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Key West (Last Minute) #25561
02/26/2014 07:34 AM
02/26/2014 07:34 AM
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VIRGINIA
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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My daughter is returning home for spring break in less than 2 weeks and my wife just told me she booked flights to Key West <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Yikes.gif" alt="" /> Last time I was there was around 1970 and I was 7. Can you tell me where the beaches are? are taxi's or shuttles easy to find? etc etc

I'll be busy googling today <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" /> It's snowing again as I write this....looking forward to going someplace warm <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

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Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25562
02/26/2014 11:11 AM
02/26/2014 11:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,720
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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We were there a few years ago and pretty much walked everywhere. Only beaches we visited were at the resort. In two trips, we didn't spend that much time, just long weekends, but it was fun.

where will you be staying?


Matt
Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: maytrix] #25563
02/26/2014 11:31 AM
02/26/2014 11:31 AM
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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We found a condo on VRBO thats a block from the Hemingway Home on Duval St. I see a South Beach about 5 blocks away. Is this a good spot or do you prefer a resort and drive into the heart of it? We are only there for 3 nights.

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25564
02/26/2014 01:03 PM
02/26/2014 01:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 925
Michigan
rhans Offline
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Boy have things changed if the last time was 1970. There are no beaches that compare to the ones that you are used to in the Virgins. Key West is more about historical tours, people watching and music. Stay anywhere near old town and walk everywhere.
For people watching Hogs Breath, Capt. Tonyís and Smoking Tuna.
Walk down to the wharf area for great music @ Schooners Wharf.
Sunset @ Malory Square and the performers.
Historic overview, the Conch Train

Have Fun, Thatís my old stompin grounds.

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: rhans] #25565
02/26/2014 01:23 PM
02/26/2014 01:23 PM
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When you say "old town" is that the area around Hemingways home? We picked a place a block away from there on Duval. Easy walk to southernmost point. Mallory Square we'll need to drive. We'll have a car to get out and about some, any laid back less crowded beach ideas? South Beach is walking distance but sounds like its small and crowded. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25566
02/26/2014 02:08 PM
02/26/2014 02:08 PM
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Posts: 2,661
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irina Offline
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Fort Zachary Taylor or Smathers are better options.
Have fun!
irina

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25567
02/26/2014 10:31 PM
02/26/2014 10:31 PM
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Posts: 925
Michigan
rhans Offline
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My definition of Old Town is anything west of White Street. Park the car and leave it as parking in KW is a pain and expensive. No need to drive to Malory less than 5 blocks. Beaches, the keys are coral outposts. There is South Beach and Smathers but youíre spoiled by the Carib and will be disappointed. Go to the Aquarium, within walking distance. Relax and watch the world go by. You donít need the car unless youíre going up the Keyís which is really cool.
P.M. m if you have any questions.

Rick

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: rhans] #25568
02/26/2014 11:29 PM
02/26/2014 11:29 PM
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Posts: 1,206
JAX
jphart Offline
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Beerman,

KW, or the keys are not a place for beaches. Great water, yes. Rent aboat for a day, youare qualified for sure. Murray Marine on Stock Island, Bill or Lee.

You Need a car about as much as you do in DC, NYC, SF, LON, etc. Foregettaboutit! No parking. Walk or cab.

You can walk most places from your location. Hemingway house is on whitehead, 1 block from Duval. Try the Green Parrot at corner of Whitehead and Southard. Keep an eye on your VT offspring though! You'll hear the chickens and roosters in the predawn.

Walk to the Blue Heaven for a great breakfast. stay away from the tourist traps and tee shirt shops on Duval. Yuck. Louie's Backyard has been great for decades...always a fav.

( bonefides...My 90-yr old FIL Is fourth generation Conch, he drove to school with the Hemingway sons, swam in the first pool in KW. I married to 5th gen conch at st. Mary's on Truman St; last on island two weeks ago.)

Pm for more. My pleasure.

Last edited by jphart; 02/26/2014 11:31 PM.

JPH
I spent my money on booze, broads, and boats...the rest I wasted.
Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: jphart] #25569
02/27/2014 07:43 AM
02/27/2014 07:43 AM
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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Great info everyone, thanks! We reserved a convertible using points and we have a parking spot at the condo, if it sits that's ok. We intend to drive north a bit one day just to see what's out there, by the way what's to see an hour or so north? last time I was on A1A I was 7 and probably sleeping with my pillow in the big back window of a 1970 olive green plymouth <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

As far as the beach...Smathers sounds perfect, not looking for white powdery sand, just a not so crowded place to sit in the sun.

