Palm Trees and Peace of Mind

Finding Clarity and Inspiration on A1A

7 Mile Bridge

7 Mile Bridge

Despite being a beach bum, who are typically on the lazy side, I am a bit of a workaholic sometimes, and with so many things going on at one time even my down time tends to involve work in some way; even if it’s just running things through my head while “relaxing” at the beach.

Well last week I hit a wall. I took a walk because I was feeling stressed and realized I had been working so much I wasn’t doing much “living”. So in order to hit the reset button I opted to take a weekend to myself and head to one of the places that really puts my wrestles soul at ease; the Keys. Before I even finished my walk I had called and arranged for a place to stay and cleared my weekend for the trip.

Up early on Saturday morning I loaded my Kayak, fishing gear, and guitar into my truck and headed south. For those of you who have never made this drive it is a must. A soon as I crossed into Key Largo I could feel the stress falling off. Windows down, radio up, and blue water on either side of me as I crossed the bridges that connect these little islands; I was at ease and at peace.

I stopped into Islamorada for a few beers with some friends and then pushed on. Taking my time I stopped at a few of my favorite places to play guitar and enjoy a cold beer or two before continuing south. I made one last stop on Boca Chica to toss a line in. After releasing a few small barracuda I headed into Key West.

Blue Heaven Rendezvous

Blue Heaven Rendezvous

A relaxing dip and a few beers in the pool at the Angelina Guesthouse was a must to cool off before heading down to catch the sunset at Mallory Square. There I sipped a mojito from El Meson de Pepe as I watched the sun sink into the water.

After this I was hungry and opted for dinner at Blue Heaven and as luck would have it there was a band playing some good tunes while an old man sat and painted the whole scene.

The rest of the night was spent cruising on my bike through the Key West back roads and stopping in at a few places for a quick drink. Late in the night I found myself at the end of Simonton St. with a rum punch from the Rum Barrel. There I sat and just enjoyed watching the boat lights as they came in and out of the bight; at peace and at ease with not a worry or a thought in my head.

The following day was a quick bite and checking out of my room. I then grabbed a coffee from the Cuban Queen and spent the next hour or so just riding the less crowded streets and taking in the little island. I made the always necessary stop at the Rum Bar for a painkiller which turned into laughs and many more drinks with some vacationers, as is the case typically at Rum Bar. Then I said goodbye for now to Bob and headed out.

I opted to make a stop at The Hurricane Hole to put the kayak in the water and paddle around for a bit. I hoisted a few fish but none were in the slot and as I had ran out of beer I decided it was time to head home. But just floating around for a couple hours in the Key West waters always does wonders for the soul.

On the way home I put in Life on a Rock and as I was crossing the 7 Mile Bridge “Me and Marley” came on. Not until then had that song really struck me because I must have repeated it half a dozen times. At that moment the song really connected with my life and I found a lot of inspiration in it’s words.

A stop into Sportsman’s Paradise for dinner and drink was my last stop. There as I sat and watched the sunset into the water once more and I felt re-centered as some things that had been on my mind seemed clear now. I was happy and content; I had accomplished the mission I set out to do.

I think we all need some time like this to ourselves sometimes. And even if you can’t just run to Key West be sure to find a way to take that time and re-center your life. I promise you, it makes all the difference.



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