Thursday, January 30, 2014

A road trip......The beautiful Florida keys!

We're in-between cruises right now and we decided to try something a little different.....
so we had the bright idea of taking a road trip to Key West!  It was a 4 day marathon, and worth every minute! 

It looked like an easy drive.....scoot down interstate 75, hang a left on the Tammi trail, zip across the state, and make a right on U.S. 1.....We could drive south on 75 in our sleep, but I hadn't been on the Tammi trail in 20 years....I remember Indian villages, lots of Alligators, and of course the wonderful views of the Everglades....I was not disappointed!  Our first stop was Everglades city, due to a hour long delay.....
The city hall.....quite impressive for a small town in the middle of the Glades!

The Everglades community church, built in 1926.....and survived numerous hurricanes!

We walked along the waterfront, and took in the views...

After a stop at the Everglades information center, the road was reopened and we we're off!

It was fun to drive down through the keys, and enjoy all the sights

Giant lobster at entrance to Rain Barrel Village in the Florida Keys
Like the Giant Lobster along the road

Florida Keys tiki bars: The sign for Lorelei in Islamorada
Or Sirens of the seas, inviting you in....

The Chiki Tiki  Bar was a wonderful place to stop and have a late lunch....

Florida Keys tiki bars: The Chiki Tiki at Burdines Marina

We finally made it to our resort.....just in time for the sunset....

Refreshed after a nights sleep, we headed down to Key west....What a glorious drive!

The old Flagler railway of it are used as fishing piers, and then some areas have been turned into bike trails
Photo of The Overseas Highway

The end of the overseas highway!

Finally!! We arrived in Key West!  Parking is a bitch! After driving around a very crowded Duval Street,  (there were 3 Cruise Ships in port!), hitting roadblocks for crowd control, and tearing our hair out, we found a free parking spot about 5 blocks from Duval street, and away we went! Our first stop was for Donuts....I know...I know...but we were starved! and this place had great reviews on trip adviser.....The donuts lived up to the great reviews and they were AMAZING!

Handmade, and I had the caramel glazed, with sea salt.....Yummy!

                    We hopped on the city trolley, for a ride around the town, just to get our bearings......
                                       The architecture is amazing, and I loved the variety of colors...

Big white houses with wrap around porches

This is called the octagon house, it has 8 sides 
and a picket fence 

Even minarets and cute little lamp posts.... 

Higgs beach.....Did you know that there are no natural beaches in the keys?? 
all the sand has to be trucked in....

We made it to the southernmost point in the continental USA!

shopped in the southernmost gift shop

not sure where JFK slept!

The old harbor

and an art deco Movie theater

complete with Marilyn Monroe!

Even saw the most decorated Coast Guard cutter ever!
the USCGC Ingham...circa 1934

Florida keys discovery center was pretty neat, designed for families, it had lots of hands on exhibits, and was FREE...yes people....FREE

                                     The entrance to Fort Zachary state park.  A bargain at $2.50 pp

Of course we cant forget the Quirky Bars!

The ever popular Gas station, turned bar

The first Sloppy Joe's bar

Which moved down the street during Hemingway's time

The B.O. bar, so named, because it gets sooooo hot in the summer! ( would be my first choice...NOT)

and my personal favorite as it had 2-1 drink coupons!  What could be better than that!

I present the Key West Amber!
Ice cold and sooooo good!

it even had it's own aquarium, and cool breezes to boot!

lots of street art

Michael said he ran into one of his old girlfriends!

A lot of people were using this mode of transportation....however he doesn't look to ambitious to me!
He's in Key West mode.... 

I much prefer this shady spot, with the ever present Roosters....

someone once said.......

So we did.....and they were awesome! somewhat spicy with flecks of Jalapenos
hot and delicious! 

The conch shack is right on Duval   fritters are 3 for $5 bucks.....and the lobster roll is $12, and worth every penny!

Soon we had to bid adieu to Key west and wander home is where the heart is....

We had our last breakfast at the waffle house....OK, I know what you're thinking.....the Waffle house...?? Really??

It's a wonderful end to a quaint and Quirky vacation!