Jan. 13, 2007

Making Like a Tourist

The oft-repeated "pop culture" definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. What does that make George Bush? His grand new plan for Iraq is to send 20,000 more troops, essentially restoring levels to what they were a year ago, when they were also unable to provide stability.

Here in Canada another naively ambitious politician has left the Liberals to join the governing Conservatives. The constituents of his "safe" Liberal riding are naturally incensed by this betrayal and exploitation. I think it's time for politicians wishing to change parties to be required to resign and run under their new party's banner in a by-election. Note to politicians: election to office is a commitment to public service, not a reflection of your personal importance. But enough about the world at large, back to my vacation!

Tuesday morning started off quietly as it was just my sister and I with our kids in the beach house. Her girls were, as usual, up at 6:00 AM but kept quiet. I went for a stroll along the beach after breakfast and then we prepared to drive up to Vaca Key to visit The Theater of the Sea. There was a problem though; my sister's rented Subaru battery was drained! I'd noticed that their running lights never went out but hadn't been able to figure out what controlled them. Now I know there is a separate switch on the steering column. I managed to flag down a passing police car and get a jump from his portable booster battery.

Dolphin Research CenterIn the end we got tired of driving and visited the closer Dolphin Research Center, where much to their delight the kids "met" a dolphin for $40 each. I've always loved dolphins myself, so I enjoyed watching them interact with the trainers and visitors. I hope the dolphins enjoy it too... Two dolphins had weeks-old babies, which was especially sweet. We all regrouped at the beach house for a home-cooked dinner.

Wednesday morning I took all the kids back down to Key West to pick up my brother-in-law. We saw the obligatory tacky tourist attractions in Mallory Square; the Key West Aquarium (with a touch tank!!!!!) and the Shipwreck Historeum, which offered a view of town from it's 60 ft. tower. Once Patrick was collected we had lunch at "The Deli" and ice creams on Duval Street (I think) before driving back to Big Pine Key.

The No Name PubThe greasy deli lunch left me feeling a bit guilty so I did a 5K run before dinner, which we had at the locally famous No Name Pub. There were an estimated 90,000 dollar bills pinned to every surface by visitors! It was quite a sight. The food was enormous portions of pub grub, I had to scour the menu to find some seafood that wasn't breaded and fried... The pub is located at the end of a No Name Road, which leads to the unoccupied No Name Key, so you really have to know where to look. No Name Key was apparently once a CIA property.

Listening to: If I Had $1,000,000 by Barenaked Ladies from Gordon.

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