My expectations were high. I’d mentioned in an earlier post how the Beach Boys may have oversold the desirability of Key Largo some, and the downward spiral of realization the further into the island we drove was a relatively fast descent. Initial impressions were good: color and people and shops and food and signs promoting what you’d expect to see promoted. About a minute after this small patch things went further south, however, both literally and figuratively. There was the Bird Sanctuary I also mentioned earlier featuring Leopold and Ruby who became vacation favorites. Beyond that? Little. Buildings became run down things. Lawns the same. I won’t say the comparison is a fair one, but I was reminded of those towns that spring up around some natural resource only to see the stuff run dry and the town forced into decline shortly thereafter. Signs of life exist, though it’s the type of existence you’re likely to think of when you read McCarthy’s The Road.
Anyhow, we stayed the night in Key Largo Kampground and Marina. The place itself was fine and fairly close to the town proper. Our only negative was the lady in charge of check in. She as a person was incredibly kind but invasively so, helpful to the point of me having to get out of the car to go see if my wife had managed to get herself kidnapped by a crazed local or two. Turns out she had, in a way, so engulfed was she in a conversation I can’t even remember. Like white noise. There was a fair amount of wrangling to get us to stay an extra night along with a fair amount of fear mongering over the nefarious intentions of “those other campgrounds.”
We had diner at The Fish House Restaurant and Sea Food Market. The food was as you’d expect it to be, especially when it’s attached to an actual market. My Mahi Mahi was awesome. My wife got the Conch basket which was also good, though not equal. Pie was had at Hobo’s Restaurant. The pie was fine. It was pie. Hobo’s wasn’t really Hoboy (Hoboie?), which was a little disappointing, more a sports bar where we arrived on Mexican night. Dunno.
Go see the Bird Sanctuary. Eat at the Fish Market. Then: drive. Key Largo is a sad blip on the journey to better beaches, better sights.