More from Key West

So I last wrote of our first day of arrival in Cayo Hueso.  It consisted of a lunch stop at BO’s Fishwagon, checking in at the Doubletree Resort (free, only reason we used it), and dinner at the Hogfish Bar & Grill on Stock Island.  As we sat for dinner outdoors at a marina, we could see a squall line moving in.  We had just figured out there was a storm that had been plaguing Florida, TS Debby.  We had navigated the entire length of the state and had no idea there was such a storm brewing!!  That’s what you get when iPods are are only source of music/entertainment.

Winds kicked up considerably, houseboats rocked and the staff moved us indoors to avoid the oncoming sideways rain.  It lasted for about 20 minutes and then all was good once again.  The beautiful thing about the Keys is storms rarely last long (unless it’s a big boy hurricane, of course), generally a half-hour of precip and then all is back to normal.  Same was the case with this last band from Debby.

We enjoyed some great food at Hogfish!  I had the Cuban Mix sandwich and was glad I chose it.  Lynn got the grilled hogfish stuffed with crabmeat and it was exceptional!  Usually, grouper is our favorite fish due to the light fishy taste and texture.  Well, hogfish is lighter and (I think) better!  Very impressed and we will probably visit there once again.

We made our way back and had a good night’s sleep.

First full day, Day 2, in KW, would be our beach day.   After a great breakfast at our favorite joint, Blue Heaven, we came hit Duval for just a bit.  Long enough to stop into the Coach outlet and spend time figuring out which new bag Lynn wanted for the upcoming year.  A quick walk down to the best little bookstore in the world, Key West Island Books, and we were back at the car ready for some beach time.

Now with Debby still in the atmosphere, winds were a little brisk at around 30 knots.  The sun wasn’t really out but temps were in the 80s so it’s good enough for us.  We hit Smathers Beach, looked around and saw we had the entire run of the sand!  Nobody within hundreds of feet in either direction.  So we set up shop, put the chairs down and watched the whitecaps and crashing surf for a while.  After a brief doze, we kicked around in the surf while avoiding the sea kelp and weeds that were piling up with each wave and we flicked the creepy feeling vegetation off our ankles.  Another hour or so and we’d had enough.  Naturally, with cloudy conditions neither of us did the sunscreen thing and we came out all right.  Only issue was the windburn we got, but it wasn’t severe or too annoying.

We came back, napped and decided to take the free resort shuttle down to Duval Street.  A nice service that made for additional drinks at Key West’s best watering hole, the world-famous Chart Room Bar.  Most folks know this is where Jimmy Buffett first arrived in KW with his friend Jerry Jeff Walker in the early 70s.  He would play his guitar in the corner while patrons would tell him to quiet down.  The Chart Room has been the site of many a dirty deal, labor negotiations, swilling rum and telling lies for as long as it’s been a place.  The bar houses the ashes of four former ‘regulars’ and there are small brass name plates for each.  I love this place, it never fails to entertain and liquor me up!  We got to chat with Captain Pete for a while, who is always great for stories and tales!

A big regret on this trip is the lack of Key West Lou!  He’s on vacation in Greece & Italy, won’t be back for another 4 weeks.  Was hoping to hang with Louis, take him to dinner and properly thank him for the entertainment and information he’s passed along to me over the years through his blog and webcasts.

More later, Cats!


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