Monday, December 27, 2010

I arrived in Key West at 9:30 am.
I had been traveling since midnight and although I enjoyed that particular departure, I was unable to sleep or rest. I had a 3+ hour layover in Miami which I found to a dreadful airport. Really, I prefer the airport in Vegas. There seems to be more brightness/positivity there. Or, maybe I like the food options. Who knows? All I know was that I couldn't wait to get back on the plane and out of Miami.
I walked off the plane and into the Key West Airport. It was small and reminded me of the airport in Santa Barbara. I knew that my return flight would go smoothly due to location and size.
I considered taking a cab to the hotel inspite of the fact that I knew I was near my hotel. I asked the porter how much, approximately, the fare would be to the Double Tree. The guy said, well, you could walk. All you do is take a left and walk up the boulevard. I agreed with him and wanted to enjoy the sunshine.
Key West was amazing. Stunning. Even from the airport.
I headed towards my hotel, praying, that I would find a sympathetic clerk. I prayed (silently) that they would allow me to check in at 9:30ish instead of waiting til 3 pm. I dreamed of a shower, a bed, a nap.
I found a bathroom, freshened up and returned to the front desk. Eureka! The clerk let me check in. He said, and I quote---Yes, I will be nice and let you check in early.
The room was fine. My balcony overlooked the parking lot which I wasn't impressed with, but really, the fact that I was able to check in made all in the difference in the world to me.
I showered, considered a nap, but, opted to explore the town. I took the shuttle to the downtown area. My friend, Jenny, had supplied me with a bunch of restaurants to check out. I had written down directions, pre-trip, to most of the places that I was interested in. I walked towards Pepe's. Jenny had mentioned that the breakfast there was great. I noticed an internet cafe and inquired about rates. The hotel service was awful. Slower than wall paper drying is how I would describe that service. Free, but sucked. I used it but only when necessary.
Pepe's was packed. I sat at the bar between a couple that was traveling, and three locals. The bartender was attentive. He filled my water numerous times and was somewhat friendly. The couple next to me had been to Key West several times and had their favorite places and bartenders, it seemed, from their conversation.
The one local guy reminded me of a few of my regulars. They know everything and want to tell newcomers what to taste, drink or eat. He annoyed me right off the bat and I turned my body away from him to create space.
The girl seated next to him was equally annoying. I was trying to ask the couple questions about their travels and she kept interjecting with--Oh, I've done that, or I am only 44 but consume 12oo calories a day to lose weight. Good for you, but still not helping me out. I paid my tab and decided to walk around Duval St.
I stopped into Two Friends restaurant, eventually, to look at my map and use their bathroom. I found that there were not many options to use facilities outside of restaurants. Many shops to walk through, but few bathrooms available.
The bartender at Two Friends was excellent. She was user friendly and nice. She mentioned a bottle shop where I would be able to find great wine for good prices. In addition, she mentioned a place to watch the sunset, numerous restaurants and other bars to check out. Yes, I liked her.
Afterwards, I considered taking the shuttle back to my hotel, but felt, I could walk. Why not? It is only 3.5 miles. However, that was a long 3.5 miles somehow. Maybe I was tired. Some of the areas were nice; while, others were sketchy. Seedy, even.
I made it back and took a nap. I needed it.
I woke up and saw that it was night and noticed the amazing moon. Incredible.
I dined at the hotel restaurant due to laziness and being tired. I had a bottle of wine in my room that I purchased at the bottle shop. Yes, day one was a success.....

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