KEY WEST Day 2
Our king bed at Havana Hideaway was super comfortable, it almost made my internal alarm clock malfunction on our first morning! You see...I am a sunrise kinda person, whether on a mountain, a boat, a Key, or even on the dreaded Washington Capital Beltway I enjoy a good sunrise! My eyes opened up at 7:15am and I could see through the double French patio doors that the sky was lighting up, uh oh! I stepped out onto our bedroom patio to see how chilly it was, uh still in the 70's...niiiice! Sunrise was scheduled for 7:30am so without waking my wife I grabbed some clothes, my flip flops, and most importantly the camera and darted down the stairs and out the door. On the way out I noticed that the first floor was extremely cold compared to our bedrooms...oh well.
From the condo I walked half a block to Duval Street and made a left heading southeast. The town was so peaceful to walk at this time of the morning. I could hear roosters crowing all around me as I made my way towards the pier at South Beach. I passed a great little bakery that filled the street with the aroma of fresh baked something and more importantly fresh brewed coffee....... no time to stop though, the sky was already a nice shade of Carolina blue, daaamn I may miss this one!
As I approach the pier I see there are only a couple people standing on it which made me think I missed the event..............NOPE! perfect timing!
Now remember when I told you the 1st floor of the condo felt extremely cold? immediately after taking these first couple photo's my lens fogged over big time, oh well, time for coffee while I wait for the fog to lift. I grabbed a nice cup of Joe somewhere? and walked around Old Town a bit. The Key West architecture is really something special, a nice mix between Victorian, "Conch Houses" and Shotgun style homes.
Make sure you explore the many side streets, you'll never know what you'll find........
Well, I had thoroughly enjoyed my "Me Time" but I needed to wake the ladies. My wife and daughter were excited to see a Starbucks the previous day, so we chose to get coffee, chai teas and breakfast sandwiches there for the road trip! It was a beautiful morning and we had decided to drive 50 miles north on A1A to Marathon. It was an easy picturesque drive and I was pleasantly surprised to see everyone doing the speed limit or less on this long stretch of road, nobody in a rush here! I haven't spent much time in a convertible, it was a nice way to travel from Key to Key! Our first stop would be Sombrero Beach in Marathon, what a beautiful neighborhood beach.
We walked passed nice pavilions equipped with BBQ pits a bath house and then over the small grass covered dunes and found a nice soft spot in the sand next to a palm tree. We spread out our towels and quickly exposed our now slightly pink northern skin to the warm tradewinds. I can't tell you how good the sun felt, my wife claimed she could feel the warmth penetrating her bones! After about a half hour of thawing we notice a 4 wheeler driving back and forth on the beach....huh? and moments later we would decide to pack up and see what else Marathon has to offer.
No biggie, it was lunch time anyways and we wanted to try Porky's Bayside BBQ. This funky little joint sits perfectly beside a small fishing marina on the south edge of town. We each had a pork BBQ sandwich with a drizzle of Carolina style hot sauce on it, PERFECTION! The food and service here was great and the setting made it just the right spot for us!
After lunch we headed south back over 7 mile bridge to stretch out a while on a Bahia Honda State Park beach. After paying a small fee at the entrance we had to make a choice, should we turn left or right, just like everyone else we turned right. We found plenty of parking in an area with bath houses, commissary and access to 2 separate beaches. We grabbed our gear and accessed the beach via a small boardwalk. At the top of the stairs it appeared that most people decided to grab spots close to the steps and bath houses, so we opted to go as far right as we could to get away from the crowds. BINGO!
Our reward for walking the extra 200 yards wasn't just a thinner crowd or the softer sand, but we were able to meet and play with this wonderful service dog named Sammy! They spent an hour swimming together.
We relaxed and swam on this far side of the beach for a couple of hours before working our way back to the car. We walked a lesser traveled route that took us under the old bridge towards the smaller bayside beach. This is a great State Park and I highly recommend spending a day here. I think the ladies were already planning our next return trip in this photo....
After rinsing off in the outdoor showers and replacing our wet swim suits with dry clothes we started our scenic drive back to Old Town. Once again after an easy one hour drive we put the mustang in her secure corral for the night. After taking a few minutes to get cleaned up for the evening festivities we walked south to see if we could find a place to watch the sunset, but it looked like everyone else in town had the same idea. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately the southern piers and the Southern Most Point Marker were too crowded for decent photo's, especially under overcast skies. We decided to walk North through town admiring the charming homes and businesses along the way. Once back on Duvall Street the shops called for the ladies and the street side bars called out my name Beeeeeermaaaaaaan!
We normally eat dinner no later than 7pm, but last night was after 9pm and tonight would be just a tad later, maybe pushing 10pm. Earlier during our walk we noticed a sign in a cool little brick paved alley lined with Tiki torches advertising wood fire pizza. With my stomach rumbling I leave the ladies in a shop and go back to see if they are still serving, YES but stop serving in 30 minutes! I hustle back to the ladies making them happy with the news. The restaurant is named ONLYWOOD Pizzeria Trattoria. We enjoyed wonderful wine and my daughter thought the waiter was putting his own spin on the pronunciation of lemonade...saying perhaps a "Lemon-nada" for the young lady, sounds good she says with a giggle. To our surprise he delivered a San Pelligrino "Limonata" which none of had ever had before heheee. After we stopped belly laughing we ordered Calamari with marinara, sauteed muscles in a white wine garlic tomato broth, 2 wood fired pizzas (maybe 12 inch pie) one with prosciutto, arugula and shaved parmesan and one with sausage and fresh basil.....I WANT THAT NOW!!! I highly recommend this place, they have indoor seating but we chose to sit outside on their small brick patio with the trees strung up with lights, the occasional bicycle traveler passing through the alley, very quiet for being right off Duvall, perfect way to end our day.
To be continued..... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />