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Today Show’s Matt & Al Visit Key West

by Shayne Benowitz

On a day off a couple of weeks ago, I luxuriated in bed watching Hoda & Kathie Lee on the fourth hour of The Today Show. Normally, I’m up and at ‘em working, writing, or exercising, but this particular morning I allowed myself to relax and watch my favorite morning show. As the broadcast wrapped up, they ran a promo for “Today Takes a Vacation,” and there it flashed before my eyes: Key West.

Could it be true? Was the Today Show really going to be in “my neck of the woods,” as Al says in his weather reports? Well, it was true. My guys Matt & Al shared the boardwalk of the Westin Resort & Marina with Fury Water Adventures Tuesday morning during their live broadcast.

For me, there’s something special about the Today Show. Like many of its devoted fans, I just have the sense that I know these guys, like they’re part of the family. Their good-natured banter and feel-good stories mixed with level-headed and reliable reporting, well, it’s an entertaining way to digest the news and happenings.

When I lived in New York, there was a thrill watching them live from Rockefeller Center, knowing they were just a few subway stops away. I’ve bumped into Al on the streets of my Upper East Side neighborhood during the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and watched Katie (I still miss her) and Matt broadcast from Herald Square during the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was in the stands for the fireworks display over the East River when Lester Hold and Campbell Brown (now on CNN) hosted the spectacular. Now, it seemed that Matt and Al were taking a trip down to Key West just to visit me. A little obsessive? Not at all. Just a casual fan.

Needless to say, I was psyched when I woke up Tuesday morning. I even pedaled my bike to work on a flat tire because I didn’t want to risk missing it. Not a hundred yards from the Fury Surf Shack was Key West’s mini Rockefeller Plaza with Matt and Al at the center of the frenzy. I stood by with other cheering fans toting posters and even funny costumes in hopes of attracting the camera.

Their segments definitely captured the quirky allure of Key West featuring everything from treasure diving to the Hemingway House. They seemed to be having lots of fun in classic Matt and Al fashion! Of course, the only thing that would have made their trip better was if they had taken me up on that parasailing offer. Or did they… ?

Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer working on her debut novel. For more travel stories and a daily dose of what’s cool around the globe visit her Wanderlust Website at http://web.me.com/shaynebeth.

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