A Travellerspoint blog

The Marathon Winter - Part I - A Busy January

Shopping and Revisiting Old Haunts


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2003-2004 Winter in Marathon & 2003-2004 Marathon Winter & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Map of our Day Trips from Marathon

Map of our Day Trips from Marathon

Our original idea was to buy a 'conch cruiser' (an old car which runs but looks as if it won't) and then sell it when we left.
Conch cruiser that runs

Conch cruiser that runs


However, we discovered that Florida charges $100 extra for the first car you register in Florida (which this would have been) and we figured that by the time we bought a car and paid that fee and taxes and registration, we'd have spend $700 to $1000. And renting a car was only $155 to 175/week. So we rented a car for a week once a month to make the run to the commissary in Key West. When we have the car, we eat out every night

January 2004 - First Rental Car Week

January 8th, Bob took a cab to the airport to pick up the car. He felt the taxi overcharged him.
A fish

A fish


We didn't do much as it was too hot, except we went all the way to the east end of the island for dinner. First I looked at Captain Hook's. I wanted to go scuba diving, so I asked around. There was a guy named Larry at the marina who works at this place, so I went up there to check it out. I never did go diving - it was always too windy (not good visibility) or the water was too cold or I didn't have a car to get up there. Captain Hooks was about as far from the marina as it was possible to get. (Address: 11833 Overseas Highway)
Capt Hooks

Capt Hooks

Part of the grounds

Part of the grounds


"Our custom dive boat goes to the reef twice a day. The Reef Hopper has a fresh water shower for refreshing after your dive and a long ladder to assist with your boarding needs. Capt. Hook's is a PADI 5 STAR CENTER. We specialize in small groups so you get personal attention and are never rushed. Come dive where you know you will be taken care of. "
Captain Hooks has pools of fish outside. Crane Point Museum where we went later also has fish but these are better and there are more fish - plus it is free to look at them. Every evening at 4 pm, they feed the fish. You can come and see that for free too.
Fish under reflections

Fish under reflections

19058ab0-089e-11ea-852f-27789409067d.jpgMore fish

More fish


Captain Hooks is sort of next door to where we ate dinner at Fish Tails. I had actually confused this place with the Keys Fisheries Market and Marina which is where I meant to eat. Address: 11711 Overseas Highway MM 53
Directions: Ocean side of Overseas Highway just before the Vaca Cut Bridge near the Marathon Lady Party Boat and Captain Hook's Dive Center.
113607b0-089e-11ea-852f-27789409067d.jpgFish Tails sign from Captain Hooks

Fish Tails sign from Captain Hooks


This place is small but neat. On the west side is a cooler with desserts and bottled drinks. Opposite it was a display case with all kinds of fresh fish. On the other side were small light colored natural wood tables, backed by a full wall mural of an island and crab pots, and a board with the specials written on it.
FishTails 2019

FishTails 2019


I had the curried dolphin infused with coconut, and dirty rice special for $9.95 (with some coleslaw, a hot roll and a slice of tomato). Bob had the fried yellowtail special (also $9.95) with potato salad, coleslaw, roll etc. We both drank iced tea. Bob had enough to eat that he couldn't finish his potato salad (so I had some of it), but I also had a chocolate chip ice cream pie ($2.95) for dessert. I could also have had either mocha or peanut butter and chocolate ice cream pie. They also had key lime pie.

On January 9th we made a trip to Key West.
Pigeon Key from the new bridge

Pigeon Key from the new bridge

7 Mile bridge

7 Mile bridge

Island off the highway

Island off the highway


First we revisited the Botanical Garden on Stock Island. I had visited it for the first time when we lived in Key West in the late 60s.
Plants in the Botanical Garden in the late 1960s

Plants in the Botanical Garden in the late 1960s

Pod and flower display

Pod and flower display

Reflections in the water-1960s

Reflections in the water-1960s

1968 Botanical Garden

1968 Botanical Garden

My dad and my kids in the Botanical Garden in 1968

My dad and my kids in the Botanical Garden in 1968


There's not too much to see on Stock Island. About the only things I know of on the island are businesses, a marina, some restaurants, Key West area's one golf course, some dive shops and the animal rescue shelter. So if there is a Must See on Stock Island, this would be it.
Entrance to the Botanical Garden 2004

