If you’ve made the trip, you know the moment I’m talking about. Around 15 miles south of Miami, there’s a point when the highways unspool and the horizon opens. You’re driving up and over palmetto scrub, then estuary, then swamp. Then the land drops away and suddenly, you’re flying. On one side is the sunrise Atlantic; on the other it’s the Gulf of Mexico, the sunset sea. In between lie the Florida Keys, a constellation of fragile, sugar-sand isles dissolving into the impossibly blue currents of the 24th parallel. This is the moment when most visitors—myself among them—like to hoot and holler and wave their arms out the sunroof.
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