Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ocean Views

When you are here in August you can rest assured you are no longer in Kansas.

Those that are here in the dog days of hot dog days get magnificent views, flat waters and boiling hot fresh air. Just as you would expect.

If you can no longer afford the Seychelles for a family getaway you can come here and pretend. We'll be happy to help you fulfill your fantasies.

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Mallory Downtime

The statue seemed taken aback by the young woman walking past into the market behind Mallory Square.

For some reason someone decided to name this waterfront open space after the late Secretary of the Confederate Navy, Stephen Mallory. His connection to Key West seemed pretty tenuous, just as the DuVal after whom the city's main street was named was the first US Governor of the Florida Territory. Not exactly local lads made good but there we are.

This pink thing sitting on a plinth is described as a gunsight off the USS Maine though how exactly it worked I have no idea. It was mid afternoon on an August weekday so the square was not bustling with people which was a relief to me as I wandered through the market.

It never ceases to amaze me that people make a living selling piles of stuff to visitors.

Do you suppose people actually keep their souvenir sponges in the shower at home?

Business seemed quite brisk at the Aquarium.a shop keeper down here said July had been a record breaking month for many of the businesses, comparable to 2004 during the boom speculation is that people still want to go on vacation and Key West is a nice exotic vacation but still a decent value for people looking to go not too far from home. Long may it last as a desirable destination.

Key west has a surprising number of things to do and places to check out in such a small town.

Apparently a lot of other people feel the same way.

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Summer Hits

Leaving Big Coppitt driving home I saw this.

This fell upon us in the Saddlebunch Keys.

But this is the Florida Keys where rain comes and goes.

So this was what we saw on Sugarloaf Key. Thank heavens blue skies are never far away.

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Cheyenne Update

Cheyenne and I have fallen into our regular schedule once again. I was a bit worried that she might not be not quite so happy to see me after twenty two days away. I needn't have worried.

We have been out and about quite regularly Cheyenne and I, and she has taken a whole new interest in her old walks. I think she really does get bored after a while even though I try to vary her trails as much as possible. I've brought her in to town as well and I snagged this picture on the fly of her not bothering the local chicken population:

She is the most perfectly behaved dog. Thunderstorms don't bother her and when my wife is away as she has been this summer, I leave Cheyenne alone at home and she is entirely content all night while I am away at work.

One likes to think of a friendly old yellow Lab as the ideal chick magnet. No such luck in Key West where Cheyenne is a total gay man magnet. Meet Benjamin and friends who loved my dog and she liked them. Not surprising really (sniff) they way they lavished their attentions on her. "To bad you aren't bi," a gay friend of mine remarked when I told him of the encounter. I guess so.

August is not a great time of year for walking the streets of Key West in a thick fur coat. Also I have noticed the pavement is getting warm for her paws and she hugs the shade or keeps moving nervously around. She knows her own mind does my girl and a few times when I have offered to let her out of the car she stays put and looks at me like I'm stupid. I try to keep her walks to early morning and evening but in any event she sets the pace, which frequently involves taking a break.

I missed her horribly while I was away and she's another reason I'm glad I'm back. Orin of Old Skool Scootin' describes dog pictures as gratuitous so I'm closing with another kind of picture.

A gratuitous shot of a banana tree.
At least I'm pretty sure it's a banana tree but I'm no botanist.

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Key West Pix 2

The big statue has disappeared from the Customs House on Front Street. I missed a few things while I was on vacation, including Hemingway Days, but the disappearing statue is rather nice as it leaves the front of the building open for the first time in ages.

I saw this cyclist apparently stroking out in the heat but as I approached he clearly was just checking his bicycle.

The letter carrier seemed to be coping okay with the 96 degree afternoon. That seems like a tough job.

Sighting down the sidewalk into Truman Annex always makes for a nice looking picture so I snapped one.

"What are you photographing?" a puzzled passer-by asked. When I told her she didn't seem impressed as I pointed out the color contrasts. I liked the picture well enough. What it actually is I couldn't rightly say, except that it was a bean pod on a tree with gray leaves.

Some people like to decorate their gates rather fancifully. This one was next door to Harpoon Harry's, the diner on Caroline Street at Margaret.

I noticed an ad for boat rentals. I was quite impressed by the selection of boats. I guess a trip behind the Half Shell would be a good idea if one were in the market to rent a boat.

I frequently notice a bunch of guys hanging out at the music shop on Caroline. Dogs welcome which is a good sign. I think I would be viewed as a little too buttoned down to hang with those free spirits.

Captain Key West told me to look for a peculiar palm while exiting from K Mart plaza toward Kennedy. I gave it my best shot but on my first pass I missed it.

Whatever it was.

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