My penultimate move before I left town, on my way to New York for Christmas parties, was to drop my bicycle at the bike shop for a tune-up, which would include getting the chain back on the gears. I have been harsh on my green bicycle, plunging off sidewalks and knocking the air out of the tires, all in the name of fun. I knew it was time to take the bugger in when, while riding, a powerful clanking could be heard over my headphones.
The absolute last thing I did before driving myself to Key West International Airport was to stop by Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Factory and purchase myself one frozen Key Lime Pie, with my Monroe County resident’s discount. The pie, resplendent in its carrying case of bright yellow plastic bag with Kermit’s logo emblazoned, caught the attention of local’s who called out, “That’s the best pie in town!”
Had I known the exponential beneficial effects of traveling with a pie I would always have travelled with one. Usually unsmiling airport staff and security guards and fellow passengers bent over backwards reverentially, you’d think I had the Dalai Lama in a bag. Even the Security Team of screeners broke from their mean
glares and offered jokes about how it wouldn’t be their fault if only half the pie made it out the other end of the x-ray machines. They were all abuzz and smiling at the very thought of pie.
New York was raucous fun with Christmas parties, each of my four day visit devouring more of me until I was legless and it was a huge relief when I made it home to Key West. Traveling home sans pie was a starkly different experience. I will never leave home without one again.
The first thing I did when I got back was to fetch my bike, oiled and fixed up better than
new. Last night I rode around town and everything certainly looked like Christmas. Palm trees and houses and front lawns are decorated with bright blinking lights and inflatable things, with moving parts, candy cane wheels rotating and carrousels set to music and slowly turning spreading their litter of twinkling lights. Cars festooned with Rudolph noses and antlers are double parked outside well-lit houses, while chimneys chuff and scent the mild chill with earthy rich smoke, mingling with the briny sea air, and making it smell like Christmas.
I came home to find the perfect party invites. Friends Christmas Eve, and other friends Christmas Day. And of course I plan on presenting Key Lime pies at every stop. I’m already feeling glutted, and spoiled and I plan on overdoing everything. Especially the fun. I hope the same for everyone.