Monday, March 26, 2012

Key West

 Key West...where the road ends in Florida.  This is not just any old road...


...but one that is called the 'overseas highway' for good reason.


This section of US Route 1 is 127 miles long and connects the Florida Keys with eighteen bridges...one being seven miles long!  It was a most interesting drive...surrounded by the turquoise waters of the gulf.  When we arrived at Key West...


...we were as far south as we could go.  A tropical shower downpour swept through just before this photo was taken. It dispersed the crowd in a hurry...and we quickly took the opportunity to take a photo...before the rain stopped completely.

Several years ago we visited Southpoint...on the Big Island of Hawaii.  That is in reality the most southerly point in USA...a remote spot on the windblown cliffs of Ka Lae.  There were no tourists lining up there to take photos!

Key West is a most colourful and interesting place to visit...a popular tourist destination where one needs to make reservations well in advance...especially if it happens to be spring break on the east coast!



We took the advice of a fellow Canadian tourist that we met earlier on our road trip...and booked into the Douglas House Guest House. From there we could walk wherever we wished to go. 


Key West is mostly about tourism and fishing!


Oh...and chickens!  Apparently the locals were not thrilled with the new law that banned cock fighting in Key West several decades ago...and so they set their birds free in protest.  The roosters now roam the town...and the beaches...at will.  They crow...morning, noon and night! 



We were told to be sure to have breakfast at Blue Heaven while we were there.  So we did.  It was a true Key West experience!  Roosters ran about beneath the tables...and one sat on the umbrella above our heads.  The lobster benedict and banana pancakes were great!

We also visited 'The Little White House'...which was used by President Truman as a vacation home and functioning White House between the years of 1946-1952.  He was Key West's #1 tourist...and did wonders for the tourist industry on the island.



Built in 1890 as quarters for Naval officers...the Little White House at Key West was later used by US Presidents Taft, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter and Clinton.  The Presidential gates pictured in the lower right remain closed unless a President is on site.

Key West is full of 'characters'! 


Some flog their key lime pie...


...some blow their conch shell horn on the street corner



...and most get around with bicycles or scooters. 



One of Key West's more notorious characters was Ernest Hemingway.  His home is now a museum of sorts...where one must pay $12 to take a tour.  A walk-by' tour was good enough for us!



Towards evening we made our way to the wharf...as did most all the visitors to Key West it seemed.


We watched the tarpons milling around just below the surface...


...and pelicans that were looking for any tasty tidbit they could find.


As the day came to a close....everyone gathered to watch the sunset.


We actually found a nice quiet spot...far away from this crowd!


The sunset alone was worth the drive to the most southerly point of continental USA!

14 comments:

  1. Wow...the colors, the views, the entire experience of actually driving that far with all that water around. (I complain so much about Maine's coastline with all those beautiful views covered up by trees. Anyone can see a tree...anytime...anywhere. Guess we need to build a bridge to Nova Scotia or something.) Got a chuckle out of the walk-by tour of Ernest Hemingway's home.

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  2. Honestly Judy...you could set up a tour business and have all your vacations paid. Just don't even mention it's your first time yourself.
    Wonderful little tour. I learn as I go with you.

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  3. I miss Key West...and Tampa and Ybor City and the Columbia Restaurant and the bridge to paradise...thanks for the memories...
    Sandi

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  4. Oh I did enjoy the tour you gave us here Judy. That breakfast really sounded delicious. I'm glad you got some good tips and that you captured that glorious sunset! The length of those bridges is mind boggling!

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  5. Such an interesting and fun post. You have us wanting to take a trip to Key West. I agree....you would make a wonderful tour guide....or start writing for a magazine.

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  6. Oh Judy! Luscious photos and now I am hungry for conch! And really, REALLY want to go see what you saw too. So sad that our FL plans for early March had to be derailed.

    (I chuckled at the dutch tilt camera angles...a thought flashed through my mind: Judy must of had a lotta rum punch and got tipsy with the camera. Just kidding!)

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  7. That Douglas Guesthouse looks like a nice place to stay. Love the photo of the sailboat and the one of the sunset. You surely had memorable experiences on this trip!

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  8. Magnificent post..all the history and to think that you had stayed in some of those historic places..
    It's fun to see how you enjoy those rustic little places that others suggest. That's what makes traveling interesting.

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  9. How beautiful! I just enjoy your vacations so much. You always bring me along with your photos. Thanks for sharing...

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  10. I always enjoy going along with you on your travels. Your pictures are so beautiful and I learn so many interesting things too.
    The sunset is stunning and even nicer that you could enjoy it away from the crowds.

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  11. Wow! That sunset is amazing!

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  12. Your photos are stunning - I especially love the sunset one! What a great trip you had. This makes me want to explore the Florida keys!

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  13. Oh man, now I wanna go there! Actually, I would love to go to the island in the Key West chain of islands that Anne Morrow Lindbergh stayed on when she wrote "Gifts From the Sea". And eat key lime pie...with roosters! LOL.

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  14. Key West is a fun place to visit and you and Elmer saw some wonderful highlights, Judy!

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'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson