Miami/Homestead/Florida Keys; 80 degrees, threats of showers and tornados but not from where I sit.
I am on the road working. What a day this turned out to be. There was a power outtage that ranged from Miami to Daytona and they still don't know what caused it. There was a tornado warning in Broward County. I wasn't affected by either of these headlines because I made my first ever trip to the Florida Keys. This is the southern most tip of the continental US. It is also known as paradise found. In case you haven't heard, the keys are a series of long, narrow islands, connected by bridges, traversing about 135 miles, ending in Key West. Key West can also be called themostunfreakingbelievablethingIhaveeverseeninallmydays. Crystal Blue Persuasion. The highway through the keys, US 1, is narrow with wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. Water . . . amazing, peaceful, tranquil, water as far as you can see. This is why I'm here.
The labor crews I had to check on were installing tropical palms and coconut trees at a new condo complex, where a 1400 square foot unit costs $4 million. Haven't these people heard there's a real estate slump?
After a grueling day on the safety trail, it was time for a late lunch. My guide, branch safety officer Joe, chose Islamorada Fish Company. We started with an appetizer of smoked grouper dip and the main course was terriaki dolphin with grilled vegis. It was great but after we ate I smelled the wonderful garlic sauce and wished I would have opted for that. Oh well, there will definately be a next time.
Next door you find World Wide Sportsman, a fancy name for Bass Pro Shop. (People around the US travel for days to find a bass pro shop. I passed 3 today, counting this one.) Inside the shop is a restored 1933 fishing vessel once owned by Ernest Hemmingway.
The restaurant and shop are situated on the Gulf side of the Islamorada Key, near Marathon, FL. The view speaks for itself. There is a little inlet of water at the restaurant which is full of Tarpon fish and Nurse Sharks. Pics aren't the best because of the glare of bright sunshine.
Along the road, my guide/driver/coworker showed me the old bridge for US Hwy 1 and where a portion was blown up in the movie True Lies. I guess I'll have to watch for it on cable now to see that scene.
My hotel room in Miami smells way too perfumey. I have the window open, the AC on full and a ceiling fan on high. It's getting better as I speak. Weather Channel forecasts an arctic cold front for tomorrow with highs 15 degrees lower than today. That would put us in the upper 60's. Brrrrrrrr, good thing I have a coat with me. NOT! Actually I do, I'm just saying NOT brrrrrrrr. This is the kind of winter I could grow old with. I know . . . . . . . "just wait till summer".
I'm staying in this area for 2 nights, so I should have plenty of blog time.
I'm going to post a bunch of pictures from today, so enjoy.