Entrance to the Botanical Garden 2004

Looking up the tree

Looking up the tree

Bob in the Botanical Garden

Bob in the Botanical Garden

Bob in the Botanical Garden by the plant wall

Bob in the Botanical Garden by the plant wall

Wall of plants

Wall of plants

Palm tree

Palm tree


This is advertised as the 'only frost-free tropical moist forest garden in the continental' US. Their goal is to eliminate the non-native invasive plants and retain the local indigenous plants. They have three rare fresh water ponds in the Keys and so they are on the migratory bird routes.
Birdhouse

Birdhouse

Base of the trunk of a  Canary Island date palm

Base of the trunk of a Canary Island date palm

large_mapbg.JPGSplit trunk - #1

Split trunk - #1


Unfortunately it was so long after I took the photos that I lost the brochure that they gave me, so I'm not sure what my photos have pictured.
99d4d6b0-0767-11ea-a240-ef07fc3361ef.jpgBotanical Garden

Botanical Garden

9f14d530-0767-11ea-b1e2-25b5b59fef62.jpgBotanical Garden

Botanical Garden

Yellow flower

Yellow flower


We also visited the Boca Chica marina (on the Naval Air Station) where we had our boat for a couple of days two years ago.
Deck of the CSY Ol' Dog 2

Deck of the CSY Ol' Dog 2

Boca Chica marina

Boca Chica marina

We had lunch in Key West at the Key West Diner (which we had eaten at before) As of 2019 this place no longer exists
Key West Diner sign

Key West Diner sign


It looks interesting from the outside but the food is nothing special. We went here again for lunch (so I could take some photos). The paint on the front (not pictured) is peeling. Lots of regulars eat here but I thought the prices were quite high.The waitress's uniforms don't say Key West Diner - they say "Key West Buffet". They had buffets all day.
Early Bird 7 am to 8 am $3.99
Breakfast 8 am to 11 am $6.25
Lunch 11 am to 4 pm $8.99
Dinner 4 pm to 9 pm $10.99
Seafood - Friday dinner time $14.99
Buffet

Buffet


The first time we went at lunchtime, and I got the buffet. I would have done better to get a sandwich as I didn't find that much that was attractive to eat on the buffet. The second time I knew to avoid the buffet. As it was just before noon, and since breakfast is available up until noon, I got a
3 Egg cheese omelet, hash browns and toast $6.75

3 Egg cheese omelet, hash browns and toast $6.75


and Bob got
Hamburger and fries for $5.95

Hamburger and fries for $5.95


We drank iced tea, and our total before tip was $17.76

After that we went to the West Martello Tower.
West Martello sign

West Martello sign


There are two Martello Towers East and West. The West Martello tower was built on a site which historic research shows had been a burial ground for almost 300 African slaves.
Original sign for the African cemetery

Original sign for the African cemetery


The disinterment of human bones on the southeast side of the island, where excavations were being made for public improvements a few years ago, gave rise to the impression that a public burying ground had once been located in that vicinity. These remains, however, were those of the Africans who were en route to Cuba on the slave ships Wildfire, William, and Bogota which were intercepted by the US Navy in 1860; a number of those Africans died here, and were buried some distance from the barracoon, at the place where the bones were found.

The African cemetery appears on an 1861 map drawn by the US Army Corps of Engineers located in an uninhabited tract of land, along the beach what is now called Higgs Beach. On the map, it is labeled "African Cemetery," with nine small X's to represent the location of the graves. Later, a Martello tower was constructed in the same location in 1862.

According to maps, 295 graves were under the West Martello structure, and extended out onto the beach towards the East. Ground Penetrating Radar was used in an archaeological survey that tested the theory of the location. On the beach, approximately 40 feet from the fort walls, rows of grave-like features were found. At this location, 2 to 3 feet below the surface were a series of 5 to 6 foot long oval holes exactly where the African Cemetery was mapped in 1861. Nine of these are very clear, and another six are there, but not as well defined. These features are closely spaced, and form three rows. The images recorded of these features match exactly with other known grave-sites found by using GPR.

