Key West in Good Shape

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    Nov 18, 2017 1:17 PM GMT
    For those of you who might be considering visiting here, and have concerns following Hurricane Irma: I’ve seen very few things closed, almost everything open for business, in fine shape. Locals tell us it was tough for a week or 2, no electricity and some water problems, patchy cable TV and phone service, lots of fallen vegetation blocking streets, but everything resolved now.

    A huge beautiful tree in the pool area where we’re staying cracked in half, had to be removed. The resourceful gay men’s hotel owner (whom we’re taking to a tea dance and dinner tomorrow with his BF) simply had the stump planed level (it’s over 2 feet across in diameter), put a large rectangular beveled glass plate on it and made it into a 6-seat table next to the outdoor garden bar.

    So the businesses appear mostly functional. We went to Birkenstock, got a pair of their sandals for him, also an Ecco brand, and Teva for me. Our favorite bartender at Sloppy Joe’s (a tourist gimmick but I’ve known it for 44 years) comped us our first drinks, after hugs all around. And then the bar manager comped us, too. That was enough for us! We wanted to walk back here under our own power, and keep our dinner reservations.

    On the downside, our bank’s ATMs on that same street block were boarded up, I guess Irma casualties. And the sidewalk crowds a little light, actually welcome from our perspective. Weather has been perfect as predicted.

    Our favorite restaurant is unchanged (rated about the best in KW). I had seafood last night: octopus, shrimp and grilled snapper, very nice. We know the owner/chef and his wife, she’s ridden in the bicycle SMART Ride with us from Miami to here.

    And so it’s been going. The Middle Keys may still be healing, but Key West is in good shape, you can confidently visit here. The drive on US1 is good, and the KW airport is functional. Plus cruise ships are docking here (I wish they didn’t).
  • Triggerman

    Posts: 611

    Nov 18, 2017 4:46 PM GMT
    Thanks for the info. Travelling there on my Harley and was wondering how the town looked. Thanks, buddy
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    Nov 18, 2017 7:23 PM GMT
    Thanks half brother. Need to spend more time down south, next time I'm on main land America.
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    Nov 19, 2017 2:06 AM GMT
    Triggerman said
    Thanks for the info. Travelling there on my Harley and was wondering how the town looked. Thanks, buddy

    On your Harley! Oh WOW! My first road trip to Key West in 1973 was on a motorcycle. And then I mostly came down here on my motorcycles for the next 20 years. That included my 750 Suzuki, a BMW, and a Moto Guzzi, of all things. I owned my Harley Electra Glide pre-1973 and so it never made that trip.

    What I love is riding over the bridges between the Keys. Which are actually an island archipelago, only connected by the many bridges.

    As you cross them you’re elevated and gliding between Earth and sky. Tourquoise water below, brilliant blue above on a sunny day. Perhaps accented with puffy white clouds. And maybe smelling some of the salt air. It’s glorious, an experience cagers totally miss.

    It used to be more lovely than today, when the lush green vegetation enveloped you, almost jungle like. Today’s intense building development has robbed much of that beauty. The route isn’t very nice until you reach the Middle Keys. And even then not what it was. At least the roughly 20 drawbridges are gone, that caused great delays, only 1 remains.

    Hope you have a nice ride, and please let us know how it goes. How soon is it? PE me if you need tips about KW.
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    Nov 19, 2017 4:41 PM GMT
    Decided to extend a day here, we’re enjoying it so much. Only Thanksgiving obligations summon us back home, or we’d stay even longer. Also made a week’s reservations for January, when the rescheduled SMART Ride arrives. And also booked another 8 days for next November, That include the Ride’s normal annual dates.

    I reserved a second room here for a friend of ours during our January trip. At our special discounted rate the hotel owner gives us. We’ve taken our friend down here before. He’ll be 84, and can’t do these things so easily for himself, lives in a retirement community. We phoned him this morning to surprise him, see if he wanted it - he was almost crying.

    We kinda got a bit teary-eyed, too, he was so happy. Elderly LGBT are often forgotten, isolated & overlooked in our youth-oriented gay community. But then we’re old, too. Like helping like.

    I’ll drive us down here, pay for that myself, and make all his arrangements. He won’t have to do anything but enjoy, and pay his Dutch-treat portion, much of it at reduced prices tourists can’t get. Dinners, drinks, entertainment, taxis, he doesn’t have to think about them or do a thing.