Shiver Me Timbers!

This website has become somewhat of an obsession.  My family caught me checking updates while eating, driving, watching the sunset, and at my lowest … brushing my teeth.  Lisa (dental hygienist), brushing takes priority.  I have been pushed to share the following photo that my father captured.

Blogging and Brushing

This morning we made the trek from Key Largo to Key West.  The scenery made for the most incredible motorcycle ride: long bridges, tropical vegetation, and ocean views.

Me and Shannon

A Break from the Ride

We arrived in Key West and stopped at the hotel to unload.  While unloading, we met a couple on mopeds who were anxious to share their inside knowledge of Key West.  They had just come from a restaurant called The Pirate Seafood Company, and had nothing but great things to say.  We were all starving, and this sounded like just our kind of place.  It turned out to be a small seafood stand next to a gas station chaulked full of pirate paraphanalia.  Many in our crew were skeptical!!  However, when Mundy the Pirate (the owner) showed us his fresh catch of giant shrimp, grouper, and conch, we couldn’t refuse.  And fortunately we didn’t, the food was excellent, the pirate theme was entertaining, and Mundy the Pirate was full of character.  Even Brendon, who doesn’t like seafood enjoyed the shrimp, fish, and conch.

The Pirate Seafood Company

The Pirate Seafood Company

Fresh Shrimp

Mundy the Pirates Hood Ornament

Great Ambiance

Bob & Dad with Grouper Sandwiches

Brendon Eating Seafood!!

Shannon & I with Mundy the Pirate

Coincidentally, another one of our friends from R. E. Ginna, Kieth, just happen to be in town for the Fort Taylor Pyrate Invasion.  Many of us were starting to ask the question, who’s running the power plant??  By the way, yes, this is a pirate convention; Kieth delves head first and all out into some of the most unique hobbies.  For this particular hobby, he has aquired the full pirate dress “kit”, swords, and a functioning musket and cannon.  I couldn’t wait to see (1) keith in his pirate outfit, and (2) his cannon in action.  I was disappointed on both fronts.  However, even better, I did get the honor of wearing his pirate “kit” myself.

Shiver Me Timbers

Me and Kieth (Pirate Edward)

After leaving Kieth’s condo we headed to the southern most point of the US to observe the sunset.  Aaron, the sentimentalist captured this beautiful moment perfectly when he said, “Do you really want to watch it get dark?”

Sunset from the Southern Most Point of the US

Watching the Sunset

Day 9


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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31 Responses to Shiver Me Timbers!

  1. Makiko says:

    Arrrr, wish I was digging into that shrimp with you guys!

  2. Ryan says:

    Wow! I really wish I was still down there with you guys! Food and scenery looks great! However, I’m glad I had nothing to do with you guys and the gunpowder. I’ve been there before.

  3. Keithcollins says:

    Bret, great to see you this afternoon. And you will get a chance to fire the canon and blunderbus when I get them home. Safe travels to you and the rest of the crew. I will touch base in the morning. Don’t miss breakfast at Blue Heaven.

  4. Ernie says:

    Plant? What power plant? Yes, some of us must remain behind to make the turbine go roundy roundy. While you guys have been enjoying the sun, we’ve been getting buried in snow. I want to see Keith in the pirate outfit, too, but you look pretty good in it, rugged beard and all. 🙂

  5. Jlag says:

    Methinks you all now need pirate names. Tried the “pirate name generator” but I am thinking that your online crew of followers can come up with alot better names…..

  6. Scott Elsenheimer says:

    Hi Bret,

    You were a few years ahead of me, but your mom was a teacher of mine and no one that walked the halls of WCCS could not know who you are. I too find myself checking your story for updates daily, and have shared this living testimony to my friends and family. Thank you for your positive outlook on life. I’m a Proprietor for a large restaraunt here in New Jersey, and I wanted to let you know that I am looking for and promise to host fund raisers for research in CCS… I will also continue support the Komen group heavily as I have for years. The life is short deal becomes more apparent each and every day, I would truly hope that if I was presented with a situation similar to yours in any way that I could stand up and declare, you may win… but you will not defeat me; as you have.

    Thank you again, good luck, feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you know off hand anyone to speak with about putting on a spectacular event for the cause.

    Scott Elsenheimer

  7. Pat Landers says:

    Bret – Your tales remind me of the Steppenwolf song I imagine you guys have hummed to yourselves a time or two on the bikes: “Get your motor runnin’, Head out on the highway, Looking for adventure, And whatever comes our way. Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen, Take the world in a love embrace, Fire all your guns at once, And explode into space…” (words and music by Mars Bonfire) -you truly are an inspiration to us all. With all the thousands of miles we logged on the Wing, never made it to the Keys – what a great sunset we missed. Thank you for sharing your incredible adventure with us all, and for demonstrating what true courage looks like.

