Yesterday, we got up very early, loaded up the car, and drove down to Key West, 4 hours away. My brother-in-law really wanted to see Key West. We took overnight bags, in case we were having so much fun that we wanted to stay. But it was 3:30 yesterday afternoon, and it was clear that no one had a burning desire to do anything else. So we came back.
It's not as bad as it sounds. Even though much of the trip is on a 2 lane highway, it's a gorgeous trip. They call it the Overseas Highway, after all. The scenery is so different that my eyes and brain rejoice the whole way down.
I was more aware of the fact that it was Mother's Day in the days leading up to Mother's Day than yesterday. Of course, we were eating at off times, so maybe I'd have been more aware if we had tried to get a table at noon.
On Friday, I went to lunch with 4 other colleague friends from work. The server wished us a Happy Mother's Day week-end, and we looked at the only woman with children. What are the odds of that?
When I was picking up a prescription from CVS, the young female pharmacist asked me, "Do you have children yet?" My brain went to that word "yet." I turn 48 this summer. Children made from an egg of mine are not in my future. Still, I was thrilled that I looked young enough that she would ask the question.
But back to our Key West trip. Here are some impressions from our trip. In the coming week, I may post pictures--and I'll definitely say more about Ernest Hemingway.
--I'm sipping Baby's Coffee. Baby's Coffee used to be the southernmost coffee roaster. Now the building is for sale--not the business, the building. The coffee roasting business was shipped to Louisiana years ago.
--There's lots of property for sale throughout the Keys. What does it mean? That the market is finally creeping back up enough that people can envision making a sale? That people are worried about sea level rise and want to get out now?
--And it's a wide variety of property: buildings that need repair, as well as new construction, as well as any kind of house you might want.
--As we walked to Hemingway's house, I spotted an old church. I could see through the windows that it wasn't being used as a church. We walked along the side of it. When we got to the front, I saw the For Sale sign.
--I didn't take down the information. I'm pretty sure I can't afford an old church in Key West, and it's a long commute from my current job. We did have fun imagining the kind of businesses we could run from the church: Monastery Brewery and Bakery was my favorite.
--As you drive across bridges and look at the land, you can envision that the Keys won't be with us long when the planet gets serious about sea level rise.
--The Hemingway House is at a high point in the Keys: 17 feet about sea level. Could the guide have been right about that? I expected him to say 7 inches.
--I would happily move right into the Hemingway house. What a gorgeous place.
--My spouse has read a lot about Henry Flagler and the railroad, ever since someone gave him Les Standiford's book, Last Train to Paradise for Christmas one year. It's fun to ride to the Keys with him and get a history lesson.
--My spouse has the kind of brain that retains the information in the very few books he reads. I read a lot and retain almost nothing specific.
--My brain and eyes rejoice on the way down. They rejoice part of the way back. But by the time we're at the Turnpike, I am so ready for the trip to be done. But it's still an hour to the house.
--At the end of the day, it's good to collapse in my own bed, dreaming of an old church in Key West. A retreat center in the heart of Key West--would people pay for a bit of respite in their partying vacations?
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