Last month I escaped the endless winter and took a trip to Key West Florida. The drive down the keys is absolutely beautiful. Stunning blue water, white beaches and large iguanas sunning themselves on the side of the road. There was still evidence of Hurricane Irma damage, mostly between Sugarloaf and Marathon. Abandoned RV’s were scattered about, the sides completely ripped away, and pieces of boats lay along the road.
Luckily, Key West avoided the worst of the storm and was in good shape. We stayed just off of Duval Street near Mallory Square. I loved Key West’s atmosphere and laid back attitude. We rented bikes and spent the first day riding around and checking out the sights.
I visited the Hemingway House, and was surprised that the entire place smelled like cats. Upon discovering that 52 cats lived there, I understood why. I also learned way too much about six-toed cats.
The cool thing about the Hemingway House is that the patio and surrounding brick wall were from Baltimore! I spied several of these bricks around Key West.
I also visited the Little White House and took a Conch Tour Train ride, which gave a really great overview of the architecture and history of Key West.
Seventy miles off the coast of Key West is Fort Jefferson National Park. You can only get there by airplane or boat, and takes several hours. Around the time I was booking my trip I just finished a book about the assassination of Lincoln. I recalled that Fort Jefferson was mentioned as the prison several conspirators had been taken to. The most notorious prisoner was Dr. Samuel Mudd. I wasn’t sure if I would ever come back to Key West so I figured I’d take the day and visit Fort Jefferson.
I enjoyed the park tour, and walking around the fort. It was pretty cool to stand at the top of the fort and see nothing but water all around you. It’s so incredibly quiet and still.
Only five park rangers and the occasional camper live there. I enjoyed the peacefulness, which was a nice break from Duval Street, but I understand how it could be isolating.
The fort is known for its snorkeling, but it was windy that day and visibility was poor, so I relaxed on the beach until the boat left. I thought this would be my only trip to Fort Jefferson, but camping there is now on my bucket list.
After four days in Key West, I had my fill of key lime pie and tropical drinks. We hopped in the car and headed to West Palm Beach and the Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auction. I didn’t explore Palm Beach that much, but relaxed on the beach when I wasn’t at the car show.
I loved driving around and admiring the flora of Key West and Palm Beach. It was inspiring and I was itching to start working in my own garden. By the time I got home, the weather had FINALLY started to warm up a bit. Let the planting begin!