There has now been constructed a memorial to those who died as a result of the conditions on the slave ships.
Sign about the cemetery which was put up later

Sign about the cemetery which was put up later


It was a part of the fortifications of Key West, which included Fort Taylor. It was never involved in an actual war, but in 1873, the Fort Taylor gunners were using it for target practice. They stopped in 1921 when Key West's first (and only) beachfront hotel (Casa Marina) was built just south of the tower. For some reason the hotel guests objected to having cannon shells flying overhead. But the damage had been done - many of its Romanesque arches had fallen and the watchtower was leveled. Rubble, bricks and slate flooring littered the beach. It was an eyesore that the county wanted to demolish. This was another place that we visited in the late 60s
My father taking a photo in the West Martello tower c 1967

My father taking a photo in the West Martello tower c 1967


Entrance

Entrance

Sign on the door

Sign on the door

gazebo inside

gazebo inside

West Martello Tower

West Martello Tower

Spooky

Spooky

Arch surrounded by Strangler Fig

Arch surrounded by Strangler Fig

Gate

Gate

Lattice shadows

Lattice shadows

Palm branches

Palm branches

Pathway

Pathway

Doorway

Doorway

Trees above the broken roof

Trees above the broken roof

Small pond

Small pond

2ad4de30-089e-11ea-852f-27789409067d.jpgSea view and beach

Sea view and beach

Casa Marina beach from West Martello Tower

Casa Marina beach from West Martello Tower

Pathway

Pathway

Bob walking ahead of me

Bob walking ahead of me

Archways

Archways


Today the Tower is operated by The Key West Garden Club, and hosts the Joe Allen Garden Center (small admission charge), offering self-guided tours to explore local flora and enjoy the tropical settings. Open Tues-Sat 9:30 to 3:15.

Coming back to Marathon

Coming back to Marathon


We had dinner at the Cuban restaurant Don Pedros in Marathon MM 53 Address: 11399 Overseas Highway Directions: Just south of the Vaca Cut bridge and north of the airport. (Ocean side). This restaurant has apparently closed.
Don Pedro sign

Don Pedro sign


We were pretty early for dinner, and there were few people there. The place was dark and cool, but the wait staff seemed uninterested. I had
a la carte Black bean soup

a la carte Black bean soup

Fried plantains, yellow rice and chicken

Fried plantains, yellow rice and chicken

Tres Leches

Tres Leches


I don't remember what Bob had. Our meal including a $5.00 tip was $35.40
Their website says: "We specialize in Roasted pork, Argentinean steak, Nicaraguan steak (the authentic Churrasco with chimichurri sauce) and fresh Yellow tail. We also have homemade sangria and for desserts we offer Flan, Tres Leches,Key Lime Pie and many more. To finish your meal! Have a cup of Cafe con Leche (cafe latte) or a shot of Cuban espresso."

On Saturday January 10th we had dinner at the Key Colony Inn which we think is the best restaurant in Marathon. Most people eating here looked like golfers - there is a golf course across the street.
1375625-Golf_course_at_Sombrero_Marathon.jpgGolf course in the evening behind restaurant

Golf course in the evening behind restaurant


Front door

Front door


The restaurant was nicely decorated, with carpet on the ceiling (which had precast concrete beans) to keep down the noise. Even though we came without reservations, we were seated without any fuss. The wait staff wear T-shirts that say
Heaven is when...

Heaven is when...


"Heaven is when the police are British, the cooks are Italian, the mechanics are Germans, the lovers are French and it's all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the chefs are British the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, the police are Germans and it's all organized by the Italians."

Trying to keep the total bill down, Bob had a bowl of the soup of the day (split pea $2.50) and a serving of lasagna ($11.95) which he couldn't finish and we brought some of it home and a banana coupe ($3.95). I had
Chicken l'orange ($12.95)

Chicken l'orange ($12.95)


which was so tender I could cut it with a fork (but I also couldn't finish and had to bring part of it home). With our entrees we got bread, and I had au gratin potatoes. We each also got a salad. I had a
Chocolate Mousse Cake $3.00

Chocolate Mousse Cake $3.00

.
The total bill was $46.08 including tip.

