Friday, July 7, 2017

Key West - Days 1 & 2


This year, Mr. JCrew and I are celebrating our tenth anniversary! We didn't have a honeymoon, as we both went straight back to work, but we made up with it with our Tenth Anniversary Trip.

We originally had plans to go to Waco, TX and then a Mexican All Inclusive Resort. But I was the slow one to look at potential dates to travel, and because we hadn't booked anything, Mr. JCrew changed his mind. We then said we'd go to the Biltmore and hike the mountains in North Carolina. Again, I was slow to plan the dates for travel and Mr. JCrew changed his mind. He then came up with Key West as our destination and I quickly narrowed down the dates and told him to make reservations. He kept all the reservations a secret and I went in blind.


Oh, I forgot to mention... we went sans kiddos! Our first time ever away from the boys.

We left at 5:35 AM on a Friday morning and arrived in Key West shortly before noon. We normally travel early for work (less lines; more likely to avoid delays), but there was a huge line to check in at our airport at 430AM!! My Florida blood has thickened up since I moved to Alabama and I was feeling the heat! The Key West airport is small and the runway is smaller. We were warned of the abrupt landing we would have. They put on the brakes as soon as the wheels touch the runway.

We rented a Camaro convertible for the trip. Oh, how nice! It sounds sweet when you turn the engine on! They designed this car just right.



In the parking lot at the airport, we saw Mr. JCrew's dream car that I had to take a picture of. He was upset that it wasn't available as an option when he made the reservation. Orange is his favorite color.



It was so nice driving around with the top down.


Key West streets are narrow. Driving a car felt like we were over doing it. There was also not much parking anywhere. The Camaro sat around a lot. There was a lot of walking and many people rode bicycles or mopeds.



We stayed at the Southernmost Beach Resort the entire time. It was a nice resort. Our room had a beach right outside for us to enjoy. This was a small public beach. Key West does not have sandy beaches. It is not like the Florida coastline. You have Smathers Beach and that is it. Key West's natural coastline are Mangrove Trees and rocks. All sand has been trucked in to the island.

Southernmost Beach Resort

Southernmost Beach Resort

We checked into our hotel and had rose petals and champagne waiting on us.



We went out to the beach and lounged around. We made reservations to eat at Shor, located in the Hyatt Centric, but didn't make it. Most restaurants don't open until 6, so we were starving! We had arrived early and starting eating appetizers at the Blue Mojito across the pool from the restaurant. We ended up filling our bellies before our dinner reservation! It was half price appetizers, so we ordered two. We had Conch Fritters and a Seafood Taco. Oh. My. Goodness! So good!



It was so good that I forgot to take a picture until I was half-way through. Then we ordered two more appetizers: A cheese plate and a Seafood Slider.




Again, delicious! They are known for their Blue Mojito, but we did not try it as we were tired and needed to be able to drive back.

One thing we noticed is the chickens and roosters everywhere! They own the streets!



We explored a little bit of the city, and it was amazing the character that remains. Most businesses are housed in an old home. The city has strict ordinances, and a company can buy a property, but they cannot tear down the home. They have to exist in the house as it is.



And there are not street signs on every street. Some do, but not all. Instead, there is a white marker painted on light posts with the street names.



The next day (Saturday), we only had one thing planned... our anniversary dinner. We had reservations at Louie's Backyard, but not until 6PM. I wanted to take advantage of our convertible, so we went exploring. We went all the way up to Marathon Key so that we could go over the 7-Mile Bridge. There are so many Keys along the way.

Right around Sugarloaf Key


Sugarloaf Key had the most beautiful water!!



There was even an old bridge that is not in use anymore and had "breaks" at the beginning and end.



There was even an island that an old bridge went to.



I was wondering how those folks get to their home. Must be by boat. The old bridge that is there now, only looked to be a single-lane bridge.



During our road trip, we found a perfect radio station for Mr. JCrew. He is notorious for changing the radio station mid-song and repeatedly. I get frustrated that he can't leave the radio alone. But this Key West Radio Station stayed on during our entire stay. It was 97.7. The songs were all over the place! It was not a certain genre or a certain time period (80's, 90's). Oh, my! It was a little crazy, but Mr. JCrew felt like he found a soul mate! He plans to find them on iHeartRadio app.



When we returned from exploring, we took a walk to the Southernmost Point of the US to take our picture. The line was not too bad.



It was a very touristy thing to do.


There was a small door that right next to the buoy that had a plaque.



We returned to our hotel for a late lunch. We were trying to hold out for dinner, but needed a snack. We split the fish sandwich. (I was bad about forgetting to take a picture until I was commenting how good something was.)



The view from the cafe at the resort was of the beach. It was so nice.




There was a small pier right next to the cafe and our hotel. It's not as big as the White Street Pier, but there were a lot of people that still checked it out.



We hung out until it was time for our dinner at Louie's. Remember when I said all business occupy old houses? Louie's is a pink house!



It is located right next to the dog beach. The inside was gorgeous! It reminded my of my friend Kelly's houses that her parents raised her in (they moved and renovated old houses). There was an inside bar that was cozy, and we chose to sit outside for our meal.




I ordered the special for the night; pistachio crusted grouper and Mr. JCrew ordered the Shrimp and Grits with bacon and mushrooms.



OH. MY! The shrimp and grits were amazing! The grouper was as well.



We then ordered dessert, even though our stomachs were full. We ordered the chocolate brownie creme brulee.



The brownie was at the bottom!



It was the perfect ending to the night.



Come back for the recap to Day 3 & 4.

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