My sixteen year love affair with the Florida Keys (and my husband) in the January 2016 issue of TRAVEL AND LEISURE magazine! Pick up a copy in stores today!
The first word my husband ever said to me was yum.
We were on the dance floor of Sloppy Joe’s, the wild watering hole (and Ernest Hemingway haunt) on Key West’s Duval Street. Jeff delivered the verdict with a devilish smile just after stealing a kiss. The blaring music hadn’t allowed for conversation before the smooch, and I was too surprised to utter a response. Still, we left together soon afterward, wandering past the live music and revelers tumbling from other bars onto the sidewalks, escaping the carousal for the quiet side streets of Old Town. They were lined with foliage and “eyebrow” houses with pitched roofs long enough to shade the second-story windows as well as protect the porches. The scent of tropical flowers filled the humid air. Eventually, we wound up on a dock where, against a background of lapping water and clanging halyards, we talked until sunrise.
That night—my first in the islands—was classic Florida Keys: carefree, steamy, organic, a little rough and a little refined. Something about the swaying palms and the tropical air, maybe even the tug of the Atlantic tide on one side and the Gulf ’s on the other, had a way of quieting your usual concerns about what might happen next.
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