It is manifestly “off season” on Key Largo. The traffic hasn’t yet become past bearing as we rightfully expect it will in the new year; we hadn’t any problem this morning securing a table for breakfast on the patio overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean; afterwards we were able to find a parking spot at the grocery store without difficulty; and most importantly when I swam in the pool this afternoon I was the only one there for the better part of an hour. The buoyancy instantly rejuvenated my burgeoning decrepitude. And did I mention 88°F in the blazing sunshine intermingled with massive cloud formations.

These credentials, added to my satisfying early morning photographic discoveries, have speedily heartened me to Key Largo. Although we have in the past spent time here for short periods en route to Key West, this is the first we’ve wintered here. I have always been drawn to Key Largo for its splendid azure waters and its overall Bohemian atmosphere which I confess would not accord everyone. Fashion and reservation most decidedly take a back seat to comfort and wholesomeness on Key Largo. The closest the place comes to vulgarity is its exhibition of fishing boats and diving yachts.

There are in addition some minor statistics which nonetheless critically augment for me the overall ambience.  For example, we’re able to park immediately adjoining the town house – unlike the situation we normally have to endure when renting a condominium apartment. Only once (on Hilton Head Island) did we rent an entire house with similar convenience. The added benefit of this parking proximity is that one needn’t cart groceries far from the car. Although I intend to bicycle when possible, for the time being I was able to drive the car all of 100 yards down the lane to the pool today.

Though it is perhaps a small compliment, our relationship with the estate agency is more familiar than normal.  This afternoon we met with the son of the owner.  We coincidentally met him last year when we stayed briefly in nearby Tavernier (the largest island in the upper Florida Keys). He is demonstrably dedicated to the fulfillment of his client’s wishes. The agency manages three units in this property and we discussed with him certain of the alternatives going forward. Which is to say that already we have decided to renew our time here next year.  It is common knowledge to us that it is imperative to establish one’s commitment a full year in advance if one hopes to secure one’s preferred choice of property. This means that a 50% downpayment is required at the time of booking with the balance due in full 45 days before start of the lease. Failure to do so may mean entire failure of the project on any level.

It may astound those who know me to learn that an oddity of Key Largo is its apparent lack of automatic car washes. Following a protracted attempt this morning to find a car wash we finally landed upon a place only to learn that it was not an automatic car wash rather one of those where you wash the car yourself. Needless to say we left the premises.  As I drove away I mused that I would satisfy myself to polish the camera sensors on the front and back of the car. Otherwise I have resolved to endure the dust and to rely upon the frequent rain showers to remove the salt sea air. Driving in Key Largo is not a priority (especially when the predicted seasonal traffic arises). It serves as but another reason to get myself a bicycle which I hope to do tomorrow when the local bicycle proprietors return to work (they take Sunday and Monday as time off).