On Sunday January 11th we went to the Big Pine Flea Market
Sign for the Flea Market

Sign for the Flea Market


Big Pine Flea Market

Big Pine Flea Market


There's a big flea market at Big Pine every Saturday and Sunday 8 to 2 from October to May. So many people come that the traffic is terrible. There is a big parking lot with no shade. Be sure you've got sunscreen.

There are a variety of items on sale.
Fishing equipment booth

Fishing equipment booth

Socks

Socks


The first time, I got some canvas for painting pictures on, and sunglasses. Bob got some very cheap canvas bags, and shirts that were seconds. There were also books, pottery, dishes, knives, T-shirts, sarongs, socks, and knicknacks of various sorts.
Sunglasses

Sunglasses


One time Bob got a pair of polarized sunglasses for $6.00. He also got a patch repair kit for patching a flat hose for about $3.00. One guy has various pieces of stainless boat hardware such as handles and hinges, stainless strips, and dinghy plugs, etc.
T-shirt and clothing booth from pavillion

T-shirt and clothing booth from pavillion


They also have women's sarongs, terry bathrobes, bathing suits, etc. These shops with the T-shirts nicely displayed are not the ones that you get 4 for $10.00. But at that they are probably cheaper than you will get in Key West on Duval Street.
Big Pine Flea Market bargain shirt table 4 for $10

Big Pine Flea Market bargain shirt table 4 for $10


The bargain shirt table has seconds which have a flaw in them - Check to see where the flaw is. But I've worn some of these where the flaw was covered by an embroidered star in the back of the neck for several years and they are cheap enough
Plant stand

Plant stand


Fresh vegetables or plants is/are one of the things you can buy. We've never bought any so I don't know the prices
Flea market Mini Donut stand

Flea market Mini Donut stand


I have never seen this place when the line was short enough to stand in the sun to get food here. So I do not know anything about the food. I do not even know if it is open any days except Saturday and Sunday. If I was to buy something here it would probably be donuts!!!
Big Pine hamburger stand

Big Pine hamburger stand


Bob sometimes gets lunch here when we go to the swap meet. You can get hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, sloppy joes, fries, cheese fries and ice cream here at this booth. Also ice cream, cotton candy, shakes, lemonade, iced tea, bottled water, soft drinks, orange juice, milk and ice.
Before the rush

Before the rush


This food stand is open during the Big Pine Flea Market, and on a hot day it is a nice place to sit out of the sun. They have mostly fried seafood. I've had conch fritters for $3.50 which were OK.
Sign advertises
- New England clam chowder $2.99/cup
- fish sandwich, clam strips, or chicken strips for $4.99 - add fries for $5.99
- chicken or tuna salad sandwich $3.00.
- Fisherman's platter $7.99.
- Onion rings $2.25.
- Brownie 75 cents
- Coffee 65 cents
- hot cocoa 75 cents
- mug root beer, pink lemonade, iced tea, bottled water or soft drinks for $1 (small) or $2 (large size)
All PLUS TAX, which in Florida is 7.5%
Fish Fry Menu Board

Fish Fry Menu Board

Katie's Cantina menu board

Katie's Cantina menu board


Bob having lunch

Bob having lunch


Sitting on the benches in the shade and watching the passersby, I've seen really tall model type girls in high platform shoes (I didn't see how they could walk) with short bald men. I've seen families with double strollers, and bikers. Very interesting to watch the people. I couldn't believe it when I saw this lady at the flea market, but I didn't get my camera working in time to get a really good shot. What she is wearing is a fanny pack/waist bag that is in the shape of a rainbow trout.
Lady with fish waist bag

Lady with fish waist bag


Then we went to the Blue Hole part of the Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine. The visitor center is located 100 miles southwest of Miami and 30 miles northeast of Key West, FL along U.S.#1. Headquarters is on Big Pine Key in the Big Pine Key Plaza off Key Deer Boulevard. It is not at the Blue Hole or the other two trails.
Sign about refuge

