It was the Fourth of July weekend and we had decided to head down to the Florida keys. Quite the known death trap. We were camping. It was summer. We were most likely going to die of heat exhaustion...
Very rarely do I play the role of negative Nancy towards the idea or places of travel. However this time, I was in a judgey mood. My expectations were low. I had imagined the place heavy with key lime pie eating tourists, the main street lined with tacky store fronts and filthy broken glass filled gutters. I imagined sweat constantly pouring from every pore in my skin and having to deal with weather - there was a tropical storm circulating, his name was Arthur, and he wasn't all that far away.
Surprisingly, my exceedingly low expectations served me well. And I was impressed. So impressed that I couldn't get enough. I decided to apologize to the keys. Each and every one of them, but in particular, Key West. So I breathed in and appreciated every bit it had to offer and smiled in all of it's beauty. We were in Florida. How could I even complain?
So, I said sorry to it's crystal blue waters and its teeny snorkelable coral reef islands. I said sorry to its beautiful old colonial homes, the remarkably tourist free streets (it was too hot), its hidden water front dining and cocktail decks, the very welcomed coconut water street carts and the tropical storm free sunny sky days (Arthur decided to stay away).
I said sorry to the house of Hemingway, pop up stores, key lime pie on a stick (I became that tourist) and beautifully lit up skies on the actual night of the fourth.
I said sorry so much, that I knew that I was so wrong to have to say sorry in the first place. I had my grumpy pants on before I left, and for that, I was ashamed.
Thankfully the Keys were a good sport and decided to forgive me. Our entire weekend was wonderful. And, I am pretty sure I even heard the Keys whisper to me that they really wanted me to come back. Soon. However, the next time I wasn't allowed to say sorry. So, I promised that I would. And that I would leave my grumpy, judgey, negative Nancy pants at home.
Places to not be sorry about:
Blue heaven - great for brunch!
Louie's Backyard - dinner and cocktails
Cuban Coffee Queen - coffee and lunch
El Siboney - a proper Cuban feast
La Creperie - another great breakfast spot
Salt Island Provisions - a gorgeous locally crafted pop up store
Hemingway house - so inspiring!
Bahia Honda state park - great beach
Kayak from Islamorada to Indian Island
Snorkel Indian Island