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“It’s good to fast from the familiar; I’m thinking of winter travel, though for now, I’m thinking south rather than north. Maybe I’ll fly to Miami and drive across the Florida Keys since that part of the country has always appealed to me. On a map, I see them as a bunch of exclamation points floating off Florida, which makes the thought of visiting hard to resist!”   — my words, written in a blog comment left January 18th

We’re flying out tomorrow, bound for those exclamation points in the sea.

We’ll land in Miami, rent a car and stay put for the night. Then we’ll wake up before the sun rises and drive across the Keys.  And along the way, we’ll stop where we please, check out whatever spots appeal to our flight of fancy, eat some fine seafood — and before the sun sets the second day, we’ll have traveled the full length of the Keys to Key West.

This one-time home of Hemingway — a very long time ago, during days of his second marriage — is just ninety miles north of Cuba. And since I’m in the midst of a class on Ernest Hemingway — having horse-traded it for another that didn’t “make” — I’m planning to tour Hemingway’s house.  And when I’m not soaking up ocean sun, ocean breeze, ocean mist and ocean whatever, I plan to read a little Hemingway — something he might have worked on during his Key West years — or maybe works inspired by his Key West years — I don’t know yet.

And two days later, we’ll make our do-see-do way up to the other end of the Keys, to Key Largo, where we’ve booked rooms at a vintage lodge on the sea.  And these are all the plans we’ve made — and except for the Hemingway stuff, plans we needed to make, since showing up without lodging during high season was a little too close to living on the edge for my taste.

So here’s to beautiful sunrises and sunsets and to seashells and sunglasses in between.  To lots of good sight-seeing and gobs of good seafood and more than a few sips from salt-rimmed margaritas.

And as we fly off on our winter getaway — without a winter to get away from — I’ll be thinking of this 1980’s tune.  Because I can’t get it out of mind!!!  Gosh, I think I’m giddy.  Giddy up giddy.