfit and as you can see, I get a bit elaborate. I'm there to have fun and contribute to other's fun - not make money or supplement my costume expense.
The people are extreemly friendly and welcome internationals. No rules dominate your fun. Just have respect for delicate eco balance of the nature that surrounds you. As far as the wild night life on Key West, just about anything goes. Young and old love this place where E.Hemingway would get wildly blisted. The photo below is a friend from England at Hemingway's house taking a break from the tour and notice in the pot behind her is one of Heminway's cats with the six toes.
The scruffy looking guy drinking next to you at the bar may be:
a retired dot com millionaire;
a local carpenter;
a treasure hunter;
an artist, actor, musician or author;
someone sailing around the world;
a homeless guy from New Jersey.
Regardless, it's Key West, he most definitly will be friendly. Why not buy him a drink...you might hear some good stories.
FLORIDA is not particularly enamored with rushing around and being uptight. The people you see doing so are transplants and tourists. The real Florida is so laid back it is astounding. Except for the bridges, this would be the American Bahamas....so check your uptights and attitudes at the mainland and just enjoy!
Key West is a cosmopolitan city and prices in up-grade restaurants are high. It is very costly to live down there and most everything is trucked in so the people doing service jobs need to be tipped by the usual 15-18%. People are friendly and want to help you enjoy your visit.
No one does anything fast in the Keys. If you are an impatient person, you may want to consider a different vacation. Everyone is typically very friendly. You get what you give in the Keys.
In early days Key West was a real Free State for Pirates. They had nothing to fear. Later it was called the Conch Republic, because of the shells found on the beaches.