“I’ve got a surprise especially for you. Somethin’ that both of us have always wanted to do. We’ve waited so long.”
Friday! Last full day and still action packed. Woke up before the sunrise and made it down to the Cuban Coffee Queen for morning necessities. Grabbed 2 caramel con leches for the ladies, an iced con leche for myself. Food was a cuban bagel sandwich, a cuban bread w/ guava & a Key Wester w/ sausage. Made the walk back doing a juggling act, I have an issue of over ordering!! Got to the room and had some time to have my coffee before the day was starting. We had plans to get a gas powered golf cart for the morning and I had to go grab it. With the constant moving on this trip, I told everyone that I would go and get the cart and meet them back at the Galleon, saving them the morning jaunt to Pirate Rentals.
Got the golf cart, zipped back to the Galleon, the crew were waiting out front for me and the adventure began. We started at the Butterfly Conservancy. The plan was to do that and hit the Southernmost point to begin the day. The Conservancy was really cool. I know it’s not for everyone, but I can say I enjoyed it. Very Zen like atmosphere to just take some time and breathe in that ecosystem. The ladies were soaking in the butterfly experience and I could see that it wasn’t exactly the most exciting thing for a 13 year old boy at 9ish in the morning. So I grabbed him and we walked down the street to explore while the ladies had their time. The Cannonball and I strolled, discussed life and took in some other sights around the Southernmost. We grouped up and did the Southernmost pic to say we did it. Jumped back in the golf cart and headed to the Hemingway House.
The Hemingway house was a must do on this trip, for a couple reasons. History and Cats. The Cannonball loves cats and I enjoy the history. He was in heaven with all the cats on the property. Hilarious moment when we were buying our admission tickets, the employee asked where we were from and we said New Hampshire. He was from Maine. (New England is kinda small) But once he and I got talking we lived in neighboring towns when we were both younger and there was a bit of a school rivalry!!! Love that kinda stuff. He also said maybe my favorite line of the week: “If I die without every shoveling snow again I’ll be pretty happy”.
With the Hemingway house done we jumped back in the golf cart, couple fresh squeezed mimosas for the ladies, and made our way around the island just to see as much as we could while bombing around. We spent about 45 minutes just cruising around looking. There was no other way we could have seen so much, everyone was pretty thankful about using a cart to see everything instead of our legs.
Drop off for the cart was noon, so it seemed like the proper thing to do was get some lunch and libations. While planning this part of the trip I chose Pirate Rental due to their location. When the missus and I went last time we had to get to the town hall for our marriage license, pirate is right around the corner. When we had to get the license 20+ years ago we got caught up in a typical afternoon summer downpour. So at least this time we could look back and laugh and see where we were running during the storm. Took some pics at the town hall, wandered down the street, saw Truman’s Little Whitehouse from outside and popped over to Irish Kevin’s for lunch. The Cannonball had been eyeing Irish Kevin’s from the get go, so it was his call for lunch. Live music going on and a bit of a raucous crowd at 12;30 on a Friday. It took me a minute or 2 to remember that a cruise ship was in port!! Luckily we have our SXM experiences to know how to spot and deal with cruisers. And I’m not saying anything bad about cruise ship people, we’ve done a few ourselves, but you never know what you’re gonna run into. Lunch was solid, like usual we had too much food, but you can’t go wrong having some leftovers.
We started our journey back to the Galleon, the ladies stopped off at Ocean Blue Gallery on Duval. They had been eyeing some artwork that they wanted to get. (We have a large Everhart piece in our house “Dog Breath” that we got in Vegas years ago. If you’re not familiar with the image, it’s Charlie Brown & Snoopy. We bought that one when we had 3 dogs at the time. A newfoundland, a st bernard and a bernese mountain dog. Those 3 have long since passed, but we have a newfoundland now. We have some large dog issues.) The Cannonball and I left the ladies to their shopping time and had to oddly wait out a downpour to make our way back to the Galleon. He and I got back and relaxed for a bit.
The missus and I had planned on taking a little time to ourselves that afternoon, Andie was gonna hang with The Cannonball for an hour. She and I met up, while those two hit the pool for a bit. She was chomping at the bit to tell me about the gallery experience. Apparently the lovely lady who was helping them procure some artwork got chatting about Everhart and his battle with cancer, and she talked about her own battle with cancer. This hit home pretty hard with them. Andie is battling and I’m in remission. All the details aren’t important but man it seems that the universe (or whatever you believe in) was sending some kinda message!!!
We spent the time strolling around and stopped off at two places. Mangoes for a quick snack, ahi poke tuna nachos. Those were unbelievable. And we stopped at Two Friends for a quick drink. Two Friends was the first bar we ever went to all those years back and wanted to go back in time for a minute.
Made the short stroll to the Galleon, grabbed the other two and headed to the last activity of the trip. We did the Ghosts & Gravestones Haunted History Trolley Tour. Again not for everyone, but we enjoyed our time and the stories. The guide put on a great tour. She was in full character and garb. It was some fun macabre to hear while seeing parts of the island at night.
Haunted tour done, we made it to Alonzo’s Oyster Bar for our last dinner. We all agreed on the Treasure Chest Tower. It’s a lot of seafood, and yes, we did finish that. It consists of:
And we ended it with the obligatory slice of Key Lime. All of it was amazing, super fresh and delicious. Did the wharf walk back to the room and got our lives ready to wrap it all up the next day. Saturday was our travel day. Sat on the veranda of the room for a couple hours enjoying the night air and chatting, knowing we were headed back to a chilly New England in 24 hours. Gotta enjoy the mild weather while we could!!!