A Key West Sunset
Wasting Away in South Florida
Several years ago, my partner Kevin attended a January conference held in Miami Beach, Florida. Never having been to South Florida, I tagged along looking forward to a week’s R&R escaping a Montana winter. For most of the week, I hung out on South Beach, enjoying the sun and sand, and the good food available at restaurants near our hotel. Here’s how I got to experience a Key West Sunset.
Across the street from our hotel was a shop selling day-trip excursions. One of those offered a day in Key West. I’d heard a lot about Key West over the years, and figured this was an opportunity staring me in the face. After checking with Kevin, I bought a ticket.
The bus trip left South Beach early in the morning, crossed to Miami proper, then headed south over the seven-mile bridge. It’s 167 miles from South Beach to Key West, and the trip can take anywhere from 3 and a half hours to over five, depending on traffic. Most of that trip is over water on one of the longest sets of bridges in the U.S.
How to own your own Key West Sunset
The photograph is available from my Etsy Shop, LightIntoArt, in a wide variety of sizes and formats. Choose glossy photo paper prints in three sizes: 8×10, 11×14, 16×20. Or if you prefer something larger, choose canvas prints in 16×20, 24×36, or 30×40 inches. Finally, for a spectacular display, you can get this image in 3 panel side-by-side canvas prints at 24 x 72, 36 x 72, or 40 x 90 inches. The video below gives you an idea of what these sizes are like in a living room, bed room or office setting.
More than Just MargaritaVille
On the way south, our tour guide announced that a snorkeling trip was available if anyone wanted to pay the extra fare. I’d never before tried snorkeling, but again, what an opportunity. I paid the extra money and now had something to do during my day in Key West. What I didn’t have were swim trunks.
Upon our arrival in Key West, we had about an hour before the catamaran set sail for our snorkeling destination. I took that time to walk by Jimmy Buffett’s bar, and a few other local establishments. One place I definitely had to visit was the souvenir shop that sold swim wear. Buying a pair of trunks that had the right size on the label, I headed to the marina where our catamaran was docked. Soon after I boarded, the boat cast off and we motored out into open water past a couple of large cruise ships. Clear of land, the captain turned off the motor, and some of the guys on board helped raise the sail.
Trouble in Paradise
I went into the head and changed from my walking shorts to water wear. This was the point when I learned that I should have bought a larger size. Barely able to squeeze myself into the trunks, I returned to the deck and tried to prepare myself for snorkeling. Soon enough we were at the buoy where we dropped anchor. One-by-one the folk onboard went down the ladder into the ocean. I joined them. I can’t snorkel. No matter what I did, I kept swallowing sea water. Our instructors, seeing my discomfort, suggested I return to the boat. I did. Gladly.
I didn’t enjoy the snorkeling, but I had great fun with the sailing and with taking photos of my boat-mates in and out of the water. All too soon, we turned around and sailed back to the marina. This was when I learned that as hard as it was getting into the too-small trunks, with them wet, it was impossible to get them back off my body. At least not in the limited confines of the catamaran’s head. I resolved to wear them all the way back to Miami.
An Unexpected Bonus
Our tour bus was supposed to pick us up at a museum downtown. I headed that way and found a decent restaurant where I ordered conch chowder and key lime pie—what could be more Key West than that. Apparently all the tour busses left from this location, and many tourists were hanging out waiting. Bus after bus came, loaded, and left, but not mine. Soon it was just those of us who had come down from South Beach waiting for our bus.. That was when we got the word that our bus had mechanical issues and we had at least three more hours to kill. In Key West. What to do?
Well, I headed down to the waterfront with my camera. I’m a photographer. Of course that’s what I did. Grabbing more shots of the historic buildings and the large birds, I was able to experience a true Key West sunset. Something I would have missed entirely had my bus not had problems. And yes, I rode all the way back to South Beach in wet, too tight trunks that I never wore again.