09 March 2010
Key West is virtually at the end of the Florida Keys and as most of you know, truly a bohemian and off beat place. Here's an article I happened upon as I was writing this post http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2010/03/09/13167146-qmi.html which speaks to how zany folks here are.
We could take our boat here but the anchorage is not great so we opt to take the bus along with Bob and Carolyn. It's about 50 miles but we can figure on an adventure along the way. True to form, not long after we board the bus, a wacky woman joins us and regales us with her crazy ramblings and musings including one Judy loved, "any day above ground is a good one!". We think she has certainly had more than a double latte this morning! Five miles from Key West the bus runs out of gas and they send another to pick us up. Somehow I don't think this is an unusual event.
Key West is just what you picture; t-shirt shops, bars, restaurants, bike rentals and any other imaginable clip joints line the narrow streets. The pedestrians fall into two categories each with a sub category; tourist which include the bikers and the other and the locals which include the weirdoes and the service industry folks. We have lunch then with Carolyn's guidance, we take our own walking tour of downtown Key West. The highlight of course is "Hemmingway House" Most of you have probably read the seminal novel by Ernest, "The Old Man and the Sea". But you probably know that he was a prolific and powerful writer and is a legend here in Key West as he is in Havana, Cuba. I won't do the travelogue of the tour of his house but suffice it to say that it confirms that he was "larger than life". Judy particularly liked the proliferation of cats - all descendants from Ernest's first cat Snowy. They are cared for and pampered almost as much as Chopin.
We have to have a drink at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. And, while you know the esteem with which I hold the great bard Jimmy, his bars are over priced, garish, raucous places but worth the visit.
We walk and walk and finally have dinner a block off of Duval Street at a more quiet restaurant. Then the adventure of the trip home. We await the first bus which does not come. We hail a taxi who informs us that he does much of his business from tourists waiting in vain for the local busses which never come. We get the bus to Marathon and as might be predicted are joined by various locals working their way back home including some very colourful (and speaking colourful language) characters. All in all the day was the adventure we expected!