It is no secret to the most glancing of a glimpser of my blog that I love Key West- that there is something about the place for me that I can only try to articulate but I probably am not quite able to convey properly is probably true. Probably part of the charm for me is that I was always moved hither and yon by my family whether I wanted to move or not and the place I landed as an adult had absolutely nothing to do with where I wanted to live. I occasionally thought of moving but finances managed to keep the family where we were. I struggled a great deal with winter depression when my children were young and could only be grateful that I was in Colorado where there were more sunny days than in most states and I guess it never occurred to me to push to move to a sunnier state where a winter malaise wouldn't knock me out three months out of the year. At any rate, now when I am older and wiser, I realize that some of those factors probably play into what attracts me to the Sunshine state of Florida along with my love of the ocean. But there's much, much more to it than that and perhaps as time goes on I will do more to explain why Key West, an Island that is as bawdy as it is lovely draws me the ways it does... But today I shall merely touch upon all of that because it explains why my vacation this year was not merely a vacation, it was a VACATION!
In 2009 we had a vacation planned to go to Key West but the change of jobs and finances forced us to put it off. We decided to put the trip off and went to New Mexico instead. We went to see the Sunspot Observatory which was interesting and spoke to one scientist (which is rare because they sleep during the day and do their observations at night.) about their work there which was truly interesting.
we scandalized one gentleman by offering him some champagne. He obviously missed his wife though and wished she would come with him.
we had a a lot of fun in Roswell and took tons of pictures there !!!
Another day we went down to the New Mexico Museum of Space History which was pretty terrific and to the White Sand Dunes. I won't put pictures of all that here because the real point to all that is that we had a lovely little vacation last summer with the long range plans to come back to Key West this summer.
So we began counting down right after school ended. Plans were being made although we kept a pretty serious eye on the oil spill and we were constantly worried (and still are!) that the oil might ruin that beautiful place.
Our luck held however and before you know it we were negotiating our tickets with United Airlines to fly to Orlando for first a jaunt to St. Augustine...
So we said goodbye to the kids. My son Mack had his own trip planned to California and was excited.
Nisa and Aubrey were excited for us and came over for a little bon voyage dinner. They also dropped us off at the airport and then took care of the house while were away which was a great relief. It's always nice to know that someone will be giving your plants a little TLC while your away, not too mention just having a presence in and out of the house to keep potential burglers at bay
So having reached that day that swept up on us like the Christmas that would never come, we packed our two carry-ons, loaded up the car and headed to Aubrey and Nisa's where would reload our bag into their car and then head into the airport a full two hours early as DIA can be impossibly busy.
And our plane was delayed.
But we landed in Orlando on time and we had a few hours to kill before we needed to pick up our rental so here we are...
(The date and year is wrong on the picture for some reason). The airport is completely empty except for the occasional maintenance person. Maurice went for a tour. I went for a tour.
The bags were clearly out of our control.
And now it's 4:15. We've toured. Slept a little. Gotten our bags back under control. What next???
My feet seem to be a little blurry...
Maurice's faired a bit better...
We finally decided to get our car. However we wound up in a square thingy they called a Cube. It looked like this.
It really didn't look like it could make it down the highway. Perhaps it could. Perhaps we completely underestimated the potential of this oversixed matchbox toy but I didn't fancy driving anywhere in it, so I went into the nearest Hertz office and threw myself on the mercy of the Hertz desk person. Please, Please, isn't there something else for the same price???'
How about this? He chuckled and pointed at an electric car not too far from his door. It's five a.m. (I think) and I am too tired to laugh although it is a bit funny.
"How bout this one?" He points.
I nod and He hands me a set of keys (This picture was taken when we filled the car up just before we dropped it off in Key West).We loaded up and headed off for St. Augustine in the dark
At Six a.m we stopped to watch the sunrise and get a bite to eat. As we stood by the water's edge I was awed by the morning's light as it begins it's ascent into the heavens.
We needed to move on but the beauty and stillness of the morning was just worth every moment of the night's angst. Perhaps there is a better way to get to it but I wouldn't have missed this sunrise for world.
On the bank to my left, the sun's light was only just chasing off the night's shadows. No longer pictured, a heron had landed on the water and had perched on a log looking for his breakfast for some time. While I waited for the light to brighten enough to get a shot of him, the heron shot under the water and out of my sight.
After a couple of false starts (I thought we wanted to take Highway 1 after our stop at MacDonald's when in fact we wanted Highway 95) and a nap we finally made it to St. Augustine at 10 a.m. or so. Well, before check in time.
But our hostess was gracious and allowed us to park in the parking lot until they had our room ready (which I will add was a full 3 hours early! They were very accommodating at the Inn at Charlotte!)