Sloppy Rita, Old Granddad and Coconuts

Trip Start Jan 28, 2013
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Trip End Feb 03, 2013


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Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, January 31, 2013

Woke up this morning to a Florida storm blowing in. As with all Florida storms it lasted about 15 minutes.  After it blew through there was a pretty significant drop in temperature.  It went from low 80's to low 70’s.  Time to bring in the plants to protect them from frost.  All the Floridians had to break out their cold weather gear.  I actually saw, and I am not making this up, winter hat, gloves, long sleeve shirt, sweat pants, and of course the official foot wear of South Florida flip-flops.  Now the wind was brisk and it was cooler, but gloves and a winter beany hat seemed a little much.

Time for an update on life here on the S.S. Minnow.  The hot water did not get fixed.  The latest excuse is, "the guy who was going to fix it had a doctor’s appointment."   I am assuming one of two things.  1) “the guy” is a doctor who moonlights as a plumber and schedule was full, or 2) “the guy” is a patient in need of some kind of open heart surgery since it took all day.  I spoke to Gilligan (formerly Cap’n Chuck, he has been demoted) about this after I found out the refrigerator is also not working. Gilligan had more excuses than a 6th grade boy caught with a copy of Playboy Magazine.  All interesting, some funny and none plausible.  We will have a new refrigerator tomorrow.  I am sure Gilligan is reaching out to the professor to figure out how to use coconuts to keep my beer cold.  Sherwood Schwartz where are you when I need you.

Enough of this non-sense.  It is off to Key West.  Today it is old home tours starting with Papa’s house.  Hemmingway’s home is, in a word, beautiful.  I am not a super big Hemmingway fan, but I have read a couple of his books and probably Cliff noted a few more to get through high school.  Sarah, you didn’t read that. At any rate, we had a really good tour guide who got things off to the proper start by breaking out his flask and taking a big swig of dark rum.  It was 10 in the morning.  Things are little different here in Key West. 

He gave a great half hour tour of the house, the grounds, the history, the wives and the polydactyl cats.   I will leave you and Google to figure that out.  There were four wives which are two more than I knew about and three more than any man should need.  He wrote over half his published works here in Key West in the approximately 10 years he was here.  He would rise at 6am, write 700 or so words, go fishing return to shore and hang out in Sloppy Joe’s drinking and listening to stories that were woven into his books.  The day complete, he would go home get some sleep, and start over again.  You have to appreciate a writer with some discipline who stays on a schedule.

Next it was lunch at Hog’s Breath Saloon.  Nothing spectacular, but passable.  Not on my list of places to return to.  Then it was on to Truman’s  Little White House in the Keys.  President Truman came to Key West 11 times for a total of 175 days during his time in office.  He said he got more work done here than he ever got done in Washington.  Since nothing gets done in Washington that statement is, without a doubt, fact. 

When President Truman was here in Key West he started each day with a shot of Old Granddad Bourbon.  A few years ago some historians got together, no doubt using some of our tax money, and decided that President Truman was the 5th most effective President of all time.  I don’t think his legacy is in jeopardy of moving down the list anytime soon.  Effective is not exactly a word used in Washington much.  The house was the standard, unpretentious naval base housing.  The tour guide was also unpretentious and funny.  He actually sold President Truman a newspaper back when he was 12 years old. 

Touring done for the day and thirst setting in, we headed back downtown.  We ended up at Sloppy Joe’s again.  This time instead of beer I went with a “Sloppy Rita”, two times.  They are not stingy with the tequila down here as it should be.  Sloppy Joe’s has a couple of web cams so I made a goof of myself for a few seconds at the one pointed at the stage as Sarah watched at home.  Then we went to the outside one on Duvall Street and called her.  Modern technology can be kind of fun sometimes.

After an uneventful dinner at the Conch Republic and some chocolate dipped Key Lime Pie on a stick, it was back to the Lusitania to see if it is afloat.  It is or I would not be typing this.  Let’s see what tomorrow will bring. 
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