Yesterday was the day! Out of the house and out and about after 412 days of self-quarantine.
It was 3 in the afternoon. I was excited. Opened the door and stepped outside. Almost turned around and went back in. The humidity was horrendous. Heavy! I then recalled humidity begins being heavy after Easter.
My first stop was COLLECTIONS Key West. An art gallery. Read about it in one of locals last week. COLLECTIONS was having an open house Sunday from 1-6.
Location on Stock Island. Stock Island not necessarily known for art galleries. I telephoned the number on the ad. Talked to some woman. She instructed me to park at Hogfish. Then walk back behind Hogfish till I saw two red doors.
I had never been to the back of Hogfish. A different world.
Signs made it possible to find COLLECTIONS easily. The walk back was quite a distance for me and my cane, however. Especially on stones.
Reached my destination. Second floor. Met charming Karen Wray, one of the owners.
I was taken by what she had available. If you want to experience something different in a different setting, visit COLLECTIONS. Telephone for an appointment. 305-923-4778.
It was a turn on for me. It was old Key West. Old!
The paintings, wood work and artifacts primarily from a different time. Even the room was special. Wood walls. Not sure what kind. Whatever, added to my viewing pleasure.
Karen knowledgeable and pleasant . Enjoyed talking with her.
Her husband did much of the wood pieces available for sale. Karen told me his workshop was about 100 feet away. Stop in. I did.
No one there. Doors wide open.
I was impressed with the machinery and tools. Her husband must be a wood master. I have known a few men capable of good work with wood. I was familiar with what a master’s place would look. This one looked that way. I could vision the man after he was working with a piece taking his hand and rubbing it along the piece he was working on.
My trip back to the car was a bit difficult. I went the wrong way. Zigged when I should have zagged. All I could see was a marina with boats. Most big. Could not see Hogfish. I was somewhere out in the Atlantic.
Fortunately ran into a couple. They set me straight. I was going in the wrong direction.
Something else that was appealing. The structure behind Hogfish is from another era, also. Wild!
When I reached the car, I noticed I was not tired. Surprising. Note that I have not been out of the house in over a year except for doctor and hospital visits. Each time was able to park 50-100 feet away.
Drove to the Pier House. Surprised the traffic on U.S. 1, the Boulevard and Eaton Street was light. Half of what I expected. Pulled into the Pier House. Parking lot half empty. Walked to the Chart Room. Knew it had not opened yet.
Sad to see it closed.
Hit the Beach Bar. Knew I would find Janine. A 20 year fixture there.
A beautiful woman!
We chatted a bit. Told her I was looking for Tammy. She was not sure where. Could be Sloppy Joe’s or the Ocean Key bar by the water.
Another long walk to the Ocean Key bar. Tammy and I saw each other at the same time. She ran around the bar and gave me a big hug. Love her!
The bar half empty. I was concerned about seating. Did not want to be near anyone. Took a seat with the guy to my left 6 feet away. To my right, 3 empty seats close together. Close to where I was sitting.
A young couple eventually sat down. He was right next to me. Like 2 feet away. Then he started talking to me. He was breathing on me!
My mask was off because I was enjoying my first drink in months. A Hendrick’s. They did not have Beefeater.
Now the fun started for me. People to talk with!
Tammy introduced me to her two cohorts working with her. They returned frequently to chat. I also engaged with the people on both sides of me.
The guy to my left was from Ohio. Probably in his 60s. Our conversation was golf. The Masters and some of the players.
Talked to the couple on my right. Young. From Wisconsin. Down for the weekend. They were happy to be here. This had to be the trip of a lifetime for them. Their enthusiasm was obvious.
They return home today.
I asked where they were eating last night. They had reservations at Bagatelle. Told them a great choice. Excellent food. They would enjoy.
They were thrilled to hear my words. Apparently they were not certain if they had selected a good restaurant.
Sitting at the bar and talking with people made me feel good. Something I have been doing for over 20 years in Key West. It was as if I had returned home.
Then the walk back to my car. Not a short one.
Drove to Lisa’s. First time I have been allowed in the house in 412 days.She did not want to be in my home and I was not to be in hers. The coronavirus fear. I understood.
I stayed only 5 minutes. I was welcomed! Even Jake was thrilled to see me.
Then home. I was only out and about for 3 hours. Surprised I was not tired from all the walking. Though I must admit I slept well last night.
Mask wearing. What mask wearing? I wore mine. I would be surprised if even 5 percent of the people I saw were wearing masks.
Stayed in last night. Watched the end of the Masters and then a movie. I felt good. Did not want to spoil the feeling by overdoing.
An interesting factor. I did not feel for a moment as if I were returning somewhere after a long time away. It was like I had been out and about the day before.
Obviously did not see anyone I knew other than those already mentioned. Many have left. Some working in different places. I will catch up with many by week’s end.
Spoke with Jean Thornton in Birmingham this morning. She and Joe are flying in wednesday for a month’s stay. It will be good to see them. My benefactors for 12 days when I escaped Irma.
I plan on being out again tonight. Where, I know not.
Enjoy your day!