Florida Keys (high 78, low 68)
The cold front arrived dropping our temperatures by about 10 degrees, which makes it nice for sightseeing and Seafood Festivals, but not as nice for boating.
We went to the annual Marathon seafood Festival on Saturday. We figured it might be a good idea to go early and beat some of the crowds, and it turned out we were right. The place was crowded! We had to pay $5 to park and $5 each for a ticket, and that didn’t buy us anything, except the right to enter.
There were several booths that served different types of seafood. You could even get a Florida lobster dinner for $18. We figured Al would save his money and get his own lobster for a whole lot less.
What we enjoyed most were the local artists and craftsmen showing their creations. Some of these artists were amazing. I wanted to take some pictures to share with you, but most don’t appreciate you photographing their works.
One guy made the most amazing sculptures out of old driftwood. He had one sculpture of a marlin jumping out of the water. It was 8-9 feet tall. I wish I had a picture to show you.
There was beautiful jewelry made from sea glass. A local husband and wife team paint scenes on shiny ceramic tiles that are put in frames made from old lobster traps. They had a huge mosaic type picture that was about 8 feet long by about 3 feet wide. It depicted a reef scene and it was absolutely gorgeous. I think it was $1200. We were talking to the artist and mentioned we lived in a motor home and had no place to put one. He said last year a couple bought just the tiles, and installed them in the kitchen of their motor home, as a backsplash. He saw their finished work and he said it looked gorgeous. When they sat outside you could see it and it looked like a giant aquarium. Boy, did that give me an idea.
We didn’t stay at the seafood festival too long. There were different musicians playing all day, but we decided we had seen enough, so we left without eating.
When we got home, we decided not to take the boat out. With the cooler temperature and breeze, we thought it might be a little chilly on the water. I know, I know, we are wimps! :) But it was cold. I don’t think we got over 70 degrees that day!
On Sunday, we decided to skip boating again, and instead head towards Key West. The high was only going to be 73, and we thought it might be a day to spend in Key West where it wasn’t too hot.
We ended up starting at Higgs Beach in Key West. The whole southern part of the island is beach area with Dog Beach, Higgs Beach, Smathers Beach, even Broken Glass Beach. What a nice area. There is a long sidewalk all along the beach area, and lots of free parking. It runs for miles.
There were a lot of people enjoying the beach.
No day at the beach in Key West would be complete without some of the most famous residents.
Police patrol to keep everybody on their best behavior.
….and to prevent accidents.
There is a lot of history in this area, including slavery.
There was a fort back in the Civil War days.
There were remnants of the beautiful old fort. It’s now being used as a Garden Club. It was beautiful inside and outside.
The roof was interesting.
The grounds were landscaped with mostly native plants.
Check out this interesting tree. It was too tall to get a good picture.
The ocean views were gorgeous.
We walked, and walked, and walked. The beach had so much to offer, including piers and boardwalks.
We started to get hot and tired, so we decided to head back to the car, to get some water and air conditioning.
We decided to drive around for a while while we cooled down. The traffic in town is always crazy, with bicycles, tour trolley cars, and pedestrians. There are so many people on bicycles and they ride like they own the roads. Most have no clue what’s behind them and expect you to watch out for them. You’ll be stopped at a red light and one will come up behind you and go right through the red light. If you want to make a right turn, you’d better check behind you first. I’ll bet a lot of people are killed each year. They are crazy.
We found this beautiful Frangipani tree, also known as a plumeria. They make lei’s from this flower.
Evidently they lose all their leaves in the winter (why, I don’t know) and then the flowers start to appear in the spring.
Here in the Keys, you never know what you’ll see next. This truck was made to look like a coral reef. A little tacky, don’t you think?
We drove around awhile enjoying the AC and came across a few famous Keys landmarks.
This is the southernmost place in the entire US. People line up to take their picture by the sign, which says southernmost part of the US. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good shot since we refused to park and stand in line. One day, I guess we need our picture taken there, but it’s always too crowded.
Another famous landmark. The end of highway 1.
Mile marker 0. Another very photographed sign.
We saw this very cool motorcycle going by. It was larger than most trikes we’ve seen and the guy seemed to be sitting up quite high, like he was a king or something. Kinda cool. His wife was following on a pretty yellow Harley.
I wished I could have gotten a better picture, but I soon got my chance, when we met them at the parking lot by Mallory Square. It turns out they are from New Jersey, are fulltimers too, and are staying at Bluewater RV Park. Small world.
I’m not a motorcycle fan, but this one was really cool looking.
Turns out, it was a Harley too.
We walked around Mallory Square for awhile.
A cruise ship was in port.
This area is very pretty.
These yachts are dwarfed by the cruise ship.
We walked around about an hour then decided we were pooped, so we headed home.
We got home, got our happy hour supplies and took a walk up to the bridge.
The water was calm, the tides were high and it was beautiful on the bridge.
I just missed getting a shot of the cormorant swimming through the sea grass below.
Here is a southern stingray and if you look closely, you’ll see a needle fish on the top left side.
It was a very nice day. We were tired and slept well.
Today, we plan on taking the boat out. I’m sure there will be pictures tomorrow.