Monday, December 31, 2012

12/31/2013 New Year's Eve


We were on the road by 7 a.m. this morning because Bob and I still have our workamping obligation.

We did see a great sunrise on our way home even though the morning clouds hadn’t burned off yet.




Even though we won’t be in Key West to watch the shoe drop we have big plans to bring the New Year in.


We made it back to Key Largo in plenty of time for us to get everyone settled and ourselves to work.

The girls went fishing this afternoon up on the point and KK had quite a battle with a barracuda.  Unfortunately the fish turned as the picture was taken and it looks pathetic in this picture, but it is a barracuda.

Photo: First barracuda of 2013!

I did take a walk up to the point to see how they were doing in the fishing department.  Of course I snapped a few pictures while there.


These two dear friends of ours were so happy to be out in the sunshine and to be fishing again.


Today our fire pit  arrived.  Actually, it had been in the park for a few days but we didn’t know it.  It was delivered to the concession stand and not the ranger’s station.  I had to call and track it only to find out it was delivered four days ago.

Photo: The makings of another great evening in Key Largo

Bob building our first fire and recycling the beer boxes.

Photo: Key Largo

He had quite the fire going in no time.

A couple of weeks ago I made reservations for Snook's Bayside Grand Tiki Bar for tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebration.  Our plans included dinner first and then staying for the party.

Bob and girls were sitting outside enjoying the fire when KK said to Bob, “You know Bob, if we don’t make it to 12:00 tonight its OK with us.”  Bob responded with an enthusiastic, “Hey, that’s ok with me too!”  Just minutes later I went outside and Bob told me about the conversation that took place and asked my opinion.  I was already tired and agreed wholeheartedly that we could go to dinner and when we got tired we could leave at any time.  Great, everyone is on board with that.  And then….. I suggested we just go for a nice dinner and forget the party.  “Yeah!  That sounds good!” came from all three.  And then….I suggested we forget dinner too and order in pizza and sit around the fire or watch TV.  I heard, “Oh yeah, that’s even better!” and, “I like that idea!”.  So that’s what we did.  We all ordered  medium pizzas made just the way we each wanted our own pizza.
And by nine o’clock we were in all in bed asleep.

From this, we learned that if you party hard for three days in Key West, on the fourth day you finally realize you aren’t twenty anymore.

Bob and I wish each of you, our readers, no, make that our friends, a healthy and prosperous 2013.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

12/30/2012 The First Beer Was Opened By….

(Key West, FL)

I was the last one up this morning and when I walked out of our room I heard this very familiar noise come from Di and KK’s room across the hall.  Like a flip top on a soda can, but that couldn’t be, I drink my Pepsi’s out of bottles and KK drinks water, also from bottles so that left one thing.  The partying had begun at 8:20 a.m., the first beer had been opened!  KK was standing in the doorway to their room so that meant Di or Bob had the honors.  Turns out it was Dian, I’m thinking something about the hair of the dog….

By the way, here’s our room that we had in the Truman Annex of the Naval Air Station.  On the opposite wall was an alcove that held a small fridge, microwave, Keurig coffee maker, sink, and storage cabinet.  The bathroom was off the alcove.  Each room has two closets, a safe and cable TV.  Luckily, we were able to get two rooms.  Military people, this place is a steal at $60.00 a night.  We checked around and hotels at this time of year are averaging $200.00 plus.


So we head out to Duval Street with no particular destination in mind but somehow we ended up Southernmost Hotel and Restaurant again.  Dian and I decided we didn’t want to hang in bars today so we took in The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory just across the street and up a block.


Had anyone been around to take our picture I would have been the blue butterfly. 


We spent a little time in the gift shop that just sold everything in butterfly form.  Books, clothes, toys, jewelry, glassware, knick0knacks,,,you name it, if a butterfly could be incorporated in the design it was sold here!

We then went into the conservatory and immediately noticed how warm it was.  I can’t imagine what it is like inside this glass house in July and August.


There were hundreds of butterflies flitting from tree to tree, flower to flower, person to person and gathered in  groups eating.


It was not unusual to see a butterfly land on a person.


There was a gazebo and small pond which was home to giant goldfish and turtles.


There were lots of beautiful butterflies here.



  Did you know the lifespan of a butterfly is only 10 days?  That surprised me.


We couldn’t stay in the conservatory too long because it was so darn hot and humid.  It was already eighty degrees outside so you can imagine what it was like in this glass house.


Not being able to take the heat anymore we had to move on.  After making sure there were no hitchhikers we moved back in to the gift shop.

We went into a section we didn’t see previously.  For some reason they didn’t want pictures taken in this area.  Like that stopped me.  Or the half dozen others who were snapping away.  It was no wonder because we were seeing the most beautiful butterflies of all!


Butterflies, encased in clear acrylic, preserved forever.


These were by no means inexpensive.  The cheapest I saw was $45.00 and that was for the run of the mill butterflies we had seen in the conservatory.  Other butterflies are from around the world and absolutely beautiful!

