Subtropical Cabin Fever

December 29th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized

Not my actual location

Not my actual location

I may have some trouble getting sympathy for this, but it’s been cold in Key West the past couple days. After a perfect Christmas day, temperatures drop, as they sometimes do here, to highs in the 60s and lows in the 50s. Which, given our wardrobe, has left me and the kids with the same dilemma as winter-people everywhere: what can we do with the kids indoors?

I’m an obvious and unabashed booster for my hometown, but Key West has a serious flaw when it comes to warm, inviting indoor spaces for kids. Most of what pass for “museums” here are just gifts shops or tourist attractions. I’d take them to a bar, but most of those seem to be tiki-type deals with outdoor seats and thatch roofs. We went to some of our favorite breakfast places–Blue Heaven, owned by my friend Hatch (a former journalist!) and the Creperie, owned by Yolande the Actual Frenchwoman–but they are all or mostly outdoors and cold as hell too.

Actually NOAA’s Eco-Discovery Center fit the bill yesterday. If any of our dear readers ever find themselves on a bender and end up in Key West somehow, I recommend checking it out. It’s really quite a remarkable place. And Nico, my boy, was quite excited because they way I pronounce Eco, he was conviced were were going to the Nico Discovery Center. I’m not sure what that kind of exhibit that would be, but I know it would include a lot of guns and diapers.

So this morning we’re going to try an old standby from my childhood: the Public Library on Fleming Street. Alas, like most public buildings here in Key West, it’s usually chilled to about 40 degrees, even in August. But they should have a few childrens books, and I can go and tell my disinterested children that one room of the library is dedicated to my long-dead great-uncle.

And if all else fails, the cemetery is a few blocks away, so we can warm up by running in terror away from the half-open decrepit above-ground graves. That always worked for me when I was a kid.


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