04 January, 2012

Florida Connection - The Keys

Today we headed south to the Florida Keys.  Randomly throughout the trip, my mind would break into the song by the Beach Boys: Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go down to Cocomo / we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow / that's where I want to go, way down to Cocomo...  (I know you're singing it now, just like I am.)  How can you not think of that song when you're surrounded by sun and sand?
We stopped whenever we felt the need: food and shopping being the primary motivators for detours along the way.  We tested the Key Lime Pie at every location where it was available.  My absolute favorite (aside from ALL Key Lime Pie in Florida - which truly is the best, and beats anything at home by miles and miles) was from a cafe (read: trendy resort restaurant) in Islamorada.  Creamy, decadent, a little tart, and just fabulous!  I also tried Conch fritters.  Add that to the list of things I never have to try again.  Greg likes them, but they're too rubbery and chewy for me - the flavor is fine, but this texture gal didn't enjoy them.  At least now I know.
(We stopped to get gas and some momma chickens with babies in tow - followed  by the manly roosters - wandered into the parking lot.    It was charming to watch the little family pecking about freely.)  We made it to Key West just after sunset.  We were trying to be there beforehand, so Greg could get pictures and because they apparently have a sundown party every night.  We caught a couple of the last performers, then headed out to walk the streets.  O.M.G.  There were SO MANY PEOPLE! Vacationers everywhere (of course), people calling window shoppers (like us) into the stores, people passing out invitations to shows (we could've seen a couple different drag shows, if we'd had the time)... I almost felt claustrophobic just walking around.
Greg and I both agree that we'd like to come back to Key West - but when we have more time.  Time to rent mopeds or ride bikes around the streets; time to sit on the beach; time to enjoy the scenery and bask in the sun; time to explore the historical sites; time when we can do more than just browse the tourist-y shops.  It's so nice to be enjoying weather as nice as some of our best summer days in the middle of winter.  I love sitting on the deck, looking out at the ocean, eating lunch or dinner.  I can tell that adjusting to the cold and snow when we get back home is going to be tough for me.  (We've been watching the weather - not only is it cold, it's been below zero almost the whole time we've been gone.  Ugh!  Glad I'm missing that, but going back it going to hurt!)

On the trip out, I counted the bridges - we crossed 47 bridges from Key West to the mainland, including the 7-mile bridge.  Greg wanted to run part of that, but it was closed, so he took some pictures instead.  We're spending the night in Naples with Marci and Mike, then heading back to Orlando for the Big Race Weekend.  I wore shorts today without the compression socks, and I can tell my ankles are swelling - the skin is tight and pink (but no sausage toes!).  Hopefully having them up at night will help, and then I'll wear my Special Socks for the drive up to Orlando (not much beach walking then).

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