|So this funny little thing called “Life” happens and we have to make choices. We can either grab it with full gusto and help lead it or do we sit passively and let it lead us?|
There is no correct answer here. I only know how I choose to live and luckily, don’t have to decide for others. I heartily enjoy the full-bodied life. “Ovunque ci si trovi a vivere con passione“, translated from Italian is “Wherever you are, live with passion”. Honestly, I didn’t live with as much passion as I could have in central New York. However, Key West has been the perfect vehicle for la dolce vita. Through her, I have found my partner in life, my amazing friends, the sea, and fruit of the vine.
Oddly enough, I’ve been criticized for my view on life. “Yanno, not EVERYTHING has to be an experience”. Remarks like that are generally reciprocated with an eyeroll and a “Pffffft”. If other folks want to passively schlump through life, that’s their business. I prefer this mentality: “A great life is when you assume nothing, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are.” I do realize how blessed I am and pity those who cannot live with passion.
Onward and upward. 🙂 Although, as the title indicates, this post is a letter to my home of almost 3 years, it’s also for some friends who constantly ask us to “try and convince their other half to move”. So sit back friends and enjoy my homage to our home.
The Handsome Captain™ is a huge part of the reason for La Dolce Vita. He may sometimes “yin” where I “yang”, but deep inside we both have the humor of 12-year-olds and we definitely have each others’ backs. Thank you for this man 🙂
I am thankful that this is our view in the morning from our front stairs…well, formerly our front stairs. We tore it down and anticipate our new digs within the next month. It’ll still be the view from the front of our home.
No, this is not the city of Key West. We are on Big Coppitt Key by our own preference. We have neighbors, not tourists. Don’t get me wrong, tourism can be a great thing, but we don’t want “Woo Hoo-ing” or projectile vomit by our home. We’re funny that way 🙂
The view off our former and future back deck
Let’s talk about something La Dolce Vita. Sunrises and sunsets cost nothing and aside from the rare cloudy front, we are blessed with great ones every day. I never get used to it, nor do I take it for granted. Remember, I’m from upstate New York…home of 60 days/year of sun.
Cheers with Kimberley!
So here’s an image you don’t see a whole lot: me with a fish. Yeah, there’s a reason for that. It’s kinda sorta not my thing…however, lots of folks who live and visit here love it.
Believe it or not, good things can happen out of the water, too. Just look at some of the characters we meet along the way.
Me enjoying mimosas with Melissa, momma to Bizzy Bam Bam.
Two characters from The Red Ribbon Bed Race.
With many more clothes on, but a character nonetheless…
And friend Christopher…aka the famous Christopher Peterson of Eyecons La Te Da fame (Vegas, too!) :::Cue The Benny Hill theme:::
Check out the headgear! Deb makes fascinators for any/all occasions. This shot was taken after our friends Glenn and Simon’s wedding reception. Beside me is the lovely Helen of Grand Vin, Kellee, and Ursula.
Often, we’re invited to cook-offs. This particular one was held by friends Andrew and Abby…the theme? Mangoes! Yummm!!!! Chef Extraordinaire Robin (our wedding caterer) and I having fun.
Can I tell you about my Key West girlfriends? It’s not as if I didn’t have any in New York. My bestie still lives there and my far-away girlfriend connection rocks. I do have to say though, that my social life has never been better since moving here. My gal friends, gay boyfriends, and our couple friends are simply fabulous. The above image was captured at Girls’ Brunch, Little Palm Island. Another one scheduled in a couple weeks 🙂
With Alicia, Kimberley, and Greg at our wedding reception.
At Vino’s Stiletto Night
Ahhhh, but life is not to be lived by women alone…
With friends Steve and Mark brunching at Azur. Check out the thermos-sized mimosas!
Any post about guy friends would certainly be remiss if I didn’t mention Crazy Eddie. Not the Crazy Eddie from NYC with the wild commercials, but OUR Crazy Eddie. Like us, Eddie is a life lover and grabs it by the balls. We adore Eddie.
While most of our friends are locals, we do get great joy from entertaining tourist friends when they visit The Rock.
Water, friends, wine-ing, dining. What else? Charity, that’s what else. Fundraisers several days/week for people, animals, the reef, the environment, disease. Name it, it’s here. A very special place of which I’m proud.
I’m not proud because I had anything whatsoever to do with it. I’m proud that an area this small can house something so significant.
So into our passionate life, a little nutso must fall. Of course it must.
Olivah!!! Olivah!!! Okay, we aren’t at this point (yet). We don’t hit our heads quite as much as we used to getting out of bed. The only times we really trip over dogs and each other is when we both have to be in our respective offices at the same time….which luckily, is not most mornings. Our dogs love living at The Ranch because everything is at “little dog level”. We are saving a lot of money in the camper and it’s temporary…a win-win. Besides, we still need to throw our White Trash Party at The Ranch. Nothing says party like day-glo mac&cheese, Wonder Bread with Velveeta & ketchup, beer pong, and cans of beer you retrieve from a “thrown on the side of the road toilet” cooler. Why not, eh? Why not indeed.
I give thanks for the camper. “Giving thanks”–it shouldn’t be just something one says when they’re about to dive into mashed potatoes, gravy, and enough tryptophan to put an entire nation to sleep. I am thankful, each and every day, that I live in this community. I am thankful that after almost 3 years, I have the life of which I’ve dreamed. You may have heard of “The Key West Way To Stay”? You know you love to visit here. Do you know what? The only thing better than visiting The Keys is LIVING in The Keys! The Handsome Captain™ and I live in a community that has most of the offerings of a big city with the familiarity of a small town. By living in The Keys, I mean being a real local. Sorry, snowbirds aren’t locals. People who do not live here 12/12, aren’t homesteaded here, and don’t vote here are visitors and perhaps property owners…but they are not locals. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with being a visitor…but the kind of life we enjoy is a local life. It’s one where we hope our friends who are property owners will someday make the transition. (This one is for you too, Erica). 🙂
So yes, I am blessed in Paradise. I am thankful for my husband, friends I love, hobbies/bars/restaurants we enjoy, and great jobs (no, we are not independently wealthy so yes, we really do work). We are thankful for the old Boston Whaler to get us out on the water. There but for the grace of (insert your higher power, if you have one) go I. Dear to our hearts are charities, events, birthdays, and friends who mean the world to us…friends who are family. Where else do folks consider the families who operate our favorite wine establishments our own? We love this close-knit community and our full-bodied life that Key West has allowed us to enjoy.
At the closing scenes of “Under The Tuscan Sun” were some of my favorite quotes about life: “Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere. I would be different. What are four walls, anyway? They are what they contain. The house protects the dreamer. Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game. It’s such a surprise.”
Thank you, Key West.
“Ovunque ci si trovi a vivere con passione“