Cudjoe Key “The Rental” 2011

After hitting two traffic jams through the keys due to construction we arrived at our rental house. The keys don’t have winter so it’s construction all season long,

Our first reaction to the neighbourhood and front garden was: Oh. Our first reaction to everything was: Oh. This wasn’t what we expected. This was much, much worse. The traffic whizzed by and filled the air with the smell of diesel truck. The drivers were on their way to the resort at the end of the street pulling their gigantic land yachts and huge boats.

The floor in the house was littered with dead bugs. The cleaning company had not been by in over three weeks. The garden company has been absent for three months and the pool guy hasn’t been seen in a month.

The owner hasn’t been here in over two years. It’s a matter of ignorant neglect. We talked to the company we booked it with and they couldn’t help even though we’d purchased the insurance. The owner refused to refund any money and it is the Lower Keys in February, so there was no place to go.

We retuned to the rental and investigated. Open electrical, overgrown vegetation, dirty pool, garage filled with old furniture from another rental and bucks of uncovered pool chemicals strewn all over the floor of the carport. Garbage was blowing around the yard as Brent and I sat staring at each other with “what will we do” on our faces.

We vacated the property and went to a local pub for internet and food. We contacted those at, and the property owner and got nowhere. We were on our own.

We didn’t really have the money to rent another place until we’d gotten the refund and after talking to the locals and discovering the home owner was in debt to many companies in the Keys we decided we’d roll up our sleeves and do a little cleaning.

It took a few days to tidy and a few days to get our heads around the fact that this is it. This is what we get, although we figured we paid for more. By the fourth day we could swim in the pool, the chemicals and garbage was pushed into one corned and barricaded to make it puppy-proof.

Here we are and here we’ll stay. We relaxed by the pool as the jack hammering continued down the street. We ate lunch on the patio watching the trucks go by, and finally we took our kayaks out into the quiet peaceful ocean and watched the sunset.

The temperatures were over eighty farenheit while a snow storm raged back home. This was good. 

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