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Monday, June 2, 2014

Visiting the Florida Keys

Aloha Everyone,

The Florida Keys begins at Key Largo, the largest island and ends at the tip of Key West. The only way by land travel is to drive on US 1 Highway. The road is mostly well-maintained and two-way traffic. The entire passage of 126-mile is linked by 42 bridges including impressive 7 mile long bridges at irregular intervals.

Key West is one of the places JJ and I had on our list of places to see and we are glad to be here. This is a fascinating place. In 1889, it was America's richest city per capita. Then in 1930's, the city declared bankruptcy.

Key West also attracted a wide range of characters from Ponce de Leon (Spanish explorer) to Henry Flagler (railroad magnet) to President Harry Truman who had his "Little White House" on Front Street. It is now a paid museum and we saw a large group of French and Chinese tourists in line for a tour of the house. The list of writers who found their inspirations include Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and Robert Frost just to name a few.

Key West also has rich history from the Civil War, Spanish-American War to the Cuban Missile Crisis

Today most of the key offers laid back life- style to residents and visitors alike. For us, at times we felt we were driving along the Kamehameha Highway to Waimanalo.

No idea what J.J.'s Doghouse is:

Old decayed and unused highway in parts are still being used by pedestrians and local fishermen.

It caught us by surprise, but yes there are native deer called Key Deer. The are protected animals under National Key Deer Refuge and US Fish and Wild Life Services.

Intriguing idea and exciting to witness the Atlantic Ocean on the right and the gulf of Mexico on the left.

Many luxury hotel properties are built at the tip of the key.

We met Melinda and Cathy at a t-shirts store. Melinda was raised in the Key West, and when I asked her about the hurricane season, Melinda nonchalantly answered, "We close shop when bars close." Truly spoken like a native.

J.J. waiting for our lunch to be served.

Our seafood lunch at Sunset Grill with Atlantic Ocean frontage. Just across the bridge was Gulf of Mexico.

Lydda who checked us into this evening's RV Resort in Long Key was gregarious and gracious. She is originally from Cuba and recommended a Cuban restaurant we must try tomorrow before we leave the Key.

This RV resort also rent out trailer homes on the beach.

Our Honu is settled in a pad about 100 meters from the ocean front lot.

Aloha -- Cathi