Like I mentioned before, one of the things I had to do in Key West was the Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square. Monday was my last chance to see it, leaving me a little upset when I emerged from lunch at Blue Heaven to still more gray skies and rain. Fortunately, the rain in Florida never sticks around for long. By the time I had napped, packed for the trip home, and changed into a sundress, the sun had returned! After a quick stop by Duval Inn’s Happy Hour for a drink & some goodbyes, Jared and I walked down to Mallory Square where the warm air and puffy clouds promised a beautiful sunset.
If you attend the Sunset Celebration, I recommend arriving early. Being there an hour before sunset is not unheard of, especially if you want a front-row seat. There is plenty to see and do before and after the sun sets. I saw vendors, a fire juggler, a comedian, a bagpiper with a mohawk and several other entertainers. If you haven’t had your fill of silly souvenir shops, there are tons of them in Mallory Square’s shopping area. And I definitely recommend going to El Meson de Pepe, a Cuban themed restaurant/bar/gift shop located in Mallory Square. There, you can enjoy a mojito while watching dancers move to the sounds of a live salsa band.
Eventually, though, everyone migrates toward the waterfront. Seagulls fly by and pelicans dive and swim while the sky changes from blue to purple, red and orange. Boats of all shapes and sizes cruise past the docks. Locals and tourists alike sing, take pictures and toast the end of the day. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not a crier. But the beauty of this sunset and the unity and joy of those watching brought me to tears.
Yeah, now the sun goes slidin’ across the water;
Sailboats, they go searchin’ for the breeze.
Salt air it ain’t thin,
It can stick right to your skin,
And make you feel fine.
It makes you feel fine.
Cause I want to be there,
I want to go back down and lie beside the sea there.
With a tin cup for a chalice
Fill it up with good red wine,
And I’m-a chewin’ on a honeysuckle vine.
~Jimmy Buffett, “Tin Cup Chalice”