Dancing couple

Not to scale.

I did something last weekend that I never, ever do. That goes against every bone in my body. (And no, it’s not some Tantric sex thing.)

I arrived in a town without a hotel reservation for the weekend.

Ay Dios mio.

Or as my people would say: Oy vey.

The town was Key West which is only a 5 hour drive for us and my husband and I go there at least once a year. The only problem with the weekend we picked? There weren’t a lot of rooms available and what there was seemed really expensive.

I am a planner. I make long lists of things to do. Send myself emails so that nothing falls between the cracks. Lie in bed with my mind humming with thoughts of what might happen if I forget to wash my towels tomorrow.

Needless to say the thought of winging it on a weekend made me nervous. (Though I think that I’ve gotten better about it in my older age.)

But I admit it. At first, I was totally stressed out. Who goes on a trip without having their hotel room all figured out? (Rhetorical. I know people do actually do this.)

I had to have a long talk with myself and say, “Self, there’s nothing to worry about. Hubs said he would be in charge of this. And he promised me that we wouldn’t be sleeping in our car.”

Seriously, what’s the worst thing that could happen. It couldn’t be any worse than my last trip to Las Vegas.

Hubs’ plan was for us to get down there on Friday afternoon, park the car and walk in and out of places until we found someplace to stay. Luckily, I mentioned this plan to my mom who had a better idea: To call the Key West Innkeepers Association’s 800 number. The organization functions as a clearinghouse for over 100 of the B&Bs and hotels on the island. Last minute availability? They know what’s there.

The Frances Street Bottle Inn

The Frances Street Bottle Inn

So the minute we pulled in to town, we gave them a call. (Though you can call them in advance.) We ended up in Old Town, right where we wanted to be, at a bed and breakfast called the The Frances Street Bottle Inn, owned by the uniquely charming Mark Kohler. The inn has a big porch surrounded by large trees and is on a quiet street. Our room had a private entrance and a king size bed. It was clean and comfortable. Problem was, Mark didn’t have anything available for Saturday night. His parents were coming in to town and he wouldn’t make them sleep on the couch. So we had to ante up a bit and get a room at the Casa Marina Resort on the other side of the island.

The Casa Marina Resort

The Casa Marina Resort

The Casa Marina is a historic hotel built by Henry Flagler that opened in 1920, seven years after he died. It’s truly a beautiful and luxurious property with two pools and a beach. Since we weren’t planning on spending too much time there, it seemed a bit of a waste of money. But our options were slim so we took it. We were there less than 20 hours and slept for a good part of that time. But the bed was fabulously comfortable and I would have been more than happy to stay there another night. If familial duties hadn’t beckoned to us back at home.

Once I knew where we were going to be sleeping, I was able to relax. And we did some of the things that we love to do when we are in Key West.

Key West collage 1

  • Walk around Old Town and admire the architecture.
  • Do a lot (and I mean a lot) of people watching.
  • See the glorious sunset from Mallory Square.
  • Eat two amazing meals at Santiago’s Bodega (because one was not enough) and one at Cafe Sole.
  • Hold hands and make out in public.
  • Sleep in both mornings.
  • And of course, become intimate with one another. Again. And again. And maybe one more time.

I think I’m over my fear of traveling by the seat of my pants. Wonder where we’re going to go next?


Key West sunset

Saturday night’s sunset.