You know what Jack Burton says about Earth, don't you? "It's a pretty amazing planet we live on".
I just got back from a secret mission to the islands and keys off the gulf coast of that weird wonderland known as Florida, a state I hadn't been to in twenty years. I'm not crazy about the touristy crap that permeates the mainland but I do like the bar hopping and island hopping, like Ernest Hemingway and Joe Strummer before me.
Unfortunately, to my amazement, I couldn't find a bartender anywhere who'd even heard of a Caipirinha, and even a decent Mojito was hard to come by in even the upscale watering holes of the islands. One bartender on Longboat Key hadn't even heard of a Mojito. I find it simply nuts that it's far easier for me to find good Cuban food and drink in Louisville and Cincinnati than in South Florida. Liquor licenses in Florida are prohibitively expensive and hard to come by, so many places were strictly beer and wine, like the restaurant at the city pier on Anna Maria Island.
I also expected to be overwhelmed by choices in local cigar stores, but a visit to an upscale cigar store on Lido Key showed only the usual brands, and not nearly as good a selection as stores back home here in Kentucky.
Despite my Lord-Fauntleroy gripes, I was, and am, inspired by the whole excursion, and Florida will definitely be figuring into my future plans regarding the cause to which we are all so devoted. There's a number of unusual timespace displacement vortices in Florida, which are possibly/probably related to the Bermuda Triangle. Another is just north of the Florida border, in Valdosta, GA. The whole area ranks about a nine on my weird-shit-o-meter. More about all that later.
Oh yeah, and the house "bar girls" sitting at the bar wearing Wicked Weasels made it all worthwhile.
- - JSH