We had a lovely Thanksgiving here on the Coast of Illinois.Thanks to all the merriment, I have once again fallen behind with my blogging duties.
So now, it's time to return to the road trip that was our visit to the Florida Keys!
When I told people we were heading to the Keys, the assumption was Key West. Yes. Our plan was to visit that iconic town, but the Florida Keys are so much more than the Southernmost Party town.
Rob and I were on the Bogart/Hemingway tour. Key Largo is a treasure trove of stops along that route. Just drive down US 1:
|The inspiration for the movie Key Largo.
|Meeting Bogie. He was a little...aloof...
A little farther down Overseas Highway sits a Holiday Inn and this marvel:
|The boiler, complete with the broken valve.
|Rob and the Captain - who just happened to be from my hometown area!- in a serious discussion of our life choices.
|while standing on the dock we spotted this nurse shark swimming among the brightly colored tropical fish
|he had a couple of buddies with him...
One of the things we noticed most about all the sites along the Keys - there was very little hoopla about the various businesses being used in the show.
The Caribbean Club has been used in a few of the bar scenes.
Our favorite breakfast spot - Mrs. Mac's - is in several scenes.
We stopped at Robbie's Marina in Islamorada - used as Kevin's boatyard - only to find a tiny sign stating such. Of course, Robbie's offers some cool views of the sound, a chance to feed giant tarpons and a fun flea market.
|I caught this guy chilling off the boat dock.
|This guy was catching some rays...and some bugs...and a small child or two...
|Pelicans just fascinate me.
|We were surprised to see a couple of bald eagles. Seems they too appreciate a visit to the Keys.
We finally hit the Bloodline Motherlode with The Moorings.
This exclusive, luxury resort is the inspiration for the Rayburn House. It took a little adventuring to find the location, even with GPS. The Moorings likes its privacy, to the tune of a private drive on approach. But this was vacation, so we parked on the street and walked down the drive, trying our best to look like we belonged.
|Even their Banyon tree was beautiful!
We were rewarded with a stunning view of the beach - I swear, the sun shone brighter, the sand and water glimmered more shimmery and everything had a pinkish glow. There may have even been a heavenly choir as we broke through the trees and the security guard's grasp to see this:
|She's not a bad person, she just did a slightly tresspassy thing...
Islamorada is only about a twenty minute drive from Key Largo. A very scenic twenty minutes - beautiful views of both the Gulf side and the Atlantic side of the islands and this:
|you should see the pot of melted butter....
Who knew political consciousness was so sweet!!
On our way back to Key Largo we made a stop at the Hurricane Memorial. A sobering stop, but if you want to experience a location, sometimes you must see the bad as well as the good.
A huge portion of Keys history revolves around the 1930's railroad built to connect the mainland with all of the Keys. In 1935, one of the worst hurricane's in Keys history hit killing hundreds of railway workers - many WW1 veterans. The memorial was built in 1937, commemorating the devastation. It is an eloquent, thoughtful tribute to those who perished. Many of whom are interred in the crypt covered with beautiful tiles in the front of the memorial.
|a tiny alter on the main structure.
I don't want to diminish the seriousness of that last site, but I also hate to end on such a somber note. So I will leave you with these last pictures of some of the more silly sites along US 1.
|like the sharks and gators aren't enough. even some of the trees in Florida want to kill you...
|recognize this gem? it sat out front of our home in Key Largo - the Key Lime Sailing Club. as it turns out, this mystery...thing was the actual spaceship/escape boat from the James Bond movie Octopussy! The guys are sincerely hoping it gets restored to its floating/flying/bond girl glory
|brussel sprout chips. yes. you read that right. they were DELISH!
|"I don't know Madge. I don't think he is ever going to leave his wife for you..."
Come back next week as we head over the 7 Mile Bridge to one of my biggest adventures yet...