Sign about refuge


The Blue Hole has visitor facilities including an interpretive kiosk, staffed by volunteers, and an observation platform.
Bob and me reflected in the refuge map

Bob and me reflected in the refuge map


Central on Big Pine Key is an old quarry, filled with freshwater, and home to a diverse array of wildlife— the Blue Hole. It is a popular look-out spot for visitors to Big Pine Key.
submerged alligator

submerged alligator


Alligator swimming toward us

Alligator swimming toward us

Alligator in the Blue Hole

Alligator in the Blue Hole


1378613-Our_shadows_in_the_water_Big_Pine_Key.jpgOur shadows by alligator

Our shadows by alligator


2 alligators

2 alligators

Alligator swimming away

Alligator swimming away


1378610-other_shore_Big_Pine_Key.jpgOther side of the pond

Other side of the pond


Interpretive Sign

Interpretive Sign


1378614-Snapping_turtle_Big_Pine_Key.jpgSnapping turtle

Snapping turtle

Snapping turtle and fish

Snapping turtle and fish

Viewing stand from across the quarry

Viewing stand from across the quarry

Water near trail

Water near trail


Just north of the Blue Hole are two interpretive nature trails: one penetrating the tropical hardwood hammock, the other a wheelchair accessible journey through pine rocklands to a freshwater wetland slough.
Wheelchair Accessible Trail sign

Wheelchair Accessible Trail sign


1378544-Freshwater_slough_Big_Pine_Key.jpgFreshwater Slough

Freshwater Slough

Marsh area from the trail

Marsh area from the trail

We also started our visit of Museum and Nature Center of Crane Point. 5550 Overseas Hwy Directions: Mile Marker 50.5 Bayside (there is a traffic light there)
US 1 sign for the museum

US 1 sign for the museum


In 2004, Admission was $7.50 per adult. Children under 6 free, students 6 and up $4.00 (college students must have ID) and seniors $6.00.
Canon in front of the museum

Canon in front of the museum

Boat of the type used in the late 1800s

Boat of the type used in the late 1800s

Outside Door of museum

Outside Door of museum


Inside door

Inside door


Inside the museum is a Natural History section with dioramas of local flora and fauna and historic displays.
Key Deer family

Key Deer family


Shore birds

Shore birds

Fishes of the Keys

Fishes of the Keys

Hallway

Hallway

Turtle shells

Turtle shells


Out in the back of the main museum building is a small aquarium and zoo,
1374971-Fish_Vaca_Key.jpgFish tanks

Fish tanks


1374263-Denizens_of_Crane_Point_Marathon.jpgNurse shark

Nurse shark

1374973-Sharks_Vaca_Key.jpgShark and Hermit crab

Shark and Hermit crab


Crane Point's crane fountain

Crane Point's crane fountain


Sign about mosquitoes in the Crane Point Museum

Sign about mosquitoes in the Crane Point Museum


Sign says: Mosquit-O-Meter
1 You're in the Florida Keys
2 Don't let a couple of little bugs scare ya!
3 OK, OK..We know! But it still beats shoveling snow and 40 deg below
4 Yikes!! Use lots of repellant and run as fast as you can!
Duck when you hear the mosquito plane!

The lower signs have questions on them like "Why does a film of oil on water kill mosquito larvae?"

Really the no-see-ums, which live in the mangroves, are more of a bother in the winter.

Wear long trousers and a shirt with sleeves at night.
1374873-Museum_cat_Vaca_Key.jpgMuseum Cat has waked up and is looking off the porch

Museum Cat has waked up and is looking off the porch

1374976-Cockatoo_Vaca_Key.jpgSleepy cockatoo peeking under his eyelids

Sleepy cockatoo peeking under his eyelids


Watch your fingers

Watch your fingers

Iguana shows his toes

Iguana shows his toes

1374997-Iguana_on_the_roof_Vaca_Key.jpgIguana on the roof

Iguana on the roof

Iguana on the roof

Iguana on the roof

Wild iguana

Wild iguana

Captive iguana's tail

Captive iguana's tail

and a children's museum section. Then there are several nature trails that you can walk. Many of the plants have signs telling what they are.

