Schroeder's View

Monday, December 10, 2007


If you could go anywhere within the continental US, just where would you go?

We chose Key West, Florida and it was if I had died and gone to Heaven! Imagine if you will - leaving the Tall Corn State with temps ranging around the upper teens, landing in Key West with temps around 80 or so! It was amazing and intriguing as we hailed a cab and traveled through the tropical streets. There were towering palm trees lining the streets just as we have elm and maples along ours. The air was filled with an aroma only found in a scratch and sniff ocean scent air freshener found in these parts.

I was in awe as we arrived to our hotel, across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. I jumped out of the cab and just stared in total amazement, as perched in the ocean waters were fishing boats with many rods stretching from the vessels waiting to get that big catch. These weren't your four man fishing boats...these were monster cabin cruisers, and they remained there throughout our entire stay.

We spent our first night familiarizing ourselves with our surroundings by going for a walk. As we walked with merely t-shirts and shorts, we came upon some chickens running throughout the lots and yards, which I found out later to be the norm. These birds are as prevalent as our annoying crows that bellow so loudly that you need ear plugs. Don't get me wrong, these critters didn't annoy me as much as the crows do, they were quite entertaining as we sat by the pool watching them peck for nibbles of anything that their tiny beaks could find under our chairs.

Our second day we awoke to a balmy 80º and 92% humidity. Yes I was in heaven, experiencing the other place's (hell's) temps...or so I have heard. It was my kind of weather and I was ready to get out and see what the island had to offer! We had decided to walk along the Gulf for awhile until we got tired and then hail a cab. You know that just didn't happen. We walked the entire three miles or so to the infamous Duvall Street. As we made our trek we came upon Christmas decorations. I giggled because how does one get into the holiday spirit with temps climbing to our summer heights? Still, I could get used to this!

We made it to Duvall Street and did the tourist shopping and took photos of each other underneath the well known establishment signs and even got a close up of a cruise ship. Now that was one big boat! We made it to a beach and splashed in the blue ocean waters. I must have looked like a fool as I dug through the sands searching for sea shells for a granddaughter and plowing up some sand for a co-worker. But who cares, no one knew me!

Following three days of paradise we hopped back on the plane and headed home, anticipating the cold welcome awaiting us - not only a sweatshirt but a heavy coat, hat and gloves. I was sad that I had to return to such frigidness, yet I felt at peace knowing that I was going to head home where I my heart was...leaving behind though a tiny piece of wishful thinking that someday I may be one of those snow-birds that spends the cold winters in the tropics!!