We’re in Key West, Florida, experiencing a visual overload. After months of gray skies, snow-white sidewalks, and heavy black sweaters, we find ourselves in a place where sky and sea circle as one turquoise swirl, where hibiscus flowers are the colors of flamingo feathers, and where every inch of visible flesh is bronzed by the sun. The drinks here are fuchsia or tangerine-colored; the bathing suits and flip flops match. After a lazy stroll down Duval Street, you can rest on a bench the color of key lime pie.
Key West is also the land of colorful, stupid T-shirts. A stroll down Duval Street is as entertaining for the people watching as it is for the T-shirt reading. One trip suffices. My favorite T-shirt so far depicts a pirate and reads “Surrender the Booty.” There was also a grammatically incorrect T-shirt that still annoys me, but given the shirt’s message, I am sure it has sold well.
So there’s obviously that layer to Key West–the dumb drunk layer. But I’m not going to dwell on that. Spring break stupidity peaked in March here. Our taxi driver informed us April has been quieter. We’re also enjoying the island during the week, not during the weekend, so it’s been a mellow few days of azure, coral, and mango. We’ve seen families, old people, and a few random college kids, and I’ve heard German, Russian, Italian, not surprisingly, Spanish, and a handful of British accents. It’s actually easy to tell the Americans from the Europeans; the Americans are wearing the goofy T-shirts. All the Europeans I’ve seen so far are donned in chic beachwear. Sadly, we dress as badly on our own turf as we do when we visit other people’s turf.
Grammatically incorrect cotton garments aside, the island is beautiful, the natives are friendly and happy to have our business, and the food, so far, has been as fantastic as the colors. And our hotel makes me giddy, but more on that later. Time to hit that cerulean pool sparkling below our front deck.