Key Wasted — Bean Burger in Paradise

A little late, but nonetheless….Last month we headed down to Key West driving a white rented Ford Explorer with visions of sandy beaches dancing in our heads. I can now officially mark “Drive to Key West” off my bucket list. As far as road trips go, it wasn’t too bad and we definitely got into a groove. I will go ahead and state the obvious — it’s a long drive from Oklahoma to Key West! I learned a couple of things along the way — Mapquest doesn’t really know when you are going to arrive somewhere, Google Maps sometimes knows when you are going to arrive somewhere, but it’s so bossy, and the travel plazas on Florida turnpikes are what dreams are made of – if dreams are made of perfume counters, healthy fast food options and clean bathrooms.

We went to Key West for the Mile 0 Fest and Nathan was playing with Raina Cobb at some of the satellite stages. On the big Mile 0 Fest poster, they were billed as “And More” – which was fine with us. It was an honor just to be nominated. In reality, a lot of our friends were heading that way too and it turned out to be one of those amazing trips full of all the good stuff — the music was amazing and if you read any of the reviews about the Mile 0 Fest’s first year, you will quickly realize this was the opposite of Fyre Fest – it was a great lineup, good food, fun vibe, amazing music fans. For a first-year music festival, it was a home run!

Nathan seemed to transform on the island — we called him Island Nate and Panama Nate. He wore a hat and continued his research and love-affair with UBER. He likes to sit up front and interview the drivers. He acts like he won the jackpot if the driver has some a “story” to tell. And, you have to watch out – if the driver has a good story, Nathan may try to give them all of his money at the end of the ride to send their child to college or something.

Since I like lists and I don’t want to write 12 pages — here is a list of my experiences in Key West:

  1. Within four hours of leaving our house, we were in four states – Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi!
  2. Nathan left his wedding ring in Pensacola, Florida at a Holiday Inn.
  3. I only mentioned him leaving his wedding ring in Pensacola only about 4,000 times.
  4. I hate Miami traffic and found that Nathan has real trust issues with Google Maps.
  5. I think Florida turnpike transponder thing  is some kinda racket to make you shop at Walgreens or Publix. It’s called The Less Stressway – but, I’m not gonna lie – that Sun Pass business stressed me out a little bit.
  6. It’s a miracle I did not run over a pedestrian in Key West. They are like ants – you avoid a walker to almost hit a scooter, while dodging someone on a skateboard to slam on your brakes so you don’t hit a bicycler. Then bam, there’s golf cart passing you!
  7. I managed to avoid Oklahoma flu season only to arrive in Florida and join up with the plague coalition. I spent a great deal of our time there sidelined with some sore of death sickness. In fact, I really didn’t get to experience a lot of the things I wanted to because of 102-degree fever – but I made the most of it.

    My view at the doctor’s office.

  8. I had a Dale, Jr. sighting which was a highlight because I was driving around feeling sorry for myself while waiting for my prescriptions to be ready when I spotted him.
  9. I went to some sort of Key West medical center and tested negative for the flu. It was an expensive test, but I justified it by all the money I was saving by not having a lot of fun.
  10. The Oklahoma songwriters totally killed it — I’m not going to list them all, but they did an awesome job. I was a proud Okie everywhere I went for sure!
  11. Nathan got to sit-in with Mike of Mike and the Moonpies and Lucas Bevin. It was a fun set.
  12. Nathan never eats when we are busy and true to form, for about three days – I counted and he had only eaten like four shrimp. It was big news when he finally ate a Black Bean Burger.
  13. I highly recommend having flu-like symptoms with a good view. It was better than having flu-like symptoms with no view.
  14. We picked up Nathan’s wedding ring on our way back through Pensacola — we are married again.

    My view from our condo.

Sometime in the past, I guess Nathan heard Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet. He did not learn the song – he learned two lines: I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes. He sang these lines over and over for six days.  I only have a short list of changes for next year:

A. Don’t get the “flu”

B. Don’t get the “flu”

C. Punch Nathan in the face the FIRST time he sings: I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes.

Raina Cobb, Nathan Lanier, and Ken Pomeroy


Jason Scott, John Goolsby, and Lucas Bevan


Zac Copeland and Blake Lankford


Jared Deck


Mike Harmeier, Nathan Lanier and Lucas Bevan

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