Thursday, April 10, 2008

Key deer, key limes and five key moments of our vacation

We’re arriving back home today after a glorious week being spoiled by my parents in Florida.

After jinxing the St. Lucie Mets, we headed down to Key West, which is a strange place but very, very fun -- so much fun that it gets its own version of the Deezo Friday Five.

1) On the five-hour trip down we went through the national key deer refuge. And I confess that I have never heard of key deer, which my Dad said are like other deer, but smaller. And like Jimmy Buffet, they spend all their time in the Florida Keys.

There is much concern about the key deer, because there are high fences along the road and constant reminders to go slow and beware of the deer throwing themselves into the path of on-coming traffic.

The joke is that since most of U.S. 1 in the Keys is a two-lane road, the odds are that you will get stuck behind one of those RVs towing an SUV or boat – and in one case, both, I swear – so there is little chance of going that fast even if you wanted to.

Then we saw this sign:

To which my wife smartly replied, “Duh. Don’t give them any.”

2) Key West is famous for its Sunset Celebrations in Mallory Square, which is filled with all sorts of crazy performers, including Dominique and his Flying House Cats. Make no mistake, dude is nuts. But he had housecats jumping through rings of fire.

I used to think my own cat’s skill of pulling my pennants off the wall when he’s ticked off was pretty cool. But after seeing these flying felines, the bar has been raised.

3) The Southernmost Point marker is a mystery. It’s just a big concrete thing. It’s not even at the southernmost part of the island. But damn, it’s cool. We went back to it three different times, and waited in lines to pose with it. I seriously contemplated buying a miniature version of it for my desk at work, but then I’d have to move one of the Statues of Liberty.

4) Frozen chocolate key lime pie on a stick. It’s like key lime pie, but it’s frozen, dipped in chocolate and put on a stick. Having been to the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts, I was sure I have enjoyed every possible food and stick combination. Seriously, they have chocolate chip cookies on a stick and pickles on a stick. But this was … amazing.

5) Ernest Hemingway’s crazy cats. Hemingway’s house is a museum. Actually, a good chunk of the island seems to be dedicated to the author, who apparently fished and drank, both in great quantities.

His house is famous for having about 60 cats running around, most with six toes on their paws.

The folks there were nice enough to let us use the penny squishing machine without paying the $12 admission, and we did indeed see many, many cats, including one that was keeping the top of the penny squishing machine warm for us. We didn’t count its toes. Nor did it seem interested in jumping through hoops of fire.


Anonymous said...

Dominique and his Flying House Cats really looks creepy. I don't know if it's the cats, the flames, or the retro 70's thing he has going on! I think he needs a full psychiatric evaluation, or at least see the "Lap dog" for crystal or aroma therapy (way inside joke only your mother and father can share with you).

Anonymous said...

While the cats gave a 'sterling' performance, I think a trip to the crystal palace for a treatment is required. However consider making your living draging several cats onto a pier where several hundred people (many, oh about 650 of them would not pass a roadside sobriety test) are cheering not you, not the cats but the fact that the sun is setting! and it happens every night. I find it really scary that several of our past presidents took part in these festivities.

All in all, sunsets, performing cats, conch trains, southern most locations, 6 toed cats, which is another whole story and sun, restruants and great water, it is a wonderful place to visit.

Unfortunately it is not one of the ports on our upcoming Thanksgiving cruise.


Mets Guy in Michigan said...

TW,He WAS creepy! ANd I believe he used to be a clown, which, well, explains a lot. But the cats were pretty cool.

I susoect we'll see much wilder things in November!