Monday, August 21, 2006

Off the Island

I drove to Miami on Friday to have a couple of diagnostic procedures done at the Veterans Administration Medical Center there. The VA provides good health care at the Clinic in Key West, but it is limited to primary care. Except for blood testing and x-ray, provided by the Navy Clinic in the same bulding as the VA, anything more complicated, CAT scans, MRIs, cancer treatments, surgeries, and the like all require a trip to Miami, almost four hours up the road.

I left Key West at 3:15 AM by car, armed with an Extra Large Dunkin Donuts coffee, to be in time for a 7:30 AM appointment at VAMC. I left Miami for the return trip at 3:00 PM, following a second appointment scheduled for 1:00 PM but delayed until 1:45. I walked into the house at 7:00 PM, exhausted from nearly eight hours of driving and my early departure.

As some of you know, I'm not much interested in Florida beyond the Cow Key Channel. But, driving Route 1 through the Keys in both directions on the same day, I had a chance to relfect some on the cities that I passed through and on the rest of Monroe County which is governed by the County Commission. Big Pine Key, Marathon, Islamorada, and Key Largo are the principal population centers along the Keys apart from Key West. They share some of our problems and concerns. They also have unique problems in their own communities, as do we in Key West.

Between my two appointments, I took a drive around Miami as I looked for a Post Office where I might send back a defective router from Captain Outrageous' technology farm. The router is used to control three SlingBoxes that transmit American TV channels to Argentina. Parts of Miami have a real third world look to them. In other areas, epscially near the water, it's the Miami of Miami Vice, or CSI Miami, marinas, forests of condominiums, waterfront estates.

I'm very happy to be back home again. I now shouldn't have to go back to Miami for six months. Whew!

Update: I tried three times to post a couple of photos here, but Blogger seems to be broken for now. You can see the two photos at our Picasa site.

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