Monday, October 13, 2008

The Black Bunny invades Tybee Island! - Part 3

Saturday morning was dull and gray. We took our time getting up and getting ready. Since the parade lineup was at 2:15 (well, really 2:30… so I fibbed a little), we decided to have an early lunch at The Crab Shack. The food was good but the atmosphere/décor (if you can really call it that) was awesome. It has its own little animal sanctuary; seventy-eight live (baby) alligators, cats that rule the world and rescued exotic birds.

I had the Crab & Shrimp Au Gratin and it was delicious. Also, I am not a fan of coleslaw but there’s was the best I had ever tasted.


After lunch, we had to get ready for the parade. As we were getting geared up, it started to rain. It continued to rain. As we went to the van, it was raining. As we arrived at the parade line up, it was still raining. We had signed up to walk the parade. I was not walking in the rain. We decided to ask if we could drive the van. If so, we were in. If not, we would head back and watch the parade from the front porch. The organizer’s name was Katrina. As she came down the parade line, she spoke with each entrant. When she got to us, Jesse explained about the weather and said don’t worry about, we could take the van. Then, as if on queue, at 3:15pm the clouds parted and the sun came out. The parade was on.

It’s a good thing we had the van. It was a mile from the parade lineup to the official parade ‘start’. Then, the parade itself was another 2.5 to 3 miles. Darlin', Darrell, Steve and I walked and handed out beads. Jesse drove the van and my dear, sweet Powder Monkey carried the flag. One thing is for sure. People like beads. They really like beads. One thing they like more than regular beads are ‘special’ beads. In our case, it was Bunny beads. The Bunny beads were like crack cocaine to these people. Luckily, we had saved a slew of Bunny beads for the last few blocks of the parade; where some of the biggest crowds were going to be waiting. The only problem we had was one group of African-American’s that literally mobbed us and ran to the back of the van to grab beads. I actually had to tell a grown man to stop pulling the beads off my arm. Other than that, it was all good. Darlin' Bunny beaded as many puppies as she did people. Did I mention she loves animals?

Once again, as if on queue, just as the police cars at the end of the parade rounded the last corner, the rain started. We literally jumped in the van, closed the doors and went back to the house.

We wanted some photos of the crew on the beach, so we waited awhile to see if the rain would break. About 40 minutes later, we were headed to the ocean. It was high tide and the wind was fierce. We where holding hats on and hoping the flag wouldn’t take Josh’s arm off.

We struggled through pictures until the camera decided it was done. It was back to the house. While Steve stayed in costume, the rest of changed into Bunny attire. Darrell and I did wear our hats. We loaded up with some Bunny buttons and the last 20-30 strands of Bunny beads to head down toward the festival. It was sprinkling when we left, but nothing major. We stopped at String Ray’s to see what the wait was – 1 hour. No, we headed on down to the pier. As we got closer, the rain and the wind really picked up. Darrell wanted to run through the Thieves’ Market or what was left of it while Jesse checked on dinner. Darrell wanted to see one specific booth. By the time we made it, they were trying to keep the tent from blowing away and packing up the merchandise. We took a brief look and went join Jesse at ‘Fannie’s'. We lucked up and grabbed some chairs under the tiny bit of shelter around the restaurant. While it wasn’t bone dry, we weren’t getting soaked. We sat and people watched until our table was ready. It is amazing what some people wear or don’t wear – especially in very windy situations. Thong underwear must be a staple on Tybee Island.

During our wonderful fried dinner, we continued to people watch. Women in leather bikini tops, men dressed as mermaids, drunk, old men wandering by our table telling completely inappropriate dirty jokes. It was a memorable experience. With the rain outside, all the people had poured inside. The staff at 'Fannie's' was busting their tails to take care of everything. It was amazing to see the smiles appear as Darlin' and Powder Monkey started handing them Bunny beads. After dinner, we went outside to find it still raining with no sign of letting up. Our diligent Bosun volunteered to go get the van and pick us all up. Lucky us, we found our same ‘waiting for dinner’ chairs to continue our people watching. The unexpected flashers, the exhibitionist, the drunks, and just the plain stupid were great entertainment. As we sat there, Darlin’ noticed three people still working one of the very few vendor tents left in the Thieves’ market. She felt sorry for them and decided to run over and give them some Bunny beads. She took off in the rain, delivered her treasure and two hugs later came scurrying back. Evidently they had given up the ghost as well. She said they smelled like rum and where three sheets to the wind!

While enjoying all of this, guess who we run in to – Katrina, the Pirate Fest organizer. We had some great conversation, found out more about her and the festival; to make a long story short – she gave us a personal invitation back to next years PirateFest.

Soon after that, the Bosun’ came to our rescue and sailed us back to the house through the treacherous rain. We retired to the porch and enjoyed watching the rain and partaking of the bar. Then it was off to bed, or, for some, falling asleep sitting up on the sofa….. again.

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