Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Our Key West Adventure
Soooooooooo, here’s the story. I picked Jennifer up at her house around noon on Friday. We were all set. We had our bags packed, we had munchies, we had alcohol, and we had smoky treats. Jenny and I got everything in my car—and we were off. We had a few stops to make (CVS, Farm Stores, etc.) on our way to pick Kimmie up at her office in Homestead. Now, for those not familiar with the area, Homestead is as far south as you can go before hitting the Keys. By the time we got Kimmie and all her luggage into the car, it was 1:30, and we were on our way. We approximated a 4:30 arrival time, more or less, in Key West, with time allotted for our ritual stop at Tiki Bar for a Pain in the Ass. La la la la la la la…..we’re driving down US1, and we were making good time. We approach the end of the stretch when Jilly called to tell us that they were at the Tiki Bar having a drink. I told her we were about 20-30 min. away, and they said they would probably still be there when we arrived. Cool. Then something not so cool happened. Dead. Stop. Traffic.—Fabulous. Jennifer says it’s the Jewfish Creek bridge, and that it will be at least 20-30 min. of sitting there. Fine. What choice did I have? After awhile, we started noticing people walking around, chatting it up, drinking, etc., and lots of cars turning around and heading back north. I hang my head out of the window and shout to the nice British man behind us “What’s going on?” He says “The bridge is broken.” Are you kidding me? Great. The three of us put our heads together and decide it’s probably in our best interest to head back north and take Card Sound Road. Now, we’re not happy about this, but Jennifer started talking about “going in the Volvo,” if you catch my drift (I apologize if you are not a Hugh Grant aficionado). So, again, what choice did I have?
Back north it is. I think we would all normally be rather annoyed by the situation, but there was a vacation to be had! We made the best of our situation and sang and danced all the way back to Homestead. We made a pit stop at Alabama Jacks for Jenny, who, by the way, broke Guinness Records for the longest time any one female was in the bathroom. I was amazed and proud of my dear friend. Aaaaaaaanyways, we were going to get a drink there, but A.J.’s only serves beer. Booooooooo. Let’s push on to Tiki. And push on we did. Traffic was unpleasant on Card Sound Road because word had gotten out that the stretch was closed. Actually, what happened was they SHUT DOWN the entrance to the stretch at Homestead, mere moments after we had passed. Do you see where I’m going with the “bad luck follows me every where I go” theory? But wait; hold on to your seats kids, I’m just getting started.
Yeah, well, thank GOD we had our smoky treats, because this made our horrendous car ride to Tiki, which is now going on 2 hours, much more enjoyable. We were listening to everything from Prince to Kanye—jamming and listening to Kimmie’s deep thoughts on absolutely NOTHING that were very amusing to Jennifer and me. Hallelujah, praise the Lord, we FINALLY made it to Tiki. We made a bee line for the bar, ordered our drinks, and enjoyed a picture perfect Friday afternoon. Ahhhhhhh. I wish I were there now. We called Jilly in the meantime to tell her the situation, so they were well on their way to Key West at this point. Well, we finished our drink, and felt much more optimistic about the rest of our drive. Skipping and whistling, we got back to my car and loaded up. I start the car, place it in reverse, only to be met by the most horrendous, ear piercing sound of metal being mangled that you have ever heard. WTF? The three of us look at each other, and after I scream “What in the holy f**k was that? You have GOT to be KIDDING me!”, we all burst out into laughter. Seriously, this had to be some kind of joke. I take my foot off the brake to try this again, but no…the noise is actually getting worse. I put the car in park, and Jennifer gets out to see if I am dragging something underneath my car.
Picture this if you can (Unfortunately, I was too concerned about my car to take pictures of this..):
Jennifer (laying on dirt under my car): “Ok, REVERSE NOW!”
I SLOWLY reverse, and am met with that sound again, which may have permanently damaged Jenny’s ear drums.
Jenny: “OK STOP!”
Jenny: “OK, REVERSE AGAIN!”
Play this image in your head three or four times, and that was the next 5 minutes of my life. Believing that Jenny was doing something inherently wrong, Kim felt she needed to get out of the car to assess the situation herself. Now I have Kimmie and Jenny under my car doing the “Reverse!” and “No, STOP!” sh*t. Oh, I forgot one little tidbit of information: we are parked right in front of all the day fishing boats, and it’s that time of day where they are all coming back in. So, this entire spectacle was witnessed by no less than 15 men. Due to our embarrassment, we had to make a decision. And we decided it was a rock. Yup. A rock in my wheel well. Sound good to you? Sounds good to me. I don’t know how convinced Kim was on this, but Jenny and I were satisfied. We made one last ditch effort to see if I was dragging something before pulling back on to US1 with no luck. It was a rock.
The faster we drove and the louder the music was, the less we heard of this rock, which we were very pleased with. Jenny and I were the picture of a Volkswagen commercial, rocking out to every song I played on my iPod. Now here we were, making good time once again, and getting more excited each mile marker we passed. The Seven Mile Bridge was approaching, and it would only be a little further to our destination. (We were convinced at this point that the rock in my wheel well has disintegrated, and no longer existed.) Just as Bon Jovi came on the iPod, we were faced with the unimaginable. Dead. Stop. Traffic. AGAIN. Oh…my….GOODNESS. I think I actually exclaimed something that contained much more profanity than that, but it would be so uncouth to write on my website, don’t you think? Anyways, the three of us are dumbfounded that this is happening AGAIN! It didn’t take long before there were police cars with sirens roaring to pass us going south on the northbound lanes, and the Air Rescue helicopter was hovering above. I had just told Jill moments before that we were on the Seven Mile Bridge, and we would be there before they knew it. Now I had to call her back and explain the situation, which I’m sure after the third tragic phone call sounded like something of a lie. But seriously, check the news! I just can’t win! After listening to my revelation that perhaps this was God’s way of telling us we are not to be in Key West this weekend, we put the car in park and fiddled with the iPod.
I wish that had been it. By the time we had finally made it into Key West, it was 7pm, and Jenny called Ryan to tell him we had made it. Ryan says to Jenny “You think you had a hard time getting DOWN there, wait until you’re leaving during evacuations.” What?? Yeah, some freakin’ tropical storm is supposed to be hitting, and government officials are discussing evacuating the Lower Keys within 24-48 hours. Well, that’s it. After all we had been through that day, we were going OUT. And we did. The pictures will take it from here….
I’m not getting into TOO much detail, because, as I said before, what happens in Key West stays in Key West! So, we are not
talking about the following:
1. The old man at Irish Kevin’s that caused me to crawl under the table to get away from him.
2. Rick’s. Need I say more??
3. Me getting lost.
4. Alexis’s sub—and that entire scene on Friday night.
5. Jen’s male stripper.
6. Robin’s dress falling down—repeatedly
7. Robin, Alexis, and Lore getting yelled at by the neighbor.
8. Everything else I don’t remember (sorry! It’s been a couple weeks!)
Tammy, I hope you had a good time!!!! Your wedding is going to be just as much fun! XOXOXO
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