Florida: Driving to Key West with Claire Whitehurst

Day #1: Paint-to-learn civil history in Vicksburg
Day #2: Getting charmed by the #saltlife #coasties #mobilealabama
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! 🙆✍🏋🎨
Day 4: Conversations with mermaids after the live show (see @claire_downes) + picnic + car camping (Claire hates it! 😬)
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.
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!
7: “Gulls + Buoys”! Claire and I perfect our chemistry on the Florida Keys. She is painting mangroves and I’m reading about the wind.
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.
“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.
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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