Saturday, December 8, 2012

Farewell to the Keys

We thought about snorkeling today but decided to trade the opportunity for an extra day in Orlando. Most of the day was therefore spent traveling north on the Florida Turnpike. This is kind of like the mother of all roads, a giant concrete snake that curls around the big metropolis of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and neighbouring coastal cities. Lucky we had signed up for a Sun Pass because I counted 14 toll gates just in the Miami- Fort Lauderdale section. Lunch was a picnic of left over chicken on the grass beside one of the turnpike's central 'service' areas. We put gas in the car there too, the first time since before we drove down the Keys. The price of petrol is so cheap! We've driven 800 km on $50 worth this week. We've decided we're actually saving money on being here because at home we would have used much more than that ;-)

It's 400km from Key Largo to Melbourne (yes, Melbourne! It was a corny coincidence that had to be used so that's where we're staying tonight) but the interstates move traffic so quickly that we did it in less than 4 hours with a stop for lunch. Geoff is really getting the hang of driving at 75 mph. I'm worried about his transition when we get home. To take my mind off the terror of the traffic, we discussed our 10 favourite memories of the Keys as we drove. Again, in no particular order;

  • Holding an alligator - contrived but special. They are a cold, squirmy ball of muscle.
  • Warmth- the climate is so temperate ALL the time.
  • The chaos of Key West- every sense was engaged to the extent that we were a bit overwhelmed there.
  • Key Lime Pie- Ohhhh yes.
  • No waves- because of the coral reef the sea is flat. My fear of a tsunami was allayed when I learnt this. However, you can hire surf boards ?
  • Fake sand- there is no sand in Key West, only coral so they ship the sand in.
  • Dragonfruit milkshake- the milkshakes at Robert Was Here are amazing.
  • Wild gators- they really are everywhere in the Everglades.
  • The colours - the Keys are sort of a flouro, pastel color.
  • The chickens- 'Why did the chicken cross the road' will always sound different to us now.
Because we'd made good time on the road we had time to drive over to Cocoa Beach near the Patrick Airforce Base for a bit of fresh air. It was lovely.

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