Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Road to Key West!


Water, water water in ALL directions! 

And something like 42 bridges connecting one key to another key to another until you finally (FINALLY!) end up in Key West, our destination location for yesterday’s plan of attack.

As we crossed each span of bridge on the Overseas Highway my mind was trying to absorb the sheer feat of BUILDING this highway…over the water…for miles and miles and miles.

The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile (181.9 km) highway carrying U.S. Route 1 (US 1) through the Florida Keys. Large parts of it were built on the former right-of-way of the Overseas Railroad, the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. 
Completed in 1912, the Overseas Railroad was heavily damaged and partially destroyed in the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. The Florida East Coast Railway was financially unable to rebuild the destroyed sections, so the roadbed and remaining bridges were sold to the state of Florida for $640,000.
Since the 1950s the Overseas Highway has been refurbished into a main coastal highway between the cities of Miami and Key West, offering travelers an exotic roadway through a tropical savanna environment and access to the largest area of coral reefs on the U.S. mainland. Many exotic animals such as the American Crocodile and Key Deer inhabit the tropical islands of the Florida Keys. [source]

This was my third trip to Key West, once by car in the 1990s after vending at a show in Orlando, and then by cruise ship several years ago.
Miles of turquoise water!
We broke up the trip by stopping when and where we wanted – this time at Bass Pro shops –”Heck, it has to be different than the one at home, it couldn’t be the same could it??” Seems to me I’ve used a similar rationalization when having to stop at quilt shops along the way, because surely – they HAD to be different!
the parking lines are different! HA!
I stocked up!
Key lime season salt?  Yummy.  I like to bring “consumables” home because we CAN consume them and have them gone.  This will be great for the grill.
We wandered the piers behind!
Here fishy, fishy!

And the road went on and on!  Sorry for the wind sound, I had the windows down trying to minimize reflection.  What a gorgeous day!


First stop!

Seam Shoppe!

And they were closed for the long Thanksgiving holiday – and I should have called ahead, but it didn’t matter, this was just ONE thing I wanted to do in Key West.

Key west is VERY busy.  And parking is a nightmare.  Truly.  But the best deal by far is to park in the Old Town Garage, because with your garage parking stub your whole party gets to ride the hop on/off trolley all day.

Another fun thing is the 90 minute tour on the Conch Train, and your pass is good for TWO DAYS of hop on/off at certain designated areas.


At the pier!


A giant statue depicting Renoir's Dancing in the City adorns the entrance to the Key West Art and History Museum, commonly known as the Old Post Office and Customs House.


The old Coast Guard building

Of everything to love about Key West from the beautiful ocean to the food and anything else that could capture your imagination, I would have to say that I love the old houses the best.  I try to imagine what it would have been like to live here in the late 1800s to early 1900s, when the more gingerbread you could display on the outside of your house, the better!

Getting photos from the confines of the Conch Train was not easy, but these are just a few of the ones I fell in love with:


Harry S Truman’s  Little White House!


Say yes to purple shutters and palms!


Gorgeous gingerbread!


Could you stitch on this veranda?


Or this one?

Love the bike against the fence.


White picket fences and purple/magenta blooms!


The southernmost point marker

The LINE was huge.  I’m not a big fan of long lines just to get my photo taken….so as we drove by – I waited, I waited, and when the opportunity was right, I snapped!


And I cropped!



This little pink “eye brow” bungalo!


Front porches meant for rocking!

I just loved the houses so much, from small shotgun cottages to rambling victorians –it is all so KEY WEST.


Our one excursion stop!

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

I tried to choose something that would be of interest to The Hubster, and as a scuba diver, I knew he’d like to see recovered ship-wreck bounty, and I found it interesting too.  Found artifacts are like clues into people’s lives from a much earlier time. 

NEXT TIME I'll see the Hemminway House.  Sometimes you just gotta compromise!


Scissors and sewing supplies!

Did I care about the jewelry, gold or silver bars and coins?  No.  Just sewing stuff!


Recovered thimbles.


Back to the depot as the sun gets lower in the sky.

No key lime pie happened in Key West, but let me tell you that Key Lime sherbet is every bit just as good!


And the sun sets on Key West

I took this photo from the top level of the parking garage, likely the highest point in  all of Key West!

Was there time enough to do everything?  NO.  There never is.  And I’ve learned to be happy with whatever we get to do, whatever there is time for – there will always be something left undone for the NEXT time we come back to this magical place.


Dinner at Mrs. Mac’s!

Back in Key Largo, we stopped at Mrs Mac’s for a delicious meal – I loved the shadow box tables and all of the artifacts under glass.  FUN!


This morning in our cove.

This morning is a “take it easy” start, with plans for a glass bottom boat tour this afternoon.

Another sunny day in paradise!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Today is the LAST SUNDAY of November, 2016. Phone a friend today. Not an email, not a text.

Nothing can compare to the sound of their voice and your laughter together. Make real contact!

54-40 or fight quilt shared by Kevin H.

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  1. Thank you, Bonnie! That was sure interesting. I've never been to Florida. Looks like a neat place to visit.

    Thanks, again!

  2. Miss Bonnie - I am so glad you are having a good time on your well deserved vacation! Thanks for taking us along with you! Safe travels!

  3. I am glad you are taking time for yourself and your hubby. Enjoy! You can rest assured that we all are enjoying En Provence!

