Human experience is a very personal thing, we all see life through our own set of eyes and when I say that this summer has been extraordinary that may only be owing to my experience of it. Yet, I talk to friends here in the Keys and they tell me the same thing. So perhaps it really has been an unusual summer.
It has been hot as blazes. Scientists tell us this year has been the hottest on record and July was far warmer than any previous July recorded. I am not one to complain of the heat but this year the heat has been stifling, high humidity has clamped down in ways not previously experienced. South Pacific island nations are sinking but here in the Keys we are burning up. Climate change? You decide; as far as I'm concerned it's obvious but these days science gives way to what we prefer to believe.
Rusty and I took a walk on Boca Chica Beach because I had a couple of hours to burn in the afternoon and burn we did. Even Rusty who is resilient to heat like no other dog breed took a seat in the shade in some wet seaweed and stretched out panting.
The sun was tempered by a nice breeze blowing across the water but it wasn't enough. The funny thing is that summer is usually a time of mellow fruitlessness in the Keys when tourism dries up, roads empty, things get more laid back. But another of those personal feelings surfaces this year when we talk about traffic. It has been heavy and unrelenting like winter with people driving in long lines and very slowly across the Overseas Highway. And I know I'm not alone in getting frustrated because I have seen some high speed locals zipping along when eventually the lollygagging tourists in their convertibles and their jeeps and their rental sedans eventually pull over or leave a wide gap and we can get back up to the speed limit.
So this year tourism has been relentless, heat has been relentless, and I spent far too much of my summer vacation in hospitals with my wife's gall bladder. But take a look at this. For all that I boiled my brains and I had to be at work in three hours this was our walk. Not too shabby.
And please when you come to visit drive the speed limit plus five. Put the phone down, watch the road and drive like you mean it. If you want to meander and not pay attention, pull over and let us by. We have places to go people to see dogs to walk and things to do. Like keep your hotels running smoothly and washing dishes for your restaurants and answering your 911 calls when you get drunk and confused.