Whatever happened to global warming?
The winter of 2009-10 saw more snow dumped on the Middle Atlantic and Northeast regions than they have seen in many years. We went to Florida three times to escape the cold New York winter and were treated to a lot of very breezy, low 60's temperature days. As this is written we are about to leave Key West where the temp hit 70 for the first time in at least a week yesterday.
Not so much fun coming to Florida with swimsuits and shorts only to find you need to buy blue jeans and sweatshirts to keep warm. our first day here on the beach, because that is what we came to do, cold weather or not. Of course we figured we would not get sunburned in this cold weather if we just sat here for a little bit. After proceeding to fall asleep we woke up with glorious burns on our faces. Rest of our bodies were spared because we were fully clothed in order to stay warm.
No matter how many times you hear "it has not been this cold since '62," it does not make up for the fact that your warm weather winter escape has been anything but warm. All is not lost however because Florida has lived up to its "sunshine state" appellation 'as evidenced by the aforementioned burns. So at some point you resign yourself to the fact that it is cooler than you would like and you start to visit the area's attractions and museums.
In our case, Key West was not found wanting in the places to visit department. A tour of Ernest Hemingway's house was absolutely fascinating, as was the tour of Harry Truman's Key West "Little White House." Follow these with a brew and some music at Irish Kevin's on Duval, and then some fresh seafood at one of Key West's great restaurants, and things begin to look up.
Guess what else we found, that surprisingly, to me, turned out to be one of the highlights of our Key West visit? They have a Butterfly Museum. This place was really neat. After a 15 minute film about butterflies and how they metamorphize from caterpillars, we learn that a butterfly's life span is only about 14 days, and that butterfly pupas are shipped daily to the museum where they complete their development in the controlled environment of the museum's butterfly greenhouse.
The walk through the greenhouse is absolutely amazing as you observe thousands of butterflies in a controlled environment that mimics their natural one. Well worth the price of admission.