The Origins Of ‘Keys Disease’ In The Conch Republic
There are a ton of things for tourists to do in Key West, FL.
There’s sport fishing, diving/snorkeling, going boating, going to see the Ernest Hemingway house (and all the cats) and while the beaches aren’t around Duval Street, there’s sand all around you.
I’ve even been told the Conch Train is fun.
But let’s be real. There’s pretty much only one thing tourists do in Key West and that’s go to the bars.
Oh, your intentions are good, perhaps even adventurous. On your way down to the Conch Republic, you eagerly plan to be on and in the water, but when it comes down to it, you always wind up in the bars. Starting in the afternoon.
That’s because it works like this – you’re out late (too late!) your first night. You wake up groggy and despite the fact it’s a beautiful and sunny day the only thing you can think about is getting breakfast.
So you stumble to a place like Louie’s Backyard and fill up on nourishing food, which revives your soul.
Then you walk down Duval Street, slowly in your tank top and flip flops, intent on doing something rewarding, such as, say, going kayaking.
But it’s hot, really hot, and you quickly lose your enthusiasm for doing anything requiring physical exertion. You just want to sit down in some air conditioning. You just happen at this time to be at the intersection of Duval Street and Green Street so without saying a word, or anyone in your group saying a word, you all instinctively head into Sloppy Joe’s.
After a drink or two there, you head over to Captain Tony’s Saloon (largely because Buffett drank there and sang about it. Plus, it’s dark and cool inside).
There, you encounter one of the interesting Key West characters and carry on some type of conversation with them that has you ordering more drinks and the next thing you know you wind up at the patio by Hog’s Breath, perhaps a neighborhood bar like the Green Parrot, then its sunset on Mallory Square and then, well, it’s nighttime and time to party!
The next day, you do the same thing all over again.
That is the lifestyle of visiting Key West and the main reason people get “Keys Disease” and never return home.