Key West Adventure

 

We recently visited Key West,Florida for the first time. We had always wanted to,but never made the commitment. The timing was finally right so we made plans to visit three days and two nights after Christmas. Be warned:this is a peak season,and we in fact,had a difficult time finding accommodations. There are tons of places to stay,but 75% were booked full. Plus,rates are higher.

We opted to take the Key West Express from Ft. Meyers Beach. This was about an hour and a half drive from Sarasota. It departed at 8 am,and boarding started at 7,so we were up and on the road by 5:30 am! Price was $134 round trip per person and it is surely worth it. Only 3.5 hours on a deluxe catamaran with TV,a bar and restaurant! We napped,had coffee and a snack,watched a movie and were there in no time.

We hopped off the boat at about 12:30,and walked two short blocks from the harbor to our motel,Aubry Court. It is a “historic inn”…About five blocks off Duvall Street,which is where everything is at basically. We wanted a bit off the action for more quiet at night ( which didnt work out so well in the end…) Room was small,but had a nice TV,a small refrigerator,and a decent bathroom so it worked for us. But,it was a little close to a main road,and the air conditioner sounded like a freight train. They had a small continental breakfast which was nice,though we didn’t use it much. They checked us into a room no problem early,and when we left,they held our bags for several hours until our boat left,which was a nice bonus. So,50/50…

We then proceeded to walk to the harbor,along all the shops,and kept walking when we hit Duvall Street….which went on and on and on….We snagged an amazing lunch of fish tacos like I’ve never had before! They were the equivalent to gourmet fish tacos,amazing. We had some key lime pie,bought sweatshirts due to the cool weather,and five hours later realized we better head home. Unfortunately,it was more difficult than we thought,and finally wound up back at Aubry Court,exhausted,with blisters…. But we showered,changed clothes,and persevered onto more walking to dinner!

Dinner was outstanding. I had researched this place prior,and it was worth it. It was called the Rooftop Cafe. The quality,atmosphere,service and food were top notch with beautiful plating. We loved everything,and the prices were lower than you would expect!

We managed to drag ourselves back to the motel and crash,incoherent…there may have been some buy one get one free drinks on the way home. :-) Dark &Stormies are popular there –rum with ginger beer. Yum!

Day two brought Cuban coffees,pastries,and snorkeling. We also caught an impromptu lunch that included an unbelievable beet salad,one of my favorites. Snorkeling was with about 6 other people and was a great time. The reef isn’t outstanding,but we saw lots of fish,and the best was finding a small sea turtle! Never seen one actually IN the water! It was a little freaky,too,as there were a bunch of jellyfish around. They were mostly harmless,but freaky nonetheless. Kevin kept playing with them,go figure.

For dinner,we didn’t have a place picked,so wandered around until we found a relatively quiet,upscale spot. Turned out really well! I think it was at the Hyatt,of all places. Excellent meal,if a bit pricey. We tried to hit the extremely dessert place,called,Better Than Sex…but at 830 at night it was booked until 1130! Should have called and made reservations…who would have thought? Instead,we had some outstanding gelato! There was more key lime pie somewhere,too…We wound up crashing pretty early,as the snorkeling did me in. We hopped one of the bike/cart deals,and although the 10 minutes home cost $20,it was worth it.

Day three….more Cuban coffee and pastries…And we widened up and took the trolley tour around the town. It was fun,and really interesting. Plus,it enabled us to get to the further areas of the island! We checked out all the tourist destinations,including The Southernmost Point,and. It’s cometary,along with others. We had a surprisingly GREAT lunch at a place called Mangoes. Totally unexpected,and amazing. HUGE servings! Great sandwiches. Oh,and let’s not forget key lime pie,dipped in Chocolate…on a stick. Yep. And yes,it’s delicious.

We hopped back on the Key West Express at 5pm,and made it back to Siesta Key around 11. It was a long day overall,but fun,and again,we crashed! And slept in until 9 the next morning which is a miracle for us!

What a fun time! I’d love to go back sometime off season,to get a better feel for things. I loved all the outdoor eating and people watching. I’d definitely bring my walking shoes though…that is most important,given the amount of walking one can do. You can rent bikes or scooters,too. There is certainly a lot to do here,and I’d like to be there for one of their big festivals to watch the crazy people.

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