Key West, part 1

Saturday, March 20, 2010

To me, Key West is one of those places that you either love or hate - there is no ambivalence. I'm definitely a Key West lover - although it wasn't always that way.

The first time Gus & I went to Key West was in 1998. I surprised him with the trip for our 10th anniversary. Since neither of us had been there before, we weren't really sure what to expect. Our first surprise was the little 8-seat puddle jumper that flew us from Orlando to Key West. Wow. This was only the third time I had been on a plane and I wasn't completely comfortable with the whole idea - and then to get on this little thing that reeked of exhaust and made so much noise, well, it was more than just a little disturbing to me. I also have a fear of water - and I can't swim - so flying over the water in this little dinky plane was even more frightening.

As we approached Key West, we were trying to see the airport. If you haven't been there and if you ever go, don't blink - because you'll miss it. In August of 1998, it was being renovated. So here was this tiny little airport that wasn't much larger than a grocery store - and it was all boarded up on the outside. It honestly looked like an abandoned warehouse. Now we really weren't sure what to expect!

Then came our shock as we walked out of the airport. If you've ever been in the Keys in August, you know exactly what I mean. Even if you're completely cool & dry, once you step outside into the humidity, you're dripping wet within 5 minutes. The air is so heavy it's difficult to breath at times. No wonder the airfare & hotel rates were so reasonable! LOL! No one wants to be in Key West in August - not even the locals. Or maybe especially not the locals!

We stayed at the Casa Marina Resort, which is absolutely gorgeous - but a bit far from town. You can walk it, but it's really much more than most people would want to do. We ended up renting scooters, which was probably the best thing about that first trip!

 Casa Marina Resort - Key West

Our second trip to Key West was in November 2002. This time we had Buddy and Lulu with us - and we arrived on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas. We had high hopes for a better experience because the weather was more temperate and we were only going to be there for a day. We walked around downtown a bit, and then went to the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park with Buddy and Lulu. Even though there were three ships in port that day, it wasn't too bad. All in all, it was a good trip and we were warming up to Key West.

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas

In June 2003. I took a 4 day cruise with my sister on Carnival's Fascination, and we had a stop in Key West. Again, lovely weather - it wasn't too crowded. I stood in front of the live cam by Sloppy Joe's, called Gus on my cellphone, and waved to him, LOL! I was starting to really like Key West!

 Carnival's Fascination

Gus & I decided to make another trip in January 2004. This time we stayed at the Almond Tree Inn on Truman Avenue. This is a bit of a walk to the center of activity on Duval St., but it's not bad. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but it was very nice inside. I was impressed. The weather was gorgeous - we wore shorts & t-shirts the entire time we were there. We visited Irish Kevin's, Sloppy Joe's, Margaritaville - all of the fun spots. We even took a sunset cruise on a catamaran.

Almond Tree Inn - Key West

Our last trip to Key West was in January 2005. Gus & I stayed at Ambrosia House on Fleming Street. This place was right in the middle of all the action! It took less than 5 minutes to walk to Margaritaville.

Ambrosia House - Key West

outside our door

the resident kitty - he even came into our room to stay for awhile!

And these are just a few pictures that I've taken in Key West - some of my favorites. I'll probably do more posts in the future about Key West restaurants, bars, things-to-do, etc.
Mallory Square - it's sure not like this at sunset!

took this while on a catamaran

Key West as viewed from the plane

another shot from the plane

bougainvillea

more bougainvillea

Wisteria Island (better known as Christmas Tree Island)

Looking at all of these pictures makes me want to go back!! 


3 comments:

Eclectic Musings said...

Beautiful!!!

If you took the water out of that first pic and made it into a huge fountain, it would look a lot like where I went to school. Scroll about halfway down the page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdosta_State_University if you're curious. The fountain is off to the side, out of the shot.

Eclectic Musings said...

Actually, maybe that is the fountain in the middle of the path. I can't tell and my memory's not working right now.

Kim said...

Oh my gosh! They do look incredibly similar!!!