Swing Set

Jan 27, 201308:13 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Another Unexpected Visit

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One thing about being in such an attractive town is that people want to come visit, not only to see us, hopefully, but to have a mini-vacation. At times, a "vacation from a vacation."

Neal and Monica hail from our old home town and were visiting a friend in Cape Coral when they jumped on the Key West Express and endured the three-plus hour boat ride to come see us for a quick, five-hour visit. Their daughter was here over New Year's, and we didn't get to see her, but Andi and her boyfriend bought Neal and Monica their Express tickets at a discount, so they decided to make the trip.

The boat is huge. Equipped with four Detroit Diesels that propel it to 40-mph from Ft. Meyers. Neal and Monica stepped aboard Swing Set shortly after docking here in Key West Bight. We popped some icy cold Bud Lights, caught up on some news from "home" and set out on our walking tour. Monica had a list of souvenirs that she had to get for friends back home, so we visited many of the places that we hadn't yet been to in Key West.

Five hours doesn't last long when you're having fun, and it was soon 5 o'clock and time for them to get boarded on the Express for their trip back to Cape Coral. We packed them a care package of some Bud Lights on ice in a plastic bag. Rosie couldn't bear the goodbyes. I held up rather well, knowing that Neal and Monica are frequent travelers and that we'd see them again, much sooner than we may see other good friends. The beers were most likely gone before the boat cast off at 6 p.m.

After we left them for our walk back to A & B Marina, we made a couple of stops. Our last stop was at the White Tarpon, where we had a light dinner of shrimp and a shared Reuben sandwich. "We'll have fries with the sandwich," I told the bartender. "Only comes with chips," was his reply.

The shrimp were tasty, but the sandwich came and I thought we were being served toast, the thing was so thin. On the side was the smallest bag of potato chips that Lay's produces, I'm certain. The only upside was that the beers were $2.50, but we won't go back, and I suggest you don't either. I like this power of the pen.

We are loosely planning for our travels to the Bahamas. That means I've started discussing the trip with others here on the dock and doing some networking on the America's Great Loopers Cruising Association discussion forum. We've applied for our Border and Customs decal to place on the boat for our entry back into the US. Re-entering the US after traveling abroad is the most important issue. More important than leaving in the first place, I think.

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