Sunday, November 22, 2009

Key West!

I packed up my car and managed to get three bikes inside the Explorer.  I hate to have a bike rack on and have to check it every day.

There isn't much room inside now.  I headed off to Middleville on Wednesday afternoon.  Bright and early on Thursday, I headed south.  I took I-69 south to I-24 and over to I-75 and kept cruising.  I drove about 800 miles the first day and stopped near the southern end of TN.  Friday, I was awake early and on the road by 5:00 am.  The GPS was nice around the cities and for directions.

I got down to the FL line and stopped in Jennings to see cousin Mary Jo.  She wasn't home so I left a message and since it was only noon, I kept on cruising.

My plan was to arrive in Key West Saturday afternoon so I wasn't in a hurry.  I took I-75 down towards the middle of the state.  I stopped early to have a nice final ride on Saturday.

Saturday, I got off just before the Turnpike and got on 27 South.  It is a nice road that goes straight down the middle of the state and ends right on A1A south of Miami.

A1A goes right down to KW.  Jimmy Buffett says A1A so I do too!  It is Highway 1. You have about 110 miles of driving down the various Keys until you hit the end of A1A.  Key Largo, Marathon, Lower Keys, Islamorada, Big Pine Key, Cudjoe Key  and then you hit all those bridges.  You keep watching the milepost markers as they are what locals use for directions.  A big sign warns about protecting the tiny Key Deer.  I did my part!

After six years of coming down here , it seems great to hit the last Key.  "The weather is here, wish you were beautiful" plays on the radio by Jimmy Buffett.  I guess you have to be a fan to understand his songs!

Here is our little 1928 'shotgun style' Conch Cottage house.  It has front and rear apartments and we rent the whole house.  I have to get that Mercedes out of my parking spot.  I unloaded my car and got into the back unit.  The front unit still had a fireman from Chicago in it.  He was nice and left some food for us.  I had a tough time getting the bikes out the front door gate.  I left a note on the car explaining that I really was trying NOT to scratch his car getting in and out!  Hope he takes the hint!

Went to a beach party to raise funds for the Women's Health Clinic.  It was nice to be on the beach with my bare feet in the sand.  They expected 200-300 people and over 900 showed up.  A nice dinner and music on the beach under the stars. Everyone was friendly but I was tired from the long day and was back by 10:00 pm.

As I get back, I found that I had taken the front door key and I couldn't open the back unit where I was to sleep that night.  My cell phone and car keys were inside the locked unit.  How do I get in?  Nope, the windows were locked.  I thought about breaking a window but didn't.  I knocked on the front unit and he was out.  ....but I had a front key!  I got in and found the doors between the units locked from both sides.  Stumped again!  Now what?  I managed to wiggle the first door open and found the other door was only locked with a hook and eye on the inside.  I kicked the door a little bit and the hook and eye popped off!  Safetly in my unit and my crime scene cleaned up, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I guess I could always become a 'break-in' burgler.  As Jimmy always says, "Sometimes you just have to keep your skills up, cause you never know when you will need them". 

The cleaning lady just finished my unit on Sunday afternoon so I moved to the front .   I got the bike out and decided to take a ride and get a few pictures for the blog.

I rode down the two blocks of Duval to the Alantic Ocean.  It rained this morning and my seat is wet on the bike , hence the neat seat cover!  This is a nice little beach close to our house at the very end of Duval.

People covered with lotion and boat drinks! This is relaxin!    I noticed a lot of seaweed washed up after the rain.

People were in the water.  It was 85 and sunny and it was probably cold back home!  Ah, it feels good to know I will be riding my bike every day and enjoying the sunshine. Eat your heart out , Betsy!

I rode over one block to the most photographed spot in KW.  This is the Southern Most Point in the Keys or in the USA.  It says only 30 miles to Cuba!!

Back at the house, I walked the bike to the back.  This is the narrow walkway to back.

Actually, it is at the back looking towards the front of the house.

The grill where we grill our fresh seafood and fish is beside some of our bikes.

You can see our patio table and the hot tub.  I know it isn't a large area but the house and back porch are just right for us.  We have a new Solar Tube shower in the corner for rinsing off after the nightly soak in the hot tub.

This is the famous Duval Street.  We are 50 ft west of Duval Street.  Downtown is straight down about 1 1/2 miles. Lots of shops and interesting sights/sites to behold.  Everyone is friendly and they are all  from up north somewhere.  I have met a few Chonchs who were born here but most people are from up north!

Molly & Joey come in at 8:00 pm so I'll leave you guys.  I'll get some inside shots and some downtown shots up next.  I can't wait for the Sunset Celebration every night at Mallory Square!

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