Friday, April 11, 2014

Cruising the Keys, Key West

After 3 days in Big Pine, we packed up the RV and caravanned to our next location, Key West! We camped at Boyd's Campground.  This time we had a beautiful waterfront spot on the harbor.   

We arrived in Key West early enough that we decided to take a ride on the Conch Train, which takes you on a tour around old Key West.  It was nice because we got an overview of the area, learned some history and were able to decide how we wanted to spend the rest of our time there.

The next day we went to Smathers Beach.  This was another beautiful white sand beach.  There were chairs and umbrellas available for rent along with Hobie Cats. 

After the beach we cleaned up, had dinner and then headed to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration! The sunset celebration was my favorite part of Key West.  Each night about two hours prior to sunset there is a festival on the sea wall behind Mallory Square consisting of street performers, artists, musicians, food and drinks.  It is a gathering place for both tourist and locals to see the most amazing sunset on the keys.  This night was a bit disappointing because it was really cloudy there wasn't a sunset.  We did stay for a drink and watched some of the street performers. 

After that we walked to the famous Duval Street, aka the main drag that contains shops, restaurants and bars.  It is basically pub crawl mecca.  They have a very "relaxed" open container law.  Many of the bars have souvenir to-go cups.  My favorite was Fat Tuesday which had an entire wall of frozen drinks.  Miami Vice, please!

The next day we did the most touristy thing and visited the Southernmost Point! I had always seen people on facebook posting pictures in front of this thing.  When we got there there was literally a line down the street to take a picture with it.  Kind of ridiculous but we did it anyways. One of those pictures you want to have.

Since the previous night was a bust in the sunset department, we went back to Mallory Square for a do-over.  We then encountered the most amazing sunset celebration act, the Key West Cat Man.  He is French and you can hardly understand what he is saying as he tells jokes and his cats are jumping through tambourines and rings of fire but trust me, this is a Key West MUST-SEE!  He is located all the way down at the end of the pier in front of the Westin.

After the cat man performance was the most amazing sunset.  A funny thing about this boat picture.  When we were on our Honeymoon, Mike had taken this beautiful picture of a catamaran in front of the sun as it was setting. There were a few sunset tour boats out in front of us and the woman next to me was complaining the whole time that the boat was in the way of the sun.  I felt like shaking her and saying "Its going to be an amazing picture!" As the sun crept closer and closer to the Gulf it got quiet on the Pier and then when it finally set everyone erupted into cheers and clapping.  Such a cool experience.

Stay tuned for next week when I'll wrap up the series with our experiences in Key Largo!

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