Our first objective after we all woke up on Sunday was the same as it was on Saturday, to get ramen. This time we made it early enough and reached our goals because we are fucking champions. Sunday was a cold day, the usual Florida heat replaced with a bitterness that just wouldn’t go away. So ramen just made sense. Also, I was dressed like a hot dog. Last year, I tried to wear a hot dog costume on Sunday, and was greeted almost immediately with heat stroke. This year’s weather was better for this sort of thing and I rocked the dog all day. The suit actually kept me warm with whatever weird fucking fabric Halloween costumes are made from.
Our next objective was to get our yearly Fest tattoos. This year three out of the five of us got rubber duck gator tattoos because we are a solid year behind on forever etching inside jokes onto our skin. The timing was perfect, as soon as we were all done we had just enough time to get to Big Lou’s for Garrett Dale‘s acoustic set. The weekend had taken its toll on everyone including Garrett, as he was sounding gruffer than usual. He powered through his set, but only playing “Dead Body” once.
We headed back to the “tiki bar” from the night before and sucked down some sugar booze before going to Rockey’s to see the last Caskitt set before they do kind of lineup reboot. Caskitt was one of the first local San Diego bands I fell in love with, so it was bitter sweet to be able to see them play their last show in Florida. Hopefully it doesn’t take Matt too long to get the band back on its feet, because Caskitt is just one of those bands that need to be around.
Sic Waiting was next at Durty Nelly’s, but we had an hour or so to kill before that. So we finally had what was supposed to be our plan all weekend to keep spending money to a minimum, a car bar session. We sat on the curb drinking drinks and making friends with everyone who walked by until it was time to go inside and watch Jared and his weekend crew do their thing.
Back over at Rockey’s, it was time to relieve some San Diego homesickness with the homies from Western Settings. As we sucked down DVP’s like rockers, Western Settings blasted through their set of new and old songs to the delight of the increasingly drunk crowd (me). I jumped on stage for the last song, “Kicking and Screaming,” and managed to dump a handful of ruuber ducks on guitarist Tom House, while accidentally unplugging his amp, and screaming “I’m not fucking dead!” It was the first outright lie I told all weekend.
Dead Bars played directly after Western Settings in the one-two punch I was looking forward too most all weekend. I don’t remember much, except putting Lindsey on my shoulders at one point, and really liking the new song that may or may not be called “Regular.” Starving from rocking out for an entire hour, we made a trip to hot dog cart where I finally made good on my threat to makeout with someone. I could’t get Tony Shrum, so I shrugged my shoulders and hard settled like every other woman who has ever kissed Jimmy Gomez. Whats the mediocre version of magical?
Not content with just a hot dog, we also made our last trip into Flaco’s before we went into Durty Nelly’s for the last time to check out our last band, Boss’ Daughter. That would have been a hell of a way to end Fest, but god damn it we were far from done. The Great Canadian Beer Purge was happening back at our hotel! This year, the festivities were moved from the pool inside because it was Florida freezing aka below 60 degrees. I lasted as long as I could as a bunch of very drunk people sat in a hallway and yelled at each other as a handful of different musicians played acoustic Against Me! and NoFX songs. Eventually, Will Castro and I went to go hunt gator’s in the swamp, but instead got distracted by smoking cigarettes and frightening peeing Canadians. Everyone was trying to go back inside, but when I could barely make it up the first step back into the hotel, I said fuck it. I desperately needed some sleep and wondered back to the room.
That was it. Fest was finally fucking over.
BONUS CONTENT: Shit ain’t over. It’s never over, idiot. The next day we drove back to Tampa to fly home, stopping at a Waffle House for breakfast, and Gator World somewhere in the heart of the state. The sign said it was home of Big Al, a twelve foot long humongous gator! What we got was a very poorly taxidermied alligator on a pedestal. However, we did not only get to hold a baby gator, but also got to feed them pieces of turkey hot dogs on poles. When I’m old and cranky, please, do the same to me.
This place also had goats and bunnies that you could feed and hold. You haven’t lived life until you yell at a goat to “stop being a dick.” The bad part was, why all this cuteness was happening, we kept getting emails saying our 7 P.M. Frontier flight was delayed, eventually all the way until 2 A.M. When we got back to Tampa, we didn’t have a choice but to rent a hotel and sleep for as long as possible, eventually waking up to go to Olive Garden, and then back to sleep. When we finally got to the airport, Frontier offered us $15 vouchers to use at the airport store of our choice. But of course it was two o’clock in the fucking morning so that shit was only good at the only open store in the entire airport. Not wanting to waste anything those fuckers were willing to give us, I bought exactly $15 worth of meat sticks and fancy jarred cheesecake. Suck it Frontier.
** all below images by Zack Jacob
** all below images by Eden Kittiver
** all below images by Kendra Sheetz