Vsiting Key West, Florida

The island of Key West brings up a desire to say 'to hell with it' and become a beach bum. Let's face it: it is a completely unrealistic idea a good poet would call utopia. But if you close your eyes and pretend for just a second that this life is indeed possible it'll make you all warm and fuzzy inside. We all need those moments of happiness in the flesh.

After a 10-hour work day we flew out to Fort Lauderdale, FL. A three and a half hour flight was not too bad except for the excruciating pain of my ears failing to pop and it being way past my bedtime (which is 9.30p and of that I'm proud). Once the rental car was picked up we started our journey to the wonderful island of Key West on what everyone I talked to said was suppose to be 'the most beautiful drive of your life'. I bet it was! It was a little bit difficult to appreciate considering the fact of it being in the middle of the night. My dedication to my lovely driver, aka amazing husband killed my ability to sleep. Not my desire - only my ability. Our 3.30am arrival will not be featured here, don't worry. 

Key West is a tiny but oh so beautiful island. Parking is a pain in this place so most tourists rent out little scooters and bikes. And oh my gosh! Scooters are so much fun - I can't even tell you! Especially when you drive down a breathtaking coast of the Atlantic Ocean. 

The island is a little gem of the Florida state. The richest arrive and buy out the houses, jacking up the living prices through the roof. Non-voluntarily you are spending $15-17 on a plain burger while trying to convince yourself that it tastes better than the one on the mainland. Living a lifestyle you can only afford for a weekend gives you a bit of a rush mixed with the terrifying fear of your credit card bill. Key West can mix those feelings up in a drink and sell it to your for $14 a shot.

Ernest Hemingway was finding himself in Key West as well for about 11 years. He left his estate in 1939 along with a bunch of famous works of his including 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' (thank you haunted ghost tour. It was super informative). I came to know so many random things on this tour like the fact that Hemingway's favorite cat looked like a cat in a tuxedo and his name was Christopher Columbus. The cat still haunts the guest house of the Hemingway estate (now a museum). 

Ah, Key West. The island of beauty, tiny population, and street chickens. I would probably move in a heartbeat (assuming I become filthy rich in the next heartbeat). There is only one thing that will hold my move back and that is a black mustang driving along Duval street blasting Russian rap. Yep, you read that correctly. Like any other tourist town this place is filled with people from all over the world. And while I embrace diversity and charge myself from it - being a part of a big post-soviet gang is not something I consider. I like that whenever I hear Ukrainian or Russian or even Polish in Nashville - I get very excited and nervous. It might be because my ego loves the uniqueness of it all or just because I don't want to be present and not participate, you know what I mean? If I chose to integrate - I have to do it fully.

I appreciate New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Key West too. As popular as those places are I don't think I would be ok with living in one of these. Once an expat you want to feel more like red, white, and blue and less like white-red (that's Poland) or blue-yellow-red (that's Moldova. Code of Arms is on it too. But you get my point). I want to save eating soup and bad mouthing passersby for when I am visiting home. Some things just have to stay there.

If you are planning on visiting Key West - do it. Account for all of your expenses and go because it is gorgeous and there is something about being on an island that makes you feel like 'Lost' and 'Gossip Girl' at the same time: tragic, messed up, but oh-so-pleasant to look at.

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