Thursday, October 15, 2015

Farewell, Key West!!

We spent 10 days in Key West and, looking back, it wasn't nearly long enough.  We did some of the usual tourist-y things, some things that were not as well known and just enjoyed the ambiance for which the the island is known. 

Toes in the sand

Higgs Beach

Private U.S. Navy beach

I'd heard that one didn't go to Key West for the beaches, but I found them to be wonderful.  Each beach we visited was different and enjoyable in its own way.

AIDS Memorial

Inscribed in the marble are names of those who lost the fight with AIDS.

We saw many memorials on the island, some just in passing.  I'd like to have taken the time to discover and learn about each.

 Key West rooster

More feral chickens

The feral chickens were loud and everywhere.  A feature of the island that I did not know about, some love them and some hate them.  I found them to be charming and representative of the atmosphere of "live and let live" that defines Key West.

An original fence
I'm sure this represents something to its owner/creator, but I didn't see it!

Beautiful gate

Super sized beach chair
I couldn't find any information on these, but there were these large, painted chairs in various places all over the island.

Finally got Nipper to sit still long enough to get a picture!

Giant dancers

Not sure what he's trying to call with that conch shell 

Obviously pertinent street art, wouldn't you say?

Trying to look casual, he went directly for the sweet spot!


I still don't know how anyone could wear a coat in Key West!

Personal expression?

Street art was a delight for the eyes everywhere you looked.  I could easily have spent several days driving around taking pictures and still have missed some of it.

Sunrise over the Atlantic

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico

A bucket list item checked - I got to see the sun rise over one ocean and set over another on the same day.  The sunrises and sunsets were spectacular almost every day!

Someone is watching!

Tree roots

The trees on the island were very interesting to look at.  Not all that old, comparing then and now pictures, they were strong and sturdy and had the most interesting root structures.


Notice the spelling - not a typo.

Local shop

Businesses were located in old buildings, homes and other interesting structures.  One thing that intrigued me about the city was the fact that business for locals was conducted all over the city, not centrally located. With the limited parking that was available, I can't imagine trying to run errands and conduct run-of-the-mill business.  I guess you'd have to ride ! bike or walk and learn to take your time and not get in a hurry.  Island time for everything!

First fresh water well found and used by pirates in the 1700s.
This sign was outside a private residence and, as they say, if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you!

African Cemetery 
 In 1860, three illegal American slave ships bound for Cuba were detained in Key West.  The slaves had been confined in such horrendous conditions that 294 of the 930 died and were buried here.  The survivors were given clothing, shelter and medical treatment and later sent to Liberia, a country that was founded for former American slaves.  Hundreds died on the ships before  were returned to their native land, but not their original homes.

Southernmost Point
Besides being the furthest point south in the Continental US, the beach here was originally the only beach available for use by the black residents of Key West.

Claiming that Ernest Hemingway wrote "Farewell to Arms" in this house.

What's that?
Documenting the first international phone call

Key West is full of historical and not so historical places.  I know we missed a lot of them and a trip back would certainly include visiting  more of them!

Nipper learned he could swim!

Watching a tropical storm out our front window

The navy conducted rescue training one day.  If you look closely, you'll see a man being raised by cable.

Just being outside was a joy in Key West.  Although extremely humid, the temperature was moderate and the tropical breezes were delightful.

A lot of the houses on the island have either been restored, meticulously cared for or built in the style original to the island.  I loved driving the residential streets and seeing the homes.

St. Paul's Church
Stunning stained glass and mahogany ceilings.

You know I had to find a shore bird!
Not too many birds on the beaches, but they did seem to congregate on the fishing pier!

I've always wanted to go to Key West and now I can say I've been.  There is so much more to it than I've documented here and if you haven't been, you should go.  It's all I thought it would be and more!

Until next time...

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