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Beach and Butterflies

No Place to Change - Washing my Foot in the Toilet


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

Thursday, 3 February 2005

It was supposed to rain today, but it was clear and hot. So I thought we might go over to Truman Annex and see what facilities there were there for the internet and it might also be warm enough to swim.
large_x100_6535.JPG
So we drove over there - we had some problem finding the entrance because it is farther west than you would think.

I settled down to do email - they do not have a DSL connection here - it is dial up, but there is almost no one using it. Bob had lunch at the grille which he thought was expensive (it was about $6). Then I tried to figure out the logistics of swimming. There were a number of RVs around and I think they expect that most folks using this beach will change in their RV.

There is a little concrete building near the beach which has an outside shower, and a cubby hole (not labeled men or women and with NO DOOR) marked for changing. The building next to the patio which was under construction last year, but we could still change in there was completely under construction with workers inside the women's section. So I had to change in the Sunset Grill bathroom. Extremely unsatisfactory.
Trumbo Point beach

Trumbo Point beach


I walked down to the beach in a bathing suit and cover up and beach shoes, and took some pictures with the film camera. The NCL Majesty was coming in, and there were some folks on jet skis doing the island tour which I think circumnavigates the island (an hour and a half with a price of $101 for regular folks).
View from Tumbo Point beach

View from Tumbo Point beach


Also some Seabees or somebody was off the beach in Zodiacs doing something or other.large_52127_12.jpg
The water was cold, but not as cold as Sombrero last year nor as cold as Charleston Harbor Marina pool was last April. It was not hard for me to get in and swim a little bit. Now -- how do I get dressed again?

I walked over to the outside shower and showered. Then I went to the bathroom. Before I got there, a lady with two little black dogs (bichons?) asked me how the water was. She said they were in an old rented VW camper. They used to have one and she happened to say that she really missed theirs and wished they hadn't sold it, and the next morning one was in her yard.

I washed out my water shoes in the sink - getting a lot of sand in there (which I cleaned up). I put one foot up in the sink to get the
sand off, but I just stuck the other one in the toilet (after it had been flushed) and swished it around and dried it (I'm not going to be
eating with my feet after all). I stuck my head under the sink faucet and washed the sand out of my bathing suit in the sink.

After I got myself clothed and in order, we went to the PO to pick up the mail. I went to the Dutch door and rang the bell, and showed the
lady ID. She came back with the mail package that our daughter had sent from home and said - is there a man's name on this? Because it was addressed to Bob and she wasn't going to give it to me unless I knew what name it was for.
Green parrot bar

Green parrot bar


Then (after a discussion because I had originally intended to do the lighthouse this afternoon but I was too tired from swimming) we went to the Butterfly Conservatory. This is down at the Atlantic end of Duval Street near the Southernmost Point.
Southernmost Motel

Southernmost Motel


I wasn't sure if this would be a good thing, because we've been to butterfly places in Costa Rica AND Belize, but it turned out to be the best one of the bunch.
Bob walks from the parking lot

Bob walks from the parking lot

Butterfly conservatory from outside

Butterfly conservatory from outside

Entrance to the Butterfly Conservatory

Entrance to the Butterfly Conservatory


Our tickets were $8 @. If we had walked up to the door, it would have been $8.50 plus tax for us ancient people or military. So the ancient people pay $9.16 when you add the tax in. [and we paid more than that in Costa Rica]

In the first room there are exhibits with live caterpillars munching away, and also a 15 minute video tape about the life cycle of butterflies.
Gecko

Gecko

Butterfly chrysalises

Butterfly chrysalises


Then you go into a very warm and humid glass conservatory with a multitude of flowering plants, and also some birds
Orange bird

Orange bird


- no hummingbirds like they had in Costa Rica - that was a much bigger place.
A butterflies that likes Bob's red shirt

A butterflies that likes Bob's red shirt


Right away, a butterfly came and sat on Bob's shirt (which was red), and one lighted on his head later. They have a mirrored room on the exit so you can check to see if there are any hitchhiking butterflies.
Butterfly

