Sunday, May 31, 2015

KEY WEST - LATITUDES, the RESTAURANT

Spring Break this year was an adventure 
to the Florida Keys & Key West!
FUN FACT - The island of Key West was first purchased by John W. Simonton in 1822 from Juan Pablo Salas who had acquired it as a Spanish Land Grant in 1815.  Key West became a US Territory in 1828. 
Latitudes is located on the private island of Sunset Key.  You must go on line to make a reservation and your reservation is actually your launch time, a 10-minute ride to the island on Latitudes' personal boat. You meet your boat at the Westin Marina next to Mallory Square.

This was our last night in Key West.
The sunset (7:30) reservation time slot was booked,
but making an earlier reservation turned out to be perfect.
After our meal, we strolled out onto the dock
and had the dock and glorious sunset to ourselves. 
The restaurant was Beautiful.
Sitting on a private island, arriving by boat and being greeted warmly was memorable.  The views were tremendous, the food was fantastic (no conch fritters here), and the service was impeccable. 
The Lobster Bisque -- OOO La La!
Considering the whole experience,
it was quite reasonably priced. 
Gorgeous setting on a true tropical paradise! 

The fish were jumping everywhere -
notice the splash that I caught!! 

Again-
Day is Done, Gone the Sun . . . . 
Our ride back to Key West.
A memorable last evening made perfect by fabulous food and a breathtaking sunset.
(Thank you Sister for this recommendation!!)

Friday, May 29, 2015

KEY WEST - SUNSET on MALLORY SQUARE

Spring Break this year was an adventure 
to the Florida Keys & Key West!
FUN FACT - KW celebrates the sunset every night! 

MALLORY SQUARE
The BEST Conch Fritters in Key West are on Mallory Square, outside of the KW Aquarium. (Thank you Sister for this valuable information!!)
I had Conch Fritters everywhere we ate and I will vouch that these ARE truly the BEST!! 

Time for Happy Hour and to celebrate the sunset on Mallory Square.  The festivities begin every night before the sunset and continues on after the sun sinks into the ocean.
You'll find live music, local foods, performers and dancing. 

Arrive an hour before the sunset
to get a good seat on the sea wall. 



I kept waiting for everyone to sing -
Day is done, gone the sun.
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest, 
GOD is nigh!! 
(15 years with the Girl Scouts :-}}



Thursday, May 28, 2015

KEY WEST - THE HEMINGWAY HOUSE & THE BUTTERFLY CONSERVATORY

Spring Break this year was an adventure 
to the Florida Keys & Key West!  
FUN FACT- Did you know that Key West really isn't KW, Florida?
In 1982, the US Border Patrol blocked US 1 searching every car, looking for illegal aliens for several months. With only one two-lane road in and out of KW, the island was paralyzed. Major Wardlow and a local attorney went to the Miami Federal Court, asking them to stop the searches - NO success. Leaving the Court House Wardlow said, "The Florida Keys will secede from the Union!"
And they did!!
If you're interested in the rest of the story, click on --->
THE CONCH REPUBLIC - IT'S HISTORY
to read a brief history about the rebellion and how it continues on. 
To this day, the Conch Republic flag is flown under the US flag and they issue an official Conch Republic passport which is recognized by 13 Caribbean nations, Germany, Sweden, Havana, Mexico, France, Spain, Ireland and Russia! 
Hail to KEY WEST, CONCH REPUBLIC
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We toured many sites, but the two that stood out were The Hemingway House & The Butterfly Conservatory.
The Hemingway Home was originally built in 1851 by Asa Tift for his wife Anna and three children. In 1854, his wife and a son died due to yellow fever. Tift never remarried and died in 1889. The home was abandoned and boarded up until Ernest Hemingway bought it in 1931 for $8,000. in back taxes.
There are approximately 50 cats living at Hemingway's Home.
Almost half of the kitties have the famous "6-toes";
but they ALL carry the DNA gene for 6-toes!
Having 6-toes sure helps when cleaning your face! 


Hemingway, his 2nd wife Pauline and 2 sons lived on the estate from 1931-1940. Hemingway left Pauline, moved to Cuba and Pauline stayed in the house with her 2 sons until she died in 1951. The sons sold their home after E. Hemingway died in 1961 in Idaho.  
Nothing like a "cat nap" on Hemingway's Bed.
The Key West Light House is across the street from Hemingway's House.  This shot is taken from the upper balcony of his home. 
Hemingway took home a urinal from his favorite bar, Sloppy Joe's when the bar was being moved.  He said that he had "pissed away" so much of his money into the urinal that he felt he owned it! Pauline made it into a water fountain for the kitties and decorated it, hoping friends wouldn't know what it once was.
Hemingway's office over the garage
where he did all his writing.

Enjoying the grounds surrounding Hemingway's House.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Key West Butterfly Conservatory has a marvelous collection of flowering plants, waterfalls and of course a variety of 50 to 60 butterflies with exotic birds in a climate-controlled glass enclosed habitat. 


The butterflies were fluttering EVERYWHERE! 
They would land on your head or shoulder and
you wouldn't be aware that they were there! 

Once the butterfly comes out of the chrysalis,
most that are in the Conservatory,
live an average of about 10 days. 

LOVE this display of orchids on a metal trellis.


Unfortunately, the gift shop did not sell
the metal tree trellis!
Not sure where I would have put it;
but I would have found or created a place for this!! 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have linked up to Eileen's
Saturday's Critters #76!!
If you like/love Critters, this is a great blog to check out and make new friends!!
Thank you Eileen!! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

KEY WEST - DUVAL ST.

Spring Break this year was an adventure 
to the Florida Keys & Key West!  
Fun Fact - Key West is also called Cayo Hueso, which means Island of Bones.  When you say Conch - say "konk."
KW is the southernmost city of the continental US,
just 90 miles from Cuba! 
We stayed at the
DUVAL GARDENS, BED & BREAKFAST.

(click above for B & B information)
It's on Duval St., but in the middle of this major Key West Street, so no bars and fairly quiet. The room was a bit small, but we only slept there and the price was cheaper than most with free parking, a nice continental breakfast on the porch and a pool. The best part is that we parked our car when we arrived and didn't move it until we left.
Across the street was the Old Town Trolley Tours (click for info) with a 2-day pass and discount attraction tickets. Behind the Trolley pick-up was a CVS that sold beer and wine. 

Happy Hour with a couple other guests on the front porch of our B&B was fun as we watched the world go by on Duval St.
Across the street from our B&B were several families of chickens!!! They are a "protected" bird on the island and if you hit one by car -- it's a $500. fine!! 




You never grow old on Duval St.

 Duval St. by night.



 The Southernmost . . .
houses, B&Bs, hotels, restaurants and gift shops.


For real -
The Southernmost Spot
ON Duval St. 
 The line to take a picture of the front side
was 30 mins. long.

 So Danny got on the back side of the Southernmost Point Marker and is actually closer to Cuba than those posing
on the front side of the marker :-}}

BTW - the house behind him is REALLY the Southernmost House.