  8. Maura says:

    hey Bret,

    My parents, Karyl & Rod, gave me the address to this site. So now I’m a daily reader. 🙂 I’m a little obsessed w/ blogs myself, so they knew I’d enjoy reading. I have one too – but it’s a deal shopping site, not a personal story site.
    Since hearing about your trials, you have been in my prayers. Many childhood memories flood back of when our parents would hang out, and us girls and you boys would hang out together.
    So I just wanted to stop by, say hi, and let you know of one more reader. It’s fun to get comments, isn’t it? 🙂

  9. Michelle says:

    How fun! Love the sunset! Looks like its time for a swim in the ocean!

  10. lisa says:

    the picture of you brushing your teeth is PRICELESS!!! love it!

  11. Kelly says:

    I LOVE reading your daily adventures. Every morning it’s the first thing I do – I can’t wait to see what you and your crew have done! You look like you are having a blast. Keep riding on and enjoy the view!

  12. Dave Defendis says:

    Before you leave Key West, you need to try chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick–best dessert ever.
    Continue to be safe on your journey, and know that both you and your folks are in our thoughts and prayers every day.

  13. Michelle (Cassata) Wolfanger says:

    Bret, thanks for continuing to write I check daily-1st thing I do when I get my computer up and running-shh don’t tell anyone!! Glad your continuing to ride and totally jealous of all the awesome food your digging into!

  14. Sue Powell says:

    OK, one of the old gang of Jim’s friends here at the medical center signing on here. We have been worrying about Jim’s ability to maneuver on a motorcycle, but once I saw Betsy on the back of the bike with Jim in Key West, I assume all is well since she is a smart woman. Jim, we have delayed the holdiay gathering until your return – well that is one reason – the other is the mounds of snow and some of us still drive in from the country. Bret, enjoying the pictures, the music and the sentiments. Sue

  15. Debbie says:

    Hello Road (Pirate?) Warriors!

    I’m glad to see you’ve found the Keys so delightful and I do hope last night you did a smidge of the Duval Crawl 🙂 And look at Betsy with her hair flying in the wind on the back of the motorcycle! I won’t say in this blog about riding (insert 5 letter word here that also means female dog), but it’s a freeing experience!

    So much more to see and more to do–Shannon, I will quote Dad here and say “People to see, things to do, places to go!” This is the trip of a lifetime and I’m sure I say for everyone who reads your blog, thank you for taking us along on the adventure.

    I did share your page with the Regional manager of our local Harley Davidson dealerships, his name is Brian LeBarron–he was very intersted in following along as well!

    Love you guys so much and I hope I get to see you on the way back through this way–but I’m betting you’re going to head towards the Gulf Coast from there, right? Hit New Orleans? Heck–I would!!

    With you every mile!


  16. Carolina DeHond says:

    You are such a strong person, very inspirational!!!

    I am still laughing over the Walking through the Drive through at Wendy’s and now over you being busted while brushing your teeth!! I know how addicting it can be.. after I post my updates ..I am swamoed with e-mails but love reading each and everyone and appreciate them so much!!

    Hope for warmer weather!!!!

  17. Grandma Hoefen says:

    Hi Bretski!
    It is cold here and I am freezing..hope you are enjoying some warm weather. I miss you and Shannon.

    Love Grandma Hoefen

  18. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    “Aye-aye” Bret, Shan and Gang,
    Website obsessed seems quite contagious!!!! We’re right there with you! At least we don’t read your blogs while brushing our teeth! 🙂 We’re wondering if you ate breakfast at Blue Heaven yet? Everyone has mentioned it and given it just about 5 star recommendations, so we’re anxious to hear what’s it’s all about.

    What an incredibly, beautiful drive along the ocean in The Keys!!!!!!! We were awed with emotion watching you ride there, Bret. That view and the gorgeous sunset is almost a spiritual experience!

    Shan, we’re glad you didn’t have to walk the plank – Pirate Bret looked pretty friendly! Smart Pirate that he is, he knows how wonderful and special you are and just how to treat a lady! 🙂

    Your adventures at The Pirate Seafood Company and seeing all that scrumptuous looking shrimp reminded me in so many ways of the movie, “Forrest Gump”. First, of Forrest and Bubba’s shrimp boating endeavor and shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp everywhere!!!!! Secondly and more importantly, of Forrest’s spirit to persevere through all kinds of obstacles in his life. Remember how he just started to run one day and then just kept going and going, touching and inspiring so many lives along the way. Your spirit and determination are a lot like Forrest’s. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”. You have turned your box of chocolates into a courageous and admirable journey and are teaching us all so much about life. How we all thank you!

