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Grimescene thanks all those readers who have left comments on the 100th post… 🙂

In case you are wondering where I had disappeared to… I was with a bunch of friends in the archipelago south of Florida…called the Keys. Trying to switch off. The incidences of random work-related flashbacks reduced to around twice an hour by the time our trip ended… It is so difficult to switch off.

The place is beautiful…this is known as the diving and snorkeling capital of the world. The waters are a clear turquoise with large coral reefs which are now protected as a US State park. The first day there, we went motorboating into the Atlantic ocean – Grimescene also took the helm of the boat for sometime. It was exhilarating. We took the boat around 10 miles out into the Ocean…where we moored and jumped into the ocean to snorkel. The diversity of fauna and flora at the ocean bed beats any glassed aquarium hands down.. saw Jellyfishes, eels and someone even saw a Barracudda! Then in the evening 5 guys had a testosterone fueled game of…. pool. Man…the way the losers were sulking, and the way fists were pumping everytime someone hit one in – one would think we were playing a game of football! But, it was loads of fun…

The next day we did something very stupid. After years of adopting an exercise regime which included precise finger movements on a keyboard and walking to a car parked at a spot which was agonizingly chosen based on its distance from the final destination (less = more) and playing sports which included hot-dogs or joysticks, we played tennis. Continously for 3 hours. Oh… the clear Florida air released in us hitherto unknown reservoirs of energy…and soon we were running on the baseline like Jimmy Connors, Volleying like Stefan Edberg, smashing like Pete and diving like Bjorn Borg. Of course – because most of our skill in tennis was vicarious – we also ended up missing most shots like Mahesh Bhupati and even shouting and cursing like McEnroe. The end result? 6-4, 6-4 and joint pains which made us hobble like the many retirees who settle down in Florida.

But we were indefatigable. We hopped into the minivan – had a scrumptious meal of Quesadilas and Burgers – and searched for our next adventure. Which we found at Whale Harbor – on the island of Islamorada. Before someone could say “Jetski” we were zooming across and over the waves at speeds of 55mph, as though we had been doing it all our lives! (only one of us had) It was AWESOME.

And tiring. But did we hang our shoes up? No…we drove 90 miles to the last key, Key West, to get a piece of the party-action. By now, fatigue finally hit our very unhealthy bodies…and we realized that we really didnt want to party…although the atmosphere was vibrant and rousing. Four Zombies returned to the hotel by 2 in morning… crashed, woke up next morning feeling as though we had been beaten up all night in a Mumbai Police Station. So how did we beat this feeling of pain? We played tennis again! This time…a full three set match! Though the game resembled a Tennis championship for snails by the third set – our shots had improved drastically and some of us were even getting first serves in. We did’nt do much else during the day…prefering to relax a bit and do some shopping.

Next day – while we were heading back to Orlando to take our respective flights to our onward destinations – there was a sinking feeling, that these times might not come back again. It was a great trip to a great location – and I would recommend the Florida Keys to anyone who enjoys the sun, sand and water. I will be posting some photographs soon…