Yesterday morning, I escorted my wife by taxi to the Key West International Airport so that she could fly to Ohio to be with her dad as he recovers from his recent surgery and to help her mother care for him. While I am glad she is able to go and wouldn’t want it otherwise, it it just not the same aboard Beatitude without her. I’ll be glad when she returns (hopefully within a couple of weeks). With her impending departure in mind, we tried to make the best of our short weekend in Key West.
We were quite fatigued from our overnight passage from Marco Island. My muscles ached from the rigors of the brief voyage. Cruising, seeming to the non-cruiser to consist solely of beautiful sunsets and tropical beaches, involves considerable work and planning. Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty of fun and sun, but there is a very real element consisting of hard work. But, the hard work and planning, the challenges and the risk, are the parts that make this life so fulfilling and rewarding.
Not to let our fatigue get the best of our short time in Key West before her departure, we decided to take the free shuttle from our marina into downtown and Mallory Square. We had some excellent BBQ pork at Charlie Mac’s (whose chef studied under Jose Garcias and was trained at the Culinary Institute of America) before walking down to Mallory Square. We headed over to watch one of the most eccentric street performing acts we’ve seen anywhere, Dominique, the Cat Man and his cats. I think he’s gotten a little crazier as time has passed. I believe we last saw him about fifteen years ago or so, and he was pretty quirky then. His act concluded just in time for one of the most beautiful sunsets you’d ever wish to see. Purples and pinks flashed across the western sky, putting on a show fit for any audience.
Saturday, we took the shuttle in to watch the Georgia/South Carolina game at a sports bar called Jack Flats, an excellent, albeit noisy and crowded place to watch a game. The food was good, the atmosphere was fun, but the game was a disappointment. Georgia’s defense played poorly, the kicking game was off, and the offense just couldn’t make the plays when it had to. Oh well, better to lose early in the season than late, right?
Before the game, we did our own version of the Duval Crawl. We walked up and down Duval street and enjoyed several wonderful art galleries. We especially enjoyed the magnificent nature photography of Peter Lik, as well as the beautiful paintings of James Coleman, a former Disney background animation specialist who signs all of his work with John 8:12 beneath his name: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” We were also captivated by the black and white seascapes of Phillip Anthony. That’s my idea of a good time. 🙂
Sunday, after dropping Cindy off at the tiny Key West airport, I returned to the boat for a a couple of hours before heading off to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for morning worship. The first service was held at St. Paul’s on Christmas Day, 1832. After a hurricane destroyed the previous building, the first service was held in the new building on June 8, 1919. The stained-glass windows are marvelous.
After church, I continued my version of the Duval Crawl and visited a couple of more art galleries before sitting down for lunch at Jack Flats. I was afforded the opportunity to see the Atlanta Falcons lose embarrassingly a day after my beloved Bulldogs bit the dust. Such is the life of a fan.
This has been a rainy and overcast weekend,but still pleasant enough. Over the next couple of weeks, I have a number of boat chores to take care of. Tomorrow, I’ll start on some of those. I also hope to do some snorkeling, scuba diving, and, perhaps, some fishing.