The main trail is big enough for a little train (and they do have train tours if you sign up in advance), and is about a mile over to Crane Point where there is a house. There are also a few houses over on Florida Bay and a Wild Bird Center out on this trail. We did not go out that far, and so we also missed the osprey nest. But we see plenty of osprey nests from our boat. I spent some time on the walk photographing spiders in their webs.
Spider with red legs

Spider with red legs

Spider which may be a Golden Orb

Spider which may be a Golden Orb


Spider web and spider in the mangroves

Spider web and spider in the mangroves


We ate dinner at Annette's Lobster House. MM 48 A Big Menu 3860 Overseas Highway. I asked the group at the marina where we should go, and they recommended this place. It was very pretty inside, with lighted medallions with fish in them, and art (for sale) around on the walls.
Lighted fish medallions

Lighted fish medallions


There is a big big menu which starts out with the desserts instead of appetizers. Entrees ranging from $12.95 up to a seafood dinner for two for $69.95. There was a separate folder with a menu of specials. The specials today were stone crab claws for appetizers, three fish dishes from $19.95 to $21.92, a special vegetable, and a whole page of the day's desert specials in addition to specially priced drinks. The wait staff was very attentive. The girls mostly wore shorts or mini skirts.

We tried very hard to chose the cheapest items on the menu. The last page of the menu was headed "Lite Fare", and had slightly cheaper dishes with smaller portions - these included a half rack of lamb for $16.95, frogs legs (fried or broiled) for $13.95, chicken breast, and the catch of the day for $13.95. The catch of the day was mahi, which both of us took.
Catch of the day with mashed coconut sweet potato

Catch of the day with mashed coconut sweet potato


The price included hot hard rolls, either caesar salad or a trip to the soup and salad bar (soups today were tomato and chicken), a starch and a vegetable medley (peas, carrots, string beans, sweet pepper and those little tiny pickled corn cobs). For the starch, Bob had a baked potato (which was huge) and I had the vegetable special of the day which was mashed coconut sweet potato. We each had dessert - Bob had a brownie sundae ($5.95) and I had caramel apple crisp ala mode for $4.95. The total bill was $52.71 including tip. (the tip was $8.00)
Caramel apple crisp and Brownie Sundae in the background

Caramel apple crisp and Brownie Sundae in the background


Monday the 12th

We finished up the visit to Crane Point ( the local museum/aquarium and historical exhibit) . Included in the Crane Point admission price is Adderley House which is the oldest house in the Keys except for those in Key West. It is out towards Crane Point and it requires a walk to get to it. We walked out to the Adderley House on a secondary trail, and came back on the main trail. Then we crossed the boardwalk over the end of the freshwater pond and went around a little trail on the other side. There are 160 species of native plants in the hammock including red, white and black mangroves.
Nature trail

Nature trail

Tree leaves against the sky

Tree leaves against the sky


Beautiful fruit on a tree

Beautiful fruit on a tree

large_1374918-Adderley_House_Historic_Site_Vaca_Key.jpg
George and Olivia Adderley were Bahamians who sailed to the Keys in the 1890s. After they lived in the upper keys for several years, they purchased 32 acres at what is now known as Crane Point.
Bahamas masonry house with top hung shutters

Bahamas masonry house with top hung shutters

Bedroom at Adderley house

Bedroom at Adderley house


Separate kitchen building at Adderley house

Separate kitchen building at Adderley house

Inside kitchen

Inside kitchen


The house, which George built himself, is made of Tabby, a concrete like material made of burned conch and other shells mixed with water and sand. It is a classic Bahamian style. Note the shutters which open from the bottom to keep the window shaded from the sun.
large_1356455-Crane_Point_Vaca_Key.jpg
After almost 50 years, Olivia died, and George Adderley sold his property to the Cranes and moved to Key West. That's how the area got the name of Crane Point.

