Day 15-17 Key West   Leave a comment

Beautiful drive day to the Florida Keys.

One bridge after another.

A little about the formation of the Florida Keys. Below is a photo of the “beginnings” of the Florida Keys yet to come. These trees growing in the waters are protected. Their roots grab the sand, coral and whatever else is in the bottom of the waters. They continue to grow and gather deposits, eventually producing “the island.” As you drive over the 42 bridges that connect the Keys down to Key West, you will see clumps of these trees out in the waters. One day they will connect to what is now the Florida Keys.

That is if a hurricane doesn’t come in and destroy it all, like the hurricane did to this railroad bridge years ago.

I tried to take photos that showed just how pretty the water is with its blues and greens.

Photos just don’t do it justice.

Arriving in Key West, we had a much-needed ice cream party. YEA! AGAIN, I forgot to take pictures. Trust me when I say the banana split party was a blast. Vicki and Nick joined us in Homestead (forgot to mention that) so after 3 years, she finally got to enjoy the Keys with Adventure Caravan (she broke down on that trip and missed the Keys). Our “locals” Jack and Gail came over with trolley maps and booklet about the Keys and give us some tips on where to park in their crowded town. We also got to reunite with Rusty and Charita from our Alaska trip. LOVE KEY WEST. What a treat!

Where else can you find two love birds perched on someone’s ladder of their RV (unbeknownst to the RV owners). And an iguana (I’m sure that’s not what they are, but that’s what I call them) perched in a tree?

Our first morning in Key West was spent on a one hour guided tour with Grace as our guide. What a hoot she is! Not only did she tell us all about the history, and what’s what and what’s where, she was VERY entertaining.

Key West is the only place where you’ll find the end US Rt. 1 – 0 mile marker and begin US Rt. 1 North – 0 mile marker at the same intersection, opposite sides of the street.

If you have never driven to the Florida Keys, remember one thing. Plan plenty of time because there is only one road in and one road out, Rt. 1, which means a lot of traffic. In the cities the road is 2 lanes, but otherwise, it’s only one lane. The Seafood Festival was going on the day we drove down to the Keys, which made for a lot of stop and go.

Another notable marker is the bouy that marks the “most southernist” point on Key West. You are only 90 miles (or should I say 98 miles) from Cuba, and more than 100 miles to a Walmart.

In this area, there are many things named “the most southern,” like restaurant, house, bar, store, etc.

The trolley ride around town is the way to go. The drivers point out all the interesting sites. Below left if the largest and oldest hotel, Casa Marina.

The hotel was built by Flagler, who came to the Keys and built the railroad to make the Keys

more accessible. He partnered with Rockefeller and together they formed a small company, “Standard Oil.”

In case you didn’t know, Key West if full of Roosters and hens. This is this is first time that we saw a family.

Some of the houses are called eyelash houses. Notice the roof comes down to cover the top windows. This is to allow the windows to be opened during the rain.

I snapped the photo below to show the cute “gingerbread” decoration, which were used back in the day to display your livelihood, such as the ship’s wheel on this particular house. As I was looking at my photos on the computer later that night, I noticed the high heeled shoe hanging from the utility wire. I THOUGHT I WAS BACK IN NEW ORLEANS AT MARDI GRAS.

The dancing couple has been replaced with the kissing couples on Mallory Square.

We passed the remnants of one old cigar tobacco warehouse. Only one steel door remains. The fact that it had steel doors was the only reason the crop did not burn up in the 1886 fire. In today’s market, millions of dollars would have been lost.

Our sunset dinner cruise was amazing.

Sights always look much different from the water. Reminded me of when we owned our boat. What a beautiful view.

Food, music and great company

Are we having fun yet?

And what a magnificent sunset!

All the beer, wine and mixed drinks you could drink, made for an interesting ride back to the campground by Trolley. Hmmmmmmmm

Bill got the party started by blowing the Conch Shell. And what a sound it made! I think all of Duvall Street heard it.

Yep, you got it! Our driver stopped for ice cream. Grace is the BEST! Course, she was outnumbered.

We provided a low country boil for our last meal in Key West. Bill cooked it to perfection. We were a little nervous since we had a Cajun amongst us, but he said we passed the test. We got a thumbs up!

We had a hungry crew. There was not much left. Vicki offered to make us a shrimp salad with some of the leftovers and I can’t wait to taste that. We finally remembered to get a photo of Bill and I with Rusty and Charito, who was on our Adventure Caravan Alaska trip.

Well, after a horrendous rain storm passed through in the middle of the night, it’s time to move on. I thought about all those poor tent campers as it poured rain and thundered and lightening.

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Posted March 14, 2017 by carolnbill in Travel

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