By Shayne Benowitz
This time of year, it’s always a pleasure to cruise the streets at night and marvel at all of the creative Christmas lights in the neighborhood. Through the years, I’ve noticed that different towns have different styles. In my parent’s neighborhood in northwest Georgia, the houses are lined with sparkling white lights and the occasional reindeer lawn ornament. In the Bronx where I taught middle school for three years, front yards had giant inflatable snow globes with familiar Christmas characters inside. Growing up in southern California, Christmas lights were multi-colored and the vibe was laid back and carefree. Go figure!
Key West at Christmas reminds me a lot of California at Christmas from the Lighted Boat Parade to the colorful and sometimes zany decorations. Last night, as I was riding my bike around town with my good friend and Fury boat mate Stephen, we came across quite the spectacular display.
On the corner of Ashe and Angela Streets, it entire block is lit up and holiday music can be heard as you approach. Stephen and I hopped off our bikes to get a closer look. As we cruised the house’s perimeter we came across a life sized talking Grinch, a penguin popping out of an igloo, Santa with a sleigh of flamingoes, and electric trains and cable cars. Bubbles were flying (Key West snow, as the homeowner explained) and lights were flashing. The largest Santa on the island towers nearly two stories high. Neighbors on an evening stroll or dog walk stopped by to check it out.
One of the highlights is a five minute animation show featuring a cast of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Pinocchio, Mickey and Minnie, Donald Duck, and a chorus of bears ringing bells. Truly a Winter Wonderland and truly worth a visit, this little plot of Key West soil is bursting at the seams with season’s cheer!
Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer working on her debut novel. For more travel stories and a daily dose of what’s cool around the globe visit her Wanderlust Website at http://web.me.com/shaynebeth.