Independence Day in Key West

a.k.a. - "Our Alternative Lifestyle 4th of July"

We flew from Atlanta to Miami. The next morning, we started the drive down to Key West. Check out the ride - a Ford Expedition. It was huge, causing us to make references to it being a boat and our trip being a 'land cruise.'

On the drive down, at mile marker 86.7 (left side of the road), we passed Trasure Village Courtyard Shops. In front - a huge lobster!

Look at the craftsmanship!

Yeah, I'm a tail guy. I had to get a shot of it from behind.

Inside the Courtyard were macaws, parrots, etc.

Traveling a little further south to mile 77.5, we had lunch at the Hungry Tarpon. Afterwards, we went onto the dock to feed the 4-6 foot long tarpon. One almost swallowed Jill's hand, instead nicking her hand with its teeth.

Bill feeds a tarpon with Jill watching. Of course, Bill and I frequently chickened out, dropping the bait as the fish jumped.

Just before the bridge at mile 66.5, we stopped to view the archways that made up the original Overseas Highway. The road we drive on is eclipsed; its bridge not nearly as pretty.

(Mystery, rainbow-colored snapper-like fish...)

Then it was on to
Hawk's Cay Resort...
The resort had its own dolphin pools... By the time we left, Jill and Carey knew all their names - Sabastian, Ariel, etc.

...and its own lagoon fed by ocean tides. Since you couldn't see your toes, Jill preferred the pool.

The next day, it was on to Key West. The first stop was the Lighthouse, which had chickens on its grounds. Then again, chickens were friggin' everywhere.
Seen above, momma scratches the ground so the chicks can find seed.

Key West's is a very scenic lighthouse!
After a hurricane in the 1800s, they moved it way back on the island so it is a whopping 14 feet above sea level. (It was decomissioned in the 1970s and is just a tourist attraction.)

The banyan trees are awesome! (This is a view up Whitehead Street, parallel to Duval, towards Mallory Square.)

The top of the Lighthouse provided awesome views of the island.

Bill, down below, walks around the Lighthouse.

Carey poses in front of the chickens and one of the indiginous trees.

Jill at the top of the Lighthouse.

Headed back down...

Random church on Duval Street.

The famous, "Mile Marker 0" sign. With all the t-shirts, keychains, mugs, etc, you would think the natives had never seen other 'Mile 0' signs at every county border on every decent-sized highway.

Dinner at A&B's Lobster House.

Fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean.

Jill and I pose in front of the Southernmost Point. do Bill and Carey.

(The Lighthouse at night, as we walked from the Southernmost Point/fireworks back to the north side of the island.)

We watch a Disney ship leave port, waiting in vain for the horn to blow. (It never did.)

Posing in front of the fountain in front of the DoubleTree Grand Key West Resort.

The DoubleTree Grand Key West Resort Beach Club.

The next evening was spent at Mallory Square and Duval Street.

Jill, flower in hair, poses in front of some of the local "sculpture."

No idea what that is behind Jill, but at least SHE looks good.

Torential downpour. Twenty minutes of hard rain, then clear skies. (This picture was within minutes of the previous one.)

Bill gives Carey a quick squeeze. (...minutes after the rain stopped. You can tell the sun is back out.)

Little Cuba, inside some random shop.

On Mallory Square - Mo the "Greenback Retriever" - walks across a rope as part of her owner's act.

Though the ladder was dripping wet, she walked down it to the applause of the audience.

Ah, sunset on Mallory Square.

Bill and I get into the spirit of the town. (Feel free to visit their webiste and make your own... arrangements.)

South Beach 'on the way' back to the airport.

The South Beach / Art Deco district of Miami Beach.

...and the last stop before the airport...

Had to see the Orange Bowl!

Itinerary of the trip