Thursday, March 22, 2018

Fleeing South, in the Nick of Time

Here I am at the southernmost point in the continental United States. It is windy and cool, and I only packed shorts in my suitcase. This is Key West!  It's supposed to be toasty. I am contemplating the additional 90 miles to Cuba and the Caribbean Sea... a long way to swim.
Fortunately, when I was leaving for the airport at 5 am yesterday, it was freezing and snowing on Capitol Hill, so I threw on tights under my khakis, a fleece vest, and a scarf--just for the trip to the airport, in case I got stranded on the street with nary a taxi in sight, or diverted to a cold snowy airport. Who knows what can happen with air travel these days.

Now I'm wearing all those extra clothes down here in Key West! The wind is whipping up those palms.
However, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and I have a comfortable rental bike--an upright beach cruiser with coaster brakes (the kind that require backpedaling). 
Last night, I pedaled to a vegetarian-friendly cafe for a kale smoothie and curried butternut squash.  After all, this is liberal, bohemian, yoga-friendly Key West--a place where drinking establishments abound, biking is promoted, and pets have priority over wives to ride in the sidecar.
I got out of DC just in time yesterday on a 7 am JetBlue flight; flights from DCA after 10 am were cancelled due to snow. According to friends back home, the government closures due to the dire forecast were at least somewhat justified. (Photo from yesterday by David Kosar, from Facebook; I hear through the coconut grapevine that the snow is now deeper...)
Pope made an 8 am appointment today for a kiteboarding lesson, which is the only reason I'm awake and writing this at 7:30 am. After we got up and got ready, though, the company postponed the lesson until noon to see if the weather improves. I am not going to do the lesson today, too cold for me at 66 degrees. This is Key West!

But the sun is shining, etc. Hemingway and key lime pie are waiting. We are enjoying the hospitality of a long-time friend, Bill B., who has a brand new big house, which he says was much cheaper than the old, run-down, tiny, historic "conch" houses.
Bill has graciously opened his door to us, and is introducing us to palm trees, rum cocktails, and gracious southern ways. This is Key West!