Butterfly

Swallowtail Butterfly

Swallowtail Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly and flower

Butterfly and flower

One of the beautiful butterflies

One of the beautiful butterflies

Butterflies

Butterflies

Butterfly

Butterfly

Irridescent blue

Irridescent blue


But they had some yellow and orange finch type birds (not insect eaters),
Butterflies and birds share apple slices

Butterflies and birds share apple slices

Butterfly and flower

Butterfly and flower

Butterfly up by the conservatory windows

Butterfly up by the conservatory windows


Butterfly

Butterfly


and some little quail, a turtle, and big fancy finned koi in a pond.
Koi pond

Koi pond

Turtle

Turtle


Plus of course all the kinds and colors of butterflies that you could imagine. I got almost 20 good close up butterfly pictures.

You could get the butterflies in the gift shop frozen in acrylic. No photographs were allowed, so I photographed it from the sidewalk outside. I've been to their website, and I do not think it presents their product as well as I would have done had I been able to photograph it properly.
Butterflies in acrylic

Butterflies in acrylic

Butterfly shop

Butterfly shop


Avalon

Avalon


Scooter rentals

Scooter rentals


Then we came home to read our mail, and Bob cooked steak for dinner which was excellent.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:14 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Martello Museum

Feb 4th and 5th


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

4 Feb, 2005

I went back to the ITT office to do email, but we went about noon. Bob did a white wash, and also went to the exchange and commissary where he got himself some more turkey bacon and some bread and then went to Publix and got some cooked shrimp (cost about $9).

By that time I had finished, and I saw him drive past as I was about ready to leave the building. But he came in the back door as I went out the front door (and I was delayed a bit because I held the door open for a man with a walker), so I had to go back in to meet up with him.

We went out to the East Martello Tower Museum which is a National Registered Historic Site started in 1862 .
Museum entrance

Museum entrance


The Martello Forts (along with Fort Taylor) were part of the defense for Key West. As a Civil War citadel this spot never saw any action. Today, however, it serves as a museum with historical exhibits of the 19th to 20th century. Among the latter are relics of the U.S.S. Maine, a Cuban refugee raft, and books by famous writers -- including seven Pulitzer Prize winners -- who have lived in Key West. The tower, operated by the Key West Art and Historical Society, also has a collection of Stanley Papio's "junk art" sculptures and Cuban folk artist Mario Sanchez's chiseled and painted wooden carvings of historic Key West street scenes. Hours sometimes fluctuate, call in advance

Outside the East Martello tower entrance was a goofy looking larger than life sized sailor cutout. I took a picture.
Sign

Sign


The tickets I had admitted us for $4, and that was no particular savings because the price for seniors was also $4. There was a combo ticket for the Customs House, Lighthouse and East Martello Tower which was $16, but our tickets only cost $14.
From the window

From the window


They had exhibits in each section of the casements which were arranged to reflect some aspect of Keys life and history. I do not remember it being so organized before.

First was the Martello history. The (upside-down flower pot) design came from a Mortella Point tower on Corsica in 1793 and the British were so impressed with the way the French defenders resisted them with a very small force that they built 194 Martello forts around the world of which the Key West Martellos were the last to be built anywhere.
Drawing of the Martello Tower

Drawing of the Martello Tower

Martello history

Martello history


They were built to protect Fort Taylor during the Civil War (not by the British) and were not finished until after the Civil War was over.
View from the lighthouse of Ft Taylor

View from the lighthouse of Ft Taylor


This section also includes a history of the lighthouse, which Bob thought should be AT the lighthouse, but we haven't seen the museum there yet.
100_6600.JPGKey West Lighthouse photo

Key West Lighthouse photo

Painting of the Key West Lighthouse when it was still yellow

Painting of the Key West Lighthouse when it was still yellow


Room 2 had the first white settlers and the native Americans including a model of the house on Indian Key before the massacre.
Indian Key diorama

