(Note: This is the final post in a series on our December roadtrip. See the whole epic journey, from DC to Austin to New Orleans to the Everglades to Key West and home, here)
Although Key West wasn't exactly what we expected (I think we expected a charming, small-town feel, whereas Key West is much more boozy and tourist), we really loved exploring it. We were there for three nights, and quickly established some habits, the most important of which was the sunset.
Every night the tourists (and lots of locals, actually), gather at Mallory Square to watch the sun go down and ogle the cruise ship. My favorite (to my chagrin) was the Disney ship. I can't help it: I'm a child of Orange County, and while the characters and kitsch don't do much for me, I'm always impressed with Disney's attention to detail.
Anyway. That was definitely a digression about Disney (alliteration!). Mallory Square always had lots of scrappy street performers. Also, note the mix of sweatshirts and short sleeves. It was that kind of weather.
One of the things Key West is known for is its wild chickens (Seriously: see this quirky website). Apparently the city is somewhat split on the chickens, and they have lots of fans and detractors. We were fans.
On our first full day we went to visit the Key West cemetery and came across a hen with eight (eight!) chicks. Obviously, we watched them for a long, long time, as these ten pictures probably indicate. You're welcome.
(This next photo is my favorite)
At one point, Mama Hen decided it was time to settle down, and within less than a minute all nine chicks disappeared under her wings.
As you can imagine, Key West is colorful and beautiful (in a well-worn, beach bum kind of way). Although there's a lot to do in the town, at this point in our trip we were pretty tired, and I was still feeling pretty crummy, so we spent most of our time just walking. It was wonderful.
I call this rooster Paul Newman.
Our second full day in Key West was Christmas day! We celebrated by calling our families and reading in the sun by the heated pool. Let me just say, there are far worse ways to celebrate.
Sunset #3! My favorite sunset. Because of Christmas. And pirates.
After Key West, we drove up to Savannah where we ate at Cracker Barrel (because our roadtrip didn't feel complete without it) and spent a pleasant morning in the town. And then we came home! Our roadtrip was exhausting and driving-intensive, and I'm not sure it's something we'd do in the same way again, but we're both glad we did it. We saw parts of the country neither of us had ever seen before, ate some great food, spent time with and met some wonderful people, and saw some intimidating and charming animals. I even wrote a paper. All in all, it was a grand American adventure.