Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Florida Keys - Post 3

The drive south continued from Marathon and over the Seven Mile Bridge to Bahia Honda State Park and then a stop at Baby's Coffee before the entering Key West proper. A drive up (down) crowded Duval Street led to the hotel. We left the car, checked in and hit the town. We arrived in the late afternoon so we watched the sunset, hit Mangoes for dinner and then a drag show at a place that shall remain nameless due to its really lackluster ability to find drag preformers who could lipsync, much less wear heels. There were a few stand outs, but mostly my dad could have done drag better, and for those of you who know my dad, you know just how ridiculous that sounds.  I may have gotten drunk this night. Maybe.
Day two in Key West led us to Ernest Hemingway's home, the Key West Lighthouse, shopping up and down Duval Street, The Little White House , some lunch at Willie T's , dinner at Sarabeth's, and drinks at Boubon Street Pub, where the picture of the rubber ducks came from.
One of the more amazing Key West moments is the sunset. I mean seriously. Every day people head down, grab a drink and sit and watch the sky light up with the most amazing colors. Certainly one of the better ones I have seen. 

The last day involved the drive back to Miami to catch a flight home, but not before stopping to play some miniatur golf at Boondocks. I lost but the Tigers Blood Sno-Cone totally kicked ass.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Florida Keys - Post 2

Next up, down Highway 1 was Crane Point in Marathon. It's a beautiful nature center with trails detailing the local flora and fauna as well as the building shown below, which was owned by George Adderley, a Bahamian immigrant who originally lived on the property. I arrived just in time to hop on a guided tour led by the lovely couple, Dinata and Andy. We traveresed the property in a elongated golf cart while Dinata gave insightful information interjected with bouts of humor by her husband Andy. There were Butterflies, Strangler Trees and even a snake, which much to my revulsion, Dinata tried to wrangle.
The drive continued to Seven Mile Bridge. There are actually two bridges here. The original railroad bridge built by Heny Flagler was damaged in a hurricane in 1935. It was then repaired and made into an automobile bridge, then again damaged by another hurricane in 1960. It has since reopened as a pedestrian connecter to Pigeon Key. The newer, bigger  automobile bridge was built in 1978 and strectches the full 7 miles from Knights Key to Little Duck Key, and has remained free of hurricane damage thus far.  It totals about 2 miles in distance on the pedestrian bridge to Pigeon Key, and yes I walked it... and back. The pics are below, and I think you will agree, it was well worth the blister and leg cramp.
Once on Pigeon Key, you get the feeling that you have entered the compound occupied by The Others on Lost. Slightly clinical and disurbing, but tropical, beautiful and isolated.

The next stop was at The Turtle Hospital. Anyone who knows me, knows that the way to my heart is through a Sea Turtle (well, Elephants, good music, and pasta work too). Sadly for me, since it is a working hospital, tours are at set times and are heavily booked on weekends, so I didn't get a chance to actually take the tour and see the Turtles, but I did get to snap the adorable ambulance below (thankfully it was not away on a Sea Turtle emergency). Next time. I mean it!

Check back for the final installment, KEY WEST!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Florida Keys - Post 1

This past weekend called for a little birthday trip, so I headed down to the land of The African Queen, Bogart and Bacall, Seven Mile Bridge and Ernest Hemmingway. Thats right, after landing in Miami and picking up the rental car (Monty became his name), I drove the Florida Keys. Coral Castle was the first stop. Super bizarre, diminutive, Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin reportedly created this 'castle' for his 16 year old love out of carved coral formed limestone. Creepy, actually.
Next stop was the Seashell Beach Resort on Grassy Key, just north of Marathon. Resort is a STRONG claim, but it had an amazing waterfront area with a dock and beautiful rockers to sit and watch the ocean ebb and flow. Blue Moons on the dock at night are a strong reccomendation. There are only 10 rooms, and it is really quaint and lovely place. Dinner this night was at a yummy seafood place called The Island Fish Company. The Cocktails were better then the food (and on a personal note, people should really avoid letting their children run through a restaurant as though they were carrying the Olympic Torch) but the alfresco dinning on the water was well worth a few sub par calamari.
Stay tuned for more photos from this trip over the next few days!