Indian Key diorama

Story of Indian Key

Story of Indian Key


Room 3 and 4 had early Key West, and a section on the Convent of Mary Immaculate which was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Name who came
from Canada in 1866.
Railroad ticket and a Cigar Manufacturer letterhead

Railroad ticket and a Cigar Manufacturer letterhead

Cigar making

Cigar making

Cigar Factory by Sanchez

Cigar Factory by Sanchez

Looking out the window

Looking out the window

100_6649.JPGPink gold

Pink gold

Monroe County Courthouse

Monroe County Courthouse


Section 5 had some pictures of Key West after various hurricanes and the story of a big fire here, plus some names of some of the pioneer settlers like Whitehead, Judge William Marvin, and Captain Geiger who really lived in Audubon House.
Duval St. Key West's Worst Storm, Oct 11, '09

Duval St. Key West's Worst Storm, Oct 11, '09

City Hall 1876

City Hall 1876

Captain John Geiger

Captain John Geiger

Old William Curry and Sons sign

Old William Curry and Sons sign


Room 6 was about the Spanish American war and the Battleship Maine.
Room 7 had pictures of the presidents who vacationed here.
Room 8 had a section on wreckers, spongers, the turtle industry and various other occupations in the late 1800s
Turtling

Turtling

Cuban Bread Wagon and Sponge Wagon

Cuban Bread Wagon and Sponge Wagon


Black Galloping Horse Sign

Black Galloping Horse Sign


Room 9 was on transportation
Hearse

Hearse


with a model of the City of Key West which was a steamship which Flagler purchased (formerly called the City of Richmond) to make the trip three times a week to Cuba, returning on the following day.
Model of the City of Key West

Model of the City of Key West


This also included the history of the airport (Meacham Field) which had scheduled flights to Cuba in 1927.
Model planes

Model planes

Meacham Field

Meacham Field


Then I saw that there was a large doll in a sailor suit. Oh -- that's what the cutout was - it was meant to be a representation of this doll. I read the story of the doll. Robert was a child sized doll given to a 4 year old Gene Otto in 1903, and Gene blamed Robert for all kinds of mischief. Gene died in 1974, and the doll is now in the museum. It is considered really bad luck to photograph Robert without asking his permission. Also exhibited were postcards and letters (some addressed to Robert himself) which spoke of the difficulties which have followed people who have tried to photograph Robert.
Robert the Doll story

Robert the Doll story


From the Original Ghost Tales of Key West I read One of Robert's favorite activities is to prevent his photo from being taken. Visitors have reported a variety of camera malfunctions and Robert's favorite trick is to black out his own photo, while leaving the remaining film unharmed
Robert the Doll

Robert the Doll


I sneaked a photo of Robert in his case rather than make him angry by taking his picture directly. When I look Robert up on the internet, I find two pictures used over and over again by most of the websites, so someone must have successfully taken Robert's picture.
df74b9e0-eb9a-11e8-9a6b-09d82c57a341.jpgRoberttheDoll

RoberttheDoll


Scott Johnson for the Horror Channel calls Robert 'the original Chucky' and writes:
Though Robert is available to take visitors year-round, the best time to introduce yourself, a practice recommended and followed by the museum staff, is during the month of October. During that one month, Robert is taken from the Martello Museum and housed in the Historic Custom House a few blocks down. It is during this time of year that he is said to be most active, and the employees always leave a bag of peppermints in his case with him in an attempt to cajole him into behaving. They swear there are always fewer candies the next morning.

Until next time . . .

