Day 075-077 – Key West, FL

First some background on Key West…

It’s about 1 mile long and 4 miles wide with the famous Mallory Square, along with main downtown on the West side and entry into the island coming from the East. Most visitors get disoriented and think West is South and East is North so remember the sun rises in the East the way off the island and sets in the West the area where most of the tourist hang out.  The Eastern part of the island is mostly built on filled in saltwater marsh and contains a lot of the stores and serviced geared towards locals as well as the airport. The population is around 25K, but tourism makes it seem like much more than that so it is a mix of transient and small town feel at the same time. The vast majority of employment is in the service industry and from what I could tell staffed by relatively young people. Check out wiki for more good info.

This morning Sara had to work, but I went along since she is tour guide for Key Lime Bicycle Tours. It was impressed by her conversational, I’m actually interested in telling you this stuff, delivery. A few interesting things stood out to me. A lot of wealth came to the Island in the early days from the salvage industry or wrecking as they called it in the day. The Keys were an extremely dangerous place to sail so ships ran aground often. Wreckers would set out to rescue the ship and get a reward of money or cargo in the process. There are stories of false navigation fires/lights being set to encourage the ships to wreck.

The Cigar industry was big until there was a fire that burnt down a lot of the buildings. It was a very selective fire so there are examples of many old and new buildings being right next to each other. Some suspect that the fire was set intentionally for business reasons.

That afternoon I took Porter out for a walk. He is an Australian Sheepdog that I fell in love with. He is owned by Sara’s roommate Rachel and at 8 months old absolutely adorable. We made it to an Irish bar not too far from the house instead of the dog park a few miles away because of the heat.

The next day I spent 30 minutes teaching him how to ride in the trailer (see video) and then was able to take him all over the place by bicycle. I got confused and ended up spending a couple of hours with him at a human beach when I thought it was the dog beach, but no one seemed to mind. I took him out into the water and we swam around a bit while visiting with people. The water being less than 2.5 feet deep I would sit down with him perched on my lap talking to people. After that we went to the actual dog beach a little further down the road and he found a dog to chase at the edge of the water. I got a great picture of him in mid leap with two nice bikini wearing ladies.

On Saturday I went over to Christopher and Michelle’s house for a bbq. They are the owner’s of the house that Sara is renting and also the owners of the bike tour company that she works at. I met them on the first night I was in town and really enjoyed spending time with them. They move to Key West from New Jersey 4 years ago and really like the place. After eating we played a game called Cards Against Humanity which is like Apples to Apples, but with really sick associations.