David's gone now. He came up from Key West for a long weekend and I dropped him off at the airport so he could catch a shuttle to go home for a while.
On the way down we were talking about the festival over the weekend. He knows the people who ran the Key West visitor's booth there. He was talking about how the guy was complaining about the location of the booth and making generic comments about things.
Being someone who lived in Key West since the 80s, David may not be a Conch, but more of a Naturalized Citizen. You don't live in a place without it affecting you, and you affecting it.
I've been in South Florida now for 7 years, I can understand. At this point I'd say that I'm quite settled in. Doing work in shorts and a T Shirt feels normal now even if I do look killer in my grey suit!
David did have an interesting comment about things here. Every time he'd be out in a shop he would be in shock over the prices. Now, South Florida isn't exactly a cheap place to live, but in comparison it certainly is. In fact that's one thing that they don't tell you at that tourist booth. Key West is an expensive vacation and an expensive place to live.
Cost of living reflects that it is a rock in a wet place. Stuck 120 miles out in the ocean, Key West has to have everything trucked in from the mainland. That expense is reflected in everything from food to lodging. Even water is pricey, having been sent down a tube from Miami.
Saying "They don't tell you that to get a drink you need a Mortgage", I got a chuckle while sitting at the light at Sunrise and NE 4th. Ten Dollar beers are not unheard of, if not commonplace in Key West.
I guess they have to send it down on the back of a Marlin.
Since you could describe Key West, like the bumper stickers say, a cute drinking town with a fishing problem, those Ten Dollar Longnecks are a pricey annoyance.
One of the first things I do is figure out what his schedule is when he arrives, then I drag him out to the shops. This time I was lucky, he realized that I was right. He would pick himself up and walk out to the Publix or any of the local shops and "have a poke around town".
When he'd get back, I'd hear more about those Ten Dollar Longnecks.
Maybe he's not the one that gets the sticker shock, so much as I am. After a 200 mile drive, Key West could be a very expensive place to relax whether beer is involved or not... and that just isn't the kind of thing that they will tell you at a Travel Booth at a street festival.