    Bets, I think it’s finally time you got some chaps. We saw your hair blowing in the wind on the back of Jim’s motorcycle! Look’s like you’re now an official motorcycle mama!

    Have any of you had any keylime pie yet? I’ve heard no mention and I am salivating just thinking of it. I’m waiting for a very descriptive report to satisfy my craving! 🙂

    Take care you wonderful, motley crew! We can’t even begin to tell you all how much we love you and are with you on every part of your journey.

  19. Carmel Hall says:

    Hi, Bret & Shan,
    ‘Just a quick note to stay in touch! One of the first things I do every morning is to check in to read your blog and watch the videos. Your adventures fuel me for the day; I am tremendously inspired by your strength and courage. Where are you headed next? If you’re up this way anytime soon, let me know.

    “The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning”. ~ Ivy Baker Priest

    I love you all!

  20. Aunt Bo says:

    You goof…blogging and brushing. Great picture though. Glad you are getting as much enjoyment out of the replies as we are getting from your BLOG. It is so amazing how many people you have touched. I always read it first thing in the morning..but lately the brain is frozen along with the I have to wait to respond until I thaw out. Beautiful sunny day here..but mighty cold.
    Another storm brewing for Sunday into Monday. Stay warm..looks like Key West is going to have some warm weather over the next few days.

  21. JoEllen (Fahy) Schubmehl says:

    Love that you have found so many unique places to visit and jealous of all the delicious food you have enjoyed!!

    I am wondering where you will be heading next, back to NY or on to explore?

  22. Reggie & Mary Lee says:

    Hey – was that your mom and dad riding with NO HELMETS??? would like to see a still photo of them on the bike!!! The sea food looks so yummy. Reggie has a cannon that he can blast a broom handle across the field behind our house and over the full grown trees at the back of the field. 4th of July parties used to be pretty competitive around here! (and noisy!) Tell Shannon that was a pretty intense roller coaster ride and I hope that she didn’t have to deal with aftereffects!
    Happy Trails!

  23. Reggie & Mary Lee says:

    BTW Reggie built the cannon.

  24. Reggie & Mary Lee says:

    Glad to know you are brushing…those bugs stick when you don’t have a facemask/helmet on!!! Shannon probably really appreciates your brushing!
    Hugs and Prayers ML

  25. Karen says:

    I love the picture of you blogging and brushing! It just shows that you are an efficient multi-tasker, who is taking full advantage of every minute in the day! What is wrong with that?!

    I have been caught reading your blog while brushing. Addicted, maybe but who isn’t?

  26. Rich says:

    I haven’t heard anyone suggest Scuba Diving. You’re in the right part of the country. Key Largo, Pennecamp Park?
    Just a thought,

  27. Elisa Hoefen says:

    So happy to see that you are having a great time. Love the video and pictures.


  28. Marianne Borrelli says:

    You all look so carefree, relaxed and yes warm! Even though no snow in Ct ,it is cold!!
    Nice to see Betsy enjoying a bike ride too!
    Nice sunset. Reminds me of the sunsets on the island of Santorini, part of the spiritual journey.
    Your video was awesome but it just can’t give us the flavor of all that good food you guys are experiencing! Tell us where the best Key Lime pie can be found… one of my favs! Wish you could bring me one home!!
    Hope the weather stays warm for you. Happy trails!

    Auntie Cuz

  29. Jamie Arias says:

    What a beautiful sunset. I can totally see Aaron saying that!

  30. Ed & Linda Pucci says:

    Hello Bret,
    We are Ed & Linda Pucci. Ed worked with your mom many years ago and we have stayed in contact with your parents over the decades. Your mom steered us to your blog which we have found unbelievably touching. Even though we have not been in your life to date, we feel like we are there now and are so grateful for your taking the time to write this. Is a screen play in your future; it would make a great movie! If even a few more people were like you, the world would most definitely be a better place! Enjoy the rest of your trip. Sincerely, Ed & Linda
    P. S. Love the pirate hood ornament. Love, love, love the food! Love you and your family for coming up with something so wonderful!

  31. Pingback: Giving the Journey Heart and Soul | Bret Hoefen – My CCS Story

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