Key West 12/09

Home Up Boston 5/01 Grand Canyon 11/05 Hawaii 11/00 Hawaii 2/08 and 3/08 Hawaii Big Island 9/13 Maui & Kauai 12/12 Kauai 10/14 Key West 12/06 Key West 12/09 New York City 12/04 Orlando 12/02 Pacific Northwest 4/02 Philadelphia 8/02 San Francisco 12/05

Our 25th anniversary get-away trip...

Sunset from Mallory Square telephoto

There's no way to end a year quite like a hot December vacation. Mary Lou and I had crossed our silver anniversary a few weeks before, then waited for both kids' college Christmas break (pressing them into dog-sitter duty) to get away together to Key West. It was an opportunity to goof around like 20 somethings all over again. Key West delivered for us - the weather was in the mid-80s F everyday and we didn't see a drop of rain until we were near the airport in Miami on our way home. The sunsets were gorgeous (picture at left) and we balanced finding interesting stuff to do with doing absolutely nothing.

Sunday December 13th

Landing at Key West's little airport after a quick connecting flight from Miami, we taxied to the Hyatt, located on the water a couple of blocks east of the top of Duval street. The Hyatt was a good choice - the (included) breakfasts were a real highlight every morning overlooking the water and the location put us walking distance from everything we wanted to do. After a stroll up and down Duval Street to get oriented, we grabbed a late bite to eat at the Iguana Cafe, finishing the night with an after-midnight leisurely soak in the hotel's hot tub.



Lighthouse grounds

Room with a view

Hemingway House garden

Hemingway west balcony

View to the Lighthouse

Monday December 14th - The tourist walk


Monday we awoke mid-morning and started our day with coffee on our balcony overlooking the center of town to our west (first picture above) and the beach to our north. After breakfast, we began our longest day of walking. The first stop was Ernest Hemingway's house (second, third and fourth pictures above). I had walked by this place on my prior visits to Key West, but had never gone in. Across the street from Hemingway's house is the Key West Lighthouse (large picture top of page right). It was an easy climb to the top (first picture below) and the 360 views from the outside were definitely worth the effort (second picture below facing north). From the lighthouse we walked the rest of the way down Whitehead Street to the southernmost point in the continental US. Walking back north on Duval Street we did a gallery crawl, enjoying some very innovative galleries along with standard tropical fare like Wyland. Cutting west again through the Truman Annex section of town, we caught a walking tour of Truman's Little Whitehouse, which was okay, but a bit too long. Seeking refreshment in the now late afternoon, we made our way to Sloppy Joe's for (what else?) sloppy joes and rum runners. After a quick turnaround at the hotel, we headed off to Mallory Square for the nightly sunset celebration (third picture below wide angle, large picture top of page left telephoto and performer, fourth picture below). We finished our first full day in Key West with a late dinner, too many rum drinks and too loud music at the Hog's Breath Saloon.

Lighthouse climb

Lighthouse view north

Mallory Sq. sunset wide

Mallory Sq. performer

Tuesday December 15th - Just hangin around

After another mid-morning breakfast, we walked east through the old Seaport Harbor area with it's shops and restaurants. Heading south again we took some shots at the Mile 0 marker of Route 1 (first picture below) and outside of the Westin at Mallory Square (second picture below). After an afternoon hanging around the pool at the hotel, we headed back to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration (third picture below). We had a very good dinner at the hotel and finished the evening with a surprise bottle of Champagne and chocolates sent up by the hotel staff with happy anniversary card attached - nice touch Hyatt!

Route 1 roots

Westin outdoor art

Mallory Sq. sunset second night wide angle

Southern Pt. biker grrl

Wednesday December 16th - Bike tour & bar hop

After another mid-morning start, we rented bicycles for the day and did our own circle tour of the island. Key West is a compact island, roughly 4 miles long by 2 miles wide, flat everywhere. We started south on Whitehouse Street with a first stop at the Southernmost Point marker (fourth picture above). Continuing east there was a great bike path next to the beach all the way past the airport. Turning north we passed mangroves and salt flats before heading back to the hotel along the north shore (first picture below). We parked the bikes back at the hotel, did a quick lunch at the pool and began an afternoon-long bar hop. We hit afternoon happy hours at the Bull & Whistle (second picture below), the Green Parrot, Captain Tony's and ended up at the Hog's Breath Saloon. After a Mallory Square stroll at sunset and some snacks for dinner we did a late night walk around the Seaport Harbor (third picture below with Northstar filter effects).

Thursday December 17th - Overseas highway drive to Miami

After our final mid-morning breakfast at the hotel, we taxied to the airport where we picked up a car for the 130 mile scenic drive north on Route 1, the Overseas highway (fourth picture below), to Miami where we caught our flight home in the evening. All in all, a great get-away and anniversary celebration.

Bike tour north shore

Bar hop Bull & Whistle

Seaport Harbor at night

Overseas highway north

Home Up Boston 5/01 Grand Canyon 11/05 Hawaii 11/00 Hawaii 2/08 and 3/08 Hawaii Big Island 9/13 Maui & Kauai 12/12 Kauai 10/14 Key West 12/06 Key West 12/09 New York City 12/04 Orlando 12/02 Pacific Northwest 4/02 Philadelphia 8/02 San Francisco 12/05

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