‘The Keys’ to a perfect vacation

Commentary by Lenzie Purcell
Times-News correspondent

Teens & Twenties writer Lenzie Purcell, left, and Kristina Morrow, her college roomate, are shown parasailing during a recent trip to Key West, Fla. / Photo submitted

I traveled to Key West, Fla.,  recently with my father, older sister and best friend/college roommate, Kristina.
Kristina and I spent the first day sprawled on the beach allowing the sun and waves to rid us of any stress that had stayed with us from school. The water of the keys is crystal clear, and  experiencing a day in the water with 100 feet visibility is not uncommon.  We planned a scuba dive for the following morning.
Our condo came equipped with four bikes — biking is by far the easiest form of transportation around Key West. We rode our bikes to the dive shop located less than a mile from our beds. We were on the boat within minutes heading out to the only living reef in North America.
I have grown up around boats. I used to live less than a minute from the Intracoastal Waterway where my family would spend countless weekends cruising the sea.
I am a member of the sailing club at UNC-Chapel Hill and have been on numerous dive trips. When the boat’s dive master joked about the fish feeding stations located toward the back of the boat, I laughed along with the other passengers. There was no chance that I would be the victim of seasickness.
   But about 10 minutes into our boat ride, I was overcome with nausea and spent the rest of the two-hour trip seasick.
Upon docking and, considering the fact that the following day we were going to be spending multiple hours on a boat, I headed straight to the local Walgreen’s where I bought multiple packs of seasickness prevention medication. We enjoyed the next day sickness-free, as we were able to parasail, jet-ski, kayak, and paddleboard.
Key West is full of museums and art studios, many of which offer free or low-cost admission.
As an English major, I was drawn to the Hemingway house, the home in which Ernest Hemingway wrote many American classics including “To Have and Have Not.” The home is open to the public and offers guided tours every hour.
Words can’t explain how much the Key West sunshine meant to me.

Lenzie Purcell is a rising senior at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Teens & Twenties writer.



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