As per usual, Joe and I named the people sitting around us on the plane. In the row in front of us, right to left, was Ken, Not-So-Much Barbie, and Brandy. Ken had a lot of products in his hair, and presumably flexed his nicely formed biceps by running a loosely-bristled brush through it for that final look of grooved waves.
Joe sat at the window, and I was in the middle of our row. To my immediate left in the aisle seat was Mary Magdalene, who had not one, but two, bibles in her lap. And they were hardback size, not paperback. The top one had a black cover on it, and various of its pages were dogeared, if not right out torn and swollen in places.
In the upper right corner of the page she had it opened to it said, "Psalm 59:1," which is, "Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me," which reminded me of this:
On one of the flights, two guys sat in our row, but on the other side of the aisle, whom we immediately pegged as family. Shortly after that we cracked up when we looked in the overhead bin above their seat and saw a big white luggage tag with what looked like a photo of a prissy woman, and under it in big letters it said, "MARY." Joe tried to get a picture of it over my shoulder with his camera phone. It's not great, but you get the gist. :-)
We arrived in Fort Lauderdale about ten minutes ahead of schedule, and after getting Joe's bag, we took the shuttle to the Alamo rental car place. It was one bus that took you to all of the rental car places. I like that better than having to wait for a specific one. We filled out the rental contract, and the clerk said, "Just go out this door, turn to the left, and pick out any convertible that you like out there. The keys are in all the cars." I've never heard of that before, but I liked it.
We picked the car up at 11:15, and it was probably 11:30 before we got out of there, and driving through Ft. Lauderdale and down through Miami took way too long.
Before getting on the road to the Keys, we stopped at Paquito's in Miami for lunch, which was most delicious. We shared a basket (or two) of chips and salsa, and I had a delicious chicken queso type dish with some chorizo on top.
Once we got to Highway One heading down the keys, it was actually a pretty nice ride. At two-and-a-half hours from that point, though, the overall trip took way longer than we'd anticipated. Oh well. Mental note for next time. Fly into Key West. Fortunately, we're flying out of Key West for our return trip on Monday.
The good news was that we arrived at The Island House smack dab in the middle of happy hour, which is every day from 5:30-7:00. The drinks are all free. You just leave a tip on the check, which has your drink total, but is zeroed out.
After happy hour we walked downtown for some dinner, where Joe and I split three slices of pizza at Pizza Joes. I was not pleased with the service there, which is just a walk-up place, so you know that can't be good. I asked for a knife to cut our three pieces of pizza (one cheese, one pepperoni, and one meat lover) in half to share, and the guy said, "We don't have knives."
Joe noticed that it looked like some people were trying to line up along the road outside. I asked some guys sitting on the ground outside Pizza Joes, and they said, "It's supposed to be some kind of parade. It was supposed to start at 7:00." (It was 8PM now.)
Said parade did indeed finally arrive, and we never could really tell what its "theme" was. A quick Google search right now indicates it was "7pm – The US1/Conch Country 'World’s Longest Parade' down Duval Street from the Atlantic to the Gulf at the Schooner Wharf Bar. For the 13th year in a row, the Republic’s only totally impromptu parade." For the record, "world's longest parade" is hyperbole.
While standing in front of 801 Bourbon Bar, watching the parade, and getting candy and beads thrown at us by people in the parade, we met a cute boy holding up a huge ad flag next to us, who told us that he'd be in the Bed Race on Saturday, in or around the Jägermeister bed. He was young, and shortly thereafter a woman came up beside him and put her arm around him.
"That's my son," she said. And then added, indicating a man nearby, "We just got married today. Earlier today. Right in there," she said motioning toward the bar. I had the distinct impression that was not her first wedding. Nor that it would be her last.
A fun-filled first day and night of vacation.