I love this picture, which is actually a still snagged from a video shot with a GoPro camera that I bought just before I went to the Keys last September. I look like I’m photobombing my own photo! I’m underwater (hence the snorkel mask) and if you’re at all familiar with the GoPro family, you’ll know that you have to look at the *front* of the camera in order to turn it on, then rotate it toward what you actually want to shoot – which in this case were some cool fish around a dock near the apartment I was staying in. All over the world there are GoPro vids that start with the same bemused “is it on yet?” expression on the users’ faces.

This trip – last September, so you can see I’m a little behind – was a four-day lightning strike just after Labor Day weekend. I spent the four days tooling around the middle Keys in possession of my very favorite object: a rental car. Really, you cannot beat the feeling of reliability and utter abandon that you get with a vehicle that only has two thousand miles on it and you get hand off to someone else at the end of the week. It’s like a short term romance on wheels – all enjoyment, no regrets, and someone else has to rotate the tires.

When I wasn’t in my automotive fling, I was in or on the water, since the Keys – especially the Middle Keys, including Marathon, where I stayed – are all about the ocean. Talk about being a stone’s throw from the beach – I was in a place where even I was capable of jogging from the west coast (the Gulf of Mexico) to the east coast (the Atlantic side).  At it’s broadest point the island I was on was all of 150 feet across, surmounted by an endless bowl of blue sky, and fringed with palm trees – the Tahiti effect, without the inconvenient airfare issues (but with plenty of sarongs, thanks to the lovely people who rented me the apartment). And with a dock reaching out into the silvery sea right off the edge of the property, and a kayak available, I did a fairly good mermaid impersonation for most of my stay.

A mermaid with a camera. Is this thing turned on yet?

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