I was looking at the big picture and reveling in the open sky, the line of clouds paralleling the horizon, the rocks peeking above the pools of tidal water and generally thinking this was a good day to be alive.
The joie de vivre was not mine alone. A band of sandpipers was hanging in the foreground admiring the same view.
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul.
Before I knew it they were gone and the seascape was all mine again.
In the world ranking of great beaches Rest Beach isn't anywhere in sight. For a start It's got more signage than sand.
No this no that and absolutely none of the other. It's all common sense in the end.
Rest Beach was spruced up after Hurricane Wilma trashed the waterfront and it has filled out year after year since 2005.
Not without incident.
The lush growth behind the sand and the sea oats is a haven for typical Key West wildlife.
Feathered and non.
The tiki huts tend to collect the residentially challenged and their extensive and complex baggage.
You can hardly blame them for wanting to hang here, it's so pretty. I am in the group that prefers egrets and ibis to chickens when it comes to cleaning up bugs around town. The native birds don't dig up dirt, don't make noise and go about their business with a restraint and dignity the invasive messy chickens simply can't emulate.
It's a funny little strip of sand that is known as Rest Beach which the guide books will tell you is called C B Harvey Rest Beach, though if you tell that to a local you will get a quizzical look in return. "Oh, you mean Bottle Beach?"
No bicycle parking say the signs but Key West is the city of signage and reading all those words exhausts some residents.
Rest Beach used to be the place where they landed cattle and slaughtered them for the residents of Old Town. It may be hard to imagine but this side of Key West was fields and trees and wilderness crisscrossed by white gravel roads.
The old timers call it Bottle Beach because the beef slaughter on the beach rendered it also a bit of a tip, and last generation's trash became the new generation's treasured dust catcher. I don't think you can find antique bottles around here anymore but sometimes a hopeful treasure hunter brings a scanner for a search.
He looks grumpy but he was entranced by Cheyenne and gave her a big grin. She stumped on by looking for unconsidered trifles cast into the bushes and there ripened enough to make a fine Labrador treat. Anyone would think I starve my dog.
This is why I like Rest Beach:
And no one stepped up to keep it clean?
And there it is, delightful in the golden setting sun.
And they never even stopped as they drifted past Rest Beach.