Okay, Dear Reader, I know you are tired of my ranting about Key West no matter how much I try to make it a focus of natural product therapeutics. So, with your indulgence, I need to make two serious awards to acknowledge the warmth and kindness of the good souls of Key West. Two people went above and beyond the call of duty to make our trip wonderful:
1. To the waitress (and likely owner) of Flamingo’s Cafe: We had a terrific brunch at one of the few places (thankfully) that does not serve alcohol on Duval Street. I indulged otherwise with the incredible Crabcake Eggs Benedict and a side of corned beef hash. We ate a lot but probably didn’t even have a $35 tab. Still, at the end of the meal the waitress presented the PharmKid with a Ty bear adorned with a holiday ribbon. This was not just a tiny bear; it was a good sized teddy bear. It became PharmKid’s favorite toy the remainder of the vacation, with PK putting her underwear on it making believe it was a diaper, and carrying the bear (“Bear-Bear”) everywhere. Some folks say that Key West is not necessarily a place for kids but I can assure you that many merchants truly appreciate families.
2. To the barista (and likely owner) of 5 Brothers Grocery & Sandwich Shop: During my second visit to score another couple of cuban mixes, a medianoche sandwich, ham croquettes, and conch fritters, I found myself $5.89 short at what I forgot was a cash-only grocery/kitchen. It was within 10 min of closing time and the owner let me leave with the family victuals – I apologized profusely for being a foolish turista, as I am wont to do, and agreed to bring the cash the next morning. Knowing I was a tourist, he could’ve easily just been blowing off the six bucks as the cost of doing business – I’m sure that some folks wouldn’t have given a second thought to making good on their promise to come back.
When I came back for a morning café con leche, I paid the remainder of the bill and offered additional compensation to acknowledge the kindness of this fine gentleman. He absolutely refused, almost as though this is standard practice to grant folks a pass when they are short of cash (and I learned later that special regulars can charge their purchases to a book that is kept in the register). I ended up leaving the additional cash for the kitchen staff.
I love good people and as I hope you see from my posts during the week, I truly appreciate the local personalities and offerings of everywhere I visit or live. But I especially value being somewhere where simple human kindness is the practice of the day. Key West has a rep of being a big party place where anything goes (and it does, believe me) but my family and I were treated cordially everywhere we visited (even the barmaid at the Hogfish apologized about the drunk dudes who got thrown out while I was there).
To all of the good folks of Key West, Florida: many thanks from the Family Pharmboy for sharing your little slice of Paradise.