This will be the last post about this year’s Key West trip. I guess in about six months, I’ll start pining for our next trip 🙂
Sunday was the day after Bobby & Ian’s wedding, and it was a bit of a recovery day. This was the day that TS Alberto was closest to Key West, and therefore the weather was not great. We did manage to get in the pool a bit, read, walk around Old Town, etc. For some reason, we weren’t in much of a drinking mood. Sunday night, we caught up with some of Bobby & Ian’s family, who were still in town, and several groups stopped by the house. Dinner was a big group thing with all the friends and family who had come in for the wedding, which was held at El Meson de Pepe’s, which is Cuban food. Dinner was good, as usual, although a bit frenetic.
Monday, it was still cloudy. But, it was Gary’s last full day, so Brian and I wasted no time in getting him out and showing him a bit of the island that is off the beaten path. We walked all the way around the wharf, then had lunch at Pepe’s (more conch fritters), watched a cruise ship depart, and contemplated jet skis. We ended up walking through the Truman Annex section, which is an area of newer homes in the Old Town style. Monday was several people’s last day in town. We had a big dinner with Gary at the house that night. Ian was feeling sick; he might have gotten some food poisoning from Pepe’s the night before. James, Bobby and I went out after dinner for drinks with Bobby’s sister and brother-in-law and their friends. We went to Two Friends and had a few beverages and some conch fritters and then later we caught up with Jonas at 801 Bourbon Bar to see the drag show. We ended up watching the drag show 3 or 4 times while we were there (the show varies each night).
Tuesday morning, Gary departed bright and early and I woke up too late to see him off. But, the weather was improving. We contacted our friend Captain Tom about going out, and decided due to the weather, later in the week would be better so we booked for Thursday afternoon. Tuesday was spent mainly close to the house. Ian still wasn’t feeling 100% and the rest of us were still recovering from the weekend and beginning to get used to all the others having departed town, so we were in full relaxation mode.
Wednesday involved bicycle rentals and a trip to Liz Taylor beach for Bobby & Ian, Jonas and I. James and Brian stayed behind. We took our lunch with us, and it was fun. As usual, we explored the jetties but there wasn’t as much sea life there as there has been in the past. Hopefully that is temporary. I even found pirates!
Thursday was one of the highlights of the trip, and involved our four hour boat trip with Capt. Tom. We met him at 1pm and went out snorkling. Last trip, we went out to the reef in the Atlantic and saw amazing numbers and varieties of fish, rays (even a manta ray like the one in the picture), nurse sharks, barracuda, sea turtles and more. This time, Alberto had stirred up the shallow water with sand, so visibility wasn’t good. Capt. Tom recommended snorkling in Florida Bay, which is the area between the Gulf and the Caribbean. Visibility was okay, and we saw lots of lobster, a few small sting rays, and a barracuda or two. It wasn’t as magical as the last trip, but it was still good. After we were all waterlogged, Capt Tom took us over to a sand bar off Woman Key and Ballast Key, where we spent about an hour frolicking in two foot deep water. It was amazing. I love being out on the water, so the boat trip is one of the things I look forward to the most. It did not disappoint.
Thursday evening is the night that Atlantic Shores hosts “Cinema Shores,” or as it is better known, the bicycle drive-in. They show a movie against a screen in the parking lot (they clear out all the cars and replace them with chaise lounges). It doesn’t matter what the movie is, we have always gone but this time, we were all a bit tired and opted out, due to our satisfying day on the water.
Friday was our last full day. We did some shopping and more relaxing in the pool, as well as a few strolls through the neighborhoods of Old Town. We had a big dinner at the house that night, capped off with a swim in the pool and a brief birthday celebration for James (Ian made refrigerated chocolate chip cookies, found some b-day candles and we sang to him) since Saturday was his birthday. (I still owe him a celebration) We said goodnight to Bobby & Ian for the last time on Friday night. They had to get up very early (4 am) to catch an early flight in FLL.
Saturday morning, I woke up in a better mood than is usual for our last day in Key West. It had been a very satisfying week, and I was ready to see the dogs. We picked up the rent car, packed up, cleaned up, checked out, and begin our slow, sobering drive back to reality. We stopped along the way to check out the Seven Mile Bridge and also a neighborhood in Big Pine Key.
During our first trip with Bobby & Ian, on the way back near Islamorada, we found a sandwich place that was out of this world. Two years ago, we intended to stop there for lunch, but couldn’t find it. On the way down this time, James and I saw it and made a note of the mile marker so we could stop on the way back up. We did, and it was good but not as good as we remembered. Shortly after we resumed our trip, we passed the real one. We had stopped at the wrong place! Oh, well. Next time.
As I said, it was a very satisfying trip and I enjoyed thorougly all my time there. If I could live there, in a house, even a small, older, unrestored home, I would do so.