Thanksgiving night, I picked up my friend, Janet, and we started the long drive down I-95. I love the drive, but this is the first time I was doing it mostly at night, so having Janet along was great. I was, however, happy to see the sunrise when we were somewhere in Georgia!
OK…so….I do this once or twice a year. Sometimes I go alone, sometimes with friends. Sometimes, we just hang out at the pool, but this trip, we decided to have some adventure. Janet and I originally planned on leaving the Friday after Thanksgiving, so our friend, Lana, was going to fly in on Saturday so we could pick her up at the airport. Leaving early gave us some time to rest after the long drive.
The one thing we HAD to do this trip was go to Key West. Janet and Lana had never been there and every time I had been there, I could never see the sunset in Mallory Square (it was usually cloudy), so Monday morning, we were off again. It was a gorgeous day!!! It’s always nice when you’re driving through the keys down Route 1 and the weather cooperates.
We had plenty of time, so we stopped by the Coral Castle…one of my favorites! If you’ve never been there, it’s in Homestead, FL. The history of the place is amazing! It was built by one small man, but no one seems to know how he did it. He had no help, yet set these huge coral blocks in place. He built his “castle” for his true love, who never got to see it. Originally, it was built in Miami, but was later moved (by the builder, alone) to Homestead. It’s not a big place and is easily missed even though it’s right on Route 1, but it’s interesting to see. There’s a built in tour that tells the history of the place; all you have to do is press a button on the strategically placed kiosks, so you’re not confined to any schedule.
As I said, the weather was beautiful! The view from every bridge was perfect, especially for two people who had never seen it. We got to Key West, found a motel, then set off for shopping, dinner and sunset! We found a table right on the edge of the patio, ordered our munchies and drinks, then waited for the “show”. I was a bit worried because about 100 feet from us was a docked cruise ship waiting to sail (that would not have made for good sunset viewing). The ship waited, the view was unobstructed by clouds and our life was good! The next adventure was for Lana: SHOPPING! Some of the shops and kiosks in the square are incredible. Since it’s a pretty artsy place, just about everything is hand-made and unique.
We fit as much into those 2 days as we could. We stopped at every shop and bar on Duvall Street, I introduced them to Kermit’s Key Lime Pie on a stick and we visited Hemingway House. I never actually took the whole tour before. Cats, cats and more cats!!!! All six-toed. They have the run of the place. As we were getting our tickets, the lady asked if the 4 of us were together. Hmmmm….I THOUGHT there were only 3 of us….but there was some random guy standing right behind me. I just told the lady that there were 3 of us, but if my “friend” wanted to pay, he was welcome to do that. We had a little banter going back and forth until his wife stepped up and gave me the evil eye!!! LOL! OMGs! Trust me when I say, this man was SO not my idea of desirable. We were in Key West, so the male tourist thing is Bermuda shorts and sandals (with socks!!!!!) and a gaudy print shirt <shudder>. Well…this guy was following us the entire tour and his wife was right behind him. When we went to the balcony, I stayed away from the edge thinking there would be an “accident”.
Everywhere I go, I seem to make friends. This amuses Janet and Lana to no end and they love telling Paul all about my “flirting”. This is made easier for them to do since my car has a Bluetooth connection and he usually called as we were on our way somewhere (he has impeccable timing!). They told him about the guy at Hemingway House, the guy at the gas station store that helped me find tea, the guy in the t-shirt shop….everyone I said “Hi” to, according to them, I was flirting with. Of course, to hear them tell it, my eyelashes were batting so hard they felt the breeze! My guy is used to this. Everywhere we go, I do the same thing. He finds it amusing too.
Last year when I was in Key West with my friend, Natalie, we stopped at a bar that gave us coupons for two-for-one margaritas. Needless to say, I was snockered! I was taking pictures of the strange guys that tried to pick us up and other sites along the way. We were in a t-shirt shop and the owner happened to be from NJ and told me how he loves it there and that I should move down there and we could live happily ever after. So, my guy picks this time to call. The conversation went like this:
Him: Uh, huh…..
Me: Yep! We just had a zillion margaritas and my future husband is helping me find some gifts.
Him: Uh, huh…..
Me: So….honey….I’m going to move to Key West and work in a t-shirt shop, OK???
Him: Uh, huh…..So, is Natalie sober?
Me: You’re funny!! Of course not!
Him: OK. You’re not driving, are you?
Me: No…we’re sort of walking.
Him: OK….I have to run. You have a good time and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Say “hello” to your future husband for me!
My friends can’t understand how he can be so “understanding” about these things, but I tell them that he knows he can’t complain because he goes home to his wife every night. He can’t tell me who I can or can’t talk to. But, he’s really not the jealous type. His attitude is that I could talk to whomever I want, but he trusts me enough to know that even drunk, I’m not about to do something stupid (like marry some guy on a whim and work in a t-shirt shop ). It’s all about trust.
When the week was over, the three of us got in the car and headed north. We took our time, stopped at the Fountain of Youth, stopped for a few “sit down” meals, stayed overnight somewhere in North Carolina, then continued on home.
All in all, we had a great time! In the beginning, I used to miss having my guy with me, but now, I love girls’ vacations!
I talk to my man every day and send him pictures as we’re going along, so he’s kind of there with us.