I’m in serious need of an escape. And Key West is the perfect place to escape to. They are accepting of anyone and anything. I’m pretty sure you could march butt naked down Duval Street with a bottle of Patron, drinking shots and with a boom box blasting out LMFAO’s Shot, Shot, Shot… shot, shot – Shot, Shot, Shot… shot, shot, EVERYBODY”… and no one would bat an eye.
So that’s the first thing I’m gunna do when I get there. Well… except for the naked part… and ok… maybe not down the middle of Duval. But the Patron Tequila and the shots are on… along with a few of my other favorites.
You may think that because I live in the Northernmost Caribbean (Northwest Florida on Kokomo Island,) it would be easy to get to Key West. After all, it’s Florida… just a hop, skip and a jump. But you would be wrong. It’s not so easy.
First, I have to get off Kokomo Island. The mail boat only comes once a month, and since Jimmy Buffett quit flying his Albatross, he won’t come to pick me up anymore. So I have to pack the magic bus with everything I own to have enough stuff to make the arduous journey. And don’t forget… SCUBA gear… enough stuff to almost sink the magic bus.
Ummmm… about the magic bus. I can’t tell you much about it or the genie letting me use it will take it back. Let’s just say, that it will get me across the expanse of water from Kokomo Island to the mainland. Once there, it turns into sort of a modern version of a 60’s hippie VW bus.
That’s all the magic I’m allowed to use. After that, I have to drive it down the highways and byways just like any other vehicle. It does have other magical properties, but I’m not allowed to use it except in emergencies. One day I’m going to find out what that red button in the middle of the dash does.
So… after crossing the great channel I’ve still got about 700 miles to go to get to Key West. I hear you… you’re screaming, SEVEN HUNDRED MILES!… But you’re already in Florida… how can it be that far?” Well believe me, it is. And that last 100 miles is down a two-lane road. The lookie-loos driving that road are going so sloooooow. It seems like they are always going along at 20 mph trying to find turn off to “No Name Key”… or to the “Square Grouper Bar and Grille.” There’s no way you can make good time down that road… the “Overseas Highway.”
But I always have a plan for that last 100 miles. I take a separate day for that part. I stop in Key Largo and spend a day or two there. Key Largo is the SCUBA capital of the world. This may be the only tourist area in the world that has more SCUBA diver operations than T-shirt shops.
I spend a day or two or three in Key Largo SCUBA diving. That way I can have breakfast at Bogie’s… “Here’s looking at you kid.” I also have a mahi-mahi fish dinner at Mrs. Macs in Key Largo.
After my time in Key Largo, I spend a whole day driving that 100 miles down the Overseas Highway… U.S. 1. I go to No Name Key… have a slice of pizza at the No Name Bar… and stop in at the Square Grouper.
By the way… this and all the places I’ll be stopping at are all part of an upcoming book, “Travels With a Naked Parrot.” I’m making this trip with a parrot. His name is Sergeant Pepper. You’ll recognize him and me because I go almost everywhere with him. He’s perched on my shoulder most of the time.
So off I go on a week-long trip to Key Weird. I hear it already:
“Barrrrak, Are we there yet… Barrrrrak.
Read more about the trip at: Escape to Key West – Part 2