Sunday, December 11, 2011

Been there, done that

December 10, 2011—I’ve lived in Florida since April 1998. The first year I moved here, I visited the Everglades, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I went snorkeling several times while I lived in Palm Beach County. I’ve visited several state parks. And I’ve done the Disney/Universal “thing.”

7-mile bridge to the Key West
Now I can add Key West to my list of “been there, done that.” That’s how I feel about the town. As we were walking down one of the main streets toward the waterfront square, Jim described it best, “Key West is the New Orleans of Florida.”

Tourists were everywhere, wall to wall. And so were the tourist traps—t-shirt shops, bars, restaurants, and more bars. On the wharf street entertainers begged people to watch their antics—juggling, unicycling, guitar playing—(and pay afterwards, I’m sure). It’s kind of fun to people watch, but I’m not into the Key West scene.

Actually I knew very little about Key West. I knew Ernest Hemingway spent time there, and his house has a lot of resident cats (44 to be exact), about half of which have six toes. I knew that on Halloween Key West has a big gay parade. And I knew that Key West is the farthest south you can go and remain in the United States.

A 6-toed cat at the Hemingway House
We toured the Hemingway House and saw the cats, as well as the office where Hemingway wrote much of his work. That was interesting. The rest of the town is ho-hum.
Hemingway House
Hemingway's Key West study

Mallory Square, waterfront, in the Keys. A ship was in port. So was Jim.
I think the rest of our time here in the Keys will be restful and good, assuming the weather cooperates. We arrived here about noon today, after making a short stop at John Pennecamp State Park, which boasts the nation’s first (and only?) underwater coral reef park, on our way down to the RV resort.

The coral reef is about six miles offshore. To get to it and enjoy it, you can take a glass-bottom boat ride, or you can sign up for snorkeling or scuba diving. I wanted to go on the glass-bottom boat excursion, but we missed the boat by a half hour, and the next one didn’t leave for two hours. Also, the seas were very rough, so we passed on the boat ride. Perhaps on the way back. Or not.

The RV resort is very big and very nice. It is directly on the water and adjacent to a fishing bridge. Our spot faces north to the bay, which is only a few hundred yards away. Tomorrow I intend to see if there are any fish in the sea. I hope the water will be warm. I think we may also try our hands at fishing, something we have been promising ourselves for a long time. We just haven’t gotten around to doing it. You know, it is true: Retired people are the busiest ones!

All in all, it was a good day, even though I wouldn’t be tempted to go to Key West again.
Linda at the end of the road...U.S. 1, that is

Until next time,

Your Reluctant RoVer,

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