Already a week into our “holiday” in Florida, we decided to head as far south as we could go and that meant spending some time in the Florida Keys. Our island of choice being Key West, the furthest island. The journey was only about 4 hours, but the views along the way were amazing. We crossed over many long bridges, 42 altogether, hopping from island to island. One of the bridges was called the 7 miles Bridge. Guess how long that was…
As we stopped to attach the GoPro to the roof of the car, Stef looked out to sea. On the rocks just below us were really big lizards. They were diving in and out of the water, trying to find the best rock to sunbathe on. We walked for a little as there was a pedestrian bridge but before long, my head was on fire as the temperature was in the 90s. On the way back, Stef pointed out something in the water. It was a massive turtle swimming along! I don’t know how she does it, but she manages to spot the best sights!
A little further on and we made it to our hotel, the Best Western – Key Ambassador. Normally we go low key with the places we stay, however, Key West was going to be different – it is a very expensive place to stay. There were no $50 motel rooms for us to bed down in. Luckily for us, my Dad had decided to treat us. Top man.
So what extras do you get in a place that for the cost of one night there, you could stay a week in Orlando? Well, for a start, when we returned from a restaurant on the first night, we were greeted with one of the largest cockroaches we’d ever experienced, running across the ceiling. The hotel was so expensive that I didn’t tell the reception about our lodger as I thought they might have charged me for the experience! We did have other resident animals that were a lot friendlier and less scary. Scattered around the hotel were big iguanas. They would just walk around and when you got close to them, they would run away so fast! Apart from that, our room was lovely. It looked out to the peaceful sea.
The next day we caught a Trolley bus in to town. Luckily for us, there was a stop at our hotel. Key West is such a small island, just one mile by four miles; it took only a few minutes. We jumped off at the most photographed element of the Island. It was the marker for the southernmost point in the continental USA and only 90 miles to Cuba. There were loads of people there. At a place like that, you normally couldn’t take a photo without someone else being in it. People jumping over each other to get in the frame – it really annoys me. However here was so civil. There was a queue. Wow.
After someone taking our photo and Stef getting a Florida coconut (the last time we had a coconut was in Vietnam, back in February!). But instead of the man chopping the top off with an extremely large machete, the bloke used an electric drill to make a hole for a straw. The Western world and its technology….
Rather than jump back on the trolley, we decided to walk around town. And we were glad that we did. It was such a beautiful place. There were some great looking old buildings. It didn’t matter what the shop or house was, it still looked old and really fitted in with the theme of the island. There was something that we did notice. There were an awful lot of chickens walking around the street. You couldn’t walk round a corner without seeing one. Car Parks, main roads and even petrol stations. They were everywhere! Our trolley driver informed us later that the animals in the Keys were all protected and cannot be killed, no matter what they were. One day, a man brought some live chickens and they’ve grown in numbers ever since. Where does it stop? I’ve seen Planet of The Apes. Give it time and they will take over!
We were hot, hungry and thirsty. It was time for a stop to have a meal overlooking the sea at the Sunset Pier. We fancied some shrimp so we got a whole pound of them! Being on the coast, they were cheap – $25 (£15). We devoured them. To wash them down, I had some sort of rum based cocktail and Stef had a “Dark & Stormy” which consisted of rum, ginger beer and lime. It doesn’t matter what cocktail I order, it always comes out the campest looking (but it did have an extra shot of manly rum in it though!). All I needed was an umbrella and sparkler in it!
We walked around the town for a little while looking at the sights and finished the day off with a frozen Key (West) Lime Pie on a stick from Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shoppe. It was really tasty but left you wanting more.