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A Marathon Interval

A Pause on the trip from the Everglades to Key West


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Dinner Out Feb 27, 2005

Then we left the park and went out to US 1 and got fuel at the Hess station ($2.159/gal) and had a very early dinner at Rosita's.
Rositas

Rositas


Rosita's menu

Rosita's menu


I had 3 cheese quesadillas with beans and rice and a salad for $4.99,
My cheese quesadillas

My cheese quesadillas


and Bob had 3 beef tacos (also with beans and rice and a tiny salad) for $5.25.
Bob's three tacos

Bob's three tacos


It was $15.07 including tip. They didn't have any fried ice cream,
Rosita's Ladies room

Rosita's Ladies room


and I thought we had agreed to get a key lime milkshake at "Robert Is Here" which is a fruit stand.
Robert says Try Something Different - Key Lime Milkshake

Robert says Try Something Different - Key Lime Milkshake


But Bob didn't stop. He eventually turned around and came back for me to get the milkshake.
Agriculture tours

Agriculture tours

Southern most Purple Martin houses

Southern most Purple Martin houses

Fruit market

Fruit market

Robert is Here

Robert is Here

Tropical selections

Tropical selections


Park entrance at sunset

Park entrance at sunset

large_100_6248.JPG
x100_6252.JPGSunset

Sunset


We were staying down in Flamingo, but I wanted to go to one of the ranger 'campfire' talks. The only problem was - the Flamingo talks were Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but we arrived on Monday and were leaving Friday morning. When I asked, the Flamingo Visitor's Center did not know what was going on at other site.

But I knew from the internet that there was also Starlight Talk (50 minutes) (Meet under the stars at the amphitheater located at the south end of Long Pine Key Campground. Check bulletin boards and visitor centers for the night’s topic. Flashlights recommended. Wheelchair accessible). So we went to Long Pine Key campground arriving about 6, and waited about a hour in the car for the ranger talk, which turned out to be about the Florida panther. She also explained to the people who came early about how she got to be a ranger. (She asked if we had any questions.) We weren't too bothered by mosquitoes as it had cooled off quite a bit. You will need something to protect from either cold or mosquitoes, and a flashlight to get back to your car or campsite after dark. [It is DARK at night in the Everglades.] Other than that,
No one will care
What you wear.
(I'm a poet and don't know it but my feet are Longfellows)

Then we drove all the way back to Flamingo and got there about 9:15. I tried to take a picture of the almost full moon.
Almost full moon

Almost full moon

Friday January 28th

Each room had a walk-out window which faces east. If you get up early enough you can see the sunrise from the waters edge in front of the unit.
100_6255.JPGSunrise

Sunrise


This will also mean that the morning sun will heat up the rooms - good in the winter, not so good in the summer.

We've been struggling to run the cooler, but the 12V cigarette plug in the car isn't reliable and the plug won't stay plugged in. Plus the only way we can tell if it is working is to listen for the fan because there's no light on the cord. I finally got out the double socket I had which the cooler plug fits into much more reliably, plus that socket has a light on it, but with no luck - that plug has never been real reliable on Bob's car.

We packed the car and checked out. I complained about calls being dropped, so she removed the phone charges ($5.50) from the bill. Of course I had to use the 800 number, so I still have those charges. The room was $98/night, and with Florida taxes is $106.93
Leaving Flamingo

Leaving Flamingo

Florida panther warning sign as we leave the Everglades NP

Florida panther warning sign as we leave the Everglades NP


Crop duster plane

Crop duster plane


Because there was construction on the 18 miles of US 1 (and was reported to be one way traffic for that distance), we took the Card Sound Road which has a toll bridge on it - it's just $1.00. It's very low tech - the SunPass doesn't work there. We got to the toll bridge about 10.
Card Sound Toll Booth

Card Sound Toll Booth


After the bridge, the road improved a lot.
Highway

Highway


We went past the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge without stopping to get a stamp and also the John Pennekamp State Park Visitor's Center (no stamps in state parks).
Passing John Pennekamp State Park

Passing John Pennekamp State Park


When we got to Key Largo, we followed Lyman's directions, and finally got to see the Hewins' boat NENEMOOSHA
Nenemoosha

Nenemoosha


with Cookie (the bird) and the two dogs. We arrived about 10:40 had a nice visit, and GeorgeAnn did grilled cheese sandwiches (we supplied the bread) for lunch.

