If you are following our journey through the south, specifically Florida and all the way to Key West, you will know that we are picking up this entry on Day 8, with day dawning on Key West, Florida. We are camped at Boyd’s Key West RV Resort, about 5 miles from the heart of downtown Key West and the historic district.
Sunrises have not been nearly as spectacular as sunsets, and this one is pretty typical, as viewed from the end of the little peninsula where we are camped:
One negative to camping on this side of Key West is the proximity to the Naval Air Base. From dawn to dusk, with a few unpredictable breaks in the action, fighter jets from the base do “touch-and-go” practice maneuvers, the blast from the afterburners making it impossible to talk to one another until after they pass by. A couple of the fighters running sorties over the bay:
Day 9 is our day to explore the old historic downtown area, hopefully before the cruise ships unload and clog the shops. Breakfast is the first order of business, and if you find yourself in Key West, be sure to check out “Two Friends” patio restaurant. Clean, well-run, good wait staff, and good food, served on an al fresco patio…what more could you want on an island:
After breakfast, I recommend a walk to the nearby port where the cruise ships are moored. We found a Disney ship docked and disembarking, with another ship due to arrive later in the day:
Ernest Heminway’s drinking and partying is legendary, and his most favorite watering hole was “Sloppy Joe’s.” The original Sloppy Joe’s was located a block from the current Sloppy Joe’s, but they both remain true to the flavor of a beach bar, originally intended for locals.
The 1933-1937 Sloppy Joe’s:
The current Sloppy Joe’s, about a block away:
Having brought our Point65 tandem kayak all the way from Texas, it was imperative that we get out in the bay for a paddle. We put in at the boat ramp in the RV park and paddled out to the furthest boats at anchor, just shy of the ship channel. We found many abandoned wrecks, perhaps a remnant of Katrina 8 years earlier, perhaps some just lost as a result of being abandoned. Jodie and I found that most of the boats at anchor in the shallow (2-5′ depth at most) were mostly old, delapidated garbage scowls with people living on them, sort of the migrant farm workers of the high seas. A few scenes from our kayak with Jodie at the helm:
Next day our friend David takes the kayak for a spin around the bay. It’s a nice workout:
Our last evening on Key West, we return to Salute on the Beach Italian Restaurant for dinner and sunset, complete with beach volleyball and reggae music:
The perfect way to wrap up 5 wonderful days in Hemingway Country:
And so, the next morning we get a fantastic send-off with this sunrise, and we’re off to Tampa: