Ain't Gonna Whine No More No More …
12 March 2016 | Key West, Florida, USA
Beth / hot ashore, windy on the boat
Key West is a really cool little town, and I had to reframe my disappointment that we were here for a week. Chris Parker said on Monday, "Its going to get really, really windy, so here are those ugly numbers." He was right. It did get really, really windy.
We put extra lines on both the mooring ball and the dinghy, and stayed on the boat for 2 whole days because it was such a wet, rough ride to town that it seemed hardly worth it. By Thursday we couldn't stand it any more, so we donned our long yellow foul weather gear and braved the waves ... and rediscovered the sights and sounds of Key West.
We have walked leafy streets with both grand houses and sweet little cottages and even sweeter porches and gardens. We've smiled at chickens and roosters everywhere - in parking lots, and in hedges and along sidewalks - and these are pretty chickens too - all shiny iridescent feathers of red and green and blue. Well cared for dogs can be found on every block and are welcome in some of the places we've eaten as well, curled up under tables while their owners socialize.
We have joined throngs of people on Duval Street and along the waterfront who are partying in the bars, shopping in high-end shops, or people watching just like we were. (We haven't done much of the first two - our partying has been decidedly low key, and our shopping has been more at Publix and West Marine, but we have enthusiastically done lots of both people and boat watching.)
Because of the long bouncy ride to and from the boat, we developed a pattern of going ashore in the mornings, having lunch and doing errands or just getting some exercise. The grilled fish tacos at B.O's Fish Wagon were so good on Monday that we went back again on Thursday. We went back to Azur on Grinell St - a lovely little place that we first visited in 2012 - a little more upscale than the waterfront spots (no dogs or chickens around our feet) where the tasty fish sandwiches were pretty and not terribly expensive. And today we just had to pay a visit to the Schooner Wharf Bar where we enjoyed Cobb salad and fish and chips while we listened to fine blues music and generally soaked up the vibes. That place really is a classic. The sun was shining, the music was great, the crowd was lively and I actually felt sorry that we have to leave so soon!
I missed the most wonderful photo op on our first day ashore. We were heading home just at sunset and the sky was brilliant pink and orange and red - and the tall ships that take visitors out for sunset cruises were silhouetted against it. It was glorious ... and Jim's Blackberry (a.k.a. camera) was safely stored in the dry sack to protect it against the waves that were splashing over the sides of the dinghy.
We walked out Palm Ave and North Roosevelt Blvd past row upon row of sport fishing boats to the Publix grocery store one day, and to the White Street Fishing Pier another day to see the surf rolling in and people enjoying the sandy beaches nearby. We strolled past the Hemingway House that we visited last time, and the Customs House, and the wide walkway along the ship channel. Because we wanted to be back "home" before sunset each evening, we didn't stay ashore for any of the night life at Mallory Square.
And now, it is just about time to leave. The wind has dropped to 15 knots for the first time in a week, and we plan to leave in the morning - bound for points north. We are not sure just where we will stop along the way, but we'd love to make Lake Worth before dark on Tuesday. Don't hold us to it though!