We ate at the Village Cafe -an Italian restaurant.MM 50.5 in the Gulfside Shopping Center. 5800 Overseas Highway- In the Gulfside shopping center
Village_Cafe

Village_Cafe


We went to this Cafe originally because I thought they had a buffet. It turned out that the buffet was only on Sunday (breakfast 8:30 to 2, lunch 11-2, and dinner 5-9). It is very nice inside, with black and white drawings on the walls, and a model ship made of sugar by one of the family in a display case inside the door,
Ship made of sugar

Ship made of sugar


They serve local specials, Italian food (pasta and pizza), and have a soup and salad bar. They will cook your catch. I had
A nice tender steak for $13.95

A nice tender steak for $13.95


and Bob had a $9.95 salad. My dessert was $4.00. With tea ($2.00) and tip $6.00, the total bill was $38.70
$4.00 Dessert

$4.00 Dessert


Tuesday the 13th we visited two other CSY boats - one was the former LIMBO LADY in Marathon
00309532298720110308185259973.jpgBow and deck

Bow and deck


which they are living on while they are working on restoring her,
LIMBO LADY cat napping

LIMBO LADY cat napping


and the other was SOGGY PAWS up at Matecombe Key
Satisfied Siamese cat

Satisfied Siamese cat


We ate lunch up at Little Italy On Long Key MM 68.5.
Little Italy Lunch Specials board

Little Italy Lunch Specials board


The restaurant is listed as having italian specialties, fresh seafood and steaks; Eat in or take out. We stopped here for lunch
Bob's sub

Bob's sub


and Bob had a meatball sub and I had the special
Baked dolphin and shrimp scampi over linguini $7.25

Baked dolphin and shrimp scampi over linguini $7.25

.
We were about the last people here before they closed after lunch.
Bob by the window

Bob by the window


Other specials on the board were * Cream of tomato and basil soup with a turkey sandwich for $4.50* Country fried steak, mashed potatoes & corn for $6.25 * Jerk chicken salad $5.35Lunch favorites also include Caesar salad, chicken marsala, stone crabs, and stuffed snapper for $4.95-$8.95 Fodors says: "Dinners are equally tasty and well priced -- pasta, chicken, seafood, veal, and steak. Try the rich, dreamy hot chocolate-pecan pie. Breakfast, too, is served, and a light-bites menu has smaller portions for kids and calorie-watchers."I understand that this place is run by the same people who run the Key Colony Inn, which Bob considers one of the best restaurants in the Marathon area.

We ate dinner down at the Quarterdeck MM 54 - On the Causeway For some reason I can't find the receipt for this meal and I don't remember what we ate or exactly what it cost. However, it is important to note that any restaurants past MM 54 are on keys north of Marathon.
Quarterdeck outside

Quarterdeck outside


Entrance to The Quarterdeck-On The Causeway

Entrance to The Quarterdeck-On The Causeway


Bob had
Club sandwich with fries

Club sandwich with fries


which was so large that he couldn't eat it all and had to bring it back to the boat. I had some kind of dish that was covered with cheese, and a side of pasta (butterfly).
My dinner

My dinner

Wednesday 14 January we went back to Key West, and shopped at the commissary (had lunch at the lunch stand outside),
00309532298720110308185628987.jpgBilbe's Snack Shack

Bilbe's Snack Shack


and I had Bob drive around various places so I could take pictures, starting at the
Welcome Center

Welcome Center


Then we drove down South Roosevelt (A1A) past the former location of
The Naval Hospital where our daughter was born in 1968 was past this gate

The Naval Hospital where our daughter was born in 1968 was past this gate

Baby in 1968 in the hospital

Baby in 1968 in the hospital

South Roosevelt Blvd on the Hawk Channel side (Atlantic Ocean)

South Roosevelt Blvd on the Hawk Channel side (Atlantic Ocean)


and Smather's Beach.
Beach Toilet

Beach Toilet

Trying to find shade to park in along the Atlantic beach side

Trying to find shade to park in along the Atlantic beach side

Vendors on the beach

Vendors on the beach


Charles Sonny McCoy Indigenous Park entrance - Native Tree Park and Sanctuary

Charles Sonny McCoy Indigenous Park entrance - Native Tree Park and Sanctuary

Man with birds in front of the Indigenous Park

Man with birds in front of the Indigenous Park

Clarence S. HIggs Memorial Beach sign with the park behind it.

