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Key West, May 2011 (Part 2)

Ain't Looking For Nothin' But a Good Time (and it don't get better than this)

sunny 88 °F

Because we had never been to the Keys before, we decided to fly into Fort Lauderdale and do "the drive". I am so glad we did! This is what we saw for the majority of the road trip. Beautiful!

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A few things to note about cruising the Keys.

1. We found two great classic rock stations that took us all the way through the Keys. They were sister stations - 103.something for the upper Keys and 105.something for the lower Keys. Long sets of music with few commercials and an excellent variety of musicians and bands - what more could a girl on vaca ask for?

2. It's a good idea to drive the posted speed limit. Period. Not that we learned this from personal experience. However, we observed many other people learning from personal experience. For most of the drive, the speed limit is 45 mph. If you just can't rein it in, you might want to consider flying into Key West to save yourself some heartache. I was very impressed with Jay. He demonstrated monumental amounts of self-control by adhering to the speed limit. He would probably say he had no choice. The vehicles in front of him wouldn't allow him to go any faster.

3. Stop and eat a bite to break up the drive. We found two wonderful restaurants with ease and I am positive there are many others. We chose the Morada Bay Cafe in Islamorada for lunch on the way down. Five minutes at this spot and we were in full island mode. Seriously. The views were perfect. The live music added to the atmosphere and the food was delicious. Our waitress was pleasant and attentive but not over the top. All in all, a wonderful lunch. When we finished, we walked the beach area for a tiny little bit. It was HOT and our delicate Northern constitutions were not prepared for the extreme conditions.

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Because this trip was a rather short one (only five days), we only set two goals for ourselves. Goal # 1 was to try a different Key Lime pie every day for the duration of the vacation. Goal #2 was to have one fun drink a day. I am happy to report that we met our goals with ease and came home happy and content in our success. Our virgin Key Lime pie experience happened at Morada Bay. It was a traditional pie with graham cracker crust and whipped cream. The consistency was like a flan or firm custard. The lime flavor was very mellow and was complemented perfectly by the raspberry sauce. Eating it with the blueberries and black raspberries took the experience to a sublime level. Have I used enough adjectives? We both agreed this was a delicious pie.

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Initially, our plan was to spend some time at Pigeon Key. That was before we truly understood what 90 degrees and 95% humidity meant. Thank goodness the welcome center was closed. It allowed us to save face so that we didn't have to bail out for being wimpy about the heat. We arrived in Key West around 4:30 pm after leaving FFL airport at 11:30am with a hour stop for lunch.

We stayed at the Inn at Key West which is located in the newer part of town right on Route 1. Why did we choose this place? The price was right, it had a very nice pool, and it received great reviews on Tripadvisor. I'm happy to report that the hotel did not disappoint. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The room was clean and the bed was comfy. The landscaping was very lush and the pool remained open until very late in the evening. It was a quality hotel at a very reasonable price. I suppose because I wasn't expecting the Waldorf Astoria for $150.00 I wasn't headed for disappointment.

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After a rejuvenating rest in our air-conditioned room, we headed to Old Town for some dinner. We intended to go to Colombian Grace but I forgot the directions and we were unable to find it on our own. Instead, we parked and headed toward Duval. Fogarty's, across from the Bull and Whistle, became our final destination. The food was a pleasant surprise. Jay had grilled yellowtail snapper and could not stop talking about how good it was. I had petit filet and it was prepared just right. Of course, we ate outside so the people watching was fantastic entertainment. It was here at Fogarty's that we had our first fun drink of the vacation. We both decided on a Rum Runner. This drink is just like a Slushie I would buy at the local Turkey Hill Mini Market only gooder and badder. And it comes in a 'free" keepsake cup. I'm a very light weight when it comes to alcohol. What a drink! After a couple of swigs on my grown-up Slushie, I couldn't feel the tip of my tongue and started having trouble talking. But it was such a refreshing drink I couldn't stop slurping it. Along the back of the Flying Monkey, which is the bar attached to Fogarty's, there must be ten or twelve different slushie machines of varying colors and flavors of alcoholic beverages. I wanted to get a photograph to show the kids (who are slushie connoisseurs) but Jay thought that would look too touristy. Hmmm, a tourist in Key West. Imagine that. I don't think I could have managed the walk to the bar at that point anyway so I guess it is a moot argument.

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We ended the evening at the hotel pool. It was pure relaxation floating around, looking at the stars. The area was pretty much deserted. It felt like we had the world to ourselves. What a way to end our first day in the Keys.

Posted by sjyoder 21:02 Archived in USA Tagged beaches food seascapes key_west florida_keys

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