December 6 - Key West, Florida

I took the day off and spent it relaxing and walking around Key West. I started the morning by reading my book in the courtyard of the hostel until the bike shop opened.

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I walked to the bike shop to stock up on inner tubes. I went through a couple lately due to pinch flats. Expansion joints on the overseas highway are bad.

I also finished my book, which was a biography of Ben Franklin. This was a good book. It took a long time to read, it was interesting, and it didn't weigh much. I like Ben Franklin. He is entertaining, unlike Alexander Hamilton, who sounds pretty intimidating. When I am an old man, I want to be like Ben Franklin and have pretty French girls sit on my lap all the time. But finishing the book meant I had to find a bookstore in Key West. Which I did and I am all stocked up on reading material.

In Key West, chickens run around all over the place. The roosters start crowing early, which is good because I like to get up early when touring.

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Sometimes the chickens are carefully camoflaged.

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I spent the afternoon walking up and down Duval Street, which is the big bar hop street. This is a picture of the north end of Duval Street. Cruise ships tie up here.

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There are a lot of touristy bars like the Hog's Breath Saloon and the Hard Rock Cafe at this end of Duval. On Monday afternoon, all these places were full of old folks off the cruise ship and they had guys playing guitar. I heard way too many Crosby, Stills, and Nash songs. As you go farther down Duval, there are shops. There are obnoxious T-shirt shops, and gift shops, and some shops with fashionable clothes and art galleries. Some of the art galleries were very nice. Others had beads to hang in your doorway with Elvis and the Mona Lisa.

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But this is the best. How would you like to have a big picture in your living room of Britney Spears french kissing Madonna?

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Towards the center of Duval, there are a bunch of gay discos and cabarets with drag queen shows. At the south end hotels and inns take over. Some of them look really nice, maybe even as nice as the hostel. Here is the end of Duval, where everything is the Southermost Whatever in the United States. Except Hawaii, but they never mention that.

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