Clarence S. HIggs Memorial Beach sign with the park behind it.

C.B. Harvey Rest Beach Park

C.B. Harvey Rest Beach Park


Fishing at White Pier in 1967

Fishing at White Pier in 1967


White pier where we took the children fishing, and White Beach

White pier where we took the children fishing, and White Beach

The Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory

The Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory


Garrison Bight

Garrison Bight


Green route bus with a bike rack on the front

Green route bus with a bike rack on the front

Parking locations and times

Parking locations and times

Tent for the January sailboat races

Tent for the January sailboat races

Tall ship masts at the end of the street

Tall ship masts at the end of the street

Turtle Kraal tower

Turtle Kraal tower


For VT I wrote a Warning Tip: T-shirt shops in Key West have been found guilty of scamming customers, failing to give written estimates of costs, and telling them how much T-shirts would cost after the work was done. Sometimes they would quote one price for the work and then charge another price at the the register. 37 out of 40 shops were in violation of the codes which are meant to stop these practices and eight of them were found guilty in a special master hearing in February 2004. They were barred from making T-shirts for 10 days and fined $5000.00. The suspensions are being appealed. I have not been here, but if you don't want to buy from the aggressive T-shirt vendors, I suggest going to the T-Shirt Factory and getting a custom shirt with whatever logo you like done for you. They will charge about $15.00 each I wanted a photo of the T-Shirt Factory to put on the tip
T-Shirt factory - retail sales and Custom Printing

T-Shirt factory - retail sales and Custom Printing

We had dinner at Marathon Pasta and Pasta. MM 50 - Sombrero Resort . 19 Sombrero Blvd.
Driving Range from Marathon Pasta and Pizza

Driving Range from Marathon Pasta and Pizza


Looking into Marathon Pizza

Looking into Marathon Pizza

Marathon Pizza and Pasta sign

Marathon Pizza and Pasta sign


We've been over to Dockside before, and Bob hated it. but I thought we might do better if we went to this restaurant which is not as far down on Boot Key Harbor as Dockside is. Bob had lasagna (his favorite) and I had eggplant. They also have pizza of course. The meal for the 2 of us including tip cost $33.30
Garden outside restaurant

Garden outside restaurant


Then he turned in the car in on Thursday 15 January.

During the following days, I practiced riding my bike, and biked out as far as Knight Key.

23 January
We walked over to Castaway for dinner
Canal reflections

Canal reflections


nImage003b.jpgCastaway

Castaway

Castaway Outside Seating

Castaway Outside Seating


This time, I got the snapper curry ($20.95) which included a trip to the salad bar, and Bob got the steamed shrimp appetizer for $14.95. The total with tip was just under $50.00
Twilight

Twilight

26 Jan Sunset

26 Jan Sunset


Sunrise from the boat - 27 January

Sunrise from the boat - 27 January

Tips

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:25 Archived in USA

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Comments

I have had conch cruiser, if I understand the meaning of it right..It was old Camry, didn't look like much but I loved it! I never had any problems to get it started, even if the temperature were below -20C :)
I would have liked the Crane Point and Botanical Garden.
That Chocolate Mousse cake looks really good!

by hennaonthetrek

Yes that's right - Key West's nickname is the Conch Republic (Conch is a shell fish and people born in Key West are called Conchs) because at one point the US decided to put up a U.S. Border Patrol roadblock and checkpoint between the Keys and the mainland. So since the road block was like a border, they declared Key West's independence, declared war on the US, surrendered and then applied for a billion dollars in foreign aid. This created a lot of publicity and the roadblock was removed. So an old car down there is a Conch cruiser.

by greatgrandmaR

Ah, so it's a regional name and my old Camry was just an old Camry, no cool nickname :)

by hennaonthetrek

You could make up your own nickname.

by greatgrandmaR

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