Monday, April 04, 2005

Leaving Key West ....

... for a day is like an expedition. We went to Big Pine Key (MM 30.5) yesterday to do some scouting and shopping at the Big Pine Flea Market. It's winding down now to its off-season configuration, 18 - 24 booths that remain open year round. At the height of season, the flea market hosts over a hundred booths, selling produce and merchandise of every description. Janet bought some produce (to, among other things, make Canadian stuffed peppers), and some flowers to fill in some empty spaces on our patio at home, and a few other small items. We spent about an hour-and-a-half there, until lunchtime, then drove a short distance (Big Pine Key isn't a very big place) to Rob's Island Grill, a newish-looking building with a sports bar and a restaurant featuring steaks and seafood. The place has, what seemed to me, a distinct slant towards Boston sports team. The entrance to the rest rooms is marked Yawkey Way; there are pictures of many Red Sox interspersed with those from other teams; there's a Drew Bledsoe(!?) Patriots shirt prominently displayed on the wall; etc.

Then we went to Tracy's house so Bob could do some work on his & Stepanie's computers, and spent most of the afternoon there while people came and went to go swimming or to play some cards.

As we drove Route 1 between Key West and BPK, I wondered about the people who lived in the small places along the highway -- Summerland, Big & Little Torch, Boca Chica, and even Big Pine Key, where the major shopping center, if one exists at all, is a Dion's Quick-Stop, or similar convenience store, usually with a gas pump or two outside. No doubt there are those who prefer the isolation of such places compared to the closeness of everything in Key West itself. It isn't for either of us though. Walking and bicycling almost everywhere is the main attraction. Access to many choices of bars and restaurants, three supermarkets to choose from, more opportunities for meeting people -- these are but some of the advantages of living "in town", in fact, in Old Town as opposed to New Town.

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