Last week, my wife surprised me with a trip to Key West for my 40th birthday. What is most amazing is the number of people who knew about the trip, yet not one let it slip to me. Not even my 5-year-old, who is notorious for giving away secrets. Especially to me.
If you ever get the chance to go to Key West, I highly recommend it. And rent a scooter. Yes, it’s the cheesy tourist thing to do, but it is more fun than you would expect. And it makes parking much easier. However, don’t try to fly directly to Key West. It won’t happen. The flights from Miami to Key West are frequently severely delayed, if they are not cancelled. Instead, fly to Miami and rent a car to make the 3-4 hour drive. It will be less stressful. (Just ask the couple from Minnesota who were traveling for their anniversary, only to be sitting in the airport waiting for a flight for 4 hours.)
In addition to actually being able to get there, driving is a much better experience. Water stretches out as far as the eye can see in beautiful hues of blue and green. Islands are peppered throughout, all against the backdrop of the brilliant blue sky. It really is something to behold. Even if you drive there at night. The water is invisible hues of black, peppered with black islands, against the backdrop of a pitch black sky. But that didn’t stop anyone from slowing down to stare at the scenery as we made the 4 hour drive at night. Everyone making the drive is on what they call “Key time.” Nobody rushes in the Keys. For us normal folks, with limited Key time, it is frustrating as we try to drive anywhere near the speed limit. Most of the sole route through the Keys is a 2 lane highway, with nowhere to pass. When you do reach that elusive 4 lane section, you quickly switch lanes and stomp on the gas. You don’t stop until the passing lane ends, hoping to get around as many cars as possible.
Looking for a less plausible reason for the slow drivers, Tammi said, “Ok, fine. It’s not like kangaroos are going to jump out in front of them. I just want to see what happens.” I think she was testing her control over the universe. When we finally got to our hotel and went to the lobby to check in, this fellow greeted us.
On our way home, we got to enjoy the scenery that we could not see on the way down. At one point, we saw a Crocodile Crossing sign. There was a metal fence the entire length of the highway. And a concrete barrier down the middle. I don’t know how they’re going to get into the road to cross it, and where they’re going to go. Then I saw an opening in the concrete barrier.
“Here it is, boys. This is where we’re going to cross.”