Room 11 talked about artists and actors.
In Room 12, were newspaper articles about the raft that Cubans used to reach the US, and the actual raft
Cuban refugee raft

Cuban refugee raft

Cuban refugee raft newspaper articles

Cuban refugee raft newspaper articles


and then a bit on the Cuban Missile Crisis

At this point, my camera battery died, and I went back to the car to get a replacement and stopped to take some pictures.
Motorcycles in the parking lot

Motorcycles in the parking lot


I saw a cruise ship leaving the port (we'd seen one coming in the previous day, with all the Conch Trains and Old Town Trolleys going out to the dock to pick up the cruise people - Bob commented that if they arrived in the afternoon and left before sunset, that was probably all they had time for)
100_6630.JPGShip from the Celebrity Cruise LIne leaving Key West

Ship from the Celebrity Cruise LIne leaving Key West

Jogger

Jogger


I saw a jogger, and I also saw man walking along with rolling suitcases, and guess he was walking from the airport to one of the hotels along there.
Looking up from the courtyard at the top of the tower

Looking up from the courtyard at the top of the tower

Courtyard

Courtyard


In the courtyard around the central tower was a wooden boat, some statues (including a headless nude woman), a kind of stage area, and a child sized playhouse.
Headless nude on the right

Headless nude on the right

Wooden boat

Wooden boat

Stage area

Stage area

Inside the play house

Inside the play house


Then we climbed the very rusty stairs to the top of the tower.
Entrance to stairs to the roof

Entrance to stairs to the roof


Close-up of the Stairs to the roof

Close-up of the Stairs to the roof

View from the top

View from the top

Playhouse in the courtyard from the tower

Playhouse in the courtyard from the tower


I could see the cruise ship on the horizon, but it was so faint that the camera could hardly pick it up.
Lowering Clouds over the Atlantic

Lowering Clouds over the Atlantic

Beach from the Tower

Beach from the Tower


Mostly what you see from there is the airport.
100_6643.JPGAirport from the tower

Airport from the tower


Bob went into the gift shop section of the museum This is a shop run by the Key West Art and Historical Society. They have three shops-one at the Custom House, one at the lighthouse, and this one at the East Martello Tower. You an buy in person or on the internet. There are two main areas at the East Martello Museum. One is connected with Robert the Doll, and that area also has Halloween and haunted houses kinds of things and you can get license plates, coasters, and T-shirts and the like. If you have a Robert in the family, you can buy a button that says "Robert Did It"
large_button.JPG

Bob went downstairs from the gift shop to a place where there is an exhibit of paintings and intaglio wooden carvings by Mario Sanchez (who was born in Key West in 1908) which he said were worth seeing, but I thought it was of the 'folk art' that Stanley Papio was making out of old car parts and junk, so I didn't go.
Hemingway by Sanchez

Hemingway by Sanchez


I saw them later at the Customs House. You couldn't afford the actual art. What you could buy are prints of his work All the prints are unframed. Unsigned ones run around $25.00. The ones that he signed before he died in 2007 are about $175.00.
Key West chickens

Key West chickens


We saw more chickens outside the fort - Bob wants to know what the chicken catcher is doing. They are everywhere. There is a small park with picnic tables which is "open" from 7 am to 11 pm with a stern injunction against camping. .
No Camping

No Camping


Hyatt on Roosevelt

Hyatt on Roosevelt

Charter Fishing Row

Charter Fishing Row


Bob thought that the fried fish for $8.95 at the Sunset Grille on Sigsbee would be good for dinner, so we went out there.
Shore from near the Sunset Grille

Shore from near the Sunset Grille

Sunset Grille

Sunset Grille


It was a bit chilly (they had an electric fire), and there was a man with a microphone who kept saying "Test, two, one two". I said someone should teach him the way to count. There were no visible menus, no one to seat you, and the waitress ignored us and waited on other people. Plus the two-one-two man proved to be a guitar player playing country music. So we left. Bob suggested we go to Martha's which he had seen as we drove past the Hyatt on the way to the Martello Tower. So we did that.
Martha's Early Bird sign

Martha's Early Bird sign


We were early enough to be seated right away (about 6:30), but not early enough for the early bird specials ($5 off any entree before 6). This is a very fancy restaurant with table clothes and piano music (played at a very fast tempo - Bob suggested they kept it up tempo to make people eat faster) and uniformed waiters. There are four columnar salt water aquaria in the middle.
Martha's

