We left Miami January 31st, on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning and headed South to Key West. Unable to get going as early as we would have liked, we felt a little pushed for time. The long 4 hr drive was interesting though, broken up by views of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast – sometimes in the same glimpse! I loved going over those long, elegant bridges I had seen in photos; but there was no time to stop and photograph, if we wanted to get there in time to enjoy the evening.
Unfortunately the sun was “shy” that first evening, hiding it’s self behind the clouds! So we wandered around Mallory Square and enjoyed looking at the entertainers……
and the many arts, crafts and snacks being sold.
The following day we started by taking a guided bus tour of the Historic Downtown , which gave us the layout and proximity of the sites we wanted to visit. We could have rented a bike, or, as I wanted to do (but was voted down!), rent a moped!
Instead we walked and got our steps counted ( we love using the iPhone Health App!).
The old, wooden homes and buildings have been very well preserved.
However, we soon felt that everyone from up North had decided that this was the best time of year to visit the Keys! Everywhere one turned, there were hoards of people!
Key West has a population of 25,000 AND 4-5 million visitors a year!
But, having lived in Asia for a while, we weren’t going to let crowds cramp our style! Lunch time………
Having had a late breakfast, we decided to have a light lunch (not “lite”!!) at Blue Heaven, an outdoor restaurant with an interesting history. After all, one cannot go to Key West without enjoying some Key Lime Pie!
The Ernest Hemingway Home of course was on our agenda and thanks in big part to our humorous guide, we were taken back in time to those steamy, romantic, adventurous times!
Just a couple of the Hemingway Cats.
I loved this huge red brick building with the sculpture of a dancing couple – the Key West Art & History Museum.
Without a doubt, the most interesting visit was to the Truman Little White House. Being “foreigners”, we had very little knowledge of Harry Truman, besides the fact that he had been one of the presidents! We came away with a great respect for the man and his accomplishments. It is also interesting that to this day, it is used by whomever is in the “big” White House!
“Why did the chicken cross the road?” Because they can and they have the free run of the place! Roosters Rule in Key west and it is illegal to harm or kill them.
Soon it was time to join the throng of tourists again, eking out their spot to watch the magical sunset. It is a Key West ritual, after all!
While we waited for that Magical moment, we were entertained – on land and sea!
The party boats were in luck this evening – it was going to be a spectacular sunset!
And then gradually it all came together….
After such a perfectly beautiful sunset, we were ready to go in search of something to eat!
Another way of getting around!
“You lookin’ at me??”
I know this photo is not sharp, but I kind of like it with the backdrop of the mural.
So, it was an interesting place to visit, but we felt that one and a half days was plenty. Now we faced a long (5 day) return to North Texas.
Our return journey took us along the West side of Florida, along the Gulf Coast. Stopping one night between Naples and Fort Meyers, we couldn’t resist just ONE more sunset!
The sand along the beach at Bonita Springs was so white and soft, and once again the crowds gathered to watch the spectacle the setting Ball of Fire. Also a wonderful time of day to watch the children frolicking along the beach!
And so we find ourselves back in North Texas, having traveled more than 2,500 miles (4,000 km), so grateful to have returned safely without incident !
March 14 we leave for Spain! That is just 3 weeks away and of course there is still a lot that needs to be done as we prepare to be gone for a while. Taxes have been filed and now we are making the rounds of doctors and arranging the delivery of prescriptions, etc. Niklas has been helping us to secure our devices – heaven help us if anything happens to them!! It is all part of the adventure!