JPH you are wise, VT offspring will remain close <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" /> Spring Break seems early this year, but 99.9% of the hotel/motel/villas etc that we searched are booked. Sounds crowded but WARM! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25570
02/27/2014 12:20 PM
02/27/2014 12:20 PM
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Posts: 2,661
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irina Offline
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I second Louie's Backyard! And Schooner's Wharf.
Walk everywhere. Every thing is by mile markers which helps.
I think Marathon is about 50 miles north. Sombrero Beach is there.
Have a great time.
irina

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: irina] #25571
02/27/2014 02:05 PM
02/27/2014 02:05 PM
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On Beef Island there is the Key West Botanical Garden. Further on you can look for Key deer on Big Pine; Bahia Honda State Park has a respectable beach; there is the Dolphin Research Center and the Turtle Hospital; you can walk part of the old 7-mile bridge and visit Pigeon Island for a museum on the old railway construction. There are a couple of other nature preserves the names of which I don't recall.

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: Rbailey] #25572
02/27/2014 05:11 PM
02/27/2014 05:11 PM
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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Ok..Louies Backyard looks great and Sombrero Beach looks like the destination for our day trip! Thanks keep em coming <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25573
02/27/2014 05:24 PM
02/27/2014 05:24 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 925
Michigan
rhans Offline
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For a locals restaurant El Siboney 900 Catherine St. off the beaten path and away from those crazy prices anywhere close to Duval. Cuban Mix Sandwich WOW !!!!

http://www.elsiboneyrestaurant.com/ Corner of Margret and Catherine streets.

Last edited by rhans; 02/27/2014 05:28 PM.
Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: rhans] #25574
02/27/2014 05:54 PM
02/27/2014 05:54 PM
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LOL We are almost giving up on Siboney, it's so popular and packed all the time.
There is a french cafe and bakery on Duval that's pretty good. Can't remember the name. Nice lunch there.
Go early.
Cheers
irina

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: irina] #25575
02/27/2014 06:26 PM
02/27/2014 06:26 PM
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Michigan
rhans Offline
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We usually go to the El around 1:30 - 2:00 to miss the lunch crowed. Their Cuban Pork w/black beans and rice is my wife's favorite. For me as I said the Cuban Mix Sandwich is to die for.
Man I'm hungry all of a sudden

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: rhans] #25576
02/27/2014 10:57 PM
02/27/2014 10:57 PM
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Posts: 1,206
JAX
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Second, third, fourth Siboney! On Catherine st. Agree w black beans and Cuban mix. Formica tables and paper napkins! If you like coffee, try the place next to the laundry on White St a block off Truman US1.

Too bad no more fresh daily made Cuban bread. But Publix has pretty good at their deli. It's 2 miles Up US1, gotta put up with the new construction. Goldens bagels has a good breakfast too. Places at the "historic seaport" are pretty good for lunch, happy hour, dinner. Better than Duval Street. Raw Bar very good, prob your kind of place.

Maybe drive as far as Marathon. 45 miles and the 7-mile bridge. Turn around there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahia_Honda_Key prob best beach on the southern (though really western) keys.
o
Again, rent a boat. Don't do the kayaks. That is Just rowing thru mangroves on stock island. Its for yankees! Maybe jet ski, but that's like 10 baby ducks following momma duck. Only faster. You're spoiled by the Virgins.

We,ll be back on the rock in April.


JPH
I spent my money on booze, broads, and boats...the rest I wasted.
Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: jphart] #25577
02/28/2014 12:05 AM
02/28/2014 12:05 AM
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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You guys are really giving us some good info. We are definitely Cuban pork black beans and rice with paper napkin people! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" /> but we don't mind paying for a great dinner at a place with great atmosphere <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />

We have 3 nights there, we arrive around 1pm and we can't check in until 3pm. Might swing by the plaza at Mallory square for lunch? (insert your opinion) then to the condo, then quickly back out to walk around and work our way to the "southernmost point" area for sunset and dinner somewhere (insert opinion)

2nd day breakfast close to condo at Duval and Virginia (insert opinion) then hop in the convertible and head north as far as Marathon and enjoy a beach for a few hours. After lunch work our way back to the condo and park the ride. We'll want a nice dinner with an awesome sunset option (insert opinion please)

3rd day, if weather screwed us up the day before we'll do that this day, if weather is great as I'm sure it will be we'll have breakfast close again and perhaps hit the Fort Zachery Taylor and Hemingways House. If temps are great we'll head to Smathers via convertible. Then another nice dinner with sunset option (insert opinion again please)

WOW...this was a short trip, we'll definitely need to come back...to rent that boat!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25578
02/28/2014 12:13 PM
02/28/2014 12:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 925
Michigan
rhans Offline
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An idea for your first afternoon might be to hang a right out of the airport to Bertha/1st. Run that down over Garrison Bight and will eventually turn into Eaton. Hanging a right on Margret will take you to the parking lot at the Historic Seaport area. Get in the grove listening to live music and having lunch at Schooners Warf and walking around the docks.

