When I wrote the following section yesterday I had been driving all day, in more traffic than I wanted, with the predictable effects on my mood. Plus, the A's were losing. I'm leaving it in for historical purposes, but I want to start over (see below).
[Well, here I am in Key West- mile marker zero. Technically, I guess this is the end of the cross-country portion of my trip- I've got some driving left, but it's driving back, which doesn't really count. It's kind of funny; I set this goal of driving across the country to Key West, and I made it, but I don't really feel like I've accomplished anything. I guess that's what happens when you set a goal that's completely pointless and arbitrary. I saw the Atlantic today.]
Okay, now let's try this again:
Today I drove from the Miami area to Key West, along Highway 1 through the Keys. The scenery was fantastic and the weather was beautiful, and if it wasn't for the other cars it would have been just about a perfect drive. (See? I'm much happier now. Too bad the internet is down and I don't know when I'll post this.) The sand was white, the water was toilet-cleaner blue and for some reason I found that pop music from the forties was the ideal accompaniment to the drive.
I reached Key West around four, and found the hotel without any trouble. It's a bit farther from town than I would have liked, but considering how late I made my reservations, and my price range (high for me, but this is an expensive place), I think it's about as good as I could hope to do. I'm staying at the Lightbourn Inn, a bed and breakfast in a nineteenth century house, with a modern addition and a small pool. My room is in the house, on the second floor, with a big bed and a tiny bathroom. The shampoo, alas, is not remotely worth stealing. It isn't even in a bottle- just one of those little sample packets. But the weather is gorgeous and the people seem nice and I'm sure I'll have a good time here.
After I checked in I went for a walk downtown, just to have a look around and maybe get some dinner. Duval street is definitely a party scene, but nothing compared to Bourbon. Lots of bars, lots of t-shirt shops, lots of cruise ship passengers (it's funny how superior you feel when you aren't one of them). I ended up on Mallory Square to watch the sunset, which is supposed to be this big and wild celebration, but I think that must be more in the high season. While I was there it was just a couple of kids doing some desultory juggling and one guy sitting up on a trapeze talking to the crowd (of mostly cruise ship passengers- a Disney ship was in port). The sunset was still beautiful, though.