We got back on the road about 1600 (4 pm)
Bob looking at the water

Bob looking at the water

Water from the bridge

Water from the bridge


and drove on down to Key Colony Beach to a condo/hotel. This is not on the AFV plan, but except for the Holiday Inn, I couldn't get a motel in Marathon for less than 3 nights and this had a kitchen and was not too much more expensive. Key Colony Beach would not be a place to have a boat, as it is illegal to live aboard for even one night, and rafting on another boat at the dock is also illegal.

We got there just about 2 minutes after 5. The information in the AAA book said that the office hours were 9 to 5, so I called, and they said we were in room #7, and to pick up the key from the mailbox. It is a nice place right across from the Key Colony Inn - next to the golf course, and on the water. It also has a heated pool. We have two double beds and local calls are free.
Our room in Marathon

Our room in Marathon


Including taxes it is $139.38/night.
Bob at the motel

Bob at the motel

Beach at the hotel

Beach at the hotel


We went to the Wreck Bar and Grill for dinner
Bob had a Caesar salad with shrimp.

Bob had a Caesar salad with shrimp.

it was Saturday and prime rib night

it was Saturday and prime rib night


so that's what I had plus a dessert.
Key lime pie

Key lime pie


It was too much for him to eat, so we brought the salad and some of the prime rib home. The total was $45.21 including tip.
Hammerheads - Mens room

Hammerheads - Mens room


The ladies room was Ladyfish

Saturday January 29th

The next day we were both lazy about getting up, and did not rouse ourselves to get dressed and check in until about 9:30. Then we drove out to see if Phil and Diane (of the CSY CANIAMA) were still in the Keys Boatworks, and they were. Diane wanted to show us all the work she'd done on the boat since we saw them last.
Water 5 cents a gallon at Keys Boatworks

Water 5 cents a gallon at Keys Boatworks


We left there and went over to City Marina - CSY SOGGY PAWS is there out on a mooring but we didn't call. The dockmaster said that there were 60 people on the waiting list for moorings. Then we went over and walked down the docks at Marathon Marina and Boatyard - the CSY 33 STAR GAZER is still over there, but it is turned bow out now..

We went back and had a nap (I ate our leftovers for lunch), and had dinner at the Key Colony Inn. I had actually made a reservation, because it was Saturday night. Bob had chicken, and I had a veal and ham dish with new potatoes. We took a good bit of that home with us. I also had blueberry crumble for dessert. We drank water. The dinner was $41.77 with tip.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:47 Archived in USA Comments (4)

Relaxing in Key West

Starting Two Weeks in a House Trailer


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

January 30th - Sunday

We checked out the next morning near to 10 and drove down toward Key West.
Pigeon Key

Pigeon Key

From the highway bridge

From the highway bridge

Mangrove island

Mangrove island

Speed Kills Key Deer

Speed Kills Key Deer


We aren't supposed to check in until 1400, so we stopped at Boca Chica, at the NAS marina - there was a CSY 44 walkover there, and we went over and knocked. It was NAUTICAL STAR - formerly called "Eye Fly" that they bought in the Caribbean and sailed up here. He's working on getting it into shape.
Nautical Star

Nautical Star


OL' DOG 2 (a 44 walkthrough) is also still here.

We left there about 1300.

Our first visit to Key West was in 1961, when Bob was stationed here for two months. At that time we visited the Martello Towers, and Audubon House and I had fun snorkeling in the canals.

