Saturday, July 28, 2012

Key West - Part One

Yep.  It's true.  We drove to Key West from Fort Lauderdale smack dab in the middle of July!  You might think we are a bit insane, but I assure you...we are not!  It was lovely.  The drive down Highway 1 was great. The scenery and views of the ocean along the way seemed like we were in a foreign country and we were still in the US!

It's not that far in miles, but it took hours to get there. This trip has been on my Bucket List for quite some time, and I WANTED to drive it.  Unless you fly into Key West, there is no other way to get there. The trip is worth the four or five hours of slow driving; there's so much to see along the way. The highway and the seven mile bridge have been in many movies.  Bill was just dying to see the part that got blown up in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, True Lies!

We stopped only once to stretch our legs and talk to the local fishermen. I had to have a picture just before we got on the bridge. Each little island (Key) was more fabulous than the last! The water is a beautiful teal color. After about 4 hours +/-, we finally crossed the last bridge into Key West.  Hooray, that was a long drive and my butt hurt! 

I couldn't wait to see my Uncle.  It was an emotional reunion.  Don't really know why.  I was so darn happy to see him and actually be standing in his driveway.  Good lord, what took me so long to get down here?

After our reunion I settled down, we went to return the rental car.  Someone told us that we wouldn't need a car once we arrived, plus it is much cheaper more fun to rent another mode of transportation.  Key West is truly a small island, "but big enough to get lost!"  There are lots of options:  bicycles, scooters, and many odd-looking little vehicles (think golf cart only bigger with no doors), some pedal powered, some with a motor, and some even with a driver so you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery.   Oh, and the good 'ole flip flops work just fine too.  And, when they are worn out, rent a pedi-cab!

We rented a Tandem.  They were hard to find.  I only wish we
had gotten it sooner.  It was so darn fun!
We got a short, free, Uncle Gary tour and lay of the land.  There is soooo much to do and see in Key West!! Parts of the island have a carnival-like atmosphere! Music, music, drinking, drinking and  people, people!! No wonder Hemingway was inspired here and President Truman loved visiting so much he deemed a home The Little White House!  A rich history...
Hemingway's House.  He lived here for 10 years.  His Royal
typewriter still sits in his study.  Geez, I'm just sure I
would be inspired to write a novel here.

The Little White House.
The Winter House for President Harry S. Truman.
And I can't forget to mention the wildlife!  Lizards & iguanas are everywhere, but what surprised me most were the chickens! Roosters, hens, chicks...everywhere, in trees, streets, patios, gardens, alleyways...

We had a great time in Key West, there's wonderful little restaurants, tons of shops, and fun bars drinking establishments. "Southernmost" was fun.  Southernmost tip of the US, Southernmost House, Southernmost Hotel, etc. No sense wasting that name, eh? Famous Duval Street, Mallory Square, the lighthouse, and the Key West waterfront are all very entertaining places to visit.
Actually standing closer to Cuba
than Miami!
The Lighthouse
One more interesting fact.  US Highway 1 starts in Maine at the Canadian border and meanders 2,390 miles down the east coast.  It ends in Key West. Mile Marker 0 represents the end of the line, the furthest point south you can get from the lower 48 continental states, and still be on US soil.  Yes, it really is just a mile marker sign, just like the thousand of others I've passed and don't seem to notice.  It's just way cooler than any other mile marker sign (and one of the most stolen coveted).

My most favorite part?  Uncle Gary.

My dad's little bro.
(Pay no attention to the "frizz head")
I loved it and I'm so going back.


  1. Judy, thanks for the tour of Key West. So glad you got to connect with family. We went to Key West last year, but the hubs got food poisoning so we didn't see all of those sites. It is such a long drive, not sure we will make it back down there again.

  2. What great pictures and such a fun adventure!!