Key West is looming large in our future.

Key West is looming large in our future. We’re soon heading there to meet daughter Sundae, son in-law Shingo and grandchild Bug, who are flying in from Tokyo and are so looking forward to their visit.

We’ve been to the Keys many times, yet I still can’t explain precisely why I enjoy the place so much. I’m not much of a drinker and my late-night partying days are distant memories, yet it’s one of our favorite destinations. Go figure.

This vacation break couldn’t come at a better time. I don’t think they pipe the news that far down, so I should have some shelter from Obama’s psycho-idiocy, at least for a few days.

What on earth were we thinking keeping this guy around for another four years? He gets a crazy look on his face when he raises his phone and pen. I expect him to lean into the camera and whisper, “I see clueless people.”

In that “spooky” vein, this trip we’ll probably do the “Old Town Ghost Tour” again. It’s about as hokey as you can get, but I guess I must like wandering around in the dark looking for things that aren’t there.

Also, I never get tired of the Mel Fisher museum, so we’ll certainly hit that place again. I’m sure they’ll “hit” me back when I buy my wife Ann a little bauble from their gift shop.

We’ll break new trail by going to Robbie’s at Islamorada to feed the tarpon and have dinner. It looks like a great restaurant based on their website menu.

I’ve mentioned before how much Ann and I enjoy our getaways. I’m pretty good at being a tourist because there’s almost nothing I don’t find interesting to some degree.

On the lead-up to this particular trip, we stumbled across something that I hope will benefit us in the future. Maybe I’m way behind the knowledge curve on this, but I learned that we could apply for some sort of enhanced clearance card that supposedly will allow us to sail through the airport security checkpoints without stripping off shoes and belts or pole-dancing in front of scanners.

I applied online and received appointment letters for both of us. Our times are 15 minutes apart so we should be in and out.

The designated date is too far in advance to grease our airplane entries on this trip but hopefully will serve us well going forward. The local office is in Wilmington, which is always a win-win place to go for us.

After we get out, we’ll ride over to Eagle Produce for fresh butterbeans and peas. While there I’ll also replenish the cosmic gumbo mix I buy from them.

We’re likely to end the day at Macaroni Grill. Over the years, we’ve become somewhat addicted to their calamari, although all of their other stuff is good, too.

Speaking of food addictions, we’ve already been discussing the clear and present danger of overdosing on key lime pie and conch chowder. We’ll watch each other and do an intervention as we feel necessary.

Otis Gardner’s column appears here weekly. He can be reached at