Key-West-004Fort Lauderdale, Florida, southernmost tip of the United States. Never gets below 48. Yearly annual temperature of 77. Never gets above 98. Or so say the guide books.

So, what’s the temperature here? Uh…well….it was in the forties yesterday, but it has risen to the fifties and sixties. But, tomorrow, it may get up to 78 degrees…….!……And rain.

We have checked into Parrot Key, a very cool brand-new place that I Key-West-005scoped out online. I’m only sorry I didn’t book it online, as I would now have enough bookings (after our trip across the Southwest on Route 66) to give us one free night’s rental.

This place has a 96% approval rating, and it’s easy to see why. For one thing, it’s new. We have a 3 bedroom, 3 and 1/2 bath house, with a private little sandy backyard area which will be great if it does get up to 79 degrees tomorrow. There are 4 pools, I’ve read, and I’ve actually seen 3 of them. There are palms and ferns surrounding us on all sides.

Key-West-019I have now read, aloud, 200 pages of “The Dome.” It take me approximately one minute to read one page, so the trip has yielded 200 pages of an over-1000 page novel by Stephen King, his newest. So far, Stephen, we’re both liking it, although we’re both concerned that the new Sheriff has sworn in Junior as a Deputy. But nevermind about that. Let me return to our trip here from Fort Lauderdale, through places with names like Key Largo (remember Bogie and Bacall in that one); Plantation Key; Windley Key; Upper Matecumbe Key; Lower Matecumbe Key.

Key-West-015Somewhere near Islamorada and a place called Wilson Bay we stopped to have lunch at a place that had boats and pelicans galore.  We pulled into a rustic-looking ramshackle bay area where you could rent boats (for $500) with a name like “Woo Woo’s,” a place called Whale Harbor. The lobster/shrimp bisque was absolutely delicious. I also ordered the shrimp salad, thinking it would be like chicken salad. It was more lettuce in a bowl, with mandarin oranges and a shish-ka-bob inserted in the bowl with 6 shrimps. The bisque made up for my misunderstanding of the term “shrimp salad,” which, for me, indicated, as with tuna salad and chicken salad, that the shrimp would be diced and mixed with other similar ingredients.

Key-West-012I took the pictures of pelicans that you see here during lunch.

Then, we took off through Fiesta Key, Long Key, Duck Key, Grassy Key, Seven-Mile Bridge, Boot Key, Vaca Key, Big Pine Key, Little Torch Key, Middle Torch Key, Big Torch Key, Summerland Key, Upper Sugarloaf Key, Saddlebunch Keys, Big Coppitt Key, Stock Island, Boca Chica Key (my personal favorite) and, ultimately, Key West, the southernmost point in the United States, home to Mallory Square and the Duval Crawl and cheering when the sun goes down and, hopefully, warmer weather Key-West-013tomorrow than we have had, to date.

It sounds like tomorrow is “the day” to try to catch some rays. There may not be many to catch before the rains move in, but at least we’re not experiencing Snowmageddon back in Illinois/Iowa.