Key West, Florida
In April, 2002, Mike and I took a trip through Florida to escape the Masters Tournament tourists in Augusta. We decided we'd take the trip one day at a time, and stop whenever we felt like it. Mike wanted to go to Miami. He'd been there once before, but only for a couple of hours for a seminar. I, however, was born in that area and lived there as a young child. Since we weren't on a time schedule, and no trip to South Florida is complete unless you've been to the Keys, we decided to go.
Miami to Key West seems to be the longest 150 miles I ever rode. U.S. Highway 1 is only two lanes in many areas throughout the Keys. For every mile you travel there's something different to see.
This was April 4, 2002 in Islamorada Key, Florida. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant. It had some of the best shrimp I've ever eaten, or maybe it was just the atmosphere! I did try to Conch Salad, and found that it wasn't something I liked. It's definitely an acquired taste.
These were some of the sights along the way between Keys.
The infamous "Seven Mile Bridge"
We made it to the island with in plenty of time to enjoy the Sunset Celebration. Every night at Sunset, Key West has a Sunset Celebration. Everyone goes to the West end of the island to watch the Sun set over the Gulf of Mexico.
Duvall Street is has plenty to do and see every day. But it seems to come alive after dark!
The Internet Isle Cafe was a neat little techie place. Located around the corner from the docks, many tourists stop here to check their email and keep tabs on business and family. Oh well, so much for "getting away from it all"!
The shops along Duvall are great. There's something there for everyone.
Of course, I had to check out every gallery shop I came across!
April 5, 2002
What a way to start the day! This was our first stop. I had to laugh, Mike saw the palm fronds washed up on the beach and thought it was dirty! He didn't realize that is a very common site along southern beaches, and usually the "pristine" beaches we see in brochures have been "manicured" to look like that!
No one should take a trip to Key West without taking one of the tours. The island is steeped in history, and armed with a little knowledge makes the sites you see that much more meaningful!
In this shop, we sampled Tortuga Rum Cake, and other local treats.
These are some of the photos that I took along the tour.
Much of the architecture retains strong Victorian Influences.
This was the compound that Harry Truman stayed at when he visited the Island during his presidency.
It's rare that I get into any of my pictures, but this was one of the least "unflattering" pictures that Mike took of me on the trip!
This is the courtyard of the hotel we stayed in.
Would I stay here again--YES! The hotel was wonderful and the staff most accommodating!
By the time we got to the Lighthouse, tours were closed for the day, so this is the best picture I was able to get.
I vaguely remember the Banyan trees from my childhood in Florida. Mike had never seen one before, and I knew my children had never seen them. This one is one of the biggest I've seen.
The old cigar factory today houses First Union National Bank/Wachovia Bank. It's probably one of the most photographed and well-known landmarks in Key West.
For no larger than the island is, you could spend a week there and still not do and see everything. Can't wait till I can go back and spend more time there!
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