Martha's


Bob got a $22.50 filet mignon (7 oz) with baked potato, and veggies (snap peas and carrots), and I got shrimp scampi ($21.50) which had 6 large shrimp on top.
Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi


These were among the least expensive entrees. Even the calves liver was $16. They gave us a round loaf of bread (very good) to start, and tossed salads which were pretty ordinary. The scampi noodles were so slippery that I could not wind them up on my fork no matter how hard I tried. So I ended up winding them in the spoon into a little mound and eating them from the spoon. I had the creme brulee to finish with - it was nice but nothing special. The bill was $53 before the tip.
Creme brulee

Creme brulee


By the time we finished at about 7:30, there were people waiting for tables. There isn't any place to eat for the people in the hotels around here except this restaurant and the Japanese steak house next door.

Saturday 5 February 2005

When I came out to do email, Bob was still in his pajamas. It was cold and quite windy. So I took the car and drove out to look at the mooring field, went over to the BOQ (now called Visiting Quarters) and asked about the wireless network that the computer detected (They said they didn't know anything about it).

Then I went out and did email etc at Sigsbee and went to NEX and cashed a check. There's a limit of $100/check $300/week, and I asked them when the week started. They said it started when you wrote the first check. But they didn't refuse to cash my check although Bob has done 3 checks of $100 starting on Sunday. I think they used my SSN instead of Bob's from my ID card. They are both on there.

Bob was dressed when I got back, but we didn't go out again, and he roasted a chicken for dinner, and we had a shrimp salad like he had at Bahama Mama's kitchen with it.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:53 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Lighthousing

No Parking in Town


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

Sunday 6 February 2005

I thought we might be able to find a parking place downtown today to go to the Customs House and Audubon House. So I drove over by myself and sent the last email,
Bridge to Fleming Key on my way to send the email

Bridge to Fleming Key on my way to send the email


and then we hopped into the car and drove downtown. No parking on the street and the lot that we found was $10 for 2 hours. So even though I wasn't really dressed for it (I was wearing a dress and I wanted to climb the tower), we went down to the lighthouse which has a parking lot.

The Key West Lighthouse was the subject of my first oil painting, and I've always had an affection for it. It was built inland (at 930 Whitehead St.) in 1847 because when it was at Whitehead Point it kept being toppled by hurricanes. In my painting, the lighthouse was yellow. But when we visited in 2000, it was a glistening white. In the lighthouse gift shop, I did find an old postcard of the lighthouse as it was before it was restored
large_1049700-Essential_KW-Key_West.jpg
I saw another painting of it from around that time at the East Martello Tower yesterday -- it looked just like it did in my painting.
Painting of the Key West Lighthouse

Painting of the Key West Lighthouse


I was glad to find out I hadn't been hallucinating. Comparison photos at the end of this section.

We gave them our ticket which was $5 each vs $10 each for regular admission. In the exit area from the gift shop, were some Fresnel lenses
Fresnel lens closeup

Fresnel lens closeup


including a bulls eye lens,
Fourth order Bulls-eye lens

Fourth order Bulls-eye lens


plus engineering drawings of the iron pile lighthouses. There was Alligator Reef, Sombrero,
Sombrero Key Lighthouse

Sombrero Key Lighthouse


Fowey Rocks,
Fowey Rocks Light is located seven miles southeast of Cape Florida on Key Biscayne

Fowey Rocks Light is located seven miles southeast of Cape Florida on Key Biscayne


American Shoal,
American Shoal

American Shoal


Sand Key, and Carysfort Reef.
Sand Key and Carsfort Reef

Sand Key and Carsfort Reef


Bob insisted that Sombrero did not have the little house on it, but I thought it must have had.
Looking up

Looking up


Then we climbed up the lighthouse. There are two windows (square) about half way up and 2/3rds of the way up, and there is a platform at the place where the lighthouse formerly ended. I met someone coming down as I was going up and he went back to this platform. Then there's two more short flights, and two round portholes before you get to the top with the outside platform.
Navy tower on Truman annex

Navy tower on Truman annex

Cruise ships through the lighthouse porthole

Cruise ships through the lighthouse porthole


This was a very difficult climb for me, and I had to sit down when I got up there. The climb and the recovery from it took me about 10 minutes. Bob was already there when I got there and he went down before me too. There was a man there who was a doctor and he was concerned that I might have had a heart attack. But I was just out of breath. I noticed that other people seemed to be having problems with the height which they thought was scary and the steps ditto. But fortunately I don't have those problems. I'm just out of shape.