Then ditch the car. Imagine driving thru Roadtown with 3 Cruise Ships disembarking at the same time. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by rhans; 02/28/2014 12:22 PM.
Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: rhans] #25579
02/28/2014 01:33 PM
02/28/2014 01:33 PM
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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I just google mapped it and the street view of the wharf looks cool. Live music set 1-5! Off the beaten path it appears, sounds perfect for us! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25580
02/28/2014 01:59 PM
02/28/2014 01:59 PM
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Posts: 81,036
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Beerman--you are going to SERIOUSLY have to do a MAJOR trip report on this trip, to repay all the help folks have been giving you. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Smile.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: Carol_Hill] #25581
02/28/2014 03:10 PM
02/28/2014 03:10 PM
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These guys are like having my own personal travel agent, but FREE <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" /> I will of course post a report or 4 <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" /> I'm praying for bright blue skies and temps in the high 70's! Keep the ideas flowing please, anyone know of a great lunch spot in Marathon?? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25582
02/28/2014 03:55 PM
02/28/2014 03:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 925
Michigan
rhans Offline
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Kind of a funky little place but Porky's Bay Side might be what you're looking for. After you go across the 7 mile bridge go past the 7 Mile Grill and keep looking on the gulf side. Look hard cause it's pretty small and usually overgrown. If you want something less funky the Seven Mile Grill is good as is the Hurricane Raw Bar further down US1 but still on the gulf side.

However,,,,,If you're open to suggestions I'd eat back on Big Pine. The "No Name Pub" has real good Pizza. If that's what you want I can tell you how to get there.

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25583
03/01/2014 11:18 AM
03/01/2014 11:18 AM
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California/Florida
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Beerman, with all the good posts you have sufficient suggestions for this trip.

For the next Key West vacation, might I suggest a half or full day trip to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas located 70 miles west of Key West. You may either take a ferry or fly aboard a vintage de Havilland Otter that has been updated with a modern 1000 shp turboprop engine and CRT avionics. A bit pricey but well worth the sightseeing experience. http://keywestseaplanecharters.com

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: Wcstflyer] #25584
03/02/2014 06:47 PM
03/02/2014 06:47 PM
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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my wife and daughter love your suggestions, thank you! Dry Tortuga will have to wait for another trip, but Fort Z Taylor is on our list as is the Hemingway House. Sombrero Beach and Porky's Grill are as well...the old seaport wharf and of course Mallory Sq for at least one sunset. More snow coming tonight and tomorrow...at least I have this trip planned for next week <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25585
03/02/2014 07:20 PM
03/02/2014 07:20 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 925
Michigan
rhans Offline
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If you're going to be there all day Sunday might want to check out Geiger Key Marina. They have one hell of a BBQ 3:00 to 9:00. Real close to Key West, Just past Boca Chica.

http://www.geigerkeymarina.com/menu

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25586
03/02/2014 10:23 PM
03/02/2014 10:23 PM
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Posts: 427
Mardi_Gras Offline
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Hey Beerman, we have similar vacation ideas. We went to the Keys last year with the family. We stayed in Marathon. Like others have mentioned, not many sand beaches in Key West but there are several between Key West and Marathon, we went to Bahia Honda state park; played on the beach, grilled burgers on the BBQ pits. The current at the beach was very strong, tide moves water thru the passes swiftly. There is a nice restaurant on the North Side of the 7 mile bridge, spectacular sunsets, Of course it's named Sunset Bar and Grill. There is a turtle hospital in Marathon, gives tours, we didn't do it but I wish we had. If you want to snorkel, you will need to get a boat to go out to the reef.

Have fun!

Catch a Sunset;

[img][image]http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/...7cebaebbdb467e6528b03cf5_zpsa93c514b.jpg[/img][/image]

Landshark Salute at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville

[img][image]http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/...d2bba2a1bbd8e0839adf657a_zps2a4d2cfc.jpg[/img][/image]


Go further South than the southern most point:
[img][image]http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/...8d1b80edb5d42a527746b32f_zps05f79ee8.jpg[/img][/image]

Sunset Bar near 7 mile Bridge:

[img][image]http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/...9d3643a5df959b475389f273_zpsec3190d0.jpg[/img][/image]
[img][image]http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/...4a7d33ed7423b2f50fa9d562_zps02fab4c8.jpg[/img][/image]

