Heralding in 2012 in the Conch Republic

January 14th, 2012 by Shayne Benowitz

2012 Conch Drop at Sloppy Joe’s.

Is it too late to still be wishing people Happy New Year’s? I don’t think so! Although I did mean to get to this New Year’s blog sooner, I think we can take our sweet time looking forward to what the new year will bring. We had a great celebration in Key West, and it was actually the first New Year’s I’d spent here since 2006, the year I moved here. Some of my best friends and I have a longstanding tradition of traveling for New Year’s. They all came to Key West to ring in 2007, and since then we’ve been to Seattle, Las Vegas, and twice to Miami. For 2012, it was time to bring the party back to the island!

A couple of good friends from New York, Ted and Colin, came down to celebrate  with me and we got the weekend started right on the Commotion on the Ocean. Nicole’s mom was in town and so was longtime Fury Girl Becky for the holiday, so they joined us as Cory & the band rocked us into a spectacular Key West sunset.

For New Year’s Eve, we got a nice group together for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants Blackfin Bistro and then cruised down Duval Street for the festivities. At 801 Bourbon, we saw Sushi in her stiletto before it dropped to ring in 2012. The block was absolutely packed, so we continued to Fogarty’s for the countdown. Everyone was out and ready to celebrate! We bounced around after that from Rick’s to the Lazy Gecko and finally to the Porch. And, of course, we couldn’t end the night without spotting the conch that dropped at Sloppy Joe’s. It was a great night!

At first I couldn’t think of exactly what my New Year’s resolution would be. 2011 was a big year for Fury and for me. The company’s expansion was exciting and we now have more trips than ever to offer our customers, including jet skiing, dolphin watching, the Double Dip snorkel trip, and the Island Adventure. All I could think of as a resolution was just to keep on keeping on. But a few days after the New Year, a mantra started to repeat itself in my mind: be energetic, be fearless, be positive. I think those will be good words to guide me through a New Year.

It was a blast to ring in 2012 in Key West and I look forward to more good times to come. Happy New Year’s everyone! May yours be healthy, wealthy, and… filled with snorkeling and parasailing!

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