Greetins from Key West

Heyyyy yoooouuu guuuyyysss!!!! It’s freakin’ October and it finally feels like fall. It makes me so flippin’ happy to go outside and not burst into flames. Plus it is getting closer to Halloween, the time when we heathens can charge our evil souls to get us through the holiday season without bloodshed. I just love sweata weatha.

My husband Jamie and I recently went on a much needed vacation to Key West. It was fabulous. Once our plane left DFW, I unplugged and did not even message any of my work peeps or showgirls. It stresses me to think about it but I know the world does not end if I’m not there to manage it. I refuse to be a micromanager and my fabulous sisters proved I had nothing to worry about. The show will always go on, with or without you. I both love and hate that.

Anyhoo… Key West had some great restaurants and some fun bars to drink at, but they still let people smoke indoors. I guess it’s not a big deal there since everywhere has a patio or an open setup but I hated that. We are so spoiled here.

We did a couple of excursions on the water that were awesome. Our first one took us and 10 other people out snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding. I was a little disappointed in the snorkeling — we saw some beautiful fish and some big ass spiny lobsters but seeing so much dead coral broke my heart. It was still really cool. Snorkeling is one of my all-time favorite activities.

The kayaking was fun but taught me I have zero core strength. Thank god for the two-person kayak and my strong husband. Our tour guide took us in and around these cool mangrove trees that looked like they popped out of nowhere — just a bunch of mangrove trees out in the middle of the ocean.

Our tour guides/boat crew did a great job educating us on the importance of the mangrove trees and how much they help the ecosystem. My nerd side loved all that. As they led us through an opening in the dense trees, I saw out of the corner of my eye something scurry off a branch, onto my shoulder and down my back. To me it looked like a fucking tarantula — we have lots of those around Midlothian, and I have a policy of you leave me alone and I leave you alone, but this bitch was on my back. Luckily it turned out to be just a little crab. It scurried off the kayak and into the water, but not before I screamed like a bitch and embarrassed myself. Thank god I didn’t flip us over — that would have really freaked me out.

By the way, our two tour guides were absolutely beautiful. They were friendly, fun and hot af, but the best part? They carried a cooler with them on their kayak, and we were never more than a few feet away from a beer. We met a newlywed couple from Indiana, and a couple celebrating their 10-year anniversary — more amazingly beautiful people. There were a couple of red-neckish guys from New Jersey that I thought were going to be…. you know, dicks! But they were crazy-friendly, and once they found out we had been together for 16 years, they were very congratulatory. One told me of his crazy ex-wife, and that I was lucky to have found my “person.”

They were all very open-minded and awesome. It made for a great day. Oh yeah, since it was my husband’s birthday that day, it was free for him. So we had a great time and saved $130. Once the newlywed girl found out it was his birthday she pulled out a water bottle filled with rum, and made Jamie chug it.

When it came time to paddle board, I passed. I was tipsy and worn out, so most of us sat on the boat and ate and drank some more. Plus I have a zero skill level when it comes to balance — I didn’t want to embarrass myself further.

We ended the excursion watching the sunset. It was beautiful and a little romantic. We were buzzed and in love, and we didn’t care who saw it. It was awesome. That day will go down as one of my best days ever.

The next day, we went to Dry Tortugas National Park. It is a Civil War fort out in the middle of nowhere. We had to take a ferry for two-and-a-half hours to get there but it was worth it. The fort takes up the entire island that it sits on. It is huge and even has its own moat. We snorkeled around it and hiked all over the place, inside and out. The ferry brought about 200 people, but the place is so spread out that we didn’t have to be around anybody if we didn’t want to. We were there about four hours before we heading back, exhausted. It was crazy-beautiful but the ride back was rough. Huge waves and too many kids running around made the two-and-a-half hours back feel like days. I’m still glad we did it. On the plus side, I only made one kid cry.

One of the things that surprised me about Key West: There are no great beaches. Yes, they have a few beaches, but there wasn’t enough sand. By the time the water reaches your knees and thighs, it becomes really rocky and hard to maneuver. Plus the kinda farty smell of the sargassum grossed me out. Sargassum is not just a problem in Key West, it is everywhere along the east coast and down into South America. It’s seaweed that washes up on shore, and as it decays it releases hydrogen sulfide gas. Most of the hotels and resorts do a great job of cleaning it up, but every once in a while you would get the whiff of farts on the sea air.

Y’all know how much I love sea turtles, but unfortunately we didn’t see any while we were snorkeling. We did see a bunch at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Fla. We did a tour of the facility and saw all of the great work they do to treat and rehabilitate sick or injured turtles. We got to see some little-bity babies, and I about died. Totes adorbs!

Overall, Key West was a blast. I can’t wait for our next adventure — possibly Dublin, Ireland? Who knows? Happy Halloween er’body!

Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO! Cassie Nova