Where I’ve Been: The Keys, Lost Shaker Found Pt. 2

Popping bottles, Tervis Tumblers in hand, we decided to head into Key West for the evening. From Marathon Key and the Yellow House it takes about an hour to reach Duvall Street on the 7 Mile Bridge. Who knew or who cares when your hitting it right at sunset!img_4305-1

We spent the evening of my first night and then the entirety of my second day on Key West. The second day was drizzly so all in all in worked out splendidly that the evening prior was spent there as well. With that in mind, you get all of Key West in one post instead of being broken up by days. Hold tight to that liver, there were a lot of drinks.

No agenda on my part, I followed my hostesses around to their favorite haunts. Trist’s Travels craved a sloppy joe from Sloppy Joe’s  which made the dinner decision pretty easy.


Slipping in at the exact right moment, we managed a table with a great view of the stage. Just after our food arrived, a troop of gingers took the stage. img_4316-2

It seemed comical to overhear a debate on whether they were all related. It’s imagination cap time. You know in the movies when someone clones themselves and each clone comes out a little different showing dressed to depict a different personality than the original? That would be The Doerfels. band-4-glasses-webThey all look exactly alike with matching red hair just dressed in different looks.

Covering all the songs you want to sing along to, they have been working on their own album with their first single What Love Is available for purchase on itunes, Spotify, and Amazon. I’m on the fence as to whether their original work is Christian based or not. It doesn’t matter, just curiosity and all.

After dinner we wandered about and came across Key West Ghost Tour.

How terrifying can the ghosts of Key West be? Never mind that I’m an all around scaredy cat. We hopped on the trolley and made our way through the city. Not so bad, lots of mass deaths from illnesses and not so much on murder. Smooth sailing…until that damn doll.

I’ll just say it, I am definitely superstitious. No problem with the dead, like almost every kid in Danville who graduated anywhere near one of the Hamlin sisters, I’ve done my fair share of time with funeral directors (who are a blast) and at Stith Funeral Home. Now the beyond, nope. I don’t feel any need to mess with that.

For that reason, I stayed near the exit during the tour of the East Martello Fort and it’s famous guest on display. Nope. Not even going into who he is, you can check the link for the ghost tour on that.

After the Fort we took the trolley to a haunted museum where someone had killed himself on the roof deck. Everyone was engrossed in tale after tale of the alarm system mysteriously sounding throughout the night increasing around the anniversary of the suicide, I KNOW I heard footsteps up stairs on the second floor that was not only off limits from the tour, it was empty. That’s about when I started inching closer to the door.

There was also a super creepy real life crazy pants story of a local doctor who fell in love with a patient. It was a one way relationship to begin with that he carried on after her death. Man stole her boy and continued to court her. There was also a mausoleum he built her and then burned? Blew up? Dude even married and still had the wax corpse…NO THANK YOU!

The next day we took the our picture at the southernmost point.


I’d say we visited it, but that would be a lie. In fact, all the pictures you see of people there are a lie. To the left there’s just a long line of people waiting to snap a pic with the buoy. The whole idea that you just wander up for a pic is an illusion. There’s tons of people there.

There was only really one thing on my list of Must Do in Key West. I wanted to drink and write where Hemingway did. The hostesses dropped me off and off I went notebook in hand, flask missing.


Turns out, that wasn’t the plan. Hoping on the next tour, I decided my tour guide’s voice was grating and meandered along the path planning on catching the next one. Then I heard this cat. It was in pain. Following the screams, I found him hiding under a bush behind a waterfall panting and obviously hurting. After another tour guide clearly didn’t care, I told the nice woman in the gift shop who had me lead her to the poor feline. Yep, he was dying. It was one of the older cats on the property and had hidden himself to die. They wrapped him in a towel and whisked him away to the vet. That just about ended that jaunt for me. It was all just a little too close to home and why I have set off to heal my gypsy soul in the first place.

That decided it. I had no intentions of facing my own ghosts in Key West. No more Hemingway’s house, just Hemingway’s habits. It was decided, we’d just drink our way through town. Can’t be bothered to think about it with a drink in my hand. Yeah, I know. Bad coping mechanism. Whatever, you can drink on the streets in Key West. They encourage consumption!

I caught up with my hostesses at Margaritaville for a margarita, of course. From there we headed to Fat Tuesday’s  a round of jello shots and my own 1980’s water bottle of adult slushies we forged on.

At Caroline’s Cafe, I asked our server what he would drink if he rode his bike to work only for it to start pouring on him before he arrived. Funny, that had just happened! A margarita most definitely. That’s what I had. Plus some snacks, I do have some mother hen tendencies about me still. img_4376-1

The Smallest Bar in the World called to us from there where I told them of The Brick, once the tiniest bar in Charleston, SC. In exchange, the bartender served us up overpriced and super disgusting key lime pie shots.

From there my hostesses made friends with some 20 somethings and I experienced firsthand a Trump supporter stopping me on the streets and grabbing what he wanted and messing up my lipstick. This boys and girls is why you don’t drink through problems. It dulls your instincts to knee assholes in the crotch instead of brushing them off to have polite conversation because you’re confused as to whether you somehow invited an unwanted mauling of your face. Sober or not, you are yours. No one, despite what most court rulings set as an example, has the right to you.

After hitting a local tequila bar img_4379-1and with a friend my own age, we reconvened with the band of 20 somethings. Turns out the 20 somethings were pretty openly douchey too, which comes as no shock to me. Call it wisdom of old age.

Instead of a hello at some random bar on another key that doubles as a liquor store, I was met by a request to do for a sexual act that I won’t repeat here to one of their friends. I have big boobs, he’d love it. Again, what the hell with men and just assuming they can have my body? Sober or not, I gave him a big fuck off. Yeah, I typed it. There is nothing nice about sexual harassment or sexual abuse. There is no need for ladylike. You go ahead and serve up a big fuck off even in print.

Even though the evening had some darker notes, the girls played pool and I won stuffed animals out of the claw machine like a champ. We all slept soundly and refreshed after invigorating outdoor shower.

As an attempt to salvage Hemingway for myself, we stopped off to visit his boat, Pilar. I made myself a little happier with my life vest and a fun Boomerang of me typing on his typewriter.

The good times were packed up to head back to Miami where Orlando was waiting for me.

If you missed the private island, the Yellow House, and my delight at oversize roadside attractions such as the giant lobster Betty, you can catch up with The Keys, Lost Shaker Found Pt. 1.  If you’re really behind and missed Miami with the introduction of Trist’s Travels catch up from the beginning of Florida with Miami, More Golden Girls Than Will Smith.

Next up a quick recap of Disney World and Harry Potter World

On deck Asheville, NC!