But truthfully, I am far from an unbiased person when it comes to Key West. For years I listened to Jimmy Buffett sing about the place, its character, and its history. So I continue to be enchanted like a love struck teenager even though many people have tried to dissuade me of my clumsy romanticism. These detractors say Key West is tacky beyond redemption and that its banal commercialism has ruined everything special about the place.
All very possible, but enough still lingers to make it close to paradise for me.
On all my other visits though, the line of people has been so long as to make it impossible for me to get another. So I just settle to take a quick picture as I ride by on one of the Couch Tour Train or Couch Tour Trolley.
So my lovely spouse didn't appreciate when I loudly spoke out about how we needed to get off the trolley, go up to the Garden of Eden Bar and strip down ot our birthday suits like we did years ago. No, we never visited that bar but I did thoroughly enjoy my wife's discomfort and the weird looks we got from all the raging stiffs.
Yes, there was a price to pay for my improvisation but it was worth the several hours of stony silence. I honestly can't say I would never visit a clothing option bar like Garden of Eden. While on cruises I generally follow the idea that since I will never see any of those people again I can act as stupid and foolish as I want.
From what I understand, it's actually a new business, not something from the days when Papa Hemingway could be found walking the streets.
If you look beyond the palm tree you will see the destroyed air traffic control tower at Key West Airport. Now the story told to us by the trolley driver was that the tower has been that way for years. That air traffic is controlled by some person sitting at the end of the runway with a radio.
Not sure how about the truth of that story but it does sound cool.
Time, or the lack of it, has always been my enemy when visiting Key West. On this trip I accompanied my wife to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, not a place many would expect me to like, but it was awesome. If my heart was normal, allowing me to drink beer, I would have done the bar crawl again.
But be that as it may, I did enjoy seeing the 50 to 60 different species of butterflies that live in the indoor park.
In the center of the park was a pond where two flamingos lived. They are named "Rhett" and "Scarlett" and didn't give a damn about any of us humans prowling around their humid home.
This butterfly looks like he, or she, has seen some rough times. Not sure if butterflies fight, but I can't think what would have caused this damage to its wings.
A better view of the insides of the conservatory.
Don't really know why I included this picture. Maybe because all the others I took at Key West were just not good enough. Riding the Couch Trolley wasn't really conducive to taking good photographs. Plus my wife was having issues with her knees making walking highly problematic.
While I have forgotten the name of this little island just off Key West, I do remember it's one of those upper crust, exclusive communities.
Barely an hour after leaving Key West I took this picture. I really liked the contrasting blues of the sky and ocean. The next stop on the cruise after a day at sea was Costa Maya, Mexico.