I wanted to take a picture of Ft. Taylor from the lighthouse
Looking for Ft Taylor

Looking for Ft Taylor


(like the one I saw at East Martello Fort yesterday),
Ft Taylor from the lighthouse

Ft Taylor from the lighthouse


but I could not see where it was. I could see the Navy Communications tower at Truman Annex, and I know that is between the lighthouse and Fort Taylor, but I just could not see the fort.
Navy Communication tower

Navy Communication tower


Fort Taylor is in there somewhere. Bob thinks the trees have grown up and are now concealing it. I took more than 20 pictures of the panoramas in all directions and the things below the lighthouse.
Houses south of the lighthouse

Houses south of the lighthouse


Parasailing on the right

Parasailing on the right

AA plane heading for the Key West airport

AA plane heading for the Key West airport


There were two cruise ships in,
Cruise ships

Cruise ships

Holland American cruise ship and clock tower of the Monroe County Courthouse

Holland American cruise ship and clock tower of the Monroe County Courthouse

Cruise ship pier off Truman Annex

Cruise ship pier off Truman Annex


and I could see the long mole, and the tower on the top of the Southernmost House.
Tower on the Southernmost House

Tower on the Southernmost House


I could also see Hemingway House with a tour group on the balcony.
Hemingway's house with people on the balcony

Hemingway's house with people on the balcony


Hemingway complained that the lighthouse keeper could see into his bedroom.
Conch Train

Conch Train


Church from the lighthouse

Church from the lighthouse

Flag and church steeples

Flag and church steeples

Conch houses from the light

Conch houses from the light

Our car in the parking lot

Our car in the parking lot

Then I came on down,
Porthole

Porthole


Stairs from below

Stairs from below

Lighthouse window

Lighthouse window

Lighthouse window

Lighthouse window

Acetylene Gas LIne

Acetylene Gas LIne

Exit Tower

Exit Tower

Oil house

Oil house

Door of the oil house

Door of the oil house


Bob waiting at the bottom of the lighthouse

Bob waiting at the bottom of the lighthouse

Lighthouse door

Lighthouse door


and we toured the lighthouse keeper's cottage before we went back to the trailer
Lighthouse keeper's house

Lighthouse keeper's house


Lighthouse keeper wedding invitation

Lighthouse keeper wedding invitation

Wedding dress

Wedding dress

Mary Bethel 1834-1941

Mary Bethel 1834-1941


Newspaper Article

Newspaper Article

Photo of Fort Jefferson lighthouse

Photo of Fort Jefferson lighthouse

Picture of original yellow color of lighthouse over the fireplace behind Bob

Picture of original yellow color of lighthouse over the fireplace behind Bob


Bob and I had a discussion about where I would have been when I painted my lighthouse picture. There is both a square window and a round porthole in my picture. One of the windows (the lower one) looks out into the branches of a tree.
Lighthouse window that is in the trees

Lighthouse window that is in the trees


So I don't think it was that one. I think it was the upper window and was on the south side of the lighthouse, which would have meant that I was probably in what is now the parking lot. I found a photo I took of the lighthouse at the time to compare.
L-R  Old post card when the lighthouse was still yellow, my photo in 1968, my 1968 painting, Lighthouse in 2005 painted white

L-R Old post card when the lighthouse was still yellow, my photo in 1968, my 1968 painting, Lighthouse in 2005 painted white


We had roast chicken sandwiches for dinner while we watched the super bowl.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:07 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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