Key West

What a neat old pirate and navy town Key West is, a small grid of narrow streets with thin wooden buildings with railed balconies. The theme is drinking, bar after bar salted with plenty of old drunks to make them feel alive. In between are the ubiquitous t-shirt and trinket stores, art galleries and ice cream shops that signify tourist traps. Old Spanish wrecks lie off shore, and adventuresome scuba divers with money can become members of the single company that has the salvage rights. This firm has recovered hundreds of millions in gold, silver pieces of eight, emeralds and artifacts and has hopes for even more. Going through their maritime museum is really fun, and I did spend an evening dreaming of diving for treasure. But according to their prospectus my income level doesn’t qualify me to invest, a blessing in disguise to save me from pirates. We did find culinary treasure at the south end of Duval street in a little French restaurant. Their blackened tuna salad is perfection on a plate, just delicious. Also not to miss, the Butterfly Conservatory. We were completely enchanted by the beauty in every detail of this place. Hundreds of butterflies along with assorted small birds flitting through a forest of perfect house plants and small trees accompanied by a babbling brook complete with fish and turtles, all squeezed into a 1500 square feet (maybe) glass conservatory. Splendid!