Goombay is the first part of Fantasy Fest. It takes place on Petronia street, blocked off from vehicles and lined with food and craft vendors.
"Goombay is a form of Bahamian Music and a drum used to create it. Its most famous practitioner in modern times was Alphonso 'Blind Blake' Higgs, who performed at the Nassau International Airport for many years.
Goombay, also spelled gombey, is a form of Bermudan music, drum and dance, and is related to the Bahamian style."I picked up Andy from the Miami airport at midnight Thursday night and we stayed in a local La Quinta. I had worked a full shift at the store before driving to Miami and was quite tired, but we still stayed up until about 2:30am catching up.
At 3am my phone declared a text message. Again at 3:30am. At 7am, Andy's watch alarm went off. I thought I had turned it off but it screamed again at 7:05am. At 8:30am the cleaning crew knocked loudly on the door (despite the fact that we had placed the "No Moleste" in the key slot) and actually opened it as far as the bar lock would allow. At 9:30am I received ANOTHER text.
When my alarm went off at 10:50am I wasn't rested but got up anyway as we had to check out by noon.
My sense of direction is pretty good and I aimed for where I believed the turnpike to be. I was right on and we made the short hop to the Kendall area of Miami. We hit Old Navy, Michaels, Barnes & Noble, Macaroni Grill and then to the Dadeland Mall for Nordstrom.
Once we traversed side roads and made our way to Homestead (by way of the Miami Speedway) we got on US 1 and headed for Key West at about 4:15pm.
Even stopping for beverages and bathroom breaks we made good time and arrived at home around 6:45pm.
After about an hour and a half rest, we changed and climbed in the car to head downtown. It was starting to sprinkle as we pulled out of the driveway, but were undaunted in our goal to experience the smokey carnival atmosphere of Goombay.
Downtown Key West is overrun with tourists currently and we were forced to park several blocks from Petronia. By the time we reached the festival it was starting to rain in earnest but as it is still very warm here, it wasn't uncomfortable.
Our appetites were growing and we decided to press on through the increasing downpour to find a suitable place to eat. The majority of the crowd was beginning to leave to get out of the rain and we found a small overhang to hold our plates under while we ate. My sundress was soaked through but the short hair is not easily messed up in rain so we walked through the sheets of water and puddles at least 3 inches deep.
Once we reached Duval again we decided to find a place to dry out that was not air-conditioned and made our way to Kelly's.
It took about 2 more hours to get dry enough to get back in the car.