Bucket list trip….

A couple weeks ago we got to take a quick trip to Key West! It’s something we have always wanted to do but never took the plunge until this year. We went with our BFFs Clare and Earl and it was a blast from the start! We flew into Ft. Meyers and was able to stay with Clare’s parents on Friday night. It was great to see Dan and Therese, they are like family to us and made us feel right at home. On Saturday morning we went to Ft Meyers beach to catch the Key West Express boat to cruise over to Key West. 

  

It took about three hours to get there. The boat can hold about 500 people, has three levels, a bar, a snack bar, on board tv and seating inside and out. 

   
   

The ride was really smooth (no Dramamine needed!) but unfortunately the weather was too cool to spend much time up on the top deck outside. 

   
 

We did stay up top when we were pulling into Key West. The water was a beautiful Caribbean Blue.

   
   

Once we left the boat we elected to walk to our hotel in the south side of the island, the Blue Marlin. 

    
 
It was a cute little boutique hotel that has been totally refinished. It was clean, comfortable, the staff was friendly and very helpful.

After checking in we started our journey to see the sights. The first stop was the southern most point.  The line was way too long to get a front view of the marker so we opted for a quick selfie with the side of the marker..;)

Next on the agenda was to find lunch. On the way we found a gentleman selling cold fresh coconut water.  He took the coconuts out of a cooler drilled a hole in them and inserted straws. It was so good! Lots better that what comes in the bottle from the store..ha!

  

Along the way we encountered some of the locals.

  
We had lunch at a cute little cafe with an outdoor balcony called the Banana Cafe.

   
   

After lunch we stopped by the Rum Bar and tried a flight of rum. 

  

The bartender seemed very knowledgeable on the subject, he asked us what kind of spirits we like, if we like dry or sweet, then selected 5 different rums for us to sample. They were all good but the hands down favorite was the Plantation Barbados Rum.

For the rest of the afternoon we leisurely walked down Duval Street, stopping here and there whenever something looked interesting, like the Rum Runner. We almost missed it but we’re pleasantly surprised once we made our way down the walkway off the street. 

   

  

   

Along the way there are some beautiful old buildings that have stood the test of time, they may have been repurposed but are still standing!

   
   
  
Here are a couple more interesting places along the way…

   
 
 
The plan was to make it to Mallory Square for sunset. People congregate there every evening to toast the sunset. The square is filled with street entertainers, vendors and sunset toasters!  

    
    
 
After sunset we headed back down Duval and stopped by a couple Key West institutions, Sloppy Joes and Hogs Breath Saloon.

   
   
On our walk back to the hotel we encountered another local, a six toed cat. I understand Hemingway had six toed cats so this must be a descendent of one of his cats!

 
We had most of the day Sunday to continue to explore before we had to be back on the boat to Ft. Meyers. So after we ate breakfast by the pool we went to the beach. Beaches at Key West aren’t like the typical Florida beach, they are smaller and not as plentiful. But we couldn’t go to Florida and not eek out at least a little beach time!

   
   
Next was to find a place for lunch and we were on the hunt for hogfish! We ended up at a little place called Off the Hook, we had key west pink shrimp cocktails, hogfish sandwiches and a toast to a great time with great friends and many great memories. The shrimp was awesome, some of the best I have ever had and the hogfish was delicious!

  
We found a place that sold only macarons, we had never had one so we had them for dessert!

  
The rest of the afternoon we just shopped a little and made our way back to the dock to wait for time to board the boat and enjoy the scenery and weather

   
   
On our cruise back to Ft Meyers we got to see another sunset

  
Although our time in Key West was short we really did fall in love with it. We love the island feel that everyone talks about, but it also has a small town feel to it. There aren’t giant condos on every corner and the streets are lined with quaint cottages and beautiful beach houses.

   
    
 

We elected to explore on foot, but there are many places to rent golf carts and bicycles. We definitely got our steps in each day! Our fitness trackers showed we walked about 8 miles each day! 

Hopefully if we ever get back it will be for a longer visit and we will be able to get off the main drag and explore more of the island! I’m so glad we took the plunge and made this trip!!