Celebration at Key West


The human search for joy, beauty and peacefulness manifests itself in some very interesting ways.

On our recent trip to Miami, we took a one day tour of the Florida Keys, culminating in an afternoon at Key West which is the southernmost point of the USA.

Westerly View from Mallory Wharf, Key West.

The weather was glorious and we spent the afternoon walking and taking in the local sites. Grace was quite taken by South Beach at the foot of Duval Street.

South Beach, Key West

South Beach, Key West

Around two in the afternoon, unaware of the events that would soon follow, we wandered around a quite deserted Mallory Square and took a few pictures. Mallory Square is on an historic pier that offers a 180 degree view of the harbor and the Gulf of Mexico.

Mallory Square around 2:00pm

On the bus ride down that morning, the tour guide had made a comment that the sunsets at Key West were more beautiful than anywhere in the world. I was quite skeptical about this statement so around 4:00pm we decided to return to the Pier on the Westerly side of the Key and check out this “world famous” sunset. When we arrived, I noticed street vendors, musicians and street performers beginning to set up their kiosks on the Pier. I commented to Grace that “something must be up”; maybe a normal Saturday night celebration of some sort.

I took some more pictures of Grace and some of the activities that were starting to increase substantially. The beer and wine was flowing as if a wedding was about to take place. As the sun began to sink closer and closer to the horizon, I focused on my pictures and was totally amazed at how many people had completely occupied the Pier and the surrounding grounds.

Mallory Square 15 Minutes Before Sunset

Finally I asked someone what was going on. He laughed and said everyone was there to watch the sunset. A little bit dumb-stuck at this, I found out later that this is a nightly tradition in Key West. On this particular evening, the sunset was not particularly spectacular, but this didn’t seem to bother anyone.

Fortunately I was able to catch a glimpse of a sailing ship as it glided in front of the about-to-set sun.

Oh, to have time to celebrate the sunset with a glass of wine every night of the year.

For a little bit more detailed description of this nightly celebration see: http://goflorida.about.com/cs/floridabeaches/a/aa081501a.htm
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