Florida

Key West – Day 3

Once again we were up early because of the window situation in the room. I will admit, I was happy to go home after two nights of very little sleep. I could have taken a nap on the way back because I was so exhausted.

We checked out of the hotel around 10am and I went to get the car. I brought the car back and just double parked because I wasn’t going to haul all my crap again across Key West. After packing up we stopped really quick at the Cuban Coffee Queen for breakfast. There isn’t a ton to say about this place because it was just okay. I had a sandwich that was nothing exciting. A bit disappointing since I know people really love this place. I’ll try it again next time I’m in Key West to see if it just was a miss that day.

We finished up with breakfast and started driving back to Miami. Near Key Largo we thought it was time for lunch and we headed towards Alabama Jacks. This actually requires turning on to Card Sound Road, which is basically a road with nothing (very little traffic and really no one around). There is a toll on Card Sound Road that does not take the SunPass.

IMG_1496

IMG_1498Once through the toll I parked and then we headed into Alabama Jacks. We got a table right on the water. I ordered the Conch Fritters, which were like an actually fritter and not a ball like other restaurants serve. The fritters were great and probably some of the best I had. There were large pieces of Conch in the fritters.

Now the one super annoying thing we experienced was the patrons next to us. This couple felt it necessary to feed the birds, which literally were flying all around us while trying to eat. This just was so obnoxious and went on most of the meal. Thankfully they left before we finished. After finishing up we headed back to Miami and hit a ton of traffic. Finally I got home about 4pm.

IMG_1497

Overall it was an interesting trip, even though I had to go because of my internship. Hopefully next time it will be a bit better when I go to Key West.

Key West – Day 2

Originally the plan for today was sleeping in, but that certainly didn’t happen. The hotel room was flooded with light before 8am. One of the biggest issues was no curtains over the upper windows. So we were up and about earlier then we expected. This really just made the whole hotel situation frustrating.

IMG_1446

IMG_1445

While riding around we stopped at the touristy Southernmost Point and road along the beach. During this time we stopped for lunch at the Schooner Wharf Bar. The best part of the meal was the Shrimp BLT Sandwich. We did start with Conch Fritters, which were a slight let down.

IMG_1441 IMG_1442

After awhile we headed back to the hotel to drop off the bikes and walked to Mallory Square. Here we watched the sunset while sitting at the Westin. The Westin has a nice bar area on the pier where you can watch the sunset. Here I ordered a Pina Colada that was so strong. It actually was a great deal for $8. We also split an order of Lobster Quesadillas. These were absolutely amazing and included a delicious Mango Salsa.

IMG_1454 IMG_1455

IMG_1450

From here we then walked around and decided to go on a ghost tour. We went with Ghosts and Gravestones because it was right near the square and it had a trolley. The tour was not scary but instead informational and provided a great history of Key West. The tour did stop at the Fort East Martello Museum to visit Robert.  Robert is a haunted doll that is a bit creepy. The only downside to the tour was no gravestones. Overall it provided a good history of Key West.

IMG_1479Once the tour was done we stopped and grabbed dinner at Island Dogs Bar. I had the Chili Nachos and a Mojito. The nachos were actually an appetizer but were really filling.

IMG_1491

From here we hit a few bars including Garden of Eden. This is the clothing optional bar. After an odd evening we went back to the hotel.

Key West – Day 1

Originally there was supposed to be 3 of us on the Key West trip, but my one friend wasn’t able to go at last minute. So in the end the Key West trip was just two of us. I picked up my friend Kristen about 10am and from her place I drove down to Key West. The drive was uneventful and luckily we had gorgeous weather (thankfully no rain!).

The only thing to note about the drive is that it can take a bit of time depending on traffic. A lot of the issue is because of slow drivers who can’t seem to follow the speed limit. There seems to be a lot of tourists who gawk and drive slow just to stare at the water. If you are able to pass the slow gawking drivers, do it! It probably took at least an hour longer to get from Key Colony to Key West because of super slow drivers.

While driving down we didn’t stop anywhere besides Key Colony for lunch. We decided we wanted to eat somewhere with a view and searched on Yelp for a restaurant. We stopped at Cabana Breezes, which was right on the water and couldn’t have a better view. For lunch I had the Blackened Mahi Mahi Sandwich. The fish was cooked perfectly and I would highly recommend the sandwich.

View at Cabana Breezes Blackened Mahi Mahi Sandwich

After lunch we got back to driving down to Key West. We probably got into Key West late afternoon. This actually made me late for a couple appointments I had. Since this was technically a “business” trip, I had to go tour the other 3 hotel properties the company I intern owns. Originally planned on walking to each, but I had to drive due to traffic making me late. All I can say is driving around Key West is a pain because of roosters and bicyclists.

Once the tours were complete we went and checked in at the property we were staying at. The only comment I can make about this is what a huge pain this was. The property has no parking and no unload spots either. We had to go park at the local parking garage that is a few blocks away and walk with all of our stuff to the hotel. By the time we got to the hotel we were exhausted. Not a fun way to begin our time in Key West.

IMG_1419

After resting up for a bit we headed out to Duval Street for dinner. We walked around the street for a bit trying to find somewhere to eat. We were recommended to try Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, which is right off of Duval Street. This meal turned out to be a winner. First we checked in on Yelp, which gave us a free Conch Fritter appetizer. These were probably the best Conch Fritters we had in Key West and they were delicious. For our entrees we both ordered the Lobster Tail. This was a deal! For $24 you got one pretty decent sized Lobster Tail, Onion Rings, and Coleslaw. I really liked the restaurant, even though the live music left a lot to be desired.

IMG_1421 IMG_1422

From here we decided to walk around a little bit and then stopped at The Porch for a drink. The Porch is a craft beer bar and then on the other side they have their bar called The Other Side. The Other Side serves craft cocktails that were amazing. Both places were probably my favorite bars in Key West since they weren’t touristy. We probably were here for about 4 hours. The service was fantastic at The Porch from the bartender and we did get a couple drinks on the house. I would definitely come back to The Porch again for my next visit to Key West.

IMG_1426

Once we left The Porch we headed back to the hotel for some sleep since we were exhausted. We planned on sleeping in the next morning, which of course did not happen.