day 84
key west, florida

"Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!" -woman upon seeing the
Kino's Sandals store closed.
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Key West Locales:
Pepe's: for breakfast
Pepper's: for a snack
Sloppy Joe's: for lunch
Conch Republic: for dinner
Schooner's: for drinks

Claim to Fame: An oddly disproportionate amount of flatulence-related apparel per capita. The most so far, actually. Terrance and Philip would be proud.

Alabama License Plate of the Day

The Pepper Shop:
I don't know what got into us when we decided to step up to the sampling bar of Peppers of Key West right after breakfast at Pepe's. Here's a list of what we tried in the order that they entered our bellies:

Tibetan BBQ Marinade
Goin' Bananas
Wing Time
Roasted Corn & Garlic
Salsa Macho
Caribbean Condiment
Pete's Heat
Flying Fish
West Indies Pepper Sauce
Pina Colada
Peninsula Gold
Ring of Fire
Tibetan Dead Hot
Hot n' Honey
Orange Crush
Key Lime Mustard

It was at this point that we nearly puked and left the store rather quickly.

This is the second largest conch Kev has ever seen.

Wake up Late, Start Slow, Taper Off, And Quit Early
A Shallow Look At Island Life

Nov 18 - "There's no better way to look like a local than to pick yourself up a pair of Kino's Sandals," says Jeff. They're comfy and they're cheap. Why would you spend a bundle on sandals when you can get a cheap pair and spend the rest at Captain Tony's, right?

They sounded perfect for me. Especially since my old Payless sandals had disintegrated on my last snorkeling trip and I was now walking along with the sole of my sandal attached by a mere inch of rubber at the toe. Never a sorrier sandal did you ever see.

So this morning Kev and I drove into Key West (a mere 45 miles away from our campsite) with the sole purpose of leaving a few pairs richer. Well, the Jimmy Buffett gods must have been giggling today, because we little did we know that we'd really be leaving with a full sense of what it means to live in the islands.

These are always funny.
We started over to the Kino's Store, nay Kino's Factory, which was wedged between a We Buy Gold jewelry store and a T-Shirt shop with a special on Fart Shirts. The store was closed. I'm sure you saw this coming, since if it was open, we'd be writing about something else today, like all the fish we caught. Instead, the store was closed. This created a bad situation for us because this is our last trip into Key West. After this, it's north, north, north for us.

But, being Canadian, we have an undeterred sense of optimism. The Kino's factory isn't closed for the day... it's just not open yet! That's it! Let's go fart around (pardon the pun) and come back around noon. Maybe it'll be open then.

Noon rolls around. Still not open. What would you do in our situation? Ask the locals! We ask the fart-store owner. He says the store's just not open today. He seemed a bit shifty (he does own a fart-shirt store, after all) so we went to the tourist info booth. The lady there assured us that they were, in fact, open on Sundays. She called around, but (wow!) no one answered at the store.

We head back to the store. By this time, some lady has strolled in from her cruise and proceeds to scream about the fact that the store is not open (not a violent tirade of screaming at someone, really more of an "EEEEEE" type of scream). She's one of those women that think if they state the obvious enough times, perhaps she will wake up from her hellish existance.

Sloppy Joe's:
It was here in Key West in 1933 that the famous Sloppy Joe was created, a favourite munchie of Ernest Hemingway. We sampled one at Sloppy Joe's Diner and it was mmmm... mmmm... good. A man's size sandwich alright.
"This is not happening."
"No way."
"I WILL find a pair of these shoes before I leave here."
"They CAN NOT be closed."
"Not a chance."

And, despite her cries, the doors do not fling open at her will. Maybe she should have tried stamping her feet.

However, we next inquire at the jewelry shop next to the Factory, somehow thinking that the purveyor of fine gold will be more intelligent than one of fart-shirts. Wrong. This one tells us that the Factory has been closed for six months. WHAT? Shouldn't the lady at the info booth have known this? Does the purveyor of gold know of anywhere else in town we could get a pair? He directs us to a store about 15 blocks away. Well, we're in, so we might as well go all the way in. We make the trek and ask a barmaid along the way if she agrees with the rumour that the Kino's Factory is closed for good.

"What? I saw someone walking by here on Friday with a Kino's bag. They're definitely not closed. You should really get yourself a pair. They're great."

Sigh. The store we've been sent these blistering 15 blocks to find is the Birkenstock store. What the heck do I want with $75 Birkenstocks when I can have $8 Kino's? We boldly ask the Birkinstock owner about picking up a pair of Kino's. Mr. Birk, who's business probably depends solely on the ignorance of tourists, gives us directions through clenched teeth. It's over in the old town area, between a jewelry store and a T-shirt store.

It's now about 3pm. It's taken us nearly four hours to find out if a store is going to open. Could all of this have been solved with a simple sign on the door of the store? Yes. If the store had a door. And if this wasn't island life. But you know what they say: Living in the islands is always an adventure.

an exciting day for the rich folk...

Faster than a speeding bullet

Faster than an Ethiopian chicken

Faster than a cat in a fat farm with a steak around its neck

Faster than a hooker when she realizes you've forgotten your wallet in your other pants
more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Same Ole Town

Next Stop: Anchors Aweigh!

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Another Shitty Day in Paradise

Daily Stats
Gas: Still chuggin'

Key West Staples:
Conch Fritters: $6.25
Key Lime Pie:$3.95
Sloppy Joe: $6.97
Jimmy Buffett Tape:$11.99
Flip Flops:$1.99

Sleeping Quarters
Bahia Honda

There's nothing to do here but go fishing. Guess we'll go fishing.

Morning Conversation:
Kev: Hey, wanna go fishin'?
Aim: M'okay.

Evening Conversation:
Aim: Hey, wanna go fishin'?
Kev: M'okay.

Key West
K's Order:Blueberry Pancakes
A's Order:Biscuits n' Gravy
Sloppy Joe's
Key West
Shared:Sloppy Joe
Bahia Honda
Shared:Fish Fry

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© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Fishing is not a sport. It's a way of life.