Some folks applaud sports teams, or ballet dancers, or political speakers. In Key Largo, you applaud the sunset. It's a Happy Hour tradition. The sun goes down, people clap. Without embarrassment. Why in the world would grown adults clap for something as mundane as the sun going down? In the Florida Keys do they have some deep appreciation for the incredibly obvious? Not at all. I can explain this phenomenon with a simple picture:
That's right, it's beautiful. A Key Largo sunset looking over Florida Bay is one of the most stunning sights you will ever see. People can live in the Keys for years and still get knocked sideways by one of these beauties.
In fact, sometimes people don't applaud; instead, they grow very silent. When the last little bit of rosy sun slips beneath the ocean, you can hear people actually gasp. This isn't a quick sunset, by the way. Key Largo sunsets take their time. These spectacular light shows can go on for 30, even 40 minutes.
I love how people will stop whatever they're doing and simply watch. No texting, no talking on the phone...just staring at the sky and sea. Absorbing nature's colors.
Zickie and I have been fortunate enough to see a number of these sunsets over the years, and it never gets boring. Sometimes we watch from the dock at our hotel or little rental cottage compound. Other times we go to a Bayside bar. (In the Key Largo, places are either Bayside, on Florida Bay, or Oceanside, facing the open ocean. For sunrise you want to be on oceanside. Sunset, Bayside, definitely.)
Where should you go? You could try Sundowner's, which has a prime view and a very fitting name. Snooks re-opened after a renovation, and they have a nice bar, too. There's also the Caribbean Club, a very colorful joint where they treat Happy Hour with near-religious fervor. The historic building is also where scenes from Key Largo (the classic film with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall) were shot. And there are plenty of other places.
Get there early, grab a drink. Maybe a Rum Runner, maybe a Margarita. Maybe a Budweiser, or white wine. If you don't drink, maybe a Coke? Regardless, get something to sip on, settle back, and watch. That's all you have to do. Key Largo and Mother Nature take care of the rest.
Today, we Island Runaways are driving south to Key Largo. Trying to make it before sunset. Looking forward to a cold one and the sea breezes and Florida Bay and then...well, you've seen the pictures.
Happy Friday, Island Runaway friends!