The second time, we lived here from October 1966 until January 1969. Our third child was born here, and I started painting at that time. At that time there was a regular naval base, a submarine base, a commissary (out in town), a heliport, a hospital, Navy housing at Sigsbee Park, and an air field (on Boca Chica). Now, just about all the base facilities are connected with the Boca Chica Naval Air Station. The commissary has been moved to Sigsbee Park where the housing area was (and which before that was a garbage dump) and there is a large RV park there also. That is where the main information office is located.

The submarine base is now a Coast Guard base. The regular base has been reduced to a few houses and a beach (called Truman Annex) where some of the overflow RVers are. Most of the main base is now condos (except for the Truman White House). The rebuilt Fort Taylor and the cruise ship docks have replaced the rest of it. The hospital has been torn down and is now a clinic. Garrison Bight is still here, and there are still both a marina and charter fishing boats there.

The big BOQ (Bachelor Officer's Quarters) is still where it was on Trumbo Point. But they've turned the enlisted Olympic pool (where I got my WSI to teach swimming) into a 'water park' which is only open Sunday afternoon. The smaller officer's pool is still there.
Pool on the navy base in 1967

Pool on the navy base in 1967


The rest of the old heliport is for overflow RVs waiting for a place on Sigsbee and some rental trailers. It is one of these trailers that we are heading for.

Since it was Sunday the Trumbo Point office was not open. We were a little early, but that was ok - Bob went to the office and found the number of the trailer we were in.
Trailers on Trumbo Point NAS Annex

Trailers on Trumbo Point NAS Annex


They left it unlocked with a key on the table inside.

We have a full kitchen - microwave, stove and refrigerator - but no dishwasher. There is no maid service. We also have 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a living room with a TV (with cable of course because there's no broadcast TV down here) and air conditioning for $60/night which is $420/week. A little more than the AFV condos, but not bad. Lots of closet space. But no phone. After we ate our leftovers for lunch, I plugged the old bag phone in to charge and called Mom and my daughter who is handling the mail while I am gone, and then I took a nap. I'm coming down with a cold I think. Because we have no phone and have to make even local calls with the cell phone (even to call the dental insurance United Concordia to fight about the bill), I'm probably not going to be calling anyone.

About 6 pm, we went to Alice's restaurant for dinner- we found a parking spot nearby and I recognized the name.
Doorway to Alices

Doorway to Alices


It was quite gourmet.
Specials menu

Specials menu


Alices Restaurant

Alices Restaurant


First, we had a "small plate" which was billed as hearts of palm. The heart of the palm tree is the growing tip, and eating it kills the tree. Since the cabbage palm (now called the Sabal palm) is the state tree of Florida, this is now illegal, and I wanted to see what it tasted like. It was really roasted green chilies con queso (cheese sauce) for dipping chips into - two kinds of chips - one was a blue corn tortilla chip which I thought was green in the very dim light, and the other was wonton wafers (like the chinese noodles they give you to dip into mustard or marmalade sauce but square).
Small plate

Small plate


Bob didn't eat any because he didn't want to chance the cheese, plus he had hearts of palm during survival training and didn't want to repeat the experience.

Then I had a Flavors of Fall salad which had figs, candied walnuts, golden raisins and English Stilton blue cheese in various different kinds of greens. Bob had Southwestern blue crab appetizer which came in a Chinese takeout dinner box with Chinese mustard and green chili rangoons. He said it cleared out his sinuses. Both of these were $8. I did have milk and dark chocolate mousse cake with a crispy peanut cookie crust for dessert.
Dark chocolate mousse cake

Dark chocolate mousse cake


There was so little light that the photos did not turn out WELL. We drank water. The total was $40.80, plus $1.50 for parking at a meter.
A Car parked at a meter at night

A Car parked at a meter at night

Monday January 31st

Went over and checked in, and then drove over to Sigsbee where Bob left me to do the internet and went to the hospital to get his prescriptions filled. That went well for him. I found that the ITT office (Information, Tickets and Tours) has a DSL line now, although you are supposed to take only 15 minutes if someone is waiting. With your own laptop is free.

