We’ve been looking forward to Key West since we were parked on Lake Michigan north of Chicago in January, enduring single digit wind chill just after an ice storm.
Heading south, we stopped in Miami to catch up with the Urbecs, some of our very best friends from back in the Fort Bragg days. They made us feel so welcome we parked our bus in their yard and stayed for a while. The boys loved having other kids to hang out with – they had so much fun. Carson was invited along on a sleepover that included forging knives in the backyard! The adults had a pretty good time too. There was much wine and conversation and laughter. And knitting… Man, we love those guys.
We finally dragged ourselves away from Miami and headed south on US Highway 1, known as the Overseas Highway, one of the most scenic stretches of road in America. It traverses the Florida Keys for over 100 miles, ending at Mile Marker 0 in downtown Key West. The water was crystal clear, iguanas scurried across the road in front of the bus, and people along the way were often fishing from both sides of the road. Very cool.
I think when Jimmy Buffet sang about “Changes in latitude, changes in attitude,” this is exactly what he was picturing. One week stretched into two, we started to have favorite hangouts, and everyone started to relax into the island life. We soaked up the sun, snorkeled the Florida Reef (third largest in the world), SNUBA-dived just off the island (imagine a cross between snorkel and SCUBA), para-sailed, drank rum drinks, walked Duval Street, toured Hemingway’s house, kayaked through mangrove tunnels, flew in a seaplane out to the Dry Tortugas islands to snorkel the most western end of the Keys, and wrapped it all up at the end with a spectacular Key West sunset from Mallory Square.
Key West, we will definitely be back!