Imagine you have friends with a sunny yellow beach house and a cobblestone patio. You’ve known them for years, and when you and your other friends visit, they load up the ice chest and pull out the grill. Live music plays as you brush the sand from your bare feet, and cars cruise by your house waving at your reunion party.
Meet Scott and Jacki, owners of the Sea Gypsy Inn on Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.
They’re your new friends.
Henri and I met Scott one evening at the Beach Pub, a bar that serves only beer, wine, and microwave food, but opens directly onto the beach and provides the perfect spot for an unobstructed view of the stunning gulf sunsets. I was lounging in a white plastic chair, wiggling my toes in the soft sand, and drinking a cold Yuengling; Henri was nearby making friends with strangers. I can’t remember what started our conversation that night, or even what was said, but I left with an invitation to join the gypsies for their St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
The Gypsy is dog-friendly. So Henri was invited, too.
The gypsies enjoy a good party- or a good excuse- and that makes them my kind of people.
There are a lot of festivals in Ft. Myers, and Scott and Jacki make the most of it for themselves and their friends. On the 4th of July there’s a parade on Ft. Myers Beach, and the gypsies have a float; Pirate-fest is Columbus Day weekend, and in the spirit of things, you can find the gypsies raping and pillaging on the beach. Okay, not really, but they do dress up. St. Patrick’s Day generally falls around the same time as the shrimp festival, which creates one week-long party.
This is when I met them.
The minute Henri and I arrived at the Inn, we felt like old friends. They made sure Henri knew where the water bowl was, and knowing he would stay close to me, I let him off his leash.
He immediately abandoned me for someone who would pet him.
Scott was manning the grill in his leprechaun best, providing brats and hot dogs, and corned beef and cabbage, and Jackie was in her green tutu, drinking sweet iced tea (I love her!). The guests, most of whom were return visitors, played merrily along, some providing food of their own to share, and all wearing green in some form or fashion; I wore my green bikini under a white linen shirt, and cut-offs. We threw green Mardi Gras style beads at passersby, and challenged several unsuspecting victims to a game of Tiki Toss. I gave this ring and hook game a shot, and hit it on my first toss. Beginners luck, I know, because I couldn’t do it a second time. I did, however, win a Sea Gypsy koozie that now stays in my purse (doesn’t everyone keep a koozie in their purse?).
If you’re headed to Ft. Myers look up my gypsy friends and like it says on my bright yellow koozie…
Drink Up Beaches!