Came back to the trailer, and had lunch - the commissary isn't open until tomorrow. Bob thinks he is getting my cold, and is annoyed about that. I said that just proved it was a cold and not an allergy, but he didn't find that too comforting.

We went down to the Key West Bight marina (parked on the street - the meters are up about 5 feet off the ground so no short person can see
the information on them)
Conch house

Conch house

SCUBA license plate on a jeep with a black cat

SCUBA license plate on a jeep with a black cat

Mural of sea life

Mural of sea life

Dock for  the schooner Western Union

Dock for the schooner Western Union


We were looking for PILGRIM (a CSY 37 that is for sale), but did not see it, nor did we see SYBARITE (a CSY 33).
Key West Marina at dusk

Key West Marina at dusk

Waterfront market at the marina

Waterfront market at the marina


We ate at the Turtle Kraals on the balcony overlooking the bight and the dinghy dock.
Turtle Kraals restaurant

Turtle Kraals restaurant


I had the special soup (lobster bisque with a muffin)
Lobster Bisque $3.95

Lobster Bisque $3.95


and the quiche special,
Quiche special with salad

Quiche special with salad


and Bob had a seafood burrito with beans and rice, which was too much for him to eat.
Seafood burrito with beans and rice

Seafood burrito with beans and rice


Dinner was $36.52 including tip. We drank water, and I did not have dessert because I thought they were too expensive
Sign pointing to the Dry Tortugas ferry

Sign pointing to the Dry Tortugas ferry

Half Shell Bar (Eat it Raw)

Half Shell Bar (Eat it Raw)


Night time in Key West

Night time in Key West

February 1st - Tuesday

We heard on the radio yesterday that US 1 (in the stretch that is being shut down for construction anyway) a sewage tanker overturned on a car AND on the water main which supplies water to the Keys, and shut down the whole road for the whole day. So everyone was using Card Sound and they lifted the toll for that period of time. They have also been shutting down 7 mile bridge periodically to film a commercial.

Bob took me over to the ITT office and dropped me off and he did a load of wash. We have been using a laundry bag for white stuff and a different bag for colored wash, but the white wash bag has big holes in the bottom, so stuff falls out. So Bob bought us two new bags at the exchange.

When I put the laundry in the bag for the colored wash, I took a shirt of his that was bundled up on the top of a dresser and stuck it in the bag too. He thought he didn't have enough for a white and a colored wash, so he just did the colored. But he'd bundled up his underwear in the shirt, so there was some white in the colored wash too. He complained that I'd put the wash in the wrong bag, but since his other underwear was in the closet on the floor, I didn't look in the shirt because I thought he'd sorted it.

While Bob was sitting there waiting for the laundry to be done, he checked out the cigarette lighter plug and found that in the banging around he had done to try to get the cooler to work (opening and shutting the ash tray violently many times) that it had come completely disconnected. So he fixed that, and now it works fine. After he fixed the ashtray he read the paper, and then he went to the commissary - the commissary is closed Sunday and Monday.

Meantime, I was doing email etc - we are supposed to only be on there for 15 minutes if people are waiting, but one man was there from
before 10 (he was there when I got there) until about 11:30. Much of that time, there was no one waiting, but sometimes there was.

Bob says he has a cold, but he will take an anti-congestant for it, so it is harder to tell with him. I refuse to take any more medication.

We lazed around the trailer for the rest of the day and then we went to Bahama Mama's for dinner. This is basically behind the Bahama market. They have several dedicated (free) parking places behind it.
Parking for Bahama Mama's

Parking for Bahama Mama's


Most of the seating is outside although they say there is inside seating also. There was one lady waiting on tables, and I presume someone else doing the cooking.
Stage at Bahama Mama's (Pass the Hat Stage)

Stage at Bahama Mama's (Pass the Hat Stage)

Lights and TV in Bahama Mama's bar

Lights and TV in Bahama Mama's bar


Bob had the
Shrimp salad (which was a salad with grilled shrimp in it)

Shrimp salad (which was a salad with grilled shrimp in it)


