day 81
happy birthday aimee!

"Do you think we can make it to Roswell, New Mexico
in time for my birthday?" -k.
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Ask Aimee:
Age: 26
Middle Name: Martha
Fav Food: Rice
Fav Movie: Out of Sight
Fav Singer: Natalie Merchant

Brother: Danny
Sister: Inga
Nephews: Presley, Dallyn, Cayden

Claim to Fame: Once asked out by Maestro Fresh Wes.

Vegetable Shaped Vehicle of the Day
Car Trouble:
Click on that Vegetable Shaped Vehicle up there. Now, you crazy car buffs out there, can you tell us what kind of car it used to be? We want the make and the model.
Click here for the answer!

Who wants cake? Not Aimee! Why would you want cake in the Keys when you could have Pie? Key Lime Pie, that is.

So we stuffed her with it! Here are the results of the Key Lime Taste Test:

Kermit's Key Lime
K.W. Key Lime Co.
Brian & DD's
Publix Grocery

The Hottest Birthday Ever
Nov 15 - Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Aimee!
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappy Biiiiiiiirthdaaaaaaaaaaaaay tooooooooooooooooooooo yoooooooooooooouuuuuuuu!!!!!

Aimee decided more than two months ago that she wanted to be in Key West for her birthday. So really, this is the most planning we've ever done on this trip. Anything for my gal Aimee!

First order of business: finding the Southernmost Point in the United States. I must say, this was a heck of a lot easier than finding the Easternmost Point. This time there were signs and maps and a big fat marker. In Maine we had to ask every second person. That is, if we could even find a person.

The REAL Southernmost Point in the USA
Ask any local from the Keys, and they'll tell you that the southernmost point in the USA is Homestead, Florida. The Keys aren't even a part of Florida, they say. They're the Conch Republic (pronounced "conk").

In the early 1980s, the federal government was concerned about the amount of smuggling going on from Cuba and the other islands in the Caribbean to the Keys. After all, anyone could sail over, hop in a car, and drive into the mainland without question. So, the Feds set up a roadblock on the 18 mile stretch between Key Largo and Homestead.

The roadblock was basically a customs check. Everyone who came from the Keys to the mainland were questioned intensely and had their cars searched. Tourism went down the toilet because travelling there was such a pain in the ass.

After numerous attempts to have the roadblock removed, political activist and Keys resident by the name of Daniel Wardloe came up with a solution: On April 23, 1982, the Keys seceded from the United States and become their own country. The Conch Republic was formed.

Once the formal declaration was given, they promptly declared war on the United States of America.

One minute later, they surrendered, and applied to the UN for foreign aid.

Needless to say, the roadblock was taken down, the customs officers removed, and life went back to normal. Almost. Every April 23, the Keys still celebrate Independence Day. A shirt from the tenth anniversary reads this slogan:

"We Seceded Where Others Failed."
We found it! Success!

Second order of business: Getting our mouths on some Key Lime Pie, straight from the source. Well, that was an easy order to fill... every street corner and mom-&-pop shop in Key West sells Key Lime Pie. In fact, every street corner and mom-&-pop shop in Key West sells "The Best Key Lime Pie In Key West!" So if everyone's the best, how do you pick?

Simple! You go to all of them!

Well, we went to four, actually. This accomplished two things: One, we were able to taste the wide range of Key Lime Pies available to us and find the best for ourselves; and two, we got so stuffed that we never want to see another Key Lime Pie ever again. Which is good, because wherever we go from here, it won't be authentic, and nobody wants knockoff Key Lime Pie. Only the best for my gal Aimee!

Last order of business: street markets with little shops that sell stupid tourist crap in them. Aimee just eats that up (ugh, eat). Aimee could spend hours just wandering around a market or street fair (I, on the other hand, could spend hours not). But, if that's what she wants to do on her birthday, so be it. Anything for my gal Aimee!

It's getting to the bottom of the page, so I'm sure many of you are probably thinking to yourselves, "Yeah, but what did you get her?" I got her what I got her last year. And what she got me last year. And the year before that. Nothing. We don't bother with that whole birthday gift thing. Gifts are for Christmas.

For us, birthdays are about doing, not getting. It's about spending time with each other, and doing cool stuff that the birthday girl feels like doing that day. And believe me, it takes so much stress out of the day, for both of us. You should try it one year.

Anyway, the sun went down on a very happy birthday and another wonderful year. And Aimee? She just keeps getting better with age. Love ya, babe!

we've hit bottom...

End of the Rainbow

End of the Highway

End of the Road

End of the Accommodations
more photos in the archive...

We've got mail...

Haaaapy Biiiirthdaaay tooooo youuuuuuu!
Haaaapy Biiiirthdaaay tooooo youuuuuuu!
Haaaapy Biiiirthday, deeeear Aiiiiimee!
Haaapy Biiirthday toooooo yoooooouuuu!!!

Happy Birthday, love.

p.s. at least you didn't have to listen to me sing it, lucky you.
- Aim's Mom

Hi Aimee.
Hope you're having fun in Florida, or wherever you guys are right now.
Once again, happy birthday from May and I.
- Dan & May, Ottawa ON

someone is having a special day......
hmmmm.... I wonder who that could be!?
:o) Oh, it's you!!!
Happy Birthday Aimee & Auntie Aimee!
We love you! ~*~BIG HUGS & KISSES~*~
Love, Cayden~ Dallyn~ Presley~ Scott & Ingrid

Drop us a note!

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Capital of the Conch Republic

Next Stop: Fishing

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Beautiful for the Birthday Girl

Daily Stats
Gas: $21.00
Keys Today: 11
Pies Today: 4
Lies Today: 0

Sleeping Quarters
Bahia Honda State Park

This place is so great, I think we'll book it for a few more days!

Cost: $XX.00

Cracked Egg
Big Pine Key
K's Order:Strawberry Pancakes
Bacon & Eggs
A's Order:Biscuits & Gravy
Kermit's Key Lime Store
Key West
Split:Key Lime Pie
Key West Key Lime Co.
Key West
Split:Key Lime Pie
Brian & DD's
K's Order:BBQ Burger
Fries and Veggies
A's Order:Ham & Cheese SW
Salad Bar
Key Lime Pie

Your email address...

© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Better than good.