No one thought to mention this?
We had a terrific time, thanks. Left NJ on Wednesday and returned on Sunday evening. Husband and I flew to Miami and then drove the 4 hours down to the Keys — but four hours alone in the car is a really good time if you haven’t really been able to have an adult conversation in a while (and by adult, I mean about something other than 1) Disney television, 2) what I will next buy for you, or 3) what’s for the next meal).
Yesterday morning while still in Key West, I was exchanging texts with a friend about this week’s upcoming schedule, and I mentioned that it was hot in Key West — hot almost beyond words. She asked if it was Dante’s Circles of Hell kind of hot, and I agreed that it probably was, but “with more sweating. Way more sweating.” I stand by that answer. Rural New Jersey is hot in the summertime — humid too (oh wow, is it humid — but as Key West showed me, the Keys know humid and NJ, you are not humid.
(On the upside, I had really great hair for about 4 days. Apparently soul-sucking humidity does nice things for curls. You bypass frizz and go right to ringlets. I recommend it — if you can get by the, oh yes, soul–sucking humidity.)
Here’s something odd about the trip — or should I say the “pre-trip.” As we had been preparing for the trip, and mentioning to friends and strangers that we were headed to Key West for a mini-vacation, everyone had lots of recommendations: places to eat, things to see, activities to do. But *not one* person mentioned The Chickens.
Friends, there are chickens — hens, roosters, chicks — roaming Key West freely. They do not appear to be banded or cared for at all, they’re just hanging out, roaming the squares and wandering into the open air restaurants and bars. (A plus for them, they walk like they’ve had a few already, so they fit right in.)
Let me repeat: Chickens. Wandering free* through the streets. And no one thought to mention this? Doesn’t that occur to anyone as odd?
Our first night there, we’re walking to dinner and I said to Husband, “Husband, I think I just saw a chicken over there on the sidewalk,” to which he said, “Wife (or Old Bag, as he’s been known to affectionately call me), I don’t think you saw a chicken.” And the words were not out of his mouth when the chicken meandered down the sidewalk in front of us. At which point he said, “Yep, you saw a chicken.” And the next morning we were awakened by, no kidding, roosters crowing.
If you ask me about Key West, I’m going to mention the island tour by jet ski, a restaurant called Bagatelle, checking out Hemingway’s house, and, let’s see…..oh yes, the chickens. This way, you’ll be prepared and won’t be stuck recycling old jokes about chickens crossing the road — you’ll have new material on hand.
* Who knew? The chickens are known as Gypsy Chickens and have been roaming the streets for hundreds of years — something to do with (depending on your source) cockfighting or fresh eggs. Apparently they are the source of great controversy among Key West residents — many on the chickens’ side and many against. Huh.