Me letting my hair down now that we are back in the USA
Espiritu anchored safely off the Coast Guard station, and used the dinghy
dock here at the Key West City Marina. We never dragged in the anchorage, but we were
blessed with good weather here, so our holding was never really tested.
We spent a week tooling all around the adorable island. Here, they refurbished the old Strand theater and turned it into a Walgreen's Drugstore. While some might be horrified, as a pragmatist I chose to be charmed -- at least they saved the old building!
The island is famous for it's well-maintained old homes, and she didn't disappoint.
We saw these vertical shutters all over Key West.
Chris lugs the jugs and and fills the tanks while I make breakfast -- a typical morning aboard Espiritu.
Sunrise view out our v-berth hatch
We rode our bikes all over the island, and made a stop at the Key West AIDS Memorial.
Marshall, Steve, Mark, David, and countless others -- we remember you.
Another one of the lovely homes on the island. Note the dual roosters above the gate.
Key West is famous for its hundreds of roosters who roam free on the island. I snapped this charmer in front of the K-mart (a not-so-charming fact about Key West: they have a K-mart and a really depressing All-American strip mall -- boy, did I NOT miss those in Central America...)
Scenic drive -- Highway 1 begins here, connects all the Florida Keys and heads on up the US coast
You know you're in Key West when the "Pirate Costume Store" and the
"Wedding Store" -- are the same place. LOL...
Touring a nature preserve
The flags were at half mast for the Boston Marathon bombings. I had forgotten that the Florida State flag still has the crossbars from the old Confederate flag.
I don't know. I understand that the rationale for keeping them in there is to commemorate the best things about the old south. I get it. I really do. Most white southerners claim it has nothing to do with slavery, and for the most part, I believe them.
But in my opinion, knowing that for better or for worse, simply the sight of that rebel flag elicits only pain and resentment for so many Americans (and not just African-Americans) -- they should let it go. Out of respect. But that's just me.
We've seen many fisherman here wearing these ominous looking facial covers. I asked these two nice young men: "So, do you wear those facial covers to protect you from the sun, or are you terrorists?" They smiled and said: "Yep. We're terrorists." Note to Homeland Security: terrorists usually do not stop at Starbucks before performing their acts of terror (note the coffee cup in the hand of the guy on the right). P.S. Relax, everybody, I'm just joking. They're not terrorists -- although there are a few tuna out there who might beg to differ...
I think it's time for West Marine to drop the west, and change their name to just "Marine." They've spread so far east gobbling up privately owned marine stores that there are now West Marine stores here in the EAST (and yes, there is one in Key West). Anyway, we've traveled so far during this trip that we used up our old Yacht Log, so we needed a new one. We also ordered the part for our auto pilot that failed in the midst of our ocean passage from Isla Mujeres.
The bottom line on West Marine is this: like a good lawyer, they're fun to gripe about until you need one. Then you're just glad that they're there. :-}
Another immaculately maintained Key West home
I'm trying to get my fill of these white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, since at least this phase of our trip is coming to a close. For now. But who knows where the path leads?
We took the day sail east to Marathon Key, where we are currently moored. More on that later. Meanwhile, I've got plenty of time to mull over the fact that we are back in America after a year and a half in the Caribbean and Latin America. I'm not sure how I feel about it right now. More to follow...
XOXO Liz and Chris