We woke up early on Friday and headed down making a pit stop in Islamorada at the Ocean View. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you will know that not only is Islamorada our favorite Key... it's also where we got engaged TWO years ago. Can you believe it? I can actually remember sitting down and scheduling my blog posts from that week in Islamorada two years ago. It's crazy how time is flying right on by.
Ocean View is a divey sports bar with an "inn" connected to it. We just love it. We pulled in for drinks and lunch just for nostalgic purposes. This is the third year we have stopped in and every time we go... it's the same staff on duty. It's funny... things in the Keys seem to never change. [Side note: There are a LOT of abandoned buildings or closed up businesses...every time we make the drive down... it's as if nothing has changed. The same buildings are empty, the same businesses are shut down, nothing has been renovated. It's funny we go on living our lives back home and return to the Keys and see that everything is the same.]
Outside the back of the Ocean View.
After this pit stop in Islamorada... we still had a LONG way to go to get to our final destination--Key West. For those that have driven this stretch, once you get to the Upper Keys... it's still a very LONG drive to Duval Street. From Tampa the drive time is about 8 hours. Our new home in the Naples area promised us just five... and most of that drive is just on US1 heading down to Key West. No highway driving... just a long road surrounded by water.
Once we arrived in Key West, we headed straight for our bed & breakfast--L'Habitation. When we were researching hotels, there wasn't much information on this one... so I'm going to put some stuff here in the hopes that some other traveler will find it useful! It's officially caleld the L'Habiation Guest House and it's located on Eaton and Duval Streets. If you've ever seen the retro movie theater down in Key West... it's right next door. Along for this trip was the fabulous (and very missing blogger) Jen, and we booked two rooms right next to each other. Our rooms shared a deck. It was cute.
We had a king bed in our room and a sort of sitting area with a fridge and a table. We, of course, loved to have the space to throw all our stuff.
After *finally* getting settled and checked in, it was time to try to catch the sunset at Mallory Square... oh, and see CAT MAN. Jen swore that this show was amazing. I will say, this gentleman is quite the character. Cat Man has a show down at Mallory Square every night with his trained cats. They do...stunts. They're kind of amazing since my own dogs cannot do half the things these cats could.
The view from Mallory Square. This is the third time I've been down in Key West and have yet to see an "amazing" sunset. This was a misty night.
Cats jump through rings of fire...
...and I'm pretty sure this just sums up the show.
After "sunset," we headed to find dinner on Duval. Jen suggested Cheeseburger and I'm so glad she did. I'm pretty sure I wanted nothing more than to scarf down a large cheeseburger with fries. It was...heavenly. Honest.
The Duval Bar Crawl started after that and this preggo managed to stay out moderately late.
We started at Captain Tony's which is the husband's favorite. They serve "pirate punch" which is a cheap mix of some kind of rum concoction that everyone loves.
What the inside of the bar looks like
Me, Jen, and the BRIDE!
With the husband
...And, just for the sake of documentation... Key West is a crazy place. Though, I haven't seen it really CRAZY. There's a clothing optional bar called the Garden of Eden right on Duval. It's on the rooftop and I've been here before...and no one was naked. It was just a normal bar. Well, let's just say this past Friday it was certainly crazy. I had never seen anything like it before...obviously. The music was really good though...there just happened to be some people not wearing any clothes. Clearly.... no photos here. Security was on the BALL and anyone who had a phone out or a camera was immediately caught.
After this experience, we were passing by our hotel and it was time for this pregnant gal to take a nap!
All in all -- a very successful day in Key West! Next up -- the WEDDING celebration!