- Summer is eternal. I'm sorry life-long Floridians, but 75 degrees is not winter, and when you go can go to the beach year-round, there is no change in seasons.
- Daily life feels like a vacation. There's NEVER nothing to do. I can go downtown Fort Lauderdale on a weekday and see people packing in to listen to live music at Elbo Room (a dive bar that's been around since 1929). I can hammock between two palm trees, reading a favorite book for ultimate relaxation. I can live it up Miami style at a bar or club. I have access to incredible beaches, sun-kissed skin, salty hair, palm trees, sandy toes, and a free-spirited lifestyle.
With tropical music blasting (of course, the “Vacation Haus” station created by Spotify was my playlist of choice), we watched through our windows as the Florida Turnpike transformed into a glowing seafoam green landscape:
We first ventured through the eerie darkness of Sugarloaf Key to the home of our friends. With one wrong turn, we ended up at the historic Bat Tower--a tourist destination. Once redirected by our friends, we pulled up to an old, worn-down shack and lit path to a rustic, secluded house. We survived the walk with a few No See-Um bites. These gnarly little fellas are <3 mm-long mosquitoes, which allows them to sneak up on passerbys and bite you without being seen! They're basically mosquito ninjas. Lovely, huh?
Regardless... The character of our friends' home is indescribable. Who knows how long it's been around, or how many people have passed through. Scorpions have found their way to its dark corners. We had to take a step up to use the toilet (minimal standing room for men). Old wood and paint cover the walls and flooring, seemingly untouched in years. It is a short distance from the beach, surrounded by shrubbery on all sides, and like nowhere I've been! It reminded me of the cottages my family stayed at in Alaska--completely tucked away from the rest of the world.
Saturday night brought:
- The BEST BURRITO I have had in my entire life. Please (pretty please?) stop at Garbo's Grill if you find yourself in Key West. It's a food truck stationed at Grunt's (visit the site for updates), and the Korean BBQ burrito is an orgasmic blast of flavors. Imagine tender beef short rib marrying with cilantro and sriracha in a juicy, perfectly-made burrito. I was unprepared for the awesomeness, and easily could've housed two burritos. Happy belly.
- Dancing everywhere, and getting the crowd moving to live bands! We danced to all kinds of music, inspiring others around us, and annoying waiters/waitresses as we blocked entrances to the restaurant (oops?).
- A dip in the ocean under the moonlight. There is little that compares to a night swim. I've been so grateful for the ocean in all times of day, but the earthly silence and darkness of night enhances the peacefulness of the ocean to an intense degree.
The 1970’s and 80’s became a rowdy time of our history. Jimmy Buffett’s “Why don’t we get drunk and screw” played on the juke box while people would drink, eat and dance to excess in the Pub. There was a lot of illegal money passing through the Keys back then and everyone loved to spend it. They had so much money in fact they started hanging it on our walls; and another tradition was born.
A weekend such as this one with meaningful people who are also free-spirited hippies at heart is enlightening. We spoke of the world's woes & tragedies, and how the love and positive vibrations we hold in our hearts will help create a shift toward a world of compassion, joy, and peace. The world is a wondrous place, filled with too much to discover. We were all grateful for our breath and life, especially after a few weekend freak accidents that could have ended quite poorly. Guardian Angels were in full effect as Talia just barely missed being hit head-on by a jetski after flying off due to my meandering driving. She tilted her head at the exact moment Suzette veered away from her head bobbing on the surface of the water, ending with a mere bump on the back of her head ("mere" being appropriate as the outcome could have been far worse). Every bit of the weekend felt easy, and didn't feel quite like a whirlwind as we were completely in the moment at all times. I am ever so thankful for these people. Lucky me.
I know it will not be long before I am back in the Florida Keys for more adventures, so stay tuned...