This mini-away was the exception. The Florida Keys are rather akin to paradise. Not the true pristine paradise of the Caribbean, but quality nonetheless. There is a hell of a gay pride community, as well as a strong MA/Red Sox contingent. There are also about a billion bars, little shops, and tons of sand. I'll be damned if I didn't have a great time.
I went with my friends S and B, whose faces you see smattered throughout the photo set. This is a shot of them at the southernmost point in the continental US:
S is the tall one, in case you were wondering.
We got into Miami early Saturday morning. I was offered a first class upgrade for a pittance, and took it. I read the most of the way down, except for watching "Good Night and Good Luck" (which I really liked). My flight got in first, so I went to meet up with S and B at Miami airport. Because Miami airport is under construction, there are no moving walkways or trams or anything. I came in on one end of the airport, they came in on the other. It took me about 20 minutes to hike it. The place is that big, really.
After that we picked up the trusty rental car (a convertible), and it was vacation ho!
We spent a night in Islamorada (where we didn't see the Supremes, but had some great food). There was this guy weaving grass hats there, and a unisex bathroom, which was VERY uncomfortable. I was asked (due to my Yankees hat) by someone if I was a New Yorker. Turns out her son was a regular at a bar I used to frequent in the long ago when I was dating a woman from Woodside. I probably bought him a round or two, if he is who I think he was.
The Supremes were there way past drunk thirty
This is the grass hat man - I was gonna buy one, but I already got one. it was a present on my 25th birthday.
The hotel in Islamorada had turtles on all the doors. B asked me to take a pic of one.
The view was pretty good from the hotel balcony.
We had a scrumptious evening at S's Aunt/Uncle's house. It was in an insanely opulent gated community a little northeast of Islamorada. The community had their own church, lake, dock, grocery store, gas station, and golf course. Everyone rode around on golf carts to get everywhere. It was a breathtaking house, with a screened in two story patio, and an indoor pool. I met some very cool New Yorkers, who were also there, and had a fantastic dinner. I got to get my grill on for burgers, and seared tuna, shrimp, and asparagus were served up by others. In the late behind the house were quite a population of fish (they had a dock in their backyard that led to the lake). S's aunt fed the fish bologna - I got a few shots of them coming up to eat:
Oscar Mayer fishie
Screened in Patio with Pool
After the evening passed, it was back in the car to Key West! I learned that once crossing a certain point, my phone was spotty at best, and my battery soon died without regular recharging. As a result, it spent the majority of my vacation off, which was a good thing, really. From this point on, the recipe was pretty much, get up, chill in the sun, get dinner, drink/dance/sightsee.
Chillaxin with Frozen Drinks
What a mailbox!
Surprisingly, we saw some great live music down there, and it was mostly cover stuff. Lots of fun to see a
We did one day out at the docks for a sunset where I saw someone juggle fire on a tall unicycle, a dog that could walk a crosswire, a mime dressed as a midget, and ate some unfuckingbelievably good Cuban food.
On a Unicycle
The last full day there, we did some diving, and went on a sunset cruise in a wooden schooner (The Appledore from Maine) which my friend B talked the captain into letting her run for a bit:
B at the helm
Sunset and Sailboat (not ours)
Sunset From Sailboat
The last night was much fun. Good food, great times. The next morning, we went to the Southernmost Point in the Continental US, then got in the car to go back to Miami. On the way back though, we stopped at Treasure Island, a junk shop on the side of US 1. The only reason to stop there was, THEY HAVE A LOBSTROCITY!
DaDa Chum, DiDa Chick
I can't tell if B is happy to see it, or scared that she is going to be eaten.
Flight home was delayed interminably, and I got home pretty exhausted from the travel. Since then, it has been grindstone city, but I am still basking in afterglow.
Good times, great place. I'd highly recommend the Keys to anyone looking for a good time.
More pics available on my flickr.