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: Mardi_Gras] #25587
03/03/2014 08:45 AM
03/03/2014 08:45 AM
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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Hey Tony, great minds think alike....my wife came up with this last minute trip <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" /> My wife also saw Bahia Honda State Park and wondered what was there. Looks like an entrance to the park just after the bridge coming from the south and then a long shoreline road called Old Bahia Honda Bridge...parking lot at the end of the road? Did you guys go to Sombrero Beach? if so, can you compare the 2. Also, are fresh water showers at the State Park? If not I'll take some gallon jugs to rinse off with when we leave the beach. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25588
03/03/2014 10:37 PM
03/03/2014 10:37 PM
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Mardi_Gras Offline
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What a great surprise, you go Mrs Beerman! Wow, now this is interesting. Other than the resorts beach, Bahia Honda and Sombrero were the only beaches we went to. Sombrero has a nice city park feel to it, dog walk park, play ground, BBQ area, bath rooms, outside shower to rinse off. The water at Sombrero was perfectly flat calm, really too calm.

Bahia Honda was much larger area, old bridge/pier to walk out on, bigger beach with more wave, but lots of current. They had BBQ area but I don't recall seeing showers, probably there, I just didn't see them. If had to do one, I would vote for Bahia Honda, it was more of what I expected to see in the Keys. Sorry no good pic of Bahia Honda


sombrero Beach
[img][image]http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/...f74f12756e9c94d92c1d9f17_zps93e448f0.jpg[/img][/image]

Grilling some amber jack at Sombrero:

[img][image]http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/...69142dfe28886b76bbb4f6a2_zpsf267803c.jpg[/img][/image]

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: Mardi_Gras] #25589
03/04/2014 02:06 PM
03/04/2014 02:06 PM
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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Bahia Honda sounds like the place for us. Thanks for the info! Happy Fat Tuesday Tony!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25590
03/05/2014 12:38 PM
03/05/2014 12:38 PM
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I will be in Key West in a couple weeks smile
but only for about 30 hrs frown

Quick question, is Schooner's Wharf THE place for live music, or are there other establishments I should research and then I can compare the acts performing that night. It will probably be Wed night 3/26. The only night there, so I have to make it count!

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: Brian3000] #25591
03/05/2014 01:45 PM
03/05/2014 01:45 PM
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Michigan
rhans Offline
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The venue changes. Just walk around with a drink in a plastic cup. Might be Hogs Breath, Sloppy Joe, Smokin Tuna, Irish Kevins or the Wharf to name about 10%. The more plastic cups the better the music. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: Brian3000] #25592
03/05/2014 10:38 PM
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VIRGINIA
stand by to stand by....I'll report back when we return. We plan to hit Schooners Wharf for happy hour. Heading down next week....80 degrees <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Groovin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25593
03/07/2014 05:20 AM
03/07/2014 05:20 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 334
ohio
M
markis Offline
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markis  Offline
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ohio
These pictures are killing me. We will be there in three weeks. It has been a brutal winter!

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: markis] #25594
03/08/2014 12:36 AM
03/08/2014 12:36 AM
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Posts: 2,661
MIA
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irina Offline
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irina  Offline
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MIA
It was in the 60's tonight in Miami. Brr.
irina

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: irina] #25595
03/08/2014 10:04 AM
03/08/2014 10:04 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,493
VIRGINIA
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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BEERMAN  Offline OP
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I tell you what...if it were 60 here today I would be in shorts and t-shirt! Our daughter returned home from school last night and all we can talk about is how nice it will be to warm up in the Keys next week! Thanks for the great information everyone, we will try to fit a lot in during our short 4 day trip while still trying to relax. I intend to post a report with photo's when we get back. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: BEERMAN] #25596
03/08/2014 02:24 PM
03/08/2014 02:24 PM
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Posts: 2,661
MIA
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irina Offline
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irina  Offline
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LOL
Key West is great. You will relax. Have a wonderful time.
Cheers
irina

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: irina] #25597
03/08/2014 03:26 PM
03/08/2014 03:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 81,036
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Yup, pretty nippy here last night too! Today it's bright sun, but only around 70...


Carol Hill
Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: Carol_Hill] #25598
03/08/2014 03:49 PM
03/08/2014 03:49 PM
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Posts: 2,661
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irina Offline
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irina  Offline
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You're not going to regatta this year?

61 degrees this am for my walk. LOL
I think the fish went south for the winter. No manatees, no dolphins etc. All quiet.

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: irina] #25599
03/08/2014 05:13 PM
03/08/2014 05:13 PM
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Posts: 3,493
VIRGINIA
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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BEERMAN  Offline OP
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63 degrees here today, I thought about turning the a/c on <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Re: Key West (Last Minute) [Re: irina] #25600
03/08/2014 05:22 PM
03/08/2014 05:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 81,036
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 81,036
Central Florida!
Unfortunately, no. Eric is doing taxes now, so he is way busy and I did not want to go by myself. May think about it next year, if I can find someplace to stay.


Carol Hill
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