The larger collection in the picture below had a price tag in the thousands.  Twenty seven hundred if I remember correctly.


Dian made a purchase and we were on our way.


Next stop, the Key West Cemetery.  I had heard the inscriptions on the tombstones were pretty unique and I wanted to see them.  This is where the original….I told you I was sick!….tombstone is.  We got directions, walked block after block and couldn’t find it.  We asked more directions, were sent in the opposite direction and still couldn’t find it.  Talked to a local, got directions and still couldn’t find it.  We gave up.  Of course, later, with a map in hand we saw that we walked right past it three times just one block over.

In the meantime, Bob and KK are barhopping.  I have to admit, I was quite surprised when KK sent Dian a picture via her IPhone of her and Bob and a drag queen!

Bob and drag queen

Dian and I did a few more shops and headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.  It is very late afternoon by this time.

Darkness settled in over Key West and Dian and I were getting hungry.  She texted KK several times asking about dinner but wasn’t getting much in the way of response. 
Finally, KK and Bob decided that we should just go to dinner and they would keep on barhopping.  Surmising what condition they were in I had no problem with this.

Dian and I called a taxi and asked for a recommendation from the driver. He suggested Michael’s and dropped us off minutes later.  It smelled heavenly from the outside and mouths were watering before we even got in the door.  Therein lied the problem, getting in the door.  We were told the first table available was going to be at 10:30p.m..   Oh great, we were not going to wait for three and a half hours!  We called the cabbie but he had already picked up another fare.  We decided to walk.  We got to the end of the street and sniffed the air.  Garlic!  Oh yeah, an Italian restaurant just down the street.  There was quite a line outside and the restaurant looked teeny-tiny but I went to put our names on the list anyway.  We were quite surprised when told that there was a table for two on the patio to follow the hostess.  We were happy campers!  Until.  Until the menus were presented.  We didn’t know what half the stuff was and the stuff we did kinda sorta recognize we didn’t want.  This restaurant was way too fancy for our tastes.  This Italian restaurant didn’t even serve spaghetti and meatballs. 

We started walking back to Duval Street and ended up in a bar/restaurant with a Mexican flare.  We both wanted a steak and baked potato and couldn’t get one in Key West.  We talked to a local businessman and he confirmed it, we wouldn’t find what we wanted.  We did get the steak but in order to get any kind of potato we had to order the breakfast potatoes and I do believe they were leftover from breakfast and not necessarily this morning’s breakfast.  At this point it was food and that was all that mattered.

After dinner we walked back to the hotel and there they were.  Passed out.

Another fun day in Key West!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12/29/2012 Our First Full Day in Key West

(Key West, FL)

After a good night’s sleep we met out in the courtyard to make plans for the day.
Dian was just taken with the roosters!



Before we got started for the day we gave Dian and KK the Shutterfly  photo book we made for them of their civil union ceremony and reception.  I just love making these books!




From previous experience Bob and I knew that the line formed quickly at the giant buoy that signifies the southernmost point of the United States.  So we got  our bearings and off we went.  It didn’t take long to get there since we are pretty much within walking distance of everything downtown Key West.  Yes, there was a line but it wasn’t that long and it seemed to be moving quickly.  We made arrangements with the couple ahead of us to take our pictures and in return we would take theirs.  We had a quick lesson on how to work each others cameras and then just waited.  Now most people stand next to the buoy and smile nicely.  The couple two up from our place in line went above and beyond!


And now here is our boring picture.


Hungry, we decided to go to the Southernmost Hotel & Restaurant for breakfast.  Of course breakfast for some include an adult beverage.  That ain’t tomato juice she’s drinkin’!


…and of course there was the beer of the day.


Pictures taken outside of the restaurant in the beach area.



They got thirsty again after walking a block of Duval Street and had to stop for a drink.  I’ve never seen three people get so thirsty after walking a city block!


We stopped in shops along the way and tried out comfy looking swings.


We walked another block….you guessed it.


Next land mark we did the picture taking thing was the Mile 0 marker.


…..and of course that walk made them thirsty.


We won’t even go into the things said to passerby’s as these three sat in the open window seats.


We walked a little ways down the street and KK couldn’t pass the Smallest Bar.  Are you keeping count?  By the way, you see the bar in its entirety, this is it.


Next stop was Sunset Pier.


You guessed it….adult beverages!


It’s a good thing I was the one with the camera or they would have no record of their time in Key West.



There's just some about birds and a sunset.



Of course we walked back to Duval Street from Sunset Pier, a whole block and ended up here…..  Are you seein’ a pattern here????


We finally had to call it a day and we started the walk home.  I didn’t think we’d ever get there!  Can you guess why?



I don’t care what Dian says, I know she was hanging on to that truck for dear life!


And this is how Dian ended the night.


I lost count of how many drinks were had but I’m comfortable with saying A LOT, I also lost count of the number of bars we were in but I would comfortable in saying a half a dozen….at LEAST!  To say that we shared a couple of laughs would be  a gross understatement.  The amount of laughs we shared are countless….and priceless.