I am still 6 years and half years away from earning official “freshwater conch” status, but the island lifestyle flatters everything but my figure. There are mint leaves a little else in my refrigerator and the wheels on my little car have cobwebs. Just hours ago an elected official and I we’re sippin’ cocktails and posing for pictures with tourists from California.

Only, in Key West.

Make amongst our conversations of politics, memorable dates we want to forget, business and the typical debauchery, our conversation strayed to how glorious life is here in the Keys.

Let’s just take a look at the past week.

Friday, the Papa’s were abound and spilled out into Greene and Duval Streets as the men from around the globe showed off their beards, and pled their case before a packed crowd of why they would are fitting examples of Papa’s rough, wooly and eccentric persona.

Tourists lined up for Keno sandals and “Sloppy ‘Ritas” at an alarming rate.

And then the Papas and their entourages and let’s not forget the anglers, jetted home.

NBC’s Today show, the rolls onto the island to showcase the aqua blue water, Bobby Mongelli’s Killer Hogfish Sandwich, Barb Grob’s artwork, Tropical Lloyd’s Conch Shell serenade … just to mention a few.

Next thing you know, the dive ships are slammed with Mini-Season monomaniacs and the locals start orchestrating a method to hit as many Keys’ lobster fests as possible. We begin hydrating and popping Rolaids 8 days early.

But first, another can’t miss event, Bar Wars. Yes, to survive what some call a slow summer in paradise, put down the Blue Mojito, and hydrate. Summer ain’t over yet, and this is shaping up to be a nectarous year to call The Keys home sweet home.


Only in Key West, Samantha Buffington, 9 and her little sister Cassidy, 7 attract the attention of NBC’s “Today” cameras with mask and snorkels. The special effects perched on their heads, scream to the nation “Key West!”  The girls ventured down from their home in Big Pine to The Westin on Tuesday to catch Al Roker and Matt Lauer with their Aunt, Mechelle Buffington.

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