I had the
Jerk chicken for $14.95

Jerk chicken for $14.95

.
This was a small half chicken - tender and spicy, with a small portion of fried plantains, two hush puppies, and two sides. I took shrimp hash cake (which was kind of like hash browns but with shrimp and peppers in it), and crab and rice. I also had a piece of Home made key lime pie $4.50 (it was warm)

Home made key lime pie $4.50 (it was warm)


and I drank iced tea. The total bill was under $31 before tip.
Bahama Mama's tables

Bahama Mama's tables


We got into conversation with two other couples - one from the Allentown area and one from the eastern shore and it was a nice relaxing evening.
Night time view from Bahama Mama's

Night time view from Bahama Mama's

Posted by greatgrandmaR 09:33 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Fish, Sunsets and Cuban Food

A visit to the Aquarium and dinner in a Cuban Restaurant


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Wednesday Feb 2, 2005

It was supposed to rain on Thursday and Friday, so I decided that if we were going to visit Mallory Square for the sunset, that today was a good day for it as there were some clouds and it would make a pretty picture. (All the time we lived in Key West, we never went to Mallory Square for the sunset. But now it is a big thing and something that is unique to Key West)

Bob was complaining that my coughing was keeping him awake, so he took me over to the ITT office on Sigsbee Park to do e-mail, and he went to the commissary and NEX and got some cough medicine, and Kleenex. He also figured out where the Radio Shack was because he wanted to get some battery clips or something.

After I finished with the email, I went over to the ITT ticket section because I figured out it would be cheaper if I bought the tickets there. So I got the Aquarium, Audubon House, the Customs House, East Martello Tower, the Butterfly Conservatory, and the Lighthouse for $74 (for two). Paying regular adult admission would be $104.00.

We came back to the trailer and had lunch, and then about 4:30, we left and drove down to Mallory Square.
Waterfront Playhouse near Mallory Square

Waterfront Playhouse near Mallory Square


We found a place in the Mallory parking lot,
Mallory Square entrance

Mallory Square entrance


Mallory Square before the show starts

Mallory Square before the show starts


and walked through the square over to the Aquarium. There were some of the performances going on - there was a man hanging upside down in a strait jacket,
Man in strait jacket

Man in strait jacket


some jugglers, and the cat man was feeding his cats.
Cat Man with his cats

Cat Man with his cats


I had been inclined to overlook the aquarium until my son-in-law who loves aquaria recommended it.
large_7153824-Local_Fish_for_Local_People.jpg
They had some real living coral in it (not just fiberglass mockups),
Aquarium

Aquarium


and a lot of fish, all suitably labeled,
What's up there?

What's up there?

Lighthouse information in the aquarium

Lighthouse information in the aquarium


Iguana

Iguana


including that little neon colored fish that swims among the anemones tentacles,
The little neon colored fish

The little neon colored fish


an octopus, some spiny lobsters, moray eels, and a big grouper.
Local lobsters

Local lobsters


Moray eel

Moray eel

Grouper

Grouper


There was a touch tank with hermit crabs and starfish etc. We saw them feeding the rays. They also had some outside tanks
Outdoor tank with stoplight parrot fish

Outdoor tank with stoplight parrot fish


with little hammerheads,
Hammerhead

Hammerhead

Turtle in the outdoor tanks

Turtle in the outdoor tanks


stoplight parrot fish, and sea turtles, one of which was missing a flipper.
Turtle in the Aquarium next to the Museum

Turtle in the Aquarium next to the Museum

Aquarium from the ocean side

Aquarium from the ocean side


It was a nice little aquarium.
Shipwreck Historium

Shipwreck Historium


We didn't go into the Shipwreck Historeum which was next door - it seemed like it would be a tourist trap People have said that we were wrong and that it was worthwhile to go to, but we've never been. We did go out to Mallory Square and settled down to watch the sunset.
Other sunset watchers

Other sunset watchers


I took 16 digital photos plus some with the film camera.
Film version of the sunset

