Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Marathon, FL, to Key West

February 4 - Our reservations at Key West City Marina, Garrison Bight, were to begin on Feb. 5. A look at the weather predictions, though, made us decide to leave Marathon a day early and do the 50-some-mile trek in somewhat better conditions. The trip down Hawk Channel was a little rough only because we had a 3/4 sea (waves coming in on our side near the stern). There were many times when we were actually "surfing" the waves. Where the waves wanted us to go, we went! Quite a challenge considering the number of crab traps we dodged!

The closer we got to Key West the more the winds picked up and by the time we got to our slip we were glad to have help from Dave and Joy Olsen as we tied up. Dave and Joy are from Minnesota and have been coming down to Key West during the winter for years. They were a great resource of information on local eateries, services, etc. Here we are at the dock, bow out, fourth boat from the left. This picture was taken from US Hwy. 1.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

We waved goodbye to Key West, Florida this morning around 8 AM. We stayed 12 nights at the Key West City Marina, Garrison Bight, and had a great time. Our slip was between the historic houseboat row and US Hwy. 1. It seemed a little noisy the first afternoon, but, as a Dave Olsen advised us, after a while we considered the road noise and the roosters crowing at all hours just part of the ambiance.

John and Lil Clinard joined us in the southernmost city on February 8 and left on the 13th. Together we scouted out some of the best meals we've had on this trip: Ricky's Blue Heaven; Mangia, Mangia; Hogfish Bar and Grill; Hurricane Joe's; Banana Cafe; El Sibonay; (and Bobby's Monkey Bar). (Wayne and I had lunch at B.O.'s yesterday. We were craving cheeseburgers and they were great! Can you tell food is a big part of this whole adventure???)

We had such a good time! We miss Lil and John already...but hope to lure them our way again somewhere else along the trip. We had dinner a couple of times on Segue and here's a picture we took on the boat the last evening.

Here's some of our favorite shots from the Key West album:

On Monday, February 11, Lil, John and I drove to Islamorada to see the HGTV Dream House. It was quite a setting...and a lovely home. We all agreed we were going to be delighted to "receive it." Lil and John already look quite at home. Notice how they are trying to perfect the, "Oh, my goodness!! We won!!???" look.

We went to Mallory Square one night to take part in the sunset festival. Unfortunately, the sunset sort of fizzled as clouds swallowed up the sun and the horizon. While we were watching the sun begin to set boats were parading across our view...either trying to hog our attention or catch their own good view of the sunset. In the midst of all this commotion comes this loan guy paddling on a surf board. We all watched him make his way across our view...mainly to see if he hit the water after one of the big boats jetted by.

We did get some pretty pictures, in spite of the clouds. And, as you can see from the picture below, we had a good time anyway.

This was the sunset we saw most evenings from our boat. Pretty spectacular!

The wind could get a little chilly down in Key West this time of year, in spite of the warm temps. Here's Lil doing her best Unibomber impression.

The water right by our boat was a neat place for catching sea life. These little jellyfish were all over the place one day.

And how about this for an abstract shot. I see a painting in this....

There was even a manatee in the bight that was a regular visitor. He came by one day and I patted his head.

Key West is so "arty." This little vehicle has been lovingly decorated with seashells.

And, lastly, remember those $25 bikes we bought in Marathon? Here they are, in all their glory! They've come in so handy...we've biked all over Key West. And, no, John Littleton, I don't have a little bell and pink horn yet...but I'm in the market!

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