Saturday, February 20, 2010

Changes in Latitudes

One of our best friend's has a favorite saying, "If not now, when?" We took that saying to heart last week and made a quick trip to Key West. So, after making the decision on Monday afternoon, Beth, Gary, Paul and I were on the road Tuesday morning before the sun made its appearance for the day.

We left the mainland by late morning and headed down Highway 1, the "Overseas Highway" through the Florida Keys. Don't plan on making a quick trip down this stretch of road! But, then, one is supposed to be changing the attitude with the latitude!

We spent several hours that first afternoon walking and seeing the sites along Duval Street, the main tourist area in Key West.

Of course, we just had to have a margarita at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. Can you say, "Tourist?" Excellent, margarita, though!

And, we really enjoyed our walk along the waterfront in the downtown area.

There is no problem choosing a boat to hire to go out for a fishing or snorkeling adventure along this wharf. And, one can always dream to have enough money to own a boat like one of these!

We had mojitos and a fresh seafood dinner at the Conch Republic.

After dinner, we went down to the beach area. I am sure when it is warm enough, this would be a wonderful spot to spend a day or two!

We watched the sunset at the southernmost point in the continental United States. We were quite certain we could see Cuba from there!  Because of this, I now know so much more about foreign diplomacy! :)

It was a beautiful evening, despite the chill in the air!

The naval air base made for an interesting horizon shot.

The next morning found us at the Ernest Hemingway home.

He lived here for ten years with his second wife, Pauline, during the 1930's.

He wrote many of his major works  in this room above the carriage house on the property. What a beautiful home and surrounding gardens! I am going to start a Hemingway reading phase when I return home.

We continued our walk through the downtown area, stopping for (only) a picture in the famous bar, The Green Parrot, just to say we had been there!

We also toured the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. Artifacts and treasures from the Atocha and Margarita form the cornerstone of the museum's collection. The Atocha and Margarita were Spanish galleons that sunk in a hurricane near the Florida Keys in 1622.

In 1985, Fisher and his crew found the major portion of the cargo from the Atocha, after most of the remains of the Margarita had been discovered. The ships were loaded with treasures, including bars of silver and gold and boxes of "pieces of eight." It is an incredible exhibit well worth the time.

We had to walk along the historic wharf one more time before we said goodbye to Key West. Although it is not a cheap place to visit, it is a fun destination!

We are glad we finally made it to milepost 0.

More soon about our trip "home" through the Everglades!


nancy said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip to the Keys! I love seeing all of your pictures!

Abby and Ryan said...

It looks as though you have found yourself in paradise! Wow -- beautiful!

I think my favorite picture is the one of the small, quaint boat tied up to the palm tree. It looks so peaceful. :)

I think I could move there.

Marlys said...

I agree with Abby! What a restful picture! The Keys have always sounded inviting to me so I am glad to see it in pictures in case we never make it there! Can't wait to see the next set of pictures. Did you see much of the everglades?

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Great pics & recap! Looks like an awesome trip. Too bad the weather wasn't warmer but it looks like you still had a great time!

That's so cool that you saw Hemingway's house! When you get back, let me know what you choose first - I'd love to read along with you like we read Anna Karenina together! I think the only book I've read by him is "The Sun Also Rises".