Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's 5 o'clock somewhere in the world

So I was just having a margarita, even though it's 3:00 in the afternoon. Because I'm on vacation, and the usual rules do not apply. And I was sitting in Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville bar in Key West, so the margarita seemed appropriate.

I think I'll move here, actually. (I don't mean Margaritaville, I mean Key West.) You know how you just "click" with some places? (kind of like with some people) Key West is one of those places for me. with its tolerant and laidback and eco-friendly attitude ... a perfect place for expat wanna-be hippies. At least those that have half a million or so (US) to spend on a cute wee 700 square foot cottage.

Not sure what I'd do for a living, in order to afford the above-mentioned cute wee cottage. I think I'd like to be one of those people playing cheesy show tunes and easy listening tunes in a dark bar somewhere, except that I'm not sure that would pay for the cottage. Oh, well.

Maybe I'll table that plan for now. In the meantime, I am spending my days wandering the town, as it's absolutely gorgeous, or lazing in a hammock in the hot and humid weather. I have even tried to read Hemingway again, since I went to his house yesterday -- can't say I'm a fan yet (it wouldn't have killed him to use the odd adjective or two), but I'm liking the current read (A Moveable Feast) better than some I've tried.

Trip started off well, with me getting bumped up to business class for the Toronto-Miami leg of the journey. I even liked the cold snowy walk to the subway at 5:30 a.m. on my way to the airport. Everything is more enjoyable in the context of travel -- flying isn't quite as exciting now as my very first trip, but I still feel compelled to jump around in anticipation the night before. (First plane trip ever, FYI, was the one that took me to London, England, for a new life after graduation from university -- it's hard to top that!)

And it was utter bliss walking down the steps off the little plane that took me to Key West, into the clear Florida light and laziness-inducing warmth. And while I started out with an agenda of all the things I must see and do while here, that seems to be melting away in the heat and humidity; I am perfectly content to sit and watch the world go by, as I sip my margarita.

I'm not completely de-programmed from work mode yet, but I think I am well on my way. So the "must see" list will just have to wait, as this trip was all about letting go of stress and schedules and deadlines, and all those other things that made my work life too much some days.

Oh, I'm not going to spend all of the rest of my time here in a hammock, or sipping margaritas, tempting as that may be. It's too fascinating a town for that. I heard stories of Key West in the '70's from some of colleagues who visited a lot in their decadent youths; even though I think it's changed a lot, it still has an edge. One of my colleagues complained that KW used to be fun "before the straight people moved in and ruined it" ... but I like to think, instead, that we just bring another element of diversity to the place. :)

Ok, Hemingway calls. And my hammock. So I must sign off now.



  1. sounds incredible. never wanted to go there, but your words paint the place to be like paradise. which Hemingway book are you reading? I LOVED The Sun Also Rises.

  2. It was very cool ... totally unlike the rest of Florida. Was reading Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, which is kind of a memoir of his early years in Paris, when he hung out with people like Gertrude Stein and Scott Fitzgerald -- actually enjoyed it. Haven't ready The Sun Also Rises, but I have tried A Farewell to Arms (ok), To Have and Have Not (had great trouble getting into the story), and The Old Man and the Sea (required high school reading, hated it!!).

    Maybe reading Hemingway in a hammock when it's 30C outside helps ... I should go back and try another.