To the Keys

The sun greeted us this morning, just in time for us to say goodbye to our gracious hosts, Dave and Bunny. We enjoyed taking in the sights of the Ft Myers area but it was time to clean the Subie and head even further south to the Florida Keys. You have no idea how LONG the state of Florida is until you drive it!

“Watch out, Jim! There’s a turn ahead” Crossing the Everglades is one STRAIGHT line.

We crossed The Everglades (still not seeing a single gator) and made our way through the suburbs of Miami to escape to the land of Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney — we even listened to “No Shoes Radio” on Sirius as our soundtrack!

If you haven’t been to the Keys, it’s a chain of very low-lying mangrove islands, just spits of land in a shallow sea. The Keys have their own weather patterns (usually sunny, sometimes windy, and occasionally visited by a hurricane). They are connected by the Overseas Hwy, which is famous to our family as being the bridge they blew up in the movie “True Lies”. This highway, especially at the beginning, is usually one long line of traffic. But that’s okay, we’ve got Kenny Chesney on the radio and the sunroof open and WE’RE IN THE KEYS! And it’s SUNNY!

We arrived at our destination, Islamorada, “the Village of Islands” just after Key Largo. Before we found our hotel, we should first note that it is high season, spring break and we didn’t book it until a few days ago. Basically, we had to say we scraped the bottom of the barrel, and paid a high price for it. But since it’s non-refundable, and they gave us the “honeymoon suite”, we’re making the best of it! We’ll send more pictures later, but basically say that Jim compares it to Friday the 13th or some other slasher flick – yikes! The pluses are it does have a pool with a waterfall, it’s on the water, and it’s close to two really fun outdoor bars.

The view from the fishing pier at the hotel…. ahhhh

Speaking of the two bars, we headed first to Hog Heaven, which we thought we went to with Andy two years ago but it is another roadside bar on the Atlantic side of the island. We met a great server named Amber who has lived on this island her WHOLE life. She gave us some great tips on where to hang out and what foods to eat — they serve the best conch fritters with a spicy sauce – yum!

Per tradition, in the Keys you’re supposed to watch the sunsets. Our first sunset this trip was at a Gulf side bar called Lorelei where we met some great people from Ohio and South Carolina. After sunset, we made it back to our room just in time to see Gonzaga wallop on FDU. Tomorrow brings more adventures!

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