It was the modern-day master of the Broadway musical, Stephen Sondheim who wrote about "the advantages of floating in the middle of the sea."
Sondheim wrote those words for his musical Pacific Overtures, about the emergence of Japan.
Key West is not in the Pacific Ocean and it's not technically "in the middle of the sea."
But it is an island. It does float. And it comes with definitive natural advantages.
Now, we are here in Key West for this continuing floating journey on this most vividly colorful island -- one of a delicate necklace of islands encompassing parts of the Atlantic Ocean, the straits of Atlantic and the gulf. In Key West you can watch absolutely beautiful sunrises and the most mesmerizing, dazzling sunsets anywhere in the United States and you can do it all in one day.
We've been enjoying both the restfulness of the island and its playfulness. So far we've visited Harry Truman's Little White House, the home of Ernest Hemingway, historic Fort Zachary Taylor and bustling Duval Street, one of the main shopping and dining areas on the island.
There's nothing formal about Key West and the island welcomes all kinds of people from all over the world. There's a live-and-let-live attitude here as exemplified by the island's tourist slogan: "Come as you are." No matter who you are or what your particular proclivities are, you're not likely to shock nor disturb Key West.
This is a place of lively public indulgence but it's also a place to simply veg out if that's what you're looking for.
What strikes visitors most about Key West are its vibrant, spectacular colors. Much of this has to to with the tropical vegetation and the various types of birds, iguanas, turtles, fish and so many other creatures. All of these colors are enhanced and ever-changing due to the light here -- the spectacular sunlight and the angle of the sun at any particular time of the day.
Key West is a sensual feast -- and we haven't even mentioned the many tasty (and zesty) culinary choices here.
This place is a constant natural celebration and the party is carried out by nature itself -- by the lush and abundant environment. And that seems to put everybody in a good mood all the time.
This is not to say that people don't artificially enhance their moods here. They do. But it's not necessary.
We'll be telling you more about Key West (and, of course posting some pictures) in the days ahead.