  4. Awesome pics! We're hoping this year to get to Key West during our snowbird time. I love all those porches....so inviting!

  5. looks like you have seen most of the same stuff we saw when we visited - when we went I didn't get an actual key lime pie although I did buy a bottle of the juice to make my own - what we did see were street vendors selling key lime pie on a stick - wasn't actual pie - but frozen without the crust dipped in chocolate and on a stick - so yummy seems like I stopped several times on our 3 day stay!

  6. I've never been to Key West, but have it on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing photos and insights. Sounds like a wonderful place. Enjoy the rest of your trip.


  7. Marvelous, just a marvelous day you two had! Hugs, Allison in Plano, Texas USA

  8. Love the drive to key west on a beautiful day. Miss Mac's is a great stop. Key Lime Pie is delicious there too. I had Key Lime Pie at least once a day when we were down there a few years ago. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  9. I've been to Key West for a week at a time three or four times...and that still isn't enough time to see it all! Maybe I should spend less time sitting with a mojito/margarita/other cold drink while people-watching. Did enjoy sailing on the Jolly Rover, visiting Fort Zachary Taylor, climbing the lighhouse, the Hemingway House and on and on...

  10. Great colors of the keys. We took a family trip to the keys in 1968. (First & last). I enjoyed in.

  11. This looks like such a fun place! We are thinking about a trip to the keys...would love to know more about where you stayed, a hotel, a house? Your cove looks lovely....that's one thing I've worried about in the Keys, is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of sandy beach area....what was your thought about beach area.

  12. I could see myself sitting on one of the verandas with my Hexis is on my lap. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip, now I'll add it to my bucket list.

  13. I hope next years mystery is based on Key West!😉 I've only been once, but loved it all!

  14. I just have to say that touring through you is amazing. Than km you for sharing.

  15. Beautiful pictures, I love seeing the Keys through other peoples eyes, I'm so glad you enjoyed it, did you get the sherbert at Flamingo Crossings? A mystery quilt in the colors of the Keys would be amazing, hint hint.

  16. I love the drive down to Key West. We'd done it a few times and I hope I'll get to do it again. Such a cool, funky place. And if I had a White House, that's where I'd want mine!! Could escape the cold in DC! LOL You're enjoying every minute of your free time! YAY

  17. I hope your glass bottom boat trip goes better than ours did. The waves were high. Lots of sea sick people. I've never seen so many people throwing up in one place before. :)

  18. Thanks for the memories! Husband and I took our motorcycle from Orlando to Key West one time - stayed on Grassy Key. We loved the Hemingway house, but then, we're both English Language arts teachers! Go figure.

  19. So nice to see and hear you relax.

  20. Glad u found some time to enjoy the view.I miss our FL home often....take in the sun!

  21. Glad u found some time to enjoy the view.I miss our FL home often....take in the sun!

  22. Great post, you are an excellent travel blogger in addition to the quilt portions!

  23. BONIE!!!! Your
    You made me home sick for southern south Florida! The 7 mile bridge always makes me feel like we were floating on air. The colors, the scent to clean sea salt and the glinting sun...seeing the fish In those waters..... Been a long time, but down down deep I will always be a Florida Girl... Thanks for the memories.
    Have relaxing dreamy time... Eat coch fritters and key lime pie...the REAL key l ime pie
    Hugs JulieinTN

  24. Bonnie,
    Thank you for sharing your Key West pictures; they made me smile That is one of my husband's and my favorite places in the US. We can both relax and find quiet things to do even in the hustle and bustle of the area. Another thing that made me smile was your four patch tutorial and the seam spinning. The lightbulb went on and I made the most perfect ever four patches for my En Provence quilt. Thank you for teaching me! Have a great relaxing time!

  25. Definitely one of hubster's and my favorite places in this beautiful country. Be careful if you return in July, specifically around the 4th. They spray heavily for mosquitoes, and if you're allergic, you'll earn a trip to the ER. And that ain't no place to be on July 4th in Key West, lemme tell ya! Lots of gory stuff, most of it alcohol induced, shall we say.

    Loved your pictures; I could smell the salt air on the drive...oh wait, maybe that's because my windows are open and the wind is from the west...we are fortunate enough to live close enough to the coast that when the wind is right, we can smell the ocean. If you come back up the west coast, email me, and you can stop over here and I will SHOW YOU THE MANATEES...LOTS AND LOTS OF 'EM. they are HERE! :) Not quite by the hundreds just yet, but there have been several spotted already. And y'all can swim with 'em, if you'd like..just don't touch. (ha, like don't touch the quilts, right? Seriously, though, don't touch - it's a felony)

  26. Thank you for the trip down memory lane. My husband and I made many trips to the Keys when we were first married in the 70's. it was our favorite place in the whole world. He is gone now but you brought back wonderful memories for me. God Bless.

  27. Thanks for sharing your trip. This trip is in my Hope to do it Bucket. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

  28. Thank you for the tour. Key West looks like an interesting place. My girlfriend and I skyped this morning. I haven't seen her since my mum's funeral, seven years ago. We decided this was so much more personal than private messages on Facebook. Loved the Gilmore Girls and the Crown. I watch Netflix on the iPad while sewing.

  29. You're in my neighborhood now. We live near MM90 . and, yes, it is a beautiful area. Stick around until Saturday for our quilt guild Christmas party. It's in Key Largo.
    Let me know if you can make it. We'd love to have you.


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