After getting far too late a start (see below), I was stuck in Miami traffic for a couple of hours. I finally made it to the Overseas Highway. It was not quite what I expected. (I guess I don't know my geography as well as I thought! :-) Whereas I thought it was a very long set of bridges punctuated by islands, the islands make up a much greater part of the trip. In fact, of the 126 mile distance, there are 42 bridges that only make up 18.8 miles (about 15%).
Anyway, there were a lot of places I'd like to spend more time, but I'm on a quest to see all of southern Florida in just a few days! Besides, the weather wasn't particularly nice. It was POURING to the point of slowing traffic to a crawl for a while, especially just after Key Largo. They were talking on the radio about flood warnings, and it's apparent that they've already had more rain recently than normal. There's a lot of water laying around.
Noteworthy during the drive were many beautiful flowering trees, the greenery, and the mangrove swamps. Also, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the transition between the mainland and the Overseas Highway was a bit of a surprise to me. There were miles of unoccupied, low-lying land in between.
I guess I'm just not in the picture-taking space right now. I don't seem to find many photo opportunities. Anyway, the drive over all those bridges was still enjoyable.
I eventually made it to Key West, renowned for its sunsets. Despite all the rain, the sun did peek out for a nice sunset. Unfortunately, I'd been dawdling, and hadn't found the perfect spot in time. Also, unlike our Calgary sunsets at this time of year, it didn't last long. I'm clearly further south: the sun goes down very quickly, and darkness descends almost immediately.
As is my habit, I drove around until all hours of the night. Key West reminded me a lot of some of the other places we'd seen last time we were in the south. There were plenty of old, Victorian-style homes. Duval Street was interesting, with lots of tourist activity and the requisite fancy shops, candy stores, small galleries, and bars. I don't know how common it is here, but, with the exception of Calgary's Red Mile during the last playoff run, it's certainly something we don't see in Canada: three girls with beautifully painted breasts (i.e. no tops) wandering the street. Between that, the "clothing optional" bar, and the transvestite entertainment bar, it ain't downtown Calgary!
For those of you that didn't know, I'm a confirmed night-owl. I drive around until all hours, get back to my hotel way too late, watch the comedy channel for an hour or two, and finally drift off to sleep wishing I could stay up even later but knowing that morning is coming. Then, in the morning I struggle to get out of the hotel before checkout. This trip I've added another activity in the morning: this blogging thing. By far the hardest thing about that is my impatience. I want to get moving! Still, I guess I owe it to posterity and the ones I love to let them know what's happening in my life.
More tomorrow (if I can curb my impatience)!