Jane had described Key West as a “kind of honky-tonk place” and whilst I knew what she meant, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Checking into our cool, waterfront hotel overlooking the moored yachts, our initial impressions were turned right around when we stepped outside and had a little mooch through the town, for the rest of it is indeed a very honky tonk kind of place!
One of the first things we noticed, was that chickens and roosters roam freely in the streets. These colourful birds seem to be overlooked by everyone else but this was the first we knew of it.
Of course, this is a popular seaside resort, so there’s all the trappings of such a place right outside the door, including the tacky souvenirs and pirate museums, the T shirt shops and, naturally, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
Though Jane was looking for a mitbringsel to take to a brunch hostess at the weekend, for some reason, she couldn’t find anything suitable here
For whilst the edible souvenirs of Key West are focused on the fruits which bear its name,
other souvenirs which could be more useful were rejected, too. Would this huge and rather scary sponge man tempt you to buy a sponge, anyway?
The purchases we made were of a more fragrant variety, because having sampled the Key West Lime salt scrub in the small shop around the corner, our hands smelled divine! I’d noticed the stuff in the visitor centre bathroom earlier, where, instead of a soap dispenser there was a bowl of salt scrub and a teaspoon and though it didn’t smell anything like as lovely as this one, I liked the way it left my hands soft and smooth. One pot of Key Lime Salt Scrub sold to the English lady!
Onward then, through the T shirt shops and the bars, one of which had a sign which read, “You can’t drink all day unless you start early” (and there was evidence to show that some had taken that advice a little too enthusiastically), we made our way back down Duval Street to the waterfront.
Along the way, I noticed one of these, blue-edged labels on every rubbish bin, each one with a different, encouraging message. When I could get close enough to take a picture (a couple of bins were the focus of attention from people rather more interested in the contents than the blue edged labels stuck on the side), I did. I’ve googled to try to find out more about what looks like some kind of creative project online, but drawn a blank. If you discover what it’s all about, please share!
By now, in the late afternoon, people were beginning to collect around here, the place to watch the sunset. We settled into four comfy chairs and braved the chill to watch and wait as the sun went down.
Well, we needed sustinence, didn’t we?
There was plenty of activity to keep us amused. Several old yachts sailed out of the harbour and made swift progress in the strong breeze.
Right in front of us, a man was setting up his show, too. We watched as he made several trips, bringing a wealth of stands, boxes and assorted equipment for … well, for what? We thought those looked like animal cages behind him. Perhaps there were to be birds? Hmm, we thought not – those stands don’t look like perches. Maybe music? But a single tambourine was the only instrument in sight. We began to imagine more exotic creatures; marmosets perhaps? Jane suggested performing seals? Who knew?
Meanwhile, as we chilled out (literally!) the sun went down and the show began.
The zoom on my camera meant we could identify the somewhat crazy man who was starting his show, too. For this was Dominique, the Cat Man and we had a prime view of his Cat Circus!
We couldn’t really hear much more than a few words, but it was enough!
Because, of course, the main event was taking place over to the left, where one or two small clouds added interest to the sky as thousands of camera shutters captured what looked to be a pretty spectacular sunset.
Sitting, chilled to the bone now, we willed it to hurry up!
As soon as the sun had sunk beneath the horizon, we were off, back into our super-comfy hotel rooms to thaw out before dinner. Of course, we were delighted we’d held out and stayed to watch the best free show in town, but oh my, were we cold!
And though I didn’t get my shot of a pelican flying across the sunset, a yacht sailing by at an opportune moment will just have to do.
Along with another forty or fifty pictures taken within that ten minute timespan, that is!