Film version of the sunset


There were a variety of boats out there from a sailfish to a Coast Guard cutter
Coast Guard coming into port

Coast Guard coming into port


Dredge

Dredge


and there was also an active dredge,
Seagulls at sunset

Seagulls at sunset

2 Fly for $80

2 Fly for $80


the Sunset Key water taxi taking guests out for dinner (which was really Tank Island before the developers got to it) ,
Sunset with ships and seagull

Sunset with ships and seagull


some dive boats, a big jet boat, and various sailboats doing sunset cruises.
Sun behind cloud

Sun behind cloud

Dark Clouds, Golden Sunbeams

Dark Clouds, Golden Sunbeams

Sunset in 2005

Sunset in 2005

1920858-Sunset_from_Mallory_Square_Key_West.jpgBoat blocks the Sun

Boat blocks the Sun

Sunset from Mallory Square

Sunset from Mallory Square


Afterwards, we passed by (without stopping) the fire eaters (one of them a heavily tattooed woman),
Tattooed Fire Swallower

Tattooed Fire Swallower


Statue man

Statue man


the statue people who were all covered with silver paint, and various musicians.

We also went through the sculpture garden which had 39 statues and biographies of people influential in Key West such as Commodore Porter, Stephen Mallory, Simonton, Whitehead (the latter two with streets in Key West named for them), Asa Tift, the most notable salvager in Key West in the early 19th century.
Asa Tift

Asa Tift


Hemingway,
Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway


and Dr. Jeptha Vining Harris (1839-1914) who was born in SC and moved to MS
Dr. Jeptha Vining Harris

Dr. Jeptha Vining Harris


There also is a 20-foot monument titled "The Wreckers"
"The Wreckers"

"The Wreckers"


We went to eat at El Meson De Pepe, which turned out to be a kind of Cuban restaurant cum museum.
Restaurant entrance

Restaurant entrance

Jose Marti

Jose Marti


a model plane in the ceiling like one that someone made the flight from Cuba in about 1913,
Plane in the rafters

Plane in the rafters

Monroe Theatre - Now showing the Perils of Pauline

Monroe Theatre - Now showing the Perils of Pauline


There were pictures of old bodegas,
Bodegas of Key West

Bodegas of Key West


and old pictures on the walls of Key West athletes of Cuban descent.
Exhibits in the rafters-Cuban Heroes

Exhibits in the rafters-Cuban Heroes


There was also a setup for a band and a dance floor, but it was too early for that, or else they don't do that on Weds. We have found that we do not really like Cuban cuisine much, although we do like Mexican.

They brought us bread (warm and already buttered), and round soda crackers with an oil based and a tomato based dipping sauce (both hot).
Bread

Bread


Bob had shrimp (gambas) in yucca ($9.25),
Shrimp (gambas) in yucca ($9.25)

Shrimp (gambas) in yucca ($9.25)


and I had
tostado rellenos, which is stuffed plantains.

tostado rellenos, which is stuffed plantains.


There were four and each one about 3/4ths of a cup and stuffed with a different kind of meat ($8.50). One tasted like ground beef with green olives, one was pulled beef, one was pulled pork, and one had shrimp. Unfortunately the plantains were too woody and dry to eat. I was going to get fried plantains as a side dish, but I thought I could eat the stuffed ones, so I got plantain chips ($3.75) which Bob ate some of, but we didn't finish. The total bill was $23.11 before the tip.
Cigar store

Cigar store


When we walked out, we saw a cigar store was on one side of the restaurant, and there were also metal sculpture for sale.
Mallory Square - things for sale

Mallory Square - things for sale


The parking lot charged $3/hour, so our parking tab was $9 which kind of took up all the money we saved on dinner.
Leaving Mallory Square lot after sunset

Leaving Mallory Square lot after sunset


Bob said that if I did not take the cough medicine he would force it down my throat - probably only partly joking, so I did take it, and then got up and took another dose about midnight. Had a relatively peaceful night.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 13:32 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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