In my month of just pure running around like a chicken without a head, I was scheduled to go to Key West with my husband and parents for four days. Needless to say, I was looking forward to that vacation since we planned it earlier this year, and even more so once my schedule got completely out of control.
But alas, we were going to have the travel day from hell, albeit we were going to be landing in paradise. Our first flight left at 6:10 am. Which meant a 3:30 am wake up to be up and on the road to the airport.
Our flights went off without a hitch and we finally landed in Key West about 1 pm. We were exhausted to say the least. With the stress of travel all we wanted to do was have a drink, eat some grub, and take a nap.
So we get to our hotel and our room isn't ready yet which is to be expected. My parents planned that we would take a taxi to the local strip malls in town to get snacks and booze for our room. But we first would get lunch and start our vacation with some drinks at TGI Fridays.
We call a cab, climb in and inform them of our destination. Only to have our cabby inform us that TGI Friday is currently closed as it's under new ownership and extensive renovations.
Great. He drops us at the strip mall and not only are there NO bars, the only restaurant to choose from is Chinese food. So we walk to the other complex that's only about 3 minutes down the road. They seem to only have a pizza place. But as I'm looking at the shop list on the kiosk out near the road and I see that they have a place called 'Sticks and Steins'.
Being partially German I know that a Stein holds beer and at this point, a few drinks is all we really want to take the travel stress edge off. I suggest we go there. We trudge through the shopping center to the corner end where it's located, walk in, and immediately realize our mistake.
I mean, it's like the music stops with a scratch of the record player and everyone turns around to look at us. This is obviously a local bar where the locals bikers come to play pool. To stay that we stuck out is the understatement of the year. Ah yes, I hadn't taken into consideration the 'sticks' part of the signage.
We are being watched like hawks. The locals don't know what to make of us. It's like we're a foreign species and have just been dropped in the middle of a wolf pack. They just stare and try to act normal as we've clearly disrupted their normal habitat. To top it off, you can smoke in bars in Florida, so there's a nice smokey haze going on. At this point I'm clutching my Burberry purse close to me and praying I don't end up in someone's basement being told to 'put the lotion on my skin'.
We're desperate for a drink, but not trusting the sanitation of this dive, we order bottled beer. Of which our (I'm not positive but I think she was high on something) bartender serves to us in personal koozies. Only myself and Nick's are a bright yellow color, spotted with mold on the bottom from previous use. Yummy.
I chug that beer like it was my last day on Earth, but then again I was pretty sure it might be. Our bartender came back and told us some of our food specials, but after spotting what looked like a moldy chicken soup container by the sinks, we quickly lost our appetite.
Yep, leave it to my parents to take us to Key West and we manage to find the shadiest bar on the whole freaking island.
We went through 3 rounds of beer quicker then I've ever drank in my life, and that's saying something after my college career. My father was apt to point out that many of the patrons at the bar had more beer bottles in front of them then teeth. Nick was texting his best friend that we were currently at a bar "that made (him) worry about the virginity of (his) asshole".
We paid the bill and causally power walked out of there. I don't think enough showers in the world would ever make me feel clean after being in that establishment. I feel dirty just writing about it now.
The killer of this story is after leaving the bar we ended up going to that pizza place in the same strip to at least grab something to eat. We walk in, take a seat, and see that they serve wine and beer. Epic fail.