South to the Keys

I returned safely from a trip to West Palm Beach, to Fort Lauderdale, and the Florida Keys. I left on Thursday and met up with one of my dad’s old friends who lives in Delray. It was the first time I’d seen him in about 5 years so we had some catching up to do. We talked about investments, family, and everything in between. In the evening he drove me to Lauderdale where I met up with the Rock.

I’ve wrote this before but the two of us just get along pretty well. There is no awkwardness or anything, we just act like we’ve known each other for years even though we only see each other every few months. We went to Los Olas Blvd and had food at an overpriced tavern and purchased a few cigars for later. Next we went to a local pub by him and met up with another bro who we used to go to high school with. Even though we only talked for a few hours, it’s still fun to catch up. We called it a night at around midnight because Rock still had to work on Friday.

I woke at 9 or so on Friday and got some breakfast and then went on a 6 mile run down A1A. Running along the beach in warm weather is quite a treat in February. After that I went to the Galleria and got some lunch by myself on the water. At 5 pm, the Rock got back and we had made hotel reservations in Key West which is the southern most point of Florida. We met one of his friends who ended up driving us down there. We stopped at Red Robin along the way because his friend really loved the bottomless steak fries. After driving for 3 hours or so, we finally arrived at our destination.

The hotel was pretty decent and we wanted to see the bar scene even though it was already pretty late and we were all sober. We walked around a bit but it was tough interacting with all the tourists when there was no alcohol involved. We had a few drinks but called it a night at 1am so we’d be ready for the next day.

Saturday was perhaps one of the best Saturdays I’ve had in a long time. We got up at 9am and went to get some breakfast. Along the way we stopped at a resort to rent some MoPeds which the Rock said was pretty fun. For some reason we had to wait an hour before they picked us up to get the MoPeds. When we got to the place, I made it pretty clear I’d never rode a Moped before when I almost slammed into a fence by gunning the throttle the first time I tried to make a turn. Still, the guy didn’t really care and sent us on our way. I’ll be perfectly honest and say it was pretty exhilarating riding these things around with no training whatsoever. We were in traffic being tailed by cars and having no idea how to switch lanes properly or even turn. Amazingly we managed to get back to our hotel where we lounged around the pool for an hour or two. For 5 minutes in the pool area I can honestly say I didn’t have a care in the world and felt really great.

We got on the Mopeds again to head to town to watch the Miami Hurricanes basketball game when the first Moped mishap almost occurred. I was feeling a bit too cocky on the Moped and tried to make a left hand turn onto a two lane street with a car coming in the far right lane. On my turn I swung the bike out way too far and thought I was going to get rear ended but somehow the car avoided my stupidity. We took the Mopeds to a place called Dante’s which was an outside pool bar. After some time there we went joy riding for a bit more before we turned the dangers of the motorcycle world in.

MoPeding

We watched a really tight Hurricanes game that they ended up winning and then headed to a bar to smoke some cigars we had bought earlier. This was the view and us at this point.

Cigars in Key West

keywest

This was the 2nd time I could say I was truly happy. The view was unreal and the cigar / Johnnie Walker combo hit the spot. I was starting to catch a pretty good buzz at this point and my memory isn’t perfectly clear. We met up with a few of his friends at a bar and I Irish exited out to a strip club at one point. Once I got tired of that I went to a bar called the Garden of Eden which was a nude club. I figured it was worth a look. As I got up the stars the first thing I’m greeted with is a 50 year old fat man with his junk hanging out. I promptly exited and called it a night.

We woke up at 10 today and had breakfast before the brutal 3 hour drive made worse by the singing of Dave’s fat friend. We got back at 3 and hung out for a bit before the Rock drove me to the airport. I put 187 dollars on the Ravens which covered and helped to bail me out of the large some of money I spent there. I spent about 700 dollars there which included every single thing I did aside from the 48 dollar Moped charge. Throw in the airfare and it was about a grand for 3 days. Bottomline, it was worth it. We had an experience that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life and that’s priceless. Plus there were multiple times I can say I was truly happy which I haven’t been finding as easily of late. Now I’m off to San Antonio for a few days. The fun is just beginning.

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Enjoying my last few responsibility free years left.

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Tom Stortz

Enjoying my last few responsibility free years left.

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