I was writing another post about my weekend but just didn't have the energy to finish. Instead, these photos will have to do.
The sour scent of rat piss still lingers from my Saturday visit into my old apartment down in Flamingo. Rat droppings litter the Florida Bay apartment and all that's left area a few plastic, toy coins, pieces of paper and the green light fixture I always hated. The walls had been painted different colors and the carpet had been ripped up, all for my ex's new life with his girlfriend. Although physically different, I was haunted by years of memories in that apartment, both good and bad.
Vividly, I remembered the black wall of mosquitoes in the bathroom. I recalled the "secret room," the one we put things we didn't use very often, like the Ab Roller. My cat loved it in there. She slipped in and disappeared in the chaotic sea of boxes and junk. During my seven minute return to the apartment, I also remembered the nights feeling my life was out of control and sitting on the bathroom floor bawling my eyes out, silently asking for help and guidance.
When I left Flamingo nearly eight years ago, the Lodge welcomed fishermen, birdwatchers and Europeans bold enough to brave the pesky mosquitoes. The pool was the hub of activity and the property's nicest amenity. The restaurant with the bird's-eye-view of Florida Bay served up the best coconut fried shrimp and conch chowder in the Keys. Boat tours departed from the marina beginning with early morning birdwatching excursions and ending with sunset cruises showcasing a spectacular display of pink and orange hues.
And then in 2005, two nasty women showed up changing everything.
Not only did hurricanes Katrina and Wilma changed the Flamingo landscape, it changed the lives for those living there.
I hope to elaborate tomorrow.
Top - Flamingo Lodge, as of March 22, 2008; condemned.
Middle - Eco Pond - the birdwatching platform is gone
Bottom - floats for crab traps (not related to hurricane destruction, just pretty cool)
Ripple Effects of Hurricane Katrina
Images of Katrina
Hurricane Katrina Meets the Everglades