By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 1/22/2020
Occurred: 1/22/2017
Topics/Keywords: #Florida #KeyWest #FloridaKeys #Travel #Dominic #Gianna Page Views: 1109
One of the few times I've been to a beach without going into the water.

My daughter, Karen, and her fiancé, Rob, had arrived the day before but requested they be given a little time to themselves, since they wouldn't be going on a honeymoon after the wedding due to work pressures. So it seemed like a good day to go to the beach, some one of the three public beaches on the little island. But which one?

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My son, John, who had also arrived, called in the morning and suggested the beach at Zachary Taylor State Park. I knew this was a favorite spot of Jenny's and Gianna's, and it was the only beach I'd never visited; so I eagerly agreed to meet everyone there.

But when we entered the state park, the ranger told us that the beach was closed for swimming—the first time that had happened since she'd started working there eight years before.

Now, in point of fact, Keith's mom had texted me a warning that there was a "string of tornados" cutting through Florida, and to be careful.

It was true there was a major storn system hundreds of miles north of us. And, while we got no tornados or even more than the briefest sprinkling of rain in between sunny skies, that storm had definitely caused the wind to pick up and, with it, the waves.

Even so, the park itself is absolutely beautiful and I heartily recommend it.

My grandson, Zach, was here as well, with his friend, Nick. We'd gone to Hawaii with Nick a couple of years ago; he's a great guy. However, he didn't manage to make it into any of my beach photos.

Zach climbed onto the jetties that usually protected this stretch of beach from any waves (and, therefore, erosion).

Zachary Taylor Beach is just west of the Naval Base. (Historically, that base is what kept Key West on the Union side in the Civil War, while the rest of Florida joined the Conederacy. Or, perhaps, it was simply that Key Westers even then couldn't bear the thought of anyone's being enslaved.

Not even the heavy radar installation of the adjacent Naval Base could change the fact that it's one of the prettiest spots on the island. In fact, I must admit it looks pretty cool.


Zach was so disappointed he couldn't swim that he couldn't resist getting his toes wet at the edge of the water.

Meanwhile, my daughter, Jenny, had her hands full of little Dominic, who was apparently anxious to get to the beach as well. Dominic loved the wind and kept laughing at it, and at the tree limbs swaying in it.

Despite Karen's request for Rob-and-Karen alone time, they were both here, having come with Jenny and the babies, John, and Zach and his friend Nick. And it turned out that Rob loves Dominic, and vice versa.

Gianna ready for the beach.

Signposts help in case one is geographically challenged.

Gianna is very shy and has only met her Aunt Karen a few times. On the other hand, she and her Uncle John (whom she calls "All Done") are very comfortable with each other. So John ran interference in an attempt to let the two ladies bond before Gianna fell asleep.

Back at Jenny's condo, Zach's pal Nick (who had also been at the beach with us) got in a little Dominic time of his own.

Jenny offered to get us pizza for dinner, and John, Keith and I volunteered to go get it. Key West is home to many chickens, as I've noted on previous visits. This one, apparently, had ordered a pizza.

After dinner, I strolled aorund the back of Jenny's rental, a very nice place with private docks, boats moored, a pool, and plenty of tree-covered shade.

As the sun began to lower, Keith and I said goodnight and returned to our own rental condo (on the opposite side of the island) on our rental scooter. At home we celebrate Musical Sunday, so thanks to Netflix we were able to watch Marilyn Monroe's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes before bed.