Florida: Driving to Key West with Claire Whitehurst

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Day #1: Paint-to-learn civil history in Vicksburg
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Day #2: Getting charmed by the #saltlife #coasties #mobilealabama
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Days 3-4: Downtown Mobile with our dear friends Seth & Katy; live oak trees; palms & pines; and a lovely visit with Shelby & Louie — all colored by the magical Claire! 🙆✍🏋🎨
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Day 4: Conversations with mermaids after the live show (see @claire_downes) + picnic + car camping (Claire hates it! 😬)
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Day 5: Cross over to South Florida + her cousins show us the tip of the Everglades & the beach at sunset. We love them. Claire stops and watercolors here & there.
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6: After a night with cousins in Wellington near Palm Beach, los colores de Miami! Lunch with some amazing Mississippi expats, matching sunburns. Tomorrow we’ll wake in the keys. Bye, continental USA!
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7: “Gulls + Buoys”! Claire and I perfect our chemistry on the Florida Keys. She is painting mangroves and I’m reading about the wind.
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9: Bumblings around the southernmost part of the United States! Cuban coffee, boats & fish, and exceptional drag all around. Waited out the hot afternoon poolside–painted postcards. Claire did not live-paint the drag show. She sang “I Will Always Love You” afterwards.
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“Do you ever get jealous of trees?” Claire asked me as we passed under an ancient banyan in the touristy part of the island. Florida, 10: We take a boat damn near to Cuba & snorkel our little hearts out with our #onehumanfamily, canvas Key West on foot, & hit the pillows like bags of rocks. And yet we agree that the trees have it made. Perhaps because we are heading back toward MS today & their homes are nonnegotiable.
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11: Claire and I woke up on St. Paddy’s to a subtropical fog in South Florida & we drove through rain up to Tallahassee. Her cousins are taking